Cocoa Muffins

These cocoa muffins, made with flour, sugar, cocoa, eggs, oil, and vanilla, are moist and have a not-too-sweet and in intense cocoa flavor. For those with more restrained chocolate cravings.

A white plate with a stack of chocolate muffins in red liners.

These cocoa muffins are only slightly sweet and have an adult-like cocoa flavor rather than an overtly fudgy chocolate smack. Between their restrained chocolatiness and the fact that we call them muffins rather than cupcakes, it’s really quite easy to convince yourself they’re healthy.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Cocoa Muffins

  • Quick Glance
  • (9)
  • 20 M
  • 1 H
  • Makes 12 muffins
4.6/5 - 9 reviews
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Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Spray the cups or line them with paper muffin cups.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until lightly beaten, then whisk in the milk, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until moistened.

Fill the prepared tins about 3/4 full. Reserve any leftover batter for a second batch. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until the muffins have firm, rounded tops, and a toothpick inserted into the center of one muffin comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.

Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.

Gently rock each muffin back and forth to release it. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool for 5 minutes more on the rack before serving. If storing or freezing the muffins, cool them completely before sealing in an airtight container or in resealable plastic bags. The muffins will stay fresh for up to 24 hours at room temperature or up to 2 months in the freezer. Originally published September 22, 2004.

Print RecipeBuy the The Ultimate Muffin Book cookbook

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Recipe Testers Reviews

I had a chocolate craving and found this cocoa muffins recipe and I will definitely be making them again. They’re moist, chocolatey, and delicious. And they’re not overly sweet.

I’d never have thought to put a pat of butter on a warm chocolate muffin, but I did as the recipe suggested and it was delicious. I also like that these freeze well. Freezing them is great for portion control, especially since my hubby and son aren’t big chocolate eaters and I don’t feel I have to eat up a whole bunch before they go bad. I can eat one, save one for the next day, and freeze the rest for later.

This is a great recipe for little ones to help make because the muffins mix together in no time. I like them because they’re not very sweet.

I also think these would be good as mini muffins by reducing the baking time to about 10 minutes.


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  1. Hello,

    If I want to bake this Cocoa Muffin in a loaf pan, do I need to reduce the oven temperature? How long should I bake it for?

    Kindly advise, thank you :)

    1. Hi Alyssa, I would reduce the temperature to 375F and allow for around 45 minutes bake time – be sure and use your cake tester to check for doneness.

  2. I have made these muffins. They were very tasty with the perfect amount of sugar. But they were dry; I only had 1% milk at home. Can you please let me know how to make them moist for next time?

    1. Tanya, I’m so glad you like them. Did you weigh the ingredients or did you use cup measures? If the latter, you may have what’s called a heavy hand. You may have put extra flour in unknowingly. If you do have a scale, the milk definitely is a co-conspirator. The extra fat and whole milk will make it more tender and moist.

  3. Couldn’t get any chocolate from store due to current events, but I did have cocoa, so I landed here on this recipe – WOW! Made it with fresh raspberries & the muffins are like dessert! THANK YOU!

    1. You’re so very welcome, Lyneen! Just doing what we do. So glad this worked with what you have on hand! We’ve been trying really hard to share recipes with basic ingredients, so keep checking back with us for more…!

  4. Excellent made with Hershey’s Extra Dark Cocoa. I added an additional tablespoon of canola oil to insure against dryness and will make this a permanent addition. Flavor is even better the next day. While these muffins are not health food, they are a much healthier way to have a piece of chocolate “cake” and at the same time keep carbs, calories and saturated fat to a reasonable level. To me they are a great cake substitute.

  5. Am not a fan of this recipe. Maybe I was expecting something different but I thought the taste was a lot like the taste of the unsweetened coco powder I used (Hersey’s). I baked 6 normal sized muffins and the rest are mini (two bite) portions. Tasted better warm and were moist right out of the oven but didn’t care for them once they cooled.

    1. Margie, am very sorry to hear that. You’re right, these are more on the side of not-too-sweet cocoa muffins as opposed to rich or fudgy chocolate brownies or cake. More like an old-fashioned sheet cake, if you will. You may want to try our Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake, which is also made with cocoa but is a much richer recipe.

  6. YUM! I wanted to make my kids some quick muffins tonight and knew these would make them happy. I used half whole wheat pastry flour and half AP flour, 2% milk, and 1/2 cup muscovado sugar since that was all I had. I love how they are just a bit sweet but not cupcake gooey sweet. I got 15 (after taking several spoons of batter for myself) muffins out of the batch. These are just fantastic with a dollop of cream cheese or mascarpone in the middle!

  7. I wonder if there’s a difference between a “cocoa” muffin and a “chocolate” muffin? These turned out way lighter in texture and flavor than a chocolate muffin I made recently.

    I was hoping that the vegetable oil would make it moister than it ended up being. I baked for 20 mins. Perhaps I should have checked sooner than that?

    I also used kefir instead of milk, hoping it would lead to a richer flavor.

    Anyhoo, easy to make! Tastes lovely. Just not what I was looking for in a chocolate muffin.

    1. Jenny, basically, a cocoa muffin uses cocoa, which adds flavor but no richness, while a chocolate muffin uses melted chocolate (and something to melt that chocolate like butter or cream). That’s a richer muffin. We have one coming on the site this autumn, so keep a lookout.

  8. I was also looking for a recipe with no chocolate chips (because I didn’t have any). Turned out great and my 2 year old helped me measure ingredients and mix it around.
    Changes: put buttermilk instead of milk, just for fun, and put melted butter instead of vegetable oil (didn’t have that either) baked until knife came out clean and they turned out great. Thanks for making this recipe available!

    1. Hi Lisa, often times a dry muffin is due to over mixing the batter. Next time, mix until the ingredients just come together. In the meantime, I bet a pat of butter, as the author suggests, would add a bit of moisture.

  9. Having trouble looking for a cocoa muffin recipe yesterday that didn’t use chocolate chips or butter I was really happy when I found this. I halved the recipe and made 6 huge muffins. They tasted really good. Thanks for posting the recipe on the web. Look forward going through your other recipes.

    1. Hehe, I was looking for a recipe without chocolate chips as well. With all ingredients I’ve made 6 large and 4 small muffins. Tasted very good! Couldn’t resist to eat them hot ;)

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