It always irks me when I see big box retailers selling little chocolate cakes as “muffins.” Loaded with sugar and fat, these chocolate “muffins” are just unfrosted cupcakes with a healthy sounding name.
It’s not that I have anything against cupcakes. They’re delicious treats that are fun to eat on special occasions. Here’s what bugs me about stores (or even food bloggers) calling these things chocolate muffins: If you call it a cupcake, people will think twice about feeding them to their kids for breakfast; but call them muffins and suddenly they’re fair game.
It would be disingenuous to imply that my chocolate cornbread muffins are healthy, but with less sugar than most blueberry muffins and loads of fiber, these are a perfectly acceptable breakfast food. I added a ton of cocoa powder (we’re talking brownie levels here), which gives them a vibrant chocolate hue and loads of flavor, so despite the minimal addition of sugar, they’re delicious on their own.
You can, of course, slather them with your favorite fruit preserve or chocolate nut spread if you feel so inclined. If you want them a bit sweeter, I like adding a few chunks of dark chocolate into the middle of each muffin.
Perhaps the best thing about cutting back on the sugar in these cornbread muffins is that they also make fantastic dinner rolls. I love serving these with a rich savory chili and they’re equally good paired with buttermilk fried chicken.
Chocolate Cornbread Muffins
It would be wrong to imply that these chocolate cornbread muffins are healthy, but with less sugar and loads of fiber, they are a perfectly acceptable breakfast food. (Recipe Credit: Marc Matsumoto of Fresh Tastes.)
- 5.6 ounces cornmeal
- 3.5 ounces whole wheat flour
- 1.8 ounces cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and generously oil or butter a muffin tin.
- Set a mesh strainer over a bowl and sift together the cornmeal, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt.
- Microwave the butter on low-power until it's mostly melted and very soft. Whisk in the eggs and emulsify.
- Whisk the yogurt and milk into the butter and egg mixture until uniform in color.
- Dump the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold together until well combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between 9 standard-size muffins.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out without batter on it.
- Serve hot, cool completely on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.
Yield: Makes 9 muffins
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.