Cocoa Muffins

These cocoa muffins, made with flour, sugar, cocoa, eggs, oil, and vanilla, have a not-too-sweet but intense cocoa flavor. For those of us with more adult chocolate cravings.

Cocoa muffins piled on top of each other on a white cake platter.

These chocolate 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.–David Leite

Cocoa Muffin FAQs

What is Dutch-process cocoa?

Dutch process cocoa is cocoa that goes through a different process than your average powdered cocoa. The result is a less acidic, smoother, darker, and more mellow cocoa that’s absolutely worth the swap. Read more on the differences between natural and Dutch Process cocoa.

Can this recipe be made dairy free?

Absolutely. Simply add your favorite plant-based milk in place of the dairy.

When should I serve cocoa muffins?

We think that these muffins are just as splendid for breakfast as they are at snack time, or even for dessert. Want to make them more dessert-like? Add chocolate chips to the batter. More nutritious? Toss in some nuts. Whatever you decide, just be sure there’s a big glass of milk and some napkins handy.

Can I freeze cocoa muffins?

You can. Just cool them completely, secure them in an air-tight ziptop bag, and freeze them for up to three months.

Cocoa Muffins

Cocoa muffins piled on top of each other on a white cake platter.
These easy chocolate muffins, made with flour, sugar, cocoa, eggs, oil, and vanilla, have a not-too-sweet but intense cocoa flavor. For those of us with more adult chocolate cravings.
Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

Prep 20 mins
Cook 40 mins
Total 1 hr
12 muffins
211 kcal
4.78 / 40 votes
Print RecipeBuy the The Ultimate Muffin Book cookbook

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  • Nonstick spray or paper muffin cups
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (whole or low-fat but not nonfat)
  • 1/3 cup mild vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. Spray the muffin tin 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 let them cool on the rack for 5 minutes.
  • Make them disappear. You can keep them in an airtight container or in resealable plastic bags for up to 24 hours at room temperature or stash them in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Print RecipeBuy the The Ultimate Muffin Book cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1muffinCalories: 211kcal (11%)Carbohydrates: 32g (11%)Protein: 5g (10%)Fat: 8g (12%)Saturated Fat: 2g (13%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 32mg (11%)Sodium: 122mg (5%)Potassium: 228mg (7%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 14g (16%)Vitamin A: 93IU (2%)Calcium: 87mg (9%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I had a chocolate craving and found this easy cocoa muffins recipe. 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 simple chocolate muffin recipe 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.

Originally published September 22, 2004


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  1. 1 star
    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.

  2. 5 stars
    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!

  3. 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.

  4. 5 stars
    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!

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