Chocolate Cupcake-Muffins

Chocolate Cupcake-Muffins

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Why are these called Chocolate Cupcake-Muffins? Because they are muffins, and they are cupcakes, and they are delicious. They can be eaten for breakfast or for dessert. They can be eaten plain, or with peanut butter, or with whipped cream frosting. They are made with healthy ingredients like quinoa flour and yogurt, but also required the melting of butter and the adding of cocoa powder. Hence: cupcake-muffins.

I found this very magical recipe on the back of my bag of quinoa flour, courtesy of Bob’s Red Mill, and played with it just enough to make sweet perfection. I cut back slightly on the sugar, added some espresso powder to amp up the flavor, and created 12 little masterpieces. 24, actually, since I made another batch less than a week later. These were in hot demand. And despite my love of gluten and my disdain for the gluten-free movement, these are gluten free! For real! And they taste fantastic! I had no idea it was actually possible, but there you have it.

I started with butter and water, and the unusual step of bringing them to a boil.

butter and water on stove

The next step was even more fun: once it boiled, I removed the pot from the eat and whisked in the cocoa powder.

whisking in cocoa powder

A step towards greatness. Honestly, it’ s making me want to stop typing and make another batch of them right now.

While that was cooling, I used a colander to sift together the dry ingredients: quinoa flour, cane sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Then, on an insightful whim, I tossed in some espresso powder.

dry ingredients

I whisked, even though I’d already sifted, and then added in the egg yolks, vanilla, and yogurt, which I was using instead of sour cream.

adding liquid ingredients

I was unhappy with the dry texture after some serious spatula work, until I realized I was supposed to add the liquid cocoa mixture too. Hello.

adding cocoa-butter mixture

That’s better!

chocolate cupcake-muffins batter, almost done

Lastly, I beat the egg whites until they got to soft, just-shy-of-stiff, peaks, then folded them in. No matter how many times I do this, I’m always amazed at the sheer volume you can get out of two tiny little egg whites.

beating egg whites

adding egg whites

chocolate cupcake-muffins batter

Things were lightening up. I had to take a quick taste as the smell was so intoxicating, and was delighted with what can only be described as sweet chocolate goodness.

The batter was very thin, so scooping into muffins cups resulted in a lot of drips & drabs on the tin and the counter. It was a messy business.

batter in cups

And in fifteen minutes exactly, they were done!

chocolate cupcake-muffins baked in tin

Five minutes more, then they were removed to a wire rack.

chocolate cupcake-muffins on rack

They are utterly delicious. Densely soft, bursting with chocolate flavor, with a slight nuttiness from the quinoa flour. The kids came home and Nathaniel tasted one, then begged for whipped cream on top. Since it was truly a rarity for me to have whipping cream on hand, and I did, I complied. Since then I’ve discovered the joys of slathering them with peanut butter, but really, they’re quite extraordinary when eaten plain. I just made another batch this morning!


My version, Chocolate Cupcake-Muffins (adapted from Bob’s Red Mill)


1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Ghiradelli)
1 1/4 cups quinoa flour
3/4 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon (generous) espresso powder
1/4 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
2 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste


Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin, and heat the oven to 400 degrees. (You will reduce the temperature later.)

In a saucepan, bring the water and butter to a boil. Have your cocoa powder already measured and standing by. When the butter and water boil, remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder. Set aside to cool.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder.

Add the egg yolks, yogurt, vanilla, and cocoa mixture and stir well.

Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer), beat the egg whites to soft peaks, just shy of stiff. (It doesn’t have to be that precise.) Fold into the batter.

Scoop batter into muffin tins. Place in the oven and reduce temperature to 375 degrees. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let sit in the pan for another five minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool.

Try really hard not to eat them right away. Try!


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