When it comes to double chocolate muffins, these big, bakery-style muffins are the best of the best - rich, moist, tender, and extremely chocolatey. They're loaded with three kinds of chocolate for an intense amount of chocolate flavor, and topped with sparkling sugar for an irresistible crunchy-sweet finish - a true breakfast splurge. The best part? These muffins can even be made gluten-free!
This recipe comes with an upfront disclaimer: this is the kind of double chocolate muffin you make when you really mean business. They're chocolatey to the max, and you can't be sorry about that; this is not the time for lightened-up or healthified chocolate muffins. If you're with me (and you totally should be), then great! Let me show ya how it's done.
The case for calling these the ultimate double chocolate muffins
You know those jumbo, bakery-style chocolate muffins you see at the store? (Costco in particular comes to mind.) I look at those and I expect something moist, cakey, and most of all CHOCOLATEY, but usually you get something else, something that makes eating chocolate for breakfast not-so-worth-it. I've made my fair share of double chocolate muffins over the years, but these were the first to really check all the boxes for me.
- Moist? YES.
- Soft? YES.
- Tender? YES.
- Chocolatey? HECK YES. (They may not be chocolate cupcakes, but they're honestly just as indulgent, whether you make them gluten-free or not!)
And, in one of those rare moments of baked good perfection, these taste phenomenal whether you eat them at room temperature, warm, or - I hate to say it but I will - straight from the fridge.
They're a straight-up splurge if you have them for breakfast, or you can really get wild and serve them with whipped cream for dessert. Either way, I promise you, they're SO worth making. In fact, they may just become the best chocolate muffins you've ever had, and they're really quite easy to make!
Ingredients you'll need
It took a lot of tweaking to get these ingredients and proportions just right, so it's important to stick to the recipe here if you truly want a decadent, moist chocolate muffin with a perfectly domed and crackly muffin top. The good news is that the ingredients are fairly simple:
- These can be made with regular all-purpose flour, or an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend - just make sure it contains xanthan gum.
- It's important to use natural cocoa powder - not Dutch-process - since its acidity reacts with the baking soda in this recipe to create more rise.
- This recipe calls for two eggs and an additional yolk. The extra egg yolk makes the muffins more tender, without the drying effects of the egg white, so don't be tempted to throw in a third full egg. (This "extra yolk" trick is one I also use in my chocolate chip cookies for added flavor and better texture.)
- I make these chocolate muffins with oil rather than butter, since it does a better job of creating a soft, moist crumb. You can use avocado, canola, or vegetable oil.
- Full-fat sour cream keeps the batter thick (a necessity for tall, bakery-style muffins), and the fat content keeps these chocolate chip muffins moist & tender. While whole milk Greek yogurt is a decent substitute (and one that I use often for slightly less rich recipes, like apple muffins and pear muffins) I do recommend sour cream for the best possible results in both flavor and texture.
- I highly recommend using a combination of different chocolates in this recipe (milk, semisweet, and/or bittersweet). It can be in the form of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate bars. Just remember: the better quality the chocolate is, the better your muffins will turn out. If you use three kinds of chocolate, then technically you'll have triple chocolate muffins - quadruple if you count the cocoa powder!
- You can also add a sprinkle of sparkling sugar to your muffin tops for a sweet, crunchy finish.
How to make double chocolate muffins
Step one - Oven and pan prep: Preheat your oven to 375ºF, and grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray. Use a paper towel to wipe any excess oil off the top surface of the pan, which will help ensure your muffin tops rise up and not out.
Note: I don't recommend using muffin liners simply because this recipe makes quite a bit of batter, and you may run out of room in your muffin cups.
Step two - Combine the dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until they're evenly combined.
Step three - Beat together the eggs and sugar: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the wire whip/whisk attachment (or a handheld electric mixer, in a pinch), beginning beating the eggs and egg yolk on medium-high speed. While beating, slowly pour in the sugar, and continue to beat until the mixture has thickened to a pale, glossy consistency.
When the whisk is lifted, the mixture should ribbon back down into the bowl, like you see in the photo below. Don't forget to scrape down your bowl and beater with a spatula as necessary!
Step four - Add the remaining wet ingredients: With the mixer on low speed, mix in the oil until it's fully incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and beater, and then mix in the sour cream and vanilla extract until fully combined into the batter.
Step five - Add the flour mixture and chocolate: Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet one, and fold it in with a spatula until it's nearly incorporated, with just a few visible dry streaks. Then, fold in 8 ½ ounces of chocolate, just until it's dispersed and everything is evenly combined.
Always avoid overmixing - that's what leads to tough, chewy muffins. Also keep in mind that your batter should be thick - this is one of my top tips for bakery-style muffins with perfectly domed muffin tops.
Step six - Fill your muffin tins: Scoop and divide the batter evenly between the 12 greased cups in your muffin pan. Use it all; your muffin cups should be full! You can smooth out the tops lightly if needed, but make sure the scoops stay mounded. Sprinkle the muffin tops with the remaining chocolate and sparkling sugar.
Step seven - Bake: Bake the muffins at 375ºF for 10 minutes (this initial, higher blast of heat will help them rise quickly), and then reduce the heat to 350ºF and bake for an additional 7-12 minutes.
You'll know they're done when a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs/streaks of melted chocolate. Don't be tempted to overbake them!
Let them cool in the pan for 15 minutes, and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before storing - assuming they make it that long!
Tips for perfecting this recipe:
Tons of readers have made these muffins successfully since I first shared the recipe, but if you're making these for the first time, here are a few extra pointers:
- Weigh your ingredients if possible. If not, make sure you measure your flour and cocoa powder correctly using the spoon-and-level method.
- Use the best chocolate you can afford. I mentioned it before but it's worth saying again. If you truly want to make the ultimate double chocolate muffin, splurge on good cocoa powder and chocolate. For these photos I used Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa, along with Ghirardelli's milk chocolate baking chips, semisweet chocolate chips, and bittersweet baking bar. Guittard also makes great chocolate that's easy to find in most grocery stores! Feel free to use all chips for a true chocolate chocolate chip muffin, or throw in those chopped chocolate chunks for texture and variation.
- Don't overmix the batter.
- Fill the muffin cups TO THE BRIM. You're going to make this batter and think that surely you have enough of it to make 18 muffins. But hear this: If you want giant, bakery-style muffins, fill only 12 muffin cups, and fill them to the very top. I do this with my lemon poppy seed muffins, I do it with my banana chocolate chip muffins, and I do it with these muffins. Just follow the recipe and I promise you all will end well.
- Don't overbake! Remember, if your toothpick test reveals a few crumbs, that's just fine.
Once they're cool, transfer them to an airtight container or zip-top bag. They keep well at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
Sure! Store the cooled muffins in a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. If preferred, you can wrap each individual muffin in plastic wrap first for extra protection. Let them defrost at room temperature or in the refrigerator before serving.
If you don't fill your muffin cups completely, you can easily wind up making more than 12 muffins with this recipe. Don't be afraid to fill them up!
Dry muffins can be caused by improperly measuring your ingredients (especially flour and cocoa powder), overmixing, or overbaking.
The most common culprits are baking powder/soda that is not fresh (or that isn't measured correctly), overmixing your batter, baking at an incorrect or inconsistent temperature, or underbaking.
More chocolate chip muffin recipes
Double Chocolate Muffins (GF Option)
When it comes to double chocolate muffins, these giant muffins are the best of the best - rich, moist, tender, and extremely chocolatey. They're loaded with three kinds of chocolate for an intense amount of chocolate flavor, and topped with sparkling sugar for an irresistible crunchy-sweet finish. The best part? These muffins can even be made gluten-free!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 17 minutes (up to 22 minutes)
- Total Time: 37 minutes (up to 42 minutes)
- Yield: 12 muffins 1x
- Category: muffins
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 8 ½ ounces (2 cups, spoon and level) all-purpose flour (gluten-free or regular)
- 3 ½ ounces (1 cup) natural cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
- 8 ¾ ounces (1 ¼ cups) granulated sugar
- 3 ⅞ ounces (½ cup) avocado oil, canola oil, OR vegetable oil
- 12 ¾ ounces (1 ½ cups ) full-fat sour cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 10 ½ ounces good quality chocolate chips and/or chopped chocolate, divided
- sparkling sugar, for garnish
- Oven and pan prep: Preheat oven to 375ºF and grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray, using a paper towel to wipe off any excess spray on the top of the pan.
- Combine dry ingredients: In a bowl, whisk (or better yet sift) together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until thoroughly mixed.
- Beat eggs and sugar: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a handheld electric mixer), begin beating the eggs on medium-high speed. Slowly stream in the sugar while beating and continue to beat until the mixture is pale and thickened, and ribbons down from the beater when lifted (see photo in post above). Wipe down the bowl and beater with a spatula as needed.
- Add remaining wet ingredients: Beat in the oil until fully incorporated. Wipe down bowl and beater and beat in sour cream and vanilla until evenly incorporated.
- Add flour mixture and chocolate: Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold in just until only a few visible streaks remain. Add 8 ½ ounces of the chocolate and fold in just until all ingredients are evenly incorporated. The batter will be thick!
- Fill muffin tins: Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups, smoothing the tops if needed but keeping the scoops mounded; fill all 12 muffin cups completely. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate and sparkling sugar on top.
- Bake muffins in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Immediately reduce heat to 350ºF and bake another 7-12 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs or streaks of melted chocolate. Cool muffins in pan for about 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Ingredients and substitutions:
- If using gluten-free flour, make sure your blend contains xanthan gum.
- Sour cream can be substituted with plain whole milk yogurt.
- I recommend using a variety of chocolate in this recipe, such as a combination of milk, semisweet, and bittersweet chocolate.
Storing and freezing:
- Store cooled muffins in an airtight container or zip-top bag at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Muffins can also be kept in a freezer-safe bag (preferably individually wrapped in plastic wrap as well) and frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature or in the refrigerator.