Sometimes we need a little something sweet to get us through the day. That's why caramel muffins are perfect! This recipe for chocolate caramel muffins is great for any sweet craving, as it has both caramel and chocolate. In addition, they are a delicious breakfast item that is easy to cook in just 30 minutes.
Is It A Cupcake or A Chocolate Caramel Muffin?
Most people like to go with a general dividing line between telling if it is a cupcake or muffin. They want to know, can you eat it for breakfast? If you can eat it for breakfast, it's a muffin. Otherwise, it's a cupcake. Ok, how many of you have eaten a cupcake for breakfast? I know I have more than once in my life. So for me, there is a bit more to determine the difference between chocolate muffins and cupcakes than can you eat it for breakfast.
So what's the difference between a cupcake and a muffin? Many people think there isn't much, but in truth, they have very distinct differences. One key factor with these two pastries can be found during your mixing process. When mixing all the dry ingredients into wet ingredients at once and mixing them as one big batter you have muffins. They are thicker than most cake batters, and I probably wouldn't pour the batter into a cake pan and bake it. Most cupcake recipes use a sort of creaming method of mixing butter and sugars. Also, you will notice we are using oil and not butter, another differentiating factor.
But I will say, this muffin would be so fabulous with a bit of caramel buttercream frosting on top. It has a more delicate texture, almost crumbly like a cupcake because we have made caramel-filled muffins, giving it a less dense texture than traditional muffins. This is one of those recipes that are hard to differentiate between the two if you knew nothing about the mixing process, and I just handed you one.
So I'm calling this a muffin because I like eating it for breakfast with a cup of hot coffee. But I may whip up some salted caramel frosting and have one for dessert!
- Yogurt and Sour Cream - I used full fat yogurt and sour cream.
- Chocolate - I used Valrhona Guanaja. This is a 70% dark chocolate. I used a bar because I grated the chocolate with a box grater. If you don't have one, you can use a food processor, or just cut the chocolate into extremely small pieces with your knife. The key here is to use the best chocolate you have access to. I also used a dark chocolate because the caramel candies are quite sweet. You could use milk chocolate, but be ready for a sweet muffin.
- Caramel Candies - I used Werther's Soft Caramel Chews. I used 12 pieces and cut each piece into six small pieces. Because you have to work quickly with these in placing them on top, keep each piece separate. They are so soft, they will stick together once you cut them and will be hard to quickly place them onto the muffin tops. Now if you want even easier, you can place the full caramel candy piece into the center of the muffin right before starting the bake. What will happen is the piece will sink to the bottom some and will make for an ooey gooey bottom of the muffin, which may require a fork to eat. But still delicious!
How To Make Chocolate Caramel Muffins
- Preheat the oven and line your muffin pan with paper muffin cups.
- Combine oil and egg in a large mixing bowl. Then add yogurt, sour cream, vanilla, and sugar.
- In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Use a whisk and don't overmix.
- Scoop into muffin pan.
- Bake for 5 minutes, remove pan and sprinkle caramel pieces onto the top of the muffin. Continue baking until done.
Pro Tips & FAQ
The main cause of dry muffins is due to overmixing the batter or overcooking the muffin. Overmixing develops the gluten and the muffins will become tough.
The best method is to use a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin. It should come out clean or with just a few crumbs clinging to the toothpick.
Don't cook muffins for longer than 20 minutes to avoid drying them out during the baking process.
We used Werther's Soft Caramels. They melt the best and don't harden back up into thick chewy caramel pieces once cooked.
Chocolate Caramel Muffins
- ⅔ cup Vegetable Oil (150 mL)
- 1 Large Room Temperature Egg
- 6 tablespoon Yogurt (102 grams)
- 5 tablespoon Sour Cream (75 grams)
- 1½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract (7 grams)
- ¾ cup Sugar (150 grams)
- ¾ cup Dark Chocolate, grated (100 grams)
- ⅛ teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup AP Flour (120 grams)
- ⅓ cup Cornstarch (37 grams)
- 3 tablespoon Cocoa Powder (15 grams)
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder (4 grams)
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda (3 grams)
- 2 teaspoon Espresso Powder (4.5 grams)
- 12 Soft Caramel Candies - cut into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with muffin wrappers.
- Combine the oil with the egg in a large bowl and mix with a hand mixer briefly on medium-high speed.
- Add yogurt, sour cream, vanilla, and sugar and continue to mix until just combined.
- In a separate bowl grate the chocolate.
- Add salt, flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and espresso powder to the chocolate bowl. Using a whisk, slowly mix together to break up any clumps.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the oil mixture and stir until combined with a whisk. Do not overmix.
- Scoop the finished mix into the muffin cups, about ¾ full.
- Bake the muffins at 400°F for 5 minutes.
- Working quickly, remove the muffin pan from the oven and add the equivalent of one full piece of caramel onto the top of the muffins. (I cut each piece into six small caramel bits, so at this step, I would add six small pieces to the muffin top) Lower the oven temperature to 350°F, and continue baking for 12-15 minutes. The tops will spring back lightly to the touch once done. Or a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
- Remove muffins from the oven and let cool for 3-5 minutes. Remove from pan and place onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Once cool, if you have some caramel sauce, you could place a dollop on top with a sprinkle of sea salt on the muffins before serving.
I hope that you enjoyed this recipe and learned how to make these chocolate caramel muffins. If you want more, we have many delicious recipes for breakfast and beyond! Here are a few recipes you may like. Please let us know what your favorite is. We're always happy to hear from our readers!
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