Mocha Muffins

Muffins mixed with coffee-steeped milk and melted chocolate. Close to a cupcake, but we'll call it a muffin.


Mocha Muffins

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Ok.  So there’s a very fine line between a muffin and a cupcake.  And that line is the following:

Cupcakes are frosted.

No matter what goes into it, I’m pretty sure you can label it a muffin as long as you don’t frost it.  And muffins sound healthier than cupcakes so you can eat them for breakfast.

See what I did there?

Other reasons why you should eat this “muffin” for breakfast rather than dessert?  1) It has flax seed meal in it.  Lots of fiber!  2) It has coffee in it for a little pick-me-up.

So I think we can all agree that these are a breakfast food and not a dessert.  Right?

Mocha Muffins

12-14 muffins
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Muffins mixed with coffee-steeped milk and melted chocolate. Close to a cupcake, but we’ll call it a muffin.

Adapted from an old Bon Appétit recipe.


1 Cup milk
1/2 Cup ground coffee
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 Cups flour
1/4 Cup Flax meal (optional, but up flour to 2 cups if you omit this)
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Cup bittersweet chocolate, melted with a few tablespoons of milk


1) Grind coffee finely and add to milk which should be steaming hot.  Let steep for 15 minutes.  Strain milk through a coffee filter.

2) To milk, add other liquid ingredients (oil, eggs, vanilla) and stir well to combine.

3) Combine all dry ingredients.

4) Melt chocolate with a few tablespoons of milk.

5) Add wet ingredients to dry and then fold in melted chocolate.

6) Butter muffin tins well so they don’t stick and pour in batter so each tin is 3/4 full.

7) Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.

8) Let cool for a few minutes before eating.

The Coffee Business

There’s a lot of mocha or coffee recipes out there and most of them use instant espresso for the coffee flavor.  I’m not a huge instant coffee fan, so I decided to try something different to get a lot of coffee flavor going.  First, I ground up about 1/2 Cup of really strong coffee.

No instant stuff for me.

Then I added this to a little over one cup of milk which I heated in the microwave until it was steaming.  I let the coffee steep in the milk for 15 minutes and stirred it a few times to really let the coffee flavor get in there.

Milky coffee mixture!

Of course, the down-side of this approach is getting the coffee grinds out of the milk.  There’s no fast way to do it.  The only way to do it is to set up a colander with a coffee filter in it and slowly pour the milk mixture through it.  Eventually all the milk will drain through and you’ll be left with some awesome coffee milk!

Once the milk is drained, mix in the other liquid ingredients (eggs, oil, vanilla).

Finishing the Batter

For a baked good, there’s a good mix of dry ingredients in this recipe.  You could simplify it I guess by leaving out the flax and only using one kind of sugar, but I think this recipe will leave you with a great texture and flavor.

dry stuff
OK… a few ingredients in this one.

Besides cocoa powder, it’s always a good idea to melt some chocolate and add it right into the batter.  You could actually just throw in some chocolate chips if you wanted more whole pieces of chocolate in the muffins.

I went with the melted version though so the chocolate flavor was evenly incorporated.  You can either melt the chocolate in a metal bowl over some boiling water or in a microwave safe dish in the microwave.  Either way, I’ve found that chocolate melts easier if you add a few tablespoons of milk to it.

Add some milk to this…

When you’re ready to finish the batter, stir all the wet ingredients into the dry stuff and then gently fold in the melted chocolate.

Kind of like cake batter…

I’ll be completely honest.  I tasted this as-is and it tasted like cake batter.

But it’s a muffin!  I promise!

The thing I noticed about these muffins (after two attempts) was that they are pretty sticky.  So make sure you lube up your muffin tins really well with butter (or a nonstick spray I guess).

I rubbed butter all over mine (even the top surfaces) to make sure they wouldn’t stick at all.

Butter these guys really well.

Cooking the Muffins

Bake these beauties for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees.  They should puff up and be lightly browned around the edges.  Let them cool for a few minutes before trying to take them out of the pans.

Pretty things.

These are best served right away while they are still slightly warm.  The coffee flavor is there, but subtle.  I was surprised that I was able to taste it at all given how much other stuff is going on in these guys – especially with the cocoa powder and chocolate.

I really loved the texture of these.  Almost, well, cake-like…


Muffin or cupcake?  Who knows.

All I know is they were delicious and a good excuse to have chocolate for breakfast.

12 Responses to “Mocha Muffins” Leave a comment

  1. I love your logic here, Nick! These look fantastic, and I think your method of incorporating the coffee is genius. I will definitely have to try them the next time I need a chocolate-coffee fix — for breakfast OR dessert, whichever comes first!
    My recent post Seriously Real Falafel

    1. Yea… I thought about that but was worried that it wouldn't get all the tiny particles. Sometimes my french press doesn't filter 100% of stuff.

  2. Hey. An idea! When you need to "quick brew" coffee, try the loose tea balls made out of metal mesh. I use them for just about everything but tea. Need to put whole cloves or peppercorns in a liquid, but don't like fishing them out? Try the loose tea ball.
    BTW – will be trying this recipe next week….MMMMMM>

  3. I tend to think the difference between cupcakes and muffins is the texture – a breakfast muffin should have a more bready texture than a cupcake. These look awesome if I'm in the mood for something sweeter though!
    As for getting the coffee grounds out of the milk… I personally like a little coffee-ground texture in chocolate, plus you get the extra flavor. Yum!

  4. those look awesome! I need to get my hands on some coffee and I'm good to go! (I made cherry banana muffins recently and they were delish!) Also, I completely agree, anything muffin = breakfast no matter what :)
    My recent post Crumbs Cupcakes

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