Spiced Cocoa Muffins

What a great feeling it is to switch on the oven light and see that your muffins have risen up, up, up and have beautiful crowns. It’s especially nice when you’re trying a brand new recipe with flavors you know everyone will love. In this case, it’s chocolate with a hint of spice.

Spiced Cocoa Muffin Chocolate Muffin

The original version of this recipe is in Jame’s McNair’s Breakfast book, but I cut it in half to make 6. I also used Hershey’s Dark cocoa powder, sour milk instead of buttermilk (I was out), and mixed the ingredients differently. That is, I mixed the cocoa powder with the melted butter to get the lumps out. Plus, I vaguely remember reading somewhere that mixing the butter with the chocolate helps bring out the flavor of the cocoa. Hmm. They did have lots of flavor!

Speaking of which, if you don’t love the chocolate spice combo (not everybody does, right?), just eliminate the cinnamon and cloves and throw in 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla. I made a second batch this way using no spices and a combo of dark chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. The second batch was great too, though they didn’t rise *quite* as high as the cinnamon batch.

Spiced Cocoa Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Chocolate cocoa muffins with high crowns
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 6
  • 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Dark)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk -- don't be heavy handed with the milk. Err on the side of less.
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 6 muffin tins with baking spray.
  2. Thoroughly combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk the melted butter with the cocoa until it is smooth. Whisk in the egg and milk. Add the flour mixture and stir until the ingredients are just blended, then fold in the chocolate chips. Spoon the mixture into the tins, dividing evenly.
  4. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15 (I baked for 18) minutes. Remove immediately from the tins and cool briefly on a wire rack.

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  1. The Candy Crusader says

    Love the idea of spiced chocolate in muffin form. The flavors really compliment eachother!

    The Candy Crusader

  2. Upstate NY Native says

    Yuuuuuum! I love chocolate/spice mixtures. I am on my way into the kitchen to make these now but going to make 12 :-))

  3. Helena says

    I’m not a big chocolate cake/muffin fan, but they’re always so good when they are made with buttermilk… somehow makes them very moist 🙂

  4. Darlene says

    Such beautiful crowns on your muffins, I remember you gave us the hint earlier to bake the muffins at a high temp to start with to get a high muffin top. When you said you used sour milk, does that mean milk with lemon juice or vinegar added to it?

  5. says

    About the sour milk, I used a little less than half cup and added about 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice. For the second batch, I used SACO powdered buttermilk. That’s always a good thing to keep on hand.

  6. pumpkinpie says

    I just made your Nesquik brownie recipe, using chili cinnamon drinking chocolate mix (from Byron Bay coffee company). So good that they disappeared while I was out jogging. To console myself, I figured that’s like getting two workouts for the effort of one.

  7. stephanie says

    Ok, just made these & these really rock. THANK YOU!!! I have tried many chocolate muffin recipes & they just don’t cut it. These were very moist & tender. I did have to sub some things due to my kids food issues & I have to healthify everything. I am going to double the recipe & freeze them for their lunches. Here is what I subbed & what worked:

    half AP flour & half 100 % whole wheat flour
    1/4 cup canola oil instead of butter
    Coconut milk (soured with lemon juice) instead of buttermilk/milk
    no spices (kid doesn’t like them)

    Thanks again!

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