Bakery-Style Caramel Mocha Espresso Muffins

10:00 AM


If you've been following my misadventures lately, you know that I have (at least temporarily) gone off the keto diet and instead am trying intermittent fasting. It's been about 3 weeks, and I can't say for certain that I am maintaining the weight I wanted to be - because I don't own a scale. However, I'm trying to workout more, and life seems a bit sweeter, just because occasional sweets are a part of my life again. I mean, you gotta live a little, right?

When I was doing keto, the muffin cravings were very real. I tried a few different low carb muffin recipes, and most sucked. Now that baked goods and I are back on for a while, I'm a little busy catching up on *normal* baked good recipes I have wanted to try for 2 years. It's quite a backlog.

*affiliate links appear going forward in this post, for which I receive a small commission on products with no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!*

I totally set out to scour Pinterest for a healthy-ish chocolate muffin. That didn't really happen. Instead, I found these, and tweaked them because I don't like nuts in muffins, and wanted to add some caramel flavor. Sometime in the future, I'm still going to try something healthier with zucchini or bananas. But on the particular day I made these, I just needed a ton of chocolate and a ton of coffee. The end. 

Luckily I had just arrived home with a free Venti cup full of Starbucks espresso. (Yep, only espresso shots. We really take advantage of those earned gold star Starbucks rewards.) So that's what I used for the espresso in these. Any brewed espresso or strong coffee would also be amazing.

So here is a recipe for a decadent, rich, bakery-style chocolate espresso muffin with a hint of caramel. These are pretty rich, so I can really only eat half of one at a sitting. (I guess that's one benefit of not eating sugar for 2 years - you get pretty sensitized to it.) These totally make me feel like I'm sitting at a fancy coffee shop with a deliciously indulgent muffin that costs as much as my car payment. 


*These are big muffins so the tops may overflow onto the pan a bit. For me, they still removed very nicely without sticking, but you can always make a few more, smaller muffins with an additional tin - or alternatively use a jumbo tin. Before next time, I'm ordering those tulip-style muffin pan liners because I think they hold more batter and cure the slight overflow issue. 

Anyway, moving on to the recipe... 


1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar 

½ cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
¾ cup milk
¼ cup brewed espresso, cooled
1 Tbsp. caramel coffee syrup

½ cup semi-sweet (or dark) chocolate chips or chunks
(or caramel chips! I literally just thought of this!)

Optional: 2 Tbsp coarse sugar and/or extra chips for tops


Preheat oven to 375 F. Put 12 liners in muffin pan. 

Add all dry ingredients (including sugar) together and set aside. 
Mix together all wet ingredients and add to dry ingredients. Don't over-mix it. The batter will likely be a little lumpy. This is fine. Fold in chocolate chips and distribute batter evenly between the muffin liners. 

Sprinkle coarse sugar and extra chips on the tops, if desired. 

Bake in preheated oven for between 15 and 20 minutes; they are done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool pan on a wire rack for a little while (10-15 minutes) and then remove the muffins to continue cooling. 

Enjoy these amazing caramel mocha espresso muffins! 

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