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No one will believe you made these rich, buttery, chocolate-studded muffins at home

Staff, America's Test Kitchen on

The goal is to create a moist, just-sweet-enough, generously sized bakery-style muffin with plenty of rich chocolate and butter flavor and a characteristically domed top. And with a few tips, you can do just that!

Chocolate chunks

Using chopped semisweet chocolate instead of chips yields a combination of chunks and shards of chocolate pieces. This allows for the chocolate to meld into the muffin better than chips, while also keeping some soft, melty chocolate pockets. Bar chocolate also results in zero waxiness at room temperature.

Mixing method

Mixing the chocolate in with the dry ingredients instead of folding it in at the end prevents the batter from forming too much gluten, maintaining a tender crumb.

Finishing touches

To create moist and flavorful muffins, incorporate sour cream and use nutty browned butter and lots of vanilla. Baking the muffins on a higher rack and at 400 degrees initiates a quick rise to give them nicely domed tops.

Browned Butter Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon table salt

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped coarse


16 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) sugar, plus 1/4 cup sugar for sprinkling

2 large eggs

2 cups sour cream

4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 12 6-inch squares of parchment paper. Press each square around the bottom of a tapered drinking glass with a 1 3/4- to 2-inch base, creasing paper to form cup shape. Place parchment liners in muffin cups, allowing excess parchment to protrude vertically from cups.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Stir in chocolate and set aside. Melt butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly with rubber spatula, until butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer browned butter to a second bowl and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

3. Whisk 1 1/4 cups sugar and two eggs in a large bowl until thick and creamy, about 1 minute. Whisk in sour cream, vanilla and browned butter. Fold in flour mixture with rubber spatula until just moistened; do not overmix. (Batter will be thick and lumpy with spots of dry flour.)

4. Using a greased 1/3-cup dry measuring cup, portion heaping 1/3 cup batter into each parchment-lined muffin cup; evenly distribute any remaining batter among cups (cups will be full). Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup sugar evenly over batter (about 1 teaspoon per muffin).

5. Bake until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with few crumbs attached, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating muffin tin halfway through baking. Let muffins cool in muffin tin on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer muffins to rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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