Double Chocolate Power Muffins (Low Carb and Gluten Free)


Low Carb Chocolate Chocolate Chip MuffinsLet me tell you about the week I had last week. It started off with a double ear infection for my little one. She’s a fussy baby at the best of times, so you can imagine how this made her so much more fun to be around. Then my school age son brought home a case of head lice. I spent two days washing practically everything we own, vaccuuming all carpets and upholstered furniture, and combing through everyone’s hair to make sure it hadn’t spread. In the midst of all this excitement, my son and my husband both came down with the stomach flu, and were throwing up and, well, you know. It was pretty much insanity round these parts for a few days.

So it’s really not all that surprising that I left a rather important ingredient out of this recipe. I was exhausted by Sunday morning, given the circumstances, so I am not certain what possessed me to make these muffins at that exact moment. Perhaps if I had given time for the caffeine to hit my brain or gone for a brisk walk, I wouldn’t have been so fuzzy. But I decided to make them then and there, and, being the good baker that I am, I even got out all of my ingredients before hand. I should have known that I was in no shape to be making muffins, I should have quit while I was ahead. Even as I was throwing them together, I kept forgetting things I’d been meaning to add, so I knew I wasn’t at the top of my game. But I kept forging ahead, and it wasn’t until the batter was divvied up into the cups and the whole lot were in the oven that it hit me. I glanced up and saw the ingredient sitting on the counter in front of me, and realized I’d never added it. Sweetener…I made the damn muffins without any sort of sweetener!

Low Carb Chocolate Protein Mufins

It was too late to remedy the situation, so I simply had to hope and pray that they came out all right anyway. I’d dreamed up these muffins while on a run, thinking about my nutrition and how it can help or hinder me when I’m exercising. I struggle with this a bit. Depending on the length and intensity of the run I am doing, I need to eat something that provides energy to help carry me through. I’ve discovered that I need to eat something about 15 minutes or so before heading out, something with a good balance of short energy (easily digestible carbs) and long energy (protein, fat and complex carbs). It’s a difficult balance to strike for a diabetic, because those easy carbs are what we usually try to avoid. But as I’ve always found the first few miles of a run the toughest, I need a bit of those easy carbs to provide me with some energy.

The Results: Thank heavens the vanilla protein powder came through for me. These could stand to be a bit sweeter, definitely, but they are quite tasty as is. Even my kids liked them, so there’s your proof. I would recommend these to anyone, and you could adjust the sweetener to your taste, using sugar or alternative sweeteners or whatever suits your fancy. I don’t like my muffins overly sweet. I found them very filling and satisfying, and they kept me full for longer than sweet, carb-laden muffins do. And they are fantastic when you toss them in the microwave for 15 seconds to make the chocolate chips all melty.

Double Chocolate Power Muffins (Low Carb and Gluten Free)

Yield: 12 muffins

Serving Size: 1 muffin


  • 1 & 3/4 cup almond flour (almond meal would work just fine here)
  • 2/3 cup whey protein powder (vanilla or chocolate)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup flax seed or chia seed meal
  • 2 tsp instant coffee granules
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated Swerve Sweetener
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips


  1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond meal, protein powder, cocoa powder, flax or chia meal, coffee, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter with sweetener until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Add half of almond flour mixture and beat until combined, then add almond milk. Add remaining almond flour mixture and beat until fully combined.
  5. Divide batter between prepared muffin cups and bake for 18 to 24 minutes, until tops are set and a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Serves 12. Each muffin has 10 g of carbs and 5 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 5 g.

254 Calories; 21g Fat (70.2% calories from fat); 11g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 85mg Cholesterol; 290mg Sodium.


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  1. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says

    mmmm! Chocolate for breakfast. I'm more of a fruity muffin fan but these sound really good. I'm glad they turned out for you even w/the mishap. Hope you are all feeling better asap!

  2. Lois Parker says

    I've left the sugar out of so many recipes I try to force myself to taste the raw batter. Having grown up in India where that was forbidden it is a strange thing to do. I find a lot of batters can cope with being scraped out of the pans after being put in the oven, sugar stirred in, and then baked.

  3. Cake Duchess says

    Do you know how many times I forget the sugar when I bake!These muffins look fantastic. I hope everyone is feeling much better:)

  4. jo says

    thanks for this Carolyn- and more specifically, your comment about how to feed your energy while running – but not screwing up your blood sugar. i'm struggling with figuring out the very same thing. so thank you!

  5. Sandra says

    Oh dear..I am so thankful that there was not any lice over here..I really do need that too:))
    Hope your little one feels better soon, I know what you are going youngest one had it two weeks ago..
    your muffins look really powerful and delicious! Love that chocolate on top!

  6. Karen says

    Oh no! I'm glad they still turned out without the sweetener. They sure look good! Chocolate chip muffins are such a great way to sneak chocolate into breakfast!
    (I think if I had had your week, you may have found me with an Irish coffee that morning…extra on the Irish. ha!)

  7. Lauren at Keep It Sweet says

    They look great even if you left out an ingredient! I have definitely been there in the kitchen when I shouldn't be but at least yours worked out pretty well.

  8. Butrcreamblondi says

    These muffins look awesome! I run about 5-6 days a week and these seem like a nice alternative to the protein bars I've been eating! I don't think I've ever baked anything lo-carb lol but I do love baking with almond flour. I hear you on forgetting the sugar, I'm the queen of forgetting to add baking powder till the cake is in the oven!

  9. Jeanette says

    I hope everyone is feeling better in your household, wow what a week you had, and you still managed to make these beautiful muffins. Just goes to show sometimes we add more sugar than we probably need. I've been using less sugar in my muffins and the kids still love them.

  10. Becky says

    Hoping that you have a much calmer, saner week this week. these muffins would brighten anybody's day, with or without the sugar. I made chocolate chip cookies once, and forgot the flour. What a mess!

  11. Kate @ says

    Awwww sounds like you had one heck of a week… I hope that things will be much better for you this week!! I remember when my sister brought home head lice years ago… I had to clean together with my mom from top to bottom. Fun. :)

    Double chocolate muffins – yep, that would be something close to heaven! I think these would be okay with me without the added sweetener. And if I do need to add some, I'll just dust a bit of powdered sugar on top.

  12. Katrina says

    Sending happy and healthy thoughts your way! You poor thing! Who takes care of Mama, right?! Forgetting the sweetener is JUST the SAME kind of thing I would do. Kudos to you for even pumping anything out of your kitchen this week! Whoa!!! ♥- Katrina

  13. Cookin' Canuck says

    My goodness, you've had quite the week. Don't you love when recipes turn out despite a mistake? Well done!

  14. Angela@RecipesFromMyMom says

    Well, the one you can say for your bad week, is that it sounds like all the bad luck ran out. Besides, looks like you turned your luck around with these fabulous muffins.

  15. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says

    A crazy week like that and you still find time to make these muffins?! I am truly impressed, I think we've all forgotten to add an ingredient at some point or other. I know I sure have!

  16. Pretend Chef says

    These muffins sound incredible. We could all use that extra energy in the mornings. The addition of the chocolate makes them that much more appealing. Yummy! Hopefully this week will go much better for you.

  17. Belinda @zomppa says

    What a week! I'm sure you are ready for a less…eventful one. What an interesting use of whey protein powder. It's hard to go wrong with chocolate.

  18. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels says

    It sounds like you had a hard week! Thank goodness for these gorgeous muffins. I just love that you made chocolate muffins and the chocolate chips just make them even more amazing. :)

  19. Jill Colonna says

    Poor you this week! Well at least you've had your dose for a while 😉 Impressive muffins. I love their title, too and just as impressed again how they're gluten free. Hope you have a MUCH better week!

  20. Brandie says

    I understand those kinds of weeks – believe me!
    Funny how Mommas aren't allowed meltdowns…lol. We have to keep forging ahead.
    No wonder you forgot the sweetener!
    Seriously though, power muffin – what a great name! Plus, muffins are great to make ahead and pop in the freezer so you can grab one out when you wake up, pop it in the microwave to defrost for a bit and bam – you're ready to go!

  21. Lizzy says

    Oh, Carolyn, you had a rough week! I would have forgotten 2 or 3 ingredients in your situation :) I think I could make these for Nick's breakfast (he gave up desserts for Lent) and he could get his chocolate fix…he will thank you!!!

  22. Beloved Green says

    Oh heavens, these look like perfection!

    I understand about the rest of your week though, I just keep telling myself that today will be alright.

  23. Elisabeth says

    I can understand how you can forget to add the sweetener, but I know that the muffins were still yummy, with the other ingredients. I love these power muffins, with the chocolate pieces. They look so inviting!
    Hope all is well now, with your family:D

  24. Celia says

    Oh, poor kiddie! Ear infections are the worst. Those muffins still look delish and wholesome though! Nice momming :-)

  25. Kimberly says

    Man when it rains it really does pour huh? So sorry it was such an awful week for you all, I hope everyone is on the road to recovery! I do have to say that your post made me laugh! I am so glad these turned out good for you, they look amazing!

  26. Elizabeth says

    Sorry to hear about your week! I hope everyone is feeling better. I once made a cake and had it in the pans, almost in the oven and then realized I'd forgotten the sugar. Somehow the cake turned out anyway. These look fantastic and I can't wait to give your recipe a try.

  27. Sommer J says

    Thank you for posting these carolyn! My children will eat anything in muffin form! These looks delicious, chocolatey and healthy. Will definitely give these a try!!

  28. Susi's Kochen und Backen says

    Sorry to hear you had a rough week! Stomach flu and ear infections are no strangers in our house either. Your muffins despite all of this look incredible though! Hope everyone is on the mend :o)

  29. Magic of Spice says

    Wow that is a tough week. These look amazing and I like a bit less sweet more often than not, delicious :)

  30. Kim - Liv Life says

    What a week!!!! Oh my… I sure hope everyone is feeling better by now, I'm a bit late in commenting, so I'm guessing you are all better. I've feared head lice for my kids entire school careers, and thankfully so far so good. My fingers are crossed that my lucky continues to hold, there was quite a case at the high school last year.
    You are so creative with your recipes!! I wish I could put them together like that, I don't know how you find the time.
    Nicely done! I'm not much on "sweet", so I'm betting these would actually be the correct sweetness for me. Well done!!

  31. Anne says

    Would you have a substitute for soy flour is this? More almond flour or would you recommend a little coconut flour? Thanks!

  32. edna says

    wow chocolate for breakfast………how wonderful……….when i could and did eat all those bad things nothing was better than a big piece of chocolate layer cake with fudge filling and chocolate icing…………ya now you know why i ended up diabetic after 60 plus years of horribly bad eating…………now i wonder how i ever ate the stuff i did but still a chocolate muffin for breakfast was a super delight and yes it really did keep me full in fact this morning i forgot to have my mid morning snack cause i still felt comfortably satisfied…..thanks carolyn for these great filling muffins…………..

  33. edna says

    today when i made a second batch i put both flax and chia seed meal in ……..i put an 1/8 th of a cup of each since i eat both of these daily……..extra punch

  34. Alice Jacoby says

    Carolyn I absolutely hate everything about flax meal no matter how many times that try to use it it always seems fishy to me and I don’t even like the texture of the smell it makes me sick is there any way to make these muffins substituting a different ingredients or just leaving at the Flax meal all together?


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