Moist Chocolate Espresso Muffins with Buttermilk

I made us Chocolate Espresso Muffins loaded with heaps of chocolate chips + espresso and call it breakfast on-the-go! The espresso comes in the form of fresh-brewed espresso + finely ground a pinch you could use some strong-brewed coffee in its place. These are moist, loaded with flavor and SO DELICIOUS with your morning coffee. Enjoy! xx
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Chocolate Espresso Muffins Recipe by Rebecca Firth | DisplacedHousewife

I made us Chocolate Espresso Muffins loaded with heaps of chocolate chips + espresso and call it breakfast on-the-go.

The espresso comes in the form of fresh-brewed espresso + finely ground espresso…in a pinch you could use some strong-brewed coffee in its place. So no worries there.

These are moist, loaded with flavor and SO DELICIOUS with your morning coffee!

If you love chocolate and espresso together, be sure to check out: Raspberry Muffins (with Streusel), one-bowl Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Brownie Meringue Cake and this Chocolate Espresso Cake!

For more from-scratch muffin recipes, check out all of the DisplacedHousewife muffins, including these Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins and Raspberry Jam Streusel Muffins!

[mv_video jsonLd=”true” key=”nhfbcvtuomt16tgl8ckk” ratio=”16:9″ thumbnail=”” title=”Small Batch Banana Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffin”]

Unbaked muffins in a muffin tray.

Choosing Chocolate for 
Your Mega Moist Chocolate Espresso Muffins

Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder

Double chocolate (both chips and unsweetened cocoa powder) mean these muffins have mega flavor.

I love this Hershey’s Dark as it’s easy to find and yields beautiful flavor + color; you can however use any unsweetened cocoa powder you have on hand. 

Sometimes I use this King Arthur Flour unsweetened cocoa powder which is a gorgeous color and flavor (and definitely a splurge!).

Four chocolate espresso muffins in white wrappers.

Chocolate Chips or Chunks

For really delicious chocolate chips that you can get at the grocery store, you can’t go wrong with Ghirardelli. This particular Ghirardelli chocolate melts surprisingly well and tastes just delicious.

If I want to spend a little more on my chocolate I’ll opt for these Callebaut callets or this huge Callebaut block for chunks (I used this for the photos). These both melt beautifully and are so delicious in cookies!

Remember that ‘dark chocolate’ is an umbrella term that ranges from semi-sweet chocolate chips (or bars, discs and chunks) to bittersweet chocolate. Use what you have on hand and whatever makes you happy.

A close up of a beautiful chocolate muffin with melted chocolate on top.

How to Get a Fabulous Muffin Crown

These are my favorite tips for getting a nice muffin crown:

  1. Let your muffin batter rest for about 20 minutes. Sometimes I do as little as 10 minutes and other times up to 30 minutes. You can also rest the batter overnight in the fridge (trust me, they’ll bake up fabulous!). However, this particular muffin batter will darken (because of the banana) if it has too much rest time (fyi).
  2. Only fill every other muffin well. Filling every other muffin well will let the hot oven air evenly circulate around the muffins giving them as much lift-off as possible from the heat.
  3. Don’t use muffin liners. I love muffin liners and I’d rather sacrifice some muffin crown for a convenient, portable muffin with a liner on it. However, I have found that skipping liners yields a highly desirable puffy crown. Just make sure you really grease your muffin tin so they don’t get stuck in there!
An overhead shot of a muffin tin with chocolate muffins in it.

The Baker’s Guide to Measuring Flour

One of the biggest (and most common) mistakes in baking is how we measure flour. If you find yourself without a scale, see my top tips on how to properly measure flour for the perfect amount every time!

Super moist, chocolate espresso muffins in a muffin tin.

Baking Tools for This Espresso Muffin Recipe

My favorite heat-safe, glass, stackable bowlsmy favorite whiskmy favorite spoonula2 tbsp cookie scoop (because we can’t live without them!)a practical muffin tin (not the one in the photos).

This is everything I use at home when recipe testing and making these muffins! It’s also what you’ll see in the photos and video.

If I’ve left anything out, drop a note in the comments and I’ll add it.

A hand holding a chocolate muffin.

 Substitutions in Your Chocolate Espresso Muffins

These muffins are endlessly adaptable.

You could easily ditch the espresso and just add an extra 1 tablespoon of buttermilk in its place and skip the ground espresso.

You could add a heaping tablespoon of raspberry jam to the middle of the batter (are you feeling me on this?)…or maybe peanut butter?

I think they’re quietly whispering that they’d like cacao nibs sprinkled over the tops for some crunch. Sea salt flakes? Why not? You do you.

Bottom line is, we’re getting jacked up on basically a cupcake masquerading as a muffin for breakfast. You’re welcome and my love for you runs deep.

Let’s get our espresso muffins on, shall we?

A close up overhead shot of an espresso muffin on a marble surface.

More Breakfast Treats!

I absolutely love my Favorite Blueberry MuffinsCherry Jam Streusel MuffinsBanana Chocolate Chip Muffins *AND* my Crispy Buttermilk Waffles that have been my go-to since we lived in Beijing.

A quick note on these…you can use all-purpose flour for all of the flour if that’s what you have on hand!

And for my chocolate lovers, check out Fudgy Brownie Cookies, these Crinkly Shiny Brownies, this rich Double Chocolate Banana Loaf and these Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies that will knock your socks off.

Enjoy your Chocolate Espresso Muffins!

Rebecca Firth

Moist Chocolate Espresso Muffins with Buttermilk

I made us Chocolate Espresso Muffins loaded with heaps of chocolate chips + espresso and call it breakfast on-the-go! The espresso comes in the form of fresh-brewed espresso + finely ground espresso…in a pinch you could use some strong-brewed coffee in its place. These are moist, loaded with flavor and SO DELICIOUS with your morning coffee. Enjoy! xx
4.75 from 4 reviews
Print Save Rate
Course: Muffins
Cuisine: Breakfast
Servings: 15 muffins


  • 8 tablespoons (113 g) unsalted butter (melted)
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (55 g) light brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon (13 g) fresh-brewed espresso or strong coffee
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups (180 g) all-purpose flour (how to measure flour)
  • 2/3 cup (50 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground espresso (see note below)
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup (240 g) buttermilk (shaken and at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup (128 g) dark chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (191℃) and place a rack in the top 1/3 of the oven, at least 6-inches from the heat source. Grease a regular muffin tin or use muffin liners.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, espresso and vanilla until completely blended together.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, ground espresso and sea salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk into the butter mixture in two batches, ending with the buttermilk. Stir until barely combined and you still see streaks of flour. Fold in the chocolate chips, reserving about 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips for the tops of the muffins. Scoop the batter into the muffin liners and fill until just barely ¾ full. OPTIONAL: Let the muffins sit for at least 15 minutes before putting in the oven; this helps them get a wee more rise.
  • Coarsely chop the 3 tablespoons of chocolate that you set aside(If it's not already chopped) and sprinkle over the tops of the espresso muffins.
  • Bake for 15 minutes in the top third of the oven or until a toothpick comes out clean. You want the tops to be puffed up. For best results, bake one tin at a time. Let cool in the muffin tin for about 10ish minutes, then use a butter knife to help get them out to finish cooling on a rack.


*I use a Nespresso espresso pod for this. You could sub in any finely ground coffee or as noted in the comments below, espresso powder.
Thanks for baking with me! Please rate + comment this recipe and tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your beautiful treats! xo
A muffin with a bite out of it


Leave a Comment & Rate this Recipe

I love your comments, reviews and questions! If you love this recipe, please rate it when you leave a comment. Star ratings 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 help people discover my recipes. Your support means a lot, I look forward to chatting with you!

Rebecca xox

Rate the Recipe:


  • Lolly October 31, 2020 at 10:02 PM

    4 stars
    These were fun to make and they baked up beautifully. I loved the idea of letting the batter “rest” before putting them in the oven. The texture is lovely moist and the fragrance is absolutely decadent.
    I know these are a breakfast muffin so they aren’t as sweet but my brain is telling my taste buds to expect sweeter. I may add a tad more sugar next time. But wow, these are classy.

    • Rebecca Firth November 1, 2020 at 1:40 AM

      Hi Lolly! I’m so happy you liked them!!! For extra sweetness you could also sprinkle a bit of granulated or Demerara sugar over the tops just prior to baking for a little extra sweetness and crunch!! xox

  • Terri October 10, 2020 at 3:15 AM

    5 stars
    These were wonderful! Fabulous texture, so chocolatey and not too sweet. After reading some comments where bakers had trouble with their muffin domes collapsing, I baked them at 400 degrees for the first 5 minutes, then turned the oven down to 375. That always works for cupcakes too. I brought these to work and they were VERY popular. No one tasted the coffee outright but it certainly intensified the chocolate.

    • Rebecca Firth October 10, 2020 at 3:11 PM

      Hi Terri — That’s a great note about that first blast of heat, thank you! I am SO HAPPY that you and your coworkers liked them. It’s been several years since I posted this recipe and I still love them so much!!!
      R xoxo

  • Content April 22, 2020 at 6:45 PM

    Yum….I didn’t have espresso so I used finely ground dark roast coffee nor did I have buttermilk and used 2% Lactaid Milk (added vinegar to make buttermilk). Although, we enjoyed, I needed a little more coffee taste in them. Definitely, will make again but with espresso!

    • Rebecca Firth April 25, 2020 at 3:07 PM

      I’m so glad that you like these! Thanks for the notes on your edits. Let me know how you like them with the espresso!! xo

  • Madeleine January 11, 2020 at 6:01 PM

    5 stars
    Flavor is wonderful, yet somehow mine fell dramatically as they cooled (and honestly never had the gorgeous mound I want/you have). I frequently have this trouble with muffins. Any tips?

    • Rebecca Firth January 13, 2020 at 2:31 PM

      HI Madeleine! I’m so glad you liked your flavor but I’m sorry to hear that yours fell. A couple of thoughts on that… First, the temperature of your oven could run cooler than mine — maybe they needed more time in the oven? Second, there is a chance that the batter could have been beaten too much at the butter-sugar-egg stage, that can cause baked goods to deflate. Lastly, make sure your leavening is fresh as older baking soda and/or powder can have a similar effect. I hope these tips help!! xox

  • Laura January 9, 2019 at 2:25 AM

    I have all ingredients but the buttermilk, and would love to try this recipe sooner rather than later. Can you suggest a substitution? BTW I’ve loved every recipe I’ve tried so far!

    • Rebecca Firth January 9, 2019 at 4:40 PM

      Hi Laura! You can measure out 1 cup of milk, take out 1 tablespoon out and then add in one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice in its place. Or, you can just substitute it with milk. I would sub in 2% or higher. Let me know how it goes. And thank you for your sweet words!!! xoxo

    • Suzanne June 15, 2019 at 2:58 PM

      5 stars
      Made a batch of these this morning…very good! I made a couple minor changes-i used powdered buttermilk instead of the regular kind and used instant espresso powder instead of brewed coffee. These came out fabulous! Something about them reminded me of the Otis Spunkmeyer double chocolate muffins. Will make again!

      • Rebecca Firth June 26, 2019 at 9:34 PM

        Yay! Thank you Suzanne! I’m so glad you liked them!! xoxo

  • Anne Pik December 10, 2018 at 8:23 PM

    I made this recipe over the weekend. All I had was espresso powder & I used semi-sweet (but will definitely do dark chocolate chips next time) and can I just say AMAZING!!!!! BEST chocolate muffins I have EVER had. These are a keeper, they are professional bakery worthy & the flavor is truly wonderful! Thank you for sharing Rebecca!

    • Rebecca Firth December 11, 2018 at 4:31 AM

      Hey Annie — thank you so much!!! It is so nice to read a comment like this. I absolutely love these muffins too and now you’re making me want to make them again soon!! xoxo

  • Barbara November 16, 2018 at 11:18 AM

    They look a good start for breakfast!
    I will try this!

  • Laura | Tutti Dolci September 7, 2018 at 4:38 AM

    Bring on all the espresso! These muffins are my dream! :)

  • LoveCompassionateLee September 1, 2018 at 11:25 PM

    I feel you Rebecca! I’m ready for all thinks apple and pumpkin. TBH I made my first pumpkin pie of the season last week.

    Thanks for sharing this muffin recipe. It will be a welcomed surprise for my family on Monday morning.

    Happy Saturday

  • Colette August 29, 2018 at 10:31 PM

    I’d get my ass outta bed for these !

  • Lulu August 25, 2018 at 3:17 PM

    I love you. Baked these muffins and they are INSANE!!!! I licked the batter while they were bakig in the oven and I was BLOWN AWAY. Then I took a bite of the muffins and I almost cried. First time I try any of your recipes and I gotta say I’m IN LOVE!!!!!!! THANK YOU THEY ARE SO SO GOOOOOOOD!!!!

    • Rebecca Firth August 25, 2018 at 4:32 PM

      PS LULU, I love you too!!!! I am so happy that you loved them — my kids and I couldn’t get enough!! Stay tuned, I have another muffin recipe going up any second and it’s a good one!!!! xoxo

  • Traci | Vanilla And Bean August 22, 2018 at 12:51 PM

    I can imagine after all your hard work, you’ll want to take a year off – a year long vacation (!!) Can you imagine?! So excited for your release… it must feel amazing! Now, these muffins… with the espresso – get my ass outta bed!? Yes please! Love all that chocolate goodness. And no, I’ve not installed the new WP editor. I’m scared :/

    • Rebecca Firth August 23, 2018 at 1:07 PM

      I already have Thanksgiving and Christmas blocked off for long breaks — I can hardly wait!!! xoxo

  • Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen August 20, 2018 at 9:46 PM

    I’d definitely get my ass outta bed for one of these Rebecca! Need my caffeine! Can’t wait to whip up a batch! Ordered my signed copy!! Counting the days love! May need to day trip it to Brooklyn for that cookie baking class! Sounds so fun!

    • Rebecca Firth August 23, 2018 at 1:09 PM

      Ohhh, I love that you ordered a signed copy!!! I hope I can see you when I’m in NY — that would be amazing!!! xoxo

  • Ana August 19, 2018 at 12:51 PM

    Yummy! Is instant expresso powder or other type? Thanks

    • Rebecca Firth August 19, 2018 at 1:37 PM

      That’s an excellent question!! I use a Nespresso espresso pod…so it’s actual finely ground espresso bean. You could use any really finely ground coffee or omit. I haven’t tested these with espresso powder, but I’m guessing in a pinch you could 1-2 teaspoons in place of the ground espresso. I’ll add a note above. Thank you! xo.

  • Shiv August 19, 2018 at 7:28 AM

    Love these but when do you add in the espresso powder? :)

    • Rebecca Firth August 19, 2018 at 8:06 AM

      Hi Shiv! Thank you for the note!! You add it in with the dry ingredients!! I hope you love them!! xox

      PS Just a quick note…it’s finely ground espresso, not powder. Although if you look at the comment above, you could sub that in in a pinch!

  • Sabell August 19, 2018 at 5:54 AM

    Yum! These look amazing, Thank you! I think they’ll be putting me to bed as well ;) .. cocoa café dreams.

    • Rebecca Firth August 19, 2018 at 6:12 AM

      Thank you so much!! I hope they give you heaps of sweet dreams!!!