I can’t get enough of breakfast sweets! After I published a recipe for a white chocolate raspberry loaf cake, I dove into muffins. Below are my recipe and tricks for making small batch chocolate chip muffins. This recipe yields six muffins and is a great option to bring or serve for smaller gatherings of friends and family.
Butter and Oil in these Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Muffins
My two main priorities with this recipe were 1) Creating a smaller batch of muffins and 2) Making sure they were tender and moist.
I’d been recently reading about baking with oil versus butter. This article from Handle the Heat explains some benefits of these two fats and their respective role in baking. They create more tender baked goods, assist in browning, and so much more.
This article from Epicurious gives additional insights. Oil is physically more lightweight than butter. When melted, a cup of butter weighs around 227 grams, whereas a cup of vegetable or similarly neutral oil weighs around 218 grams. This explains why oil-based baked goods can have a lighter feel and taste.
Also, oil is 100% fat. However, the butter you’ll find in most US grocery stores is about 80% fat. The remaining 20% consists of approximately 5% milk solids and 15% water. This is noteworthy because that water helps create gluten in a baked good. That gluten can lead to a dessert that’s less tender than a cake made with oil.
With all that in mind, a combination of butter and oil works well. The butter gives them flavor and structure, while the oil helps make them softer.
Conclusions on Butter and Oil in these Light and Fluffy Muffins
Not only are these baked goods soft and tender, the oil helps this small batch of chocolate chip muffins stay fresh for longer. In this article from the Washington Post, the author explains that “baked goods made with oil have a long shelf-life and actually age better.” She goes on to say that a butter-based baked good, if left at room temperature, can begin to dry out within a few days of making it. Conversely, the flavor and texture of an oil-based baked good tend to become stronger over time.
Case in point: These muffins maintained their moisture and flavor about five days after baking them.
Ingredients for Fluffy Chocolate Chip Muffins
For this recipe, you’ll need:
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder and soda
- Salt (preferably kosher salt if you’ve got it, but table salt will work fine as well)
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground nutmeg
- Unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- Canola oil (or another similarly neutral oil)
- Granulated sugar
- Brown sugar
- A large egg at room temperature
- Full-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt, at room temperature
- Full-fat milk
- Pure vanilla extract
- Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
And while the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips aren’t necessary, they’re great because they spread more throughout the batter. That means you’ll have more bits of chocolate in every bite! Regular-sized ones will work okay, too, if that’s all you have on hand or can find in the store.
Steps for Making this Easy Muffin Recipe from Scratch
About an hour before beginning this recipe, bring your eggs, butter, and full-fat Greek yogurt (or sour cream) out of the refrigerator. Place them on your counter so they warm to room temperature.
Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Generously grease and flour a standard 6-count muffin pan or line with muffin liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together your sugars, vanilla extract, and butter on medium-high speed until well-incorporated, about 3 minutes.
Scrape down bowl before then adding oil and eggs. Mix together until combined. Follow up by adding sour cream and milk and mixing well.
Pour wet ingredients into bowl of dry ingredients. With a wooden or rubber spatula, gently fold together wet and dry ingredients until just combined. Avoid over-mixing, as it can yield an undesirably dense muffin. The batter will be thick.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Distribute batter evenly into the pan, filling each muffin cup to the top. Bake at 425°F for 5 minutes, then, keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the temperature to 375°F. Continue baking for 12-15 more minutes. You’ll know they’re done when the tops are a light golden brown. Test doneness with a toothpick in the center of a muffin, and if it’s clean, remove the pan from the oven.
Keep them in pan for about 10 minutes before serving or ideally serve the following day for more flavor.
More Tips for Making Perfect Muffins
Oil is key! It gives the muffins a more lightweight texture. It also helps them stay fresh longer.
One big secret to making good muffins is to not over-mix the batter! This mistake can lead to the creation of gluten in the batter and create a more dense muffin. Over-mixing can make them tough and bake unevenly. Those are not the light and fluffy muffins we want.
Liquids like oil and butter help give your muffin moisture. In this recipe, milk, eggs, and Greek yogurt help to tenderize and moisten the muffin, too. I also used a bit of brown sugar in this recipe to add even more moisture! Brown sugar contains molasses, making it softer in texture. It also has more moisture than white sugar.
If you can get your hands on a bag of mini chocolate chips, you will not regret using them! Using minis instead of regular-sized bits of morsels helps distribute more chocolate throughout your muffins. This means there is more chocolate in every bite. What’s not to like about that?!
Baking muffins at a higher temperature for a few minutes before then lowering the temperature helps give them rise. Here, you’ll distribute batter evenly into each muffin cup and fill it to the top. You’ll bake these muffins at 425°F for 5 minutes, then, keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the temperature to 375°F. Continue baking for 12-15 more minutes. You’ll know they’re done when the tops are a light golden brown.
Secrets for Perfect Chocolate Chip Muffins
While a freshly baked muffin is delicious to eat, it will be noticeably more flavorful the following day.
Relatedly, refrain from biting into these muffins immediately after baking. I know it’s tempting! But when you cut into a freshly baked bread, you’re releasing the steam. That steam is key in making your newest baked good remain moist and delicious.
When you can, prepare these small batch chocolate chip muffins an evening or day before you actually plan to eat them. Allowing the flavors time to meld together makes the taste ultimately a stronger one.
And if you want a warm muffin the next day, simply reheat them for about 10 seconds in the microwave on medium power.
But hey, you’ll still have delicious chocolate chip muffins even if you bite into them mere minutes after they leave the oven!
Additional Tips for Baking Success: Use a Scale
If you’re not already, use a kitchen scale for accuracy in baking. Weighing your ingredients and writing or following a recipe using a standard metric like grams ensures consistency. You may use a set of measuring cups, but the problem is that yours and mine could be quite different. That can result in noticeable discrepancies in the end product between what each of us is baking.
I highly recommend investing $30 or less in a kitchen scale. I almost always write my recipes using grams and many other food bloggers do, too. If you want the same kinds of baked goods and treats you see from recipes online, this is an important step to take.
More Breakfast Recipes
If you liked these small batch chocolate chip muffins, you may also want to try my white chocolate raspberry loaf cake.
And if you’re looking for a something more fruity than chocolaty, take a look at my very cute mini lemon Bundt cakes. They’re great for sharing with a crowd, and everyone gets to enjoy his or her own mini cake! They’d make for a more decadent breakfast dessert or anytime of day dessert, really.Print
Small Batch Chocolate Chip Muffins
These small batch chocolate chip muffins are a great dessert to bring to gatherings with friends and family for breakfast or brunch.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 standard-sized muffins 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
- 1 and 1/3 cups (170 g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 4 Tablespoons (60 g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 T (25 grams) canola oil
- 1/3 cup (70 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 T (20 grams) brown sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (65g) full-fat sour cream or greek yogurt, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons (24 grams) full-fat milk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup (130g) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 425°F. Generously grease and flour a standard 6-count muffin pan or line with muffin liners. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together your sugars, vanilla extract, and butter on medium-high speed until well-incorporated, about 3 minutes.
- Scrape down bowl before then adding oil and eggs. Mix together until combined. Follow up by adding sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and milk and mixing well.
- Pour wet ingredients into bowl of dry ingredients. With a wooden or rubber spatula, fold together wet and dry ingredients until just combined. Avoid over-mixing, as it can yield a more dense muffin. The batter will be thick. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Distribute batter evenly into the pan, filling each muffin cup to the top. Bake at 425°F for 5 minutes, then, keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the temperature to 375°F. Continue baking for 12-15 more minutes. You’ll know they’re done when the tops are a light golden brown. Test doneness with a toothpick in the center of a muffin, and if it’s clean, remove the pan from the oven.
- Keep them in pan for about 10 minutes. Then let them come to room temperature on a cooling rack before storing in a container or serving immediately if desired.
For any leftovers (hard to imagine you’ll have much of these, though 😉 ), they can last at room temperature for about 2-3 days or a week in the refrigerator. They also freeze well for 2-3 months. Thaw before serving.
Keywords: breakfast food, muffins, dessert, brunch food, chocolate chips, chocolate chip muffins