Mocha Muffins with Chocolate Chunks (Low Carb and Gluten Free)


My devoted followers, all one of them (Hi Mand!) will have noticed that I haven’t posted in a while. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking and baking and experimenting in the kitchen. In fact, I’ve been cooking and baking up a storm. But my modis operandi has changed significantly, and the posts on this blog will follow suit. It took me a few weeks to come to terms with this change, and so I lost heart for the blog for a little bit. But I am back with renewed vigor and I hope you will join me in my journey.

Here’s the deal. About a month ago, I came to the realization that I am heading down the road to diabetes, if I am not there already. I shall spare you the details but suffice it to say that this was not taken with equanimity. I raged, I moaned, I cursed. I even cried. And then I picked myself up off the kitchen floor, put the wheat flour and sugar to the back of the cupboard, and got crackin’. I’m in the midst of discovering a whole new world of alternative ingredients, and I must confess that it’s rather fun. So my new MO is low-carb, low sugar treats that appeal to everyone, diabetics and non-diabetics alike.

And with this recipe, I believe I hit the jackpot. Mocha is one of my favourite flavour combinations. Before I faced my blood sugar demons, I’d bookmarked a recipe for mocha muffins from that mecca of online recipes,, but I never got around to trying them. The other day, I decided that I needed to create a tasty baked good to liven up my mornings. And so I grabbed the almond flour and the flax seed meal, a low carb baker’s best friends, and started playing. A little instant coffee, a little cocoa powder, some chopped 72% cacao chocolate, a few eggs and a touch of artificial sweetener and voila, low-carb mocha muffins!

The Results: I am extremely pleased with this recipe! They tasted just how I wanted them to…not too coffee, not too chocolate, just the right balance to create a nice mocha flavour. They are quite filling too, and make a great breakfast treat or a healthy snack. They are not overly sweet, so none of that cupcake-in-disguise junk (although, come to think of it, I could use this recipe to make mocha cupcakes too!). My kids are eating them right now for a snack, and they just got rave reviews.

If they aren’t going to be eaten right away, I suggest storing them in a ziploc bag in the freezer. Almond flour is very moist and these will start to go rancid in a few days. But they are amazing when warmed in the microwave for 30 seconds, the chocolate chunks get all melty and gooey. Delicious!

Mocha Muffins with Chocolate Chunks

1 tbsp instant coffee granules
1/4 cup hot water
1 1/2 cup almond flour (you can make your own by grinding almonds until it resembles flour)
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Sweetener equivalent to 1/2 cup (I used EZ-Sweetz – those of you with no blood sugar issues, feel free to just use 1/2 cup sugar)
100g Lindt or Ghirardelli high-cacao chocolate bar, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F, and grease 12 cup muffin tin.

Mix coffee granules and hot water and stir to dissolve. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, flax meal, cocoa and baking powder.

Add melted butter, eggs, coffee and sweetener and stir well to combine. Add in chopped chocolate and mix to distribute throughout batter.

Divide batter between muffin cups. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until set.

Immediately upon removing from the oven, run sharp knife around outside of each muffin to loosen from pan. Let cool 5-10 minutes, then remove to wire rack and cool completely.

7g total carbs per muffin.

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  1. Jennifer says

    Carolyn, your change of direction in recipe creating will make sure you never ever experience full-blown diabetes. However, God will turn this challenge in your life around for good – you will go on to help many others who have diabetes to live happier, healthier lives.

    I was also upset when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (I was fat and depressed from hypothyroidism at the time, my hair was thinning and my skin was dry – everything was out of kilter and I was not a happy camper). Today all of that is different, the disease is under control, my weight is okay for my age and being perimenopausal with definite hormone imbalances (always want to be 5 lbs or so lighter, but who is counting?) – and the best part? I've written 5 low-carb and sugarless cookbooks due to my own weight struggles – 6th one (gluten-free and low-carb) on the way (wink). I've served and helped people in this way for many years and at the same time helped myself and my family. You can do the same and you will have remission from diabetes. Take heart from my story. (((HUGS)))

  2. Jean B. says

    I just discovered your blog this weekend, and it was just what I needed to get back into low-carb baking. I have accumulated a lot of LC baking recipes and done some baking in the past, but apparently I want to go down a new avenue instead of revisiting the old one(s). The main problem for me, after looking through your recipes, was figuring out WHICH recipe to try first. I thought it would be the cheddar-jalapeño muffins, but I ended up making these with some alterations.

    The alterations were the addition of some cinnamon (cassia), Mexican vanilla, and salt; the use of hazelnut flour/meal, and the use of “granulated” Splenda. This was not a good use for pricy hazelnut flour/meal, because the recipe itself is so flavorful–and I did use the less-refined meal because I like a rougher texture in muffins. I figured I could use that Splenda because you were not getting any bulk out of the EZ-Sweetz… and I wanted to see how easily I could replace the drops before I used mine. (The answer to that is that I can get the drops at a store that I shop at on a regular basis. Oh joy!) I also added three packets of other sweeteners, so I’d have a synergistic effect, which I find desirable with sour or bitter flavors. Oh, I also didn’t want to use half a cup of butter, so I ended up using 1/4 c grapeseed oil and 1/4 cup heavy cream.

    Now, that being said, how did my version of these muffins come out? Great! You are a genius, Carolyn! I do like my muffin cups to be filled a bit more, so I am contemplating either adding some walnuts or topping the muffins with a bit of sweetened mascarpone to simulate the cream on top of a beverage. (I don’t know whether you want me to mention a brand name, but I would use a mascarpone that has a clean cream taste and not a cheesy taste.) I see that I can alter a topping that you use on another muffin for this purpose.

    You have really kick-started my low-carb baking, for which I thank you immensely. I have been staring at the fridge as I contemplate breakfast, and now that quandary has ended. I really like to have a baked item for breakfast.

    Thanks again, and keep up the inspirational and delectable work!

  3. Jen says

    I made these to take to work with me for breakfast. They turned out fabulous! A nice thick muffin that is very filling. Instead of chopping up a bar of chocolate I used 60% Ghiradelli cacao bittersweet chocolate chips. Not the lowest in carbs but they work for me. I was able to get nine nice sized muffins. Thanks for another great recipe!

  4. Holli says

    did you use a chocolate bar with sugar in it? if you did I guess we could just use sugar free chocolate chips if we can find them! I would rather not make them by recipe as yet but if you use an unsweetened chocolate bar could you compensate with more sweetener in the recipe? Like stevia drops or swerve?

    • Carolyn says

      Yes, the chocolate had some sugar (Lindt 90% cacao has very little). But I often use Lily’s chocolate chips now.

  5. Lisa Simpson says

    If you don’t put the coffee in do you have to substitute with something else? I am not a coffee fan. They do sound delicious!

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