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Chocolate Ricotta Muffins

by on March 12, 2011 · 13 comments

Making chocolate ricotta muffins seemed like a good way to use leftover ricotta cheese, so this morning I searched for some recipes. Molly Katzen’s chocolate ricotta muffins appeared most often, and while they looked good, a few people complained that  they were slightly dry and could use more sweetness.   Given those reviews, I made some changes.  Along with halving the recipe, I added applesauce, incorporated brown sugar, and used little white whole wheat flour for whole grain. The results were dense, rich tasting muffins that in my opinion, were plenty moist.

chocolate Ricotta Muffin

If you want to cut the calories even more, you could use your favorite artificial sweetener in place of one or both of the sugars.  If you do that, let me know how it works.

Recipe: Chocolate Ricotta Muffins

Summary: Chocolate Muffins are a good way to use leftover ricotta cheese

Chocolate Ricotta Muffins


  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour plus 1/2 cup minus a teaspoon of all purpose (5.2 oz total)
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s Dark/Dutch)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese (not reduced fat, part skim okay)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, generous
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray 8 muffin cups with non-stick baking spray. Leave the remaining 4 empty for now.
  2. Spread the applesauce in a 5 inch circle on a stack of paper towels and let it sit for about 10 minutes to drain.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cocoa, and sugar in a medium-sized bowl.
  4. In a mixing bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, egg, milk, vanilla and oil. Using a tablespoon, scrape up 4 tablespoons of the drained applesauce and add to ricotta mixture.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the ricotta mixture and stir until blended, then stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups going all the way to the top. You should get about 8 muffins. Add a little water to the empty muffin cups to help the muffins bake evenly.
  7. Bake in the middle of the oven for to 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven, then remove the muffins from the pan and place them on a rack to cool. Let cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Quick Notes

For extra moisture I added some drained applesauce. The applesauce also added a little sweetness.

For a touch more sweetness, I used half brown sugar and half granulated

For whole grain, I used a combination of white whole wheat and all purpose, but you can stick with all purpose if you want – just use 5.2 oz or 1 cup and 3 tablespoons.


For the ricotta, I used part-skim because that’s what I typically have in the refrigerator. The original version of this recipe used whole milk, so if you happen to have that the muffins will be richer and probably very tasty.

Cooking time (duration): 30

Diet type: Vegetarian

Diet (other): Reduced fat

Number of servings (yield): 8

Meal type: brunch

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

Microformatting by hRecipe.

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Published on March 12, 2011

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Louise March 12, 2011 at 11:56 am

The muffins look really good. You could also use the leftover ricotta in this very tasty mac ‘n cheese, but it’s far from low-cal even if you try to balance it with a huge salad.

Anna March 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Louise, I have made that macaroni and cheese and it’s awesome.

Helena March 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Anna I just love your recipes, the next time I have ricotta cheese on hand I’ll try these muffins

CindyD March 12, 2011 at 2:22 pm

This recipe sounds interesting. I clipped a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens for ricotta muffins (without chocolate) if you’re interested.

Barbara Bakes March 12, 2011 at 3:52 pm

I’ve never tried ricotta in muffins. Sounds like a fabulous addition. Love how you made them a bit healthier.

Sue March 12, 2011 at 4:01 pm

It sounds like you made some good changes to the recipe!

Melissa March 12, 2011 at 7:33 pm

I happen to have some leftover cottage cheese (my choice for lasagna). How do you think that would do if i pulsed it in the food processor first?

vanillasugarblog March 12, 2011 at 8:07 pm

i’m with barbara on this one–never used ricotta in muffins. pancakes yes and a quiche once. sounds good though.

Anna March 12, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Melissa, the texture might be a little different but I think it would work.

Gloria March 12, 2011 at 10:20 pm

These look rich and chocolatey….like how you add the extra notes.

Emily March 13, 2011 at 12:38 am

Those look so good. Chocolate muffins are my favorite.

Anna March 13, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Gloria, thanks! I’m trying to reformat my recipes using Microdata. It’s kind of a long process, but I’m glad you like how they look.

Karen Davis June 19, 2011 at 8:12 pm

I tried the recipe as written, except I used 3/4 c. of agave nectar in place of the two sugars, omitted the milk and the vegetable oil, and added 1/2 c. of plain Greek yogurt. My daughter also loves chips (or, in our case, chunks), so I used 1 c. of dark chocolate chunks. I got 12 very ample muffins out of the recipe, and they were plenty moist. Not only that, but I used no fat, no sugar, and added yogurt (a healthier way to go than milk, although maybe the benefits were off-set by more chocolate…but, if you are chocoholics as we are, who cares????? :-)

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