chocolate chocolate chunk muffins

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How is a muffin different from a cupcake? Let me count the ways.

1) Frosting: A cupcake without frosting is just wrong. Muffins, while sometimes glazed, are never served with a tall swirl of sugary icing. But cupcakes with a coating of soft glaze are beautiful as well.

2) Add-ins: Many muffins have some textural contrast, whether it’s chunks of fruit or bran or poppy seeds. Most cupcakes are smooth-textured; fruit is pureed, chocolate is melted. But what about pumpkin muffins? Or carrot cake?

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3) Mixing method and texture: The classic cake mixing method starts with sugar beaten into softened butter, which is smoothed with egg, then thickened with flour and leaveners. It results in an even-textured, fluffy cake. Muffins, by contrast, are usually made by whisking together the dry ingredients, separately whisking together the wet ingredients, and then folding the two together. The resultant texture is coarse with large air pockets. But not all cakes are mixed with the cake method, and not all muffins are mixed with the muffin method.

4) Course: Cupcakes are dessert. Muffins are breakfast.

So while, by this set of guidelines, these chocolate chocolate chunk muffins do seem to be muffins, they could certainly pass for dessert. Or, if you can’t get enough of their sweet, tender, moist crumb and rich bites of solid chocolate, enjoy them for both breakfast and dessert. I know I did.

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One year ago: Tarte Noire
Two years ago: Tribute to Katherine Hepburn Brownies
Three years ago: Blueberry Pie

Printer Friendly Recipe
Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins (from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours, for Tuesdays with Dorie)

Makes 12 muffins

Two ounces of chocolate chunks mixed into the dough is a restrained amount that reflects the breakfast intentions of these muffins. For more richness, feel free to increase that up to as much as 6 ounces. I mixed in some white chocolate as well.

6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups (9.6 ounces) all-purpose flour
⅔ cup (4.67 ounces) sugar
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1¼ cups buttermilk
1 large egg
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups. Alternatively, use a silicone muffin pan, which needs neither greasing nor paper cups. Place the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

Melt the butter and half the chopped chocolate together in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water; or do this in a microwave. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients and the melted butter and chocolate over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough — a few lumps are better than overmixing the batter. Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin molds.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.

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  1. These look insanely delish!

  2. A great choice! This is going in the rotation. Yours look filled with goodness.

  3. I agree with your conclusion to eat them for breakfast and dessert 🙂

  4. I thought about adding white chocolate, I should have went with it–it looks yummy. I think these are great anytime, I wish I had one now!
    Great choice Bridget.

  5. Thanks for hosting Bridget – I’m a big fan of any recipe that gives me an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast! Love your colorful muffin liners.

  6. I added some white chocolate, too. Good stuff!

  7. I like cupcakes for breakfast as well. These look so decadent.

  8. Ciao Bridget, thenks for choosing such a special recipe and for all the explainations !

  9. Those look awesome! Love the white chocolate chunks 😀

  10. They look yummy!Thank you for hosting this week!

  11. Love the addition of white chocolate!!

  12. Very informative guideline! Normally I prefer cupcakes, but these muffins really take the cake…so to speak.

    Excellent choice, and fabulous photos! 😀

  13. Yes, cupcakes MUST have frosting! I really liked these, and they were great paired with blackberry jam. Thanks for the great pick!

  14. Fab pick, Bridget – I loved these! 🙂

  15. Great great choice this week! Loved these. I have looked at this recipe for a while and should have made it before now.

  16. Yeah, these are thinly veiled cupcakes. Yum!

  17. Thanks for the great pick! White chocolate chunks are a great idea for these.

  18. treewhisperer says:

    It was your week to pick?! What-no little song and dance about your selection? 🙁 I was looking forward to hearing about why you selected whatever recipe you selected! I didn’t find out it was your pick until I read the comments…come to think of it, I guess it was odd that you posted the recipe on a Tuesday…

    Anyhow, I second all of the above comments-though I think the line between muffins and cupcakes broad and blurry, much like being a salaried worker and the “40 hour” work week. 🙂

  19. Chocolate chocolate…. I’m almost positive you could follow that with any word and it would be good! Excellent choice! And I love #4 🙂 I’ve justified many a breakfast by telling myself “It IS a muffin”

  20. Great pick. We really enjoyed it. Hooray for chocolate for breakfast!

  21. These look lovely! I love the contrasting colors. It’s definitely a muffin vs. cupcake question!

  22. I would eat these any day of the week for breakfast- they look delicious – especially like the white choc chips

  23. thanks for the low down on cupcake and muffin – i always thought they were same same but different 😀

  24. Guys loved these so much I had to make them twice already. Thanks for a great pick! Love your rainbow of pretty wrappers, so much like a party!

  25. these are good for breakfast and dessert…a double-duty recipe. wish i’d thought to add white chocolate–that sounds great!

  26. These definitely look like breakfast to me- a very delicious breakfast, I might add! 🙂