Chocolate Coconut Muffins Recipe

In preparation for a recent article in ELLE à table, the French cooking magazine in which I write a column, I did some research on the range of ingredients that are derived from the coconut palm.

Beyond the pulp of the fruit (the white flesh that is consumed fresh or dried), its water (the clear liquid inside) and its milk (the liquid you get from pressing or steeping the pulp), I was especially interested in coconut oil, which is widely used in Asian cuisines but hardly ever in French cooking; coconut flour, a cream white powder made from the dried and ground remnants of the pulp after the oil has been extracted; and coconut sugar, an auburn sweetener that is obtained from the sap of coconut flowers.

Various virtues are associated with these products, including the fact that coconut flour is gluten-free, and that coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than most sweeteners. But in truth, I was much more interested in playing with these new-to-me ingredients.

These muffins are slightly crusty on the outside, with a smooth and satisfyingly dense center, a mouthfeel I would situate somewhere between a cake and a truffle.

As a little challenge to myself, I decided to try and create a recipe that would use all three — coconut flour, coconut sugar, coconut oil* — and came up with these rather stupendous chocolate muffins, which happen to be dairy-free and gluten-free.

I was particularly pleased with the texture: they are slightly crusty on the outside, with a smooth and satisfyingly dense center, a mouthfeel I would situate somewhere between a cake and a truffle.

The coconut flavor is present, but not overwhelmingly so: the coconut oil I got is not deodorized, which I prefer, so it does flavor the muffins, but the effect is quite different from the one you get when you use grated coconut. As for the coconut sugar, it tastes nothing like coconut — it tastes rather like faintly burnt caramel, and who can resist that — and coconut flour is only subtly coconutty.

The batter is very quick to whip up, and I have found that the muffins freeze particularly well (though in these situations what we should say is that they thaw particularly well, since that’s the only part we really care about, no?), making them a worthy option for your emergency treat kit.

I’ll also point out that I’ve been using silicone muffin liners (such as these, though I got mine from Habitat) for a few years, and I am very happy with them. I like the reusability, and the fact that the muffins or cupcakes pop right out of the liner, as opposed to paper liners that always peel off a layer of crumbs from the base of the cakes, kind of like band-aids and body hair.

* All three ingredients can be found at natural food stores or online; I ordered mine from this French site. I recommend you seek out an extra virgin coconut oil, preferably organic, that is neither hydrogenated nor deodorized.

Chocolate Coconut Muffins Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Makes 6 muffins.

Chocolate Coconut Muffins Recipe

Ingredients

  • 125 grams (4.5 ounces) bittersweet chocolate
  • 60 grams (2 ounces, about 1/2 cup) coconut flour
  • 100 grams (3.5 ounces, about 1/2 cup) unrefined coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F) and line a 6-muffin baking tray with paper or silicone cups.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler (or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water).
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, and set aside.
  4. Add the coconut oil to the melted chocolate, then add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Fold in the dry ingredients.
  5. Pour the batter into the muffin molds and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean.
  6. Let cool completely before serving.
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  • http://breadandmilkandblackberries.com/ Ruth

    These look fantastic! A handy recipe to save for when gluten free friends come over!

  • http://theflexitarianeater.blogspot.com/ Hannah

    these look delicious! I love anything involving chocolate and coconut, so I’ll definitely have to give these a try!
    (Also, just wanted to say that I’ve recently started a food blog, and your blog was/is one of my biggest inspirations. I absolutely adore everything about your style of cooking, eating, blogging, etc.)

  • http://www.hertzmann.com Peter Hertzmann

    These sound great. I definitely will try them when, and if, I can find all the ingredients. Do you happen to know what the composition of the coconut sugar is? (In other words, glucose versus fructose, and what ratio?)

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I don’t know for sure, but what I’ve just found online is this: “The major component of coconut sugar is sucrose (70-79%) followed by glucose and fructose (3-9%) each. Minor variations will occur, due to differences in primary processing, raw material source, tree age and variety of coconut.”

  • TD

    I want to taste these now! I have never cooked with coconut flour, so this will be a first. That is when I manage to find it. Thanks.

  • Helen

    Thank you so much for posting this! I just recently found out that I cannot eat wheat anymore and I am super excited to try these muffins!

  • ATL Cook

    I use a refrigerated brand of coconut milk; no cow milk due to allergies. Some brands have more of a coconut taste–such as Silk coconut milk.

    I will have to search for the coconut oil and add that to my baking recipes. Love chocolate. And yes–silicone is wonderful. Have to spray paper liners with non stick spray if you want them to tear away without taking crumbs with it.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I just want to note that I don’t use non stick spray because most (if not all) brands include hydrogenated fats. The amount you put in each liner isn’t much, of course, but I prefer to avoid it altogether.

  • http://oneinabrazilian.blogspot.com/ One in a Brazilian

    Nice coincidence! I have all of the ingredients at home! I have to bake this now.

  • Liz Thomas

    These sound absolutely gorgeous!

    I’ve never heard of coconut flour even though I live in Asia and all things coconutty are used here. I’ll have to look more closely — perhaps in Thailand.

    I read recently that the prices of all coconut products are going up — farmers have had problems with blight and with bad weather — particularly in Kerela, India, which produces a large part of the Indian coconut crop.

    I have noticed here in our village that a small can of coconut milk has almost doubled in price.

    Anyway, those muffins sound good enough for the monetary investment!

  • http://greenthyme.blogspot.com/ greenthyme

    I just love chocolate and coconut together. I’ve never seen them combined in a muffin. These look just fabulous and I can’t wait to give them a try! And they looks so easy.

  • Ursula

    I would love to try these for gluten & dairy-intolerant friends (and because we love coconut!). I already have coconut oil, and use it for sauteeing a variety of things instead of canola or olive oil (cabbage sauteed in coconut oil is oddly delicious), but I’m wondering if it’s possible to substitute cane sugar or another sweetener for the coconut sugar, to cut down on having to go buy something extra?

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      You can absolutely use cane sugar for this, Ursula, and I recommend an unrefined cane sugar, light brown or brown.

  • Chrissie

    These look yummy! I live in the UK and can get coconut flour and oil but have never seen coconut sugar. Do you think I could substitute an equal quantity of regular sugar so I could still make them?

  • Rachel

    Thanks for the explanation of coconut flour – the only place I’ve come across a mention of it before is in a few recipes in the Laduree cookbook and I had no idea how it differed from shredded coconut. Now that I know the difference I’ll be on the lookout for the flour.

    As for the recipe – you had me at ‘somewhere between a cake and a truffle.’ I can’t wait to try it!

  • http://www.kiwizine.com Barton

    Nice you are always inspiring with new ingredients/ making me feel my product knowledge is inadequate. Cheers nice simple recipe

  • http://canadianculinarytravel.blogspot.com Murissa Maurice

    Sounds delicious! This would make a great fathers day addition to a gift basket or a breakfast.

    The Wanderfull Traveler

  • Harmony

    Hi – I made these last night (first recipe I’ve made from your site) and they were delicious! I did use paper liners (un-sprayed) and they did not take any muffin with them upon removal as does sometimes happen. Also, I recommend sifting the dry ingredients together as the coconut flour can be clumpy. One of the nice things about these is that the coconut flour has a lot of fiber and these are very filling. Next time I might make them in a mini-muffin tin instead.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I’m glad you enjoyed these, thanks for reporting back with your thoughts!

  • http://thisdesignercooks.blogspot.com/ Stephanie Tramontozzi

    This is a great gluten free recipe. I love the chocolate and coconut combination and am intrigued by coconut flour. I have never tried it.

  • http://www.decarshop.com AnaVar

    Coconut and chocolate, my favorite. I’m making these, no doubt about it.

    Ana

  • Liz Thomas

    Amazing coincidence!

    We have friends who are packing up and moving to work in Australia — naturally, they cannot take anything in the way of foodstuffs with them and I am the recipient of all the leftovers!

    Last night they gave me an unopened tub of Palm Sugar with Root Ginger! I know the recipe doesn’t mention ginger but i think it might work.

    it’s from a company in Bali called Big Tree Farms. I checked their website and there is a page with a few recipes from chefs in top hotels in Bali.

    Cheers!
    Liz

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      You can absolutely use that palm sugar with ginger (yum, ginger!) in this recipe, but I’ll note that palm sugar is not exactly the same as coconut sugar: they’re made in a similar way, but from different trees.

  • http://jaap-en-mickey.blogspot.com/ swan

    Hi Liz,
    I think I have the same friend! K&D with L, A and D???
    I loved that sugar as well :-), it worked great in granola

    regards from Mickey in HongKong

    • Liz Thomas

      Hello Swan — Mickey from Hong Kong!

      Yes, Absolutely the same people! How many coincidences! I received all the left over vinegar as well which is great as I do a lot of chutney!

      See Clotilde — we live close to each other, have the same friends, but have never met! And now we have contact, thanks to Chocolate and Zucchini!

      Cheers!
      Liz

      • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

        I love this. I hope the two of you can arrange to meet!

  • Heidy

    I have made coconut flour pancakes (which are wonderful by the way) and use coconut oil for all of my frying, but I have never seen a recipe like this. I am excited to try it..Thanks so much for posting!

    • Jacki

      Heidi-
      Would love to have your recipe for coconut flour pancakes!

  • http://www.usatoday.com/money/advertising/2009-06-24-telebrands-inventors_N.htm Telebrands

    Chocolate, coconut and gluten-free! What’s not to love?

  • http://christinespantry.blogspot.com Christine

    Sounds wonderful! Yummy!

  • Tora

    Looks amazing!

    Did NOT like the comparison with band aids, I totally cringed. (I did like it, it was very good, it just hurt a little to think about).

    I’d love to try these!

    Ever tried cooking with palm sugar

  • http://signup.foodtopii.com/d1s8l Foodtopii

    I laughed at the comparison to band-aids and body hair (very clever!). When I read that these muffins are gluten-free and dairy-free, I half-expected soy muffins. Have you ever tried making those?

  • http://www.asseenontvlife.com/pitchmen-discovery-channel/robostir-review-w-anthony-sullivan-does-it-stir-or-sit-spin.html NotCathy

    It looks yummy, I am a chocoholic. But this recipe looks different because of the coconut. I’ll give it a try.

    By the way, I just want to congratulate you on having a good cook and being a great blogger too. You have a wonderful website and very interesting recipe’s. Keep safe!

  • LVsue

    I’ve made these twice now and they are amazing! Been looking for recipes that used less processed ingredients, so I was very happy when this recipe popped up! It also gave me a reason pick up ingredients I hadn’t used before…now I’m just trying to figure out what to make with all of the coconut goodness next. Thanks again for posting!

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      That’s great to hear, thank you for reporting back!

  • Chester

    Hi Clotilde! I wonder if you know a book by Mary Enig called Eat Fat, Lose Fat – which is really a stealth diet book – that is really about nutrition and spends half of its time extolling the virtues of the coconut – according to a world fats expert. Great recipes and great info on what is what in food processing (I learned that salt isn’t really salt unless you get it from Brittany really, raked with wooden rakes to preserve trace mineral balance, etc. Many many such revelations, particularly about oils. I couldn’t put it down!)

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I didn’t know the book, Chester, thanks for the recommendation!

  • Jacki

    Clothilde-
    Thank you so much for this post. I have been experimenting with coconut flour, coconut water, coconut milk, coconut sugar, and using lots of coconut oil lately. My first try with the flour was in with my whole grain pancakes. They tasted awesome, but were sludgy and too moist. I will cut down the amount next time. These muffins will be my next coconut flour endeavour.

  • http://dustwithflour.blogspot.com Muffin Tin

    Thank you for this recipe. I recently started using extra virgin coconut oil to coat baking pans and it has worked with great success.

  • http://www.plumesetglisse.com Jenny in Quebec

    Thank you, Clotilde, for introducing yet another ingredient (coconut flour) that I would never have experimented with in a million years. Isn’t food such an amazing adventure! Bring it on!
    :)

  • chester

    OOps – Clotilde? Did ou mean baking powder (with aluminum in it?) or baking soda?

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      This recipe does call for baking powder (baking soda alone wouldn’t be as effective, as this recipe contains no acidic ingredient), but French baking powder doesn’t contain aluminum. After some quick research, I see that one can find aluminum-free baking powder in the US (if that is where you live), so I recommend you use that.

  • Kamilah

    This recipe sounds perfect for my g-free, chocoholic friend. I’ve noticed a bunch of new coconut products at my food co-op in Brooklyn. I’ve seen coconut vinegar, coconut aminos (really yummy) and coconut syrup (also caramel-y and delicious). I’m glad to know we can get so much use out of one plant.

  • http://www.morethancarrots.com Hilla

    “though in these situations what we should say is that they thaw particularly well, since that’s the only part we really care about, no?”

    Ha! True, true. It’s funny how we use use imprecise language over and over, without thinking about it.

    These muffins sound fabulous, and pretty simple to make too. Thanks!

  • Bernard

    My wife is always searching for Gluten free chocolate desserts! I’m trying to surprise her and I’m glad I found this recipe (and blog, great stuff!). I’ll let you know how it goes! Thanks!

  • Sam

    I live in Bali, so getting coconut sugar and coconut oil is really easily. Surprisingly no one I have spoken to has ever heard of coconut flour. As surprising as it seems, it appears that they do not make it here and it is not something they import. Information about substitutes for coconut flour on the Internet are really contradictory. Do you have a suggestion? I’m not a Celiac or on a special diet, so gluten is not an issue.

  • http://sailusfood.com Sailaja @ Indian Food

    Living in the land of coconuts (India), I am surprised that I never came across coconut flour or coconut sugar. Unusual ingredients to bake with.

    Am going to hunt for these ingredients. Thanks, Clotilde.

  • Helen Tomlinson

    Couldn’t find any Coconut Sugar to use, so used Total Sweet which is Xylitol (Natural like Coconut Sugar and even healthier)and it was really good but maybe could have done with a bit more sugar to counter the bitter sweet chocolate. There loads of similar recipies here

  • Florence

    I was happy to try coconut flour and sugar for the first time… but these muffins were a big disappointment. They were as simple to make as they tasted…it’s rare coming from you Clotilde.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Sorry you were underwhelmed by that recipe, Florence — I myself really like them. I suspect the chocolate you use plays a big part in making these delicious. Do you remember what chocolate you used?

  • Florence

    I agree 100% the type of chocolate you use does play a big part. I used Ghirardelli 60% baking chips, but I remember making ganache with Vahlrona chips, what a difference. Anyway, beside the chocolate flavor, I thought that the coconut flavor didn’t really come through, and the cake itself was very dense.

  • Maia

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I have made it several times now – and I love it dearly :-) ! I have tried different modifications. When I’m out of coconut oil I use melted ghee, which adds a delicate buttery taste. Since coconut sugar is very expensive where I live I prefer to replace it whith different types of sugar, mostly muscovado sugar, which I think is delicious. And last week I used 100 g dates (soaked in a little hot water until soft, than pureed) instead of sugar. They came out so good that I’m going to stick to that variation. And: I like to bake the dough in madeleine molds instead of a muffin pan (decreasing the baking time to ca. 12 minutes) – with wunderful results: a bite-sized, tender, moist cakey-cookie :-)

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I’m delighted to hear that, Maia, thanks for sharing your comments and modifications! I’ll try the dates next time. Sounds lovely!

    • Jun

      I’d love to try the dates, but can you please tell me how much hot water you added to the dates? Did you have to make adjustments to the recipe because of the added liquid? Did you use the entire amount of the date mixture? Thanks!

      • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

        Maia can perhaps weigh in if she sees this, but I would simply cover the dates with very hot water, wait until they go plump and soft, then drain and purée. You can save the soaking water to drink or add to smoothies, but I don’t think you should use it in the recipe or the batter will be too moist. Happy baking!

  • Jun

    Can you substitute the bittersweet chocolate with raw cacao powder? If so, can you please tell me how much you would use, and if there needs to be other adjustments to the recipe?

    Also I’m curious what chocolate you used for this recipe. Does bittersweet chocolate have sugar already in it?

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I wouldn’t recommend substituting raw cacao powder for the bittersweet chocolate: bittersweet chocolate has cacao solids, but also cacao butter (= fat) and sugar, so it behaves completely differently. If you wanted to use it, you’d have to create an altogether new recipe around it.

  • jun

    Thank you for the reply! Is there a particular brand of bittersweet chocolate that you would recommend? Is the chocolate in bar form or chips?

  • jun

    I made these tonight following the directions and quantities in parentheses, but they didn’t turn out anything like your photo. My dough came out fairly thick.. it’s not a dough that I could pour into the muffin cups. The dough held together and I had to spoon it into the muffin cups. I hoped they would “melt down” during baking, but they didn’t do that.. the tops remained as I spooned them in to the cups. I used Guittard bittersweet wafers. The muffins were dry and not very tasty.. almost too sweet of an after taste too. They were crumbly when I cut into them.. I could imagine this tasting good though crumbled on some nice vanilla ice cream.. I’m wondering what went wrong.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I’m sorry you didn’t get good results, Jun. From what you describe, it sounds like there was too much flour in your batter. When you say you used the quantities in parentheses, do you mean the volume measurements in cups? If so, it is possible that you measured too much (volume measurement for flour is much less accurate than weight measurement) or that you flour had a higher absorbency power than mine.

      • jun

        Yes, I used all the quantities in parentheses that indicated cups. I don’t have a scale to figure out grams or ounces. So I used 1/2 cup of coconut flour.. should I use less?

        I was going to update from yesterday’s post that I tried the muffin today and it tasted better today than yesterday when I baked it. The texture of the muffin was more compacted today and not as crumbly too. It was quite sweet though.. I used 1/2 cup coconut sugar per the amount in parentheses. Did it come out really sweet for you? It did taste really good with matcha tea though.. It was good enough to attempt the recipe again. Can you recommend how much less to use of the flour and sugar for next time? Thanks!

        • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

          I’m glad to hear the muffins were more to your taste the next day. If you want to try this again, you can use the amount of flour that I’ve indicated in the recipe, but fluff the flour first, then spoon it into the measuring cup (rather than scooping with the cup — not sure how you proceeded). And I recommend getting a kitchen scale if you can! You can find really affordable models nowadays, and it will make your cooking and baking life so much easier.

  • Thomas Reich

    I’ve substituted the Chocolate chips with 100% carob chips and the muffins come out fluffier and have a slightly taller top than when I use chocolate. The taste is still very good when using Carob.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Great to know, thanks Thomas!

  • Dawne

    Paper Chef makes fabulous products – try their muffin cups for clean release muffins and cupcakes and, once you see how great it is, keep it in stock. I keep finding stores that have them and then stop stocking them. You will be thrilled with the product so please support the company.

  • d

    I made these today and they are simply heavenly!!! This was my first attempt at using coconut flour. I only baked mine 14 minutes and they were melt in your mouth yummy, rich, very moist and tender with a little bit firm crust on top. Wow. I don’t have allergies but I’ll be repeating this recipe just because it’s fabulous.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I am so pleased to hear it, thank you for reporting back!

  • http://www.lamaisonducoco.fr/fr/alimentation-de-base-a-partir-du-coco.htm Julie Debrot

    Hi Clotilde, I absolutely love your blog(s) the latest recipes using coconut products obviously attracted my attention. We’re at the Salon Zen in Paris at the moment and would love to see you if you have the time (which I’m sure you don’t have) – but anyone who is looking for these products can find them at La Maison du Coco. We are passionate about what we do and feel that ‘The Tree of Life’ as it is called in the tropics has a tremendous amount to offer everyone who takes the time to discover them. Kindest regards
    Julie Cummings-Debrot

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Good to see you here, La Maison du Coco is where I get all of those products from! I actually linked to the site in the source note at the end of the post. :)

  • laura

    I’m making these tonight for a dinner party where the host requested a dairy free dessert. Will these by okay as mini cupcakes? I’d like to bring 12 and not change your recipe as measured, which only makes six. What would you propose as a cooking time for the minis?

  • Laura

    So I ended up making these as mini cupcakes and the same quantity for 6 regular produced a tray-full of 24 perfect, bite-sized treats. I also sprinkled unsweetened grated coconut on top and subbed raw cane sugar for coconut sugar. Baked for ten minutes. They popped out of the paper liners without sticking, no greasing necessary. Will make these again for sure. Simple. Tasty. Everyone loved them. Thanks.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      That is wonderful to hear, Laura, thanks for reporting back! Sorry for not responding to your query sooner, we had a busy weekend. :)

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