Chocolate and Cinnamon Chip Espresso Oat Muffins


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I won’t pretend they’re pretty, but they sure are delicious.

This is a grown-up sort of muffin. The espresso flavor is strong, the oats give the muffins a density that makes them nice and filling, and the only real sweetness comes from the chips. So don’t make these for kids and expect accolades, but hand them off to the grown-ups (young and old) and you’ll make them very happy.

I started with whole wheat white flour, rolled oats, wheat germ, brown sugar (I used coconut palm sugar, but any brown will do), baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon instead of the 1/2 suggested. I added just shy of 3 tablespoons of espresso powder.

dry ingredients

I whisked.

dry ingredients, whisked

In anothr bowl, I got the liquid ingredients together. There was milk, egg, vanilla, and then instead of using a quarter cup of canola oil, I thought I’d use half canola oil and half yogurt (low fat vanilla). Here’s where I thought I had a really bright idea about how best to measure in my quarter cup measuring up.

I filled it halfway up with oil, then thought it made sense to top it off with yogurt. This is what I do when I’m substituting wheat germ for flour (but not in this recipe, which included the wheat germ in the first place), I just measure it out and then top it off with flour to keep my proportions right.

I filled the cup halfway with oil, and then started plopping in the yogurt. Guess what happened?

oil and yogurt spill

It just poured out all over the place. Apparently oil isn’t as complacent as flour or wheat germ. It really didn’t like the yogurt addition one bit.

I cleaned it up, measured as best as I could, and then looked down at the notebook where I was taking notes on my recipe changes. Oops.

spill on notebook

Duly noted.

But onward! Once the liquid ingredients were gathered in a bowl, I whisked. The egg was an elusive little thing, but I finally got it all well and properly mixed.

liquid ingredients, well mixed

I poured it into the dry ingredients.


(I really am getting better at those shots of pouring now that I don’t use the automatic settings on the camera anymore. This one turned out great.)

Once I mixed, I had a thick, dense batter.


It was time to make it thicker and denser by adding chips. I put in a quarter cup of semi sweet chocolate chips, and then decided that an eighth of a cup of mini cinnamon chips would be nice too. In they went.

I scooped the batter — well, scraped is more like it — into muffin cups. There wasn’t much I could do to make it smooth.

batter in cups

It took about 20 minutes for them to be properly done. They still didn’t look smooth, but they smelled like coffee and chocolate and weekend mornings, even though it was actually a Tuesday.

muffins done, in pan

muffin in pan

I let them cool briefly, then moved them to a rack.

muffins on rack

I admit it, I was a little nervous about their rustic look. I didn’t wait all that long before opening one up.

Surprise! They were delicious. A dark, coffee-like muffin, satisfyingly filling because of the oats, with bursts of sweetness from the two different kinds of chips, swirling around in a coffee-tinged batter. Good stuff. I brought these to work and people came by for seconds.


My version of Chocolate and Cinnamon Chip Espresso Muffins (very barely adapted from The Taste Traveller)

(serves 12)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat white flour
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar (any brown sugar will do)
3 tablespoons (scant) espresso powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup 1% milk
1/8 cup canola oil
1/8 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/8 cup mini cinnamon chips

Heat your oven to 400 degrees — you will reduce the temperature later — and line or grease 12 muffin cups.

In a large bowl, put together the flour, oats, wheat germ, sugar, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk well.

In a medium bowl, put together the milk, egg, oil, yogurt, and vanilla, Whisk thoroughly.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix just until incorporated. Fold in both kinds of chips. If you’d like a thinner batter, you could add more milk, or if you really like coffee you could try that too.

Spoon (or scrape) into muffin cups. Put the tray into the oven and reduce temperature to 375. Bake for 18-25 minutes, removing when a toothpick comes out clean. (You’ll have to work around the chips.)

Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then move to a wire rack.

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