Tender keto chocolate muffins with a sugar-free cheesecake center. Just like a bakery but so much healthier. Make your keto mornings fun again. Nut-free option too! This post is sponsored by ChocZero.
Is it weird that I have so many keto recipes that I can’t even remember them all? Or maybe it’s not weird at all, given my advanced age and my penchant for cranking out recipes at a furious pace. One’s aging brain simply cannot keep up!
There are so many recipes in my archives that I truly do forget about some of them. But I happened up on this old recipe for Chocolate Cheesecake Muffins, originally written back in January of 2012. Eight long years and this poor thing hadn’t had an update in all that time. I am clearly a very neglectful recipe parent.
Upon choosing to tackle it again, I also decided to give it a complete overhaul, from top to bottom. The original recipe was fine but I’ve learned so much about keto baking in the past 8 years that I thought I could improve upon it, making the batter smoother and more cohesive.
I even changed the name, since “Black and White Muffins” had many people scratching their heads. Keto Chocolate Cream Cheese Muffins seems much more apropos.
And while I was at it, I couldn’t help but throw a few of the new ChocZero dark chocolate chips on top, to make them even more appealing! Can’t go wrong with that.
Using a blender can improve your keto batter
I’ve really come to love using a blender to whip up keto muffins and other baked goods. It seems to make a lighter, fluffier, and more cohesive batter. It doesn’t work with all of my recipes, because some are just too thick, but it works very well for muffins.
In conventional baked goods that contain flour, you have to be very careful about over-developing the gluten, causing the end result to be tough. That’s why so many muffin and cake recipes say “mix until just combined”. So using a blender, which goes way beyond “just combined” can be trickier.
But in most keto recipes, we don’t need to worry about gluten so there is no issue with over-developing or over-mixing. In fact, I often find my blender baked goods more tender when they are made this way. It produces an incredibly smooth batter, even when working with more coarse ingredients like nut meals.
One caveat to this approach is that you really do need a good, high powered blender with a large, wide jar and strong blades. Keto batters can be quite thick and you risk burning out the motor.
The good news is that you can still mix this batter up in a bowl if you prefer. They will still be utterly delicious.
Tips for making Chocolate Cream Cheese Muffins
Cream cheese filling
The delicious cheesecake-like filling is simply cream cheese, powdered sweetener, heavy cream and vanilla. You don’t want an egg in here, as it will make the filling rise too much and it won’t be as creamy smooth once the muffins cool.
Make this before you whip up your batter, so you are ready to fill the muffins right away.
Chocolate muffin batter
This recipe calls for almond flour but you can actually use any nut meal or seed meal you like here. Because it’s blended up, even the more coarse nut meals should work well. If you are hand mixing, however, you may find that your batter is a bit coarse when using meal.
I had a plethora of hazelnut meal that needed to be used so I chose that, which gave these muffins a delicious hint of hazelnut. If you need to be nut-free, try using sunflower seed flour.
Do be sure that your eggs and almond milk (or hemp milk for nut-free) are at room temperature before whisking in the melted butter. If they are cold, your butter will solidify and won’t blend properly. Using room temperature ingredients is a good idea for most baked goods anyway.
The espresso powder is really only to enhance the chocolate flavor, it doesn’t result in any strong coffee taste. It’s an old trick I learned from my idols over at America’s Test Kitchen.
Assembling the muffins
Once the batter is in the muffin pan, you want to make wells in the center of each one. I used a spoon for this and I pushed the batter up the sides of the muffin cup.
Then plop a nice dollop of the cream cheese filling right into that well. I found it took about 1 1/2 tbsp per muffin, and it didn’t always want to come off the spoon nicely, since it was rather thick. I used a small rubber spatula to push it off into the muffin.
Finally, throw some keto-friendly chocolate chipseon top! This is optional, of course, but it makes the muffins somehow more appealing. Chocolate chips are kind of magic, that way.
If you haven’t tried the ChocZero chips yet, I highly recommend. Since they aren’t sweetened with any kind of sugar alcohols, they are great for those with intolerances.
Love to bake? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Keto Baking
Tender keto chocolate muffins with a sugar-free cheesecake center. Just like a bakery but so much healthier. Make your keto mornings fun again.
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or hemp milk room temperature
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups almond flour (can use sunflower seed meal)
- 1/2 cup Swerve Sweetener
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp espresso powder (optional, enhances chocolate flavor)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp dark chocolate chips, sugar-free
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with the sweetener until well combined. Add the cream and vanilla and beat until smooth. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin pan with 12 silicone or parchment muffin liners.
In a large blender, combine the eggs, almond milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
Add the almond flour, sweetener, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt. Blend until smooth. If your batter is overly thick, try adding a tablespoon of almond milk or even water. It should be scoopable but not liquidy.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each no more than 2/3 full. With the back of a spoon, create a well in the center of each muffin.
Divide the cream cheese filling among the wells, adding about 1 1/2 tbsp to each muffin. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with chocolate chips
Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are set and the centers are puffed up. Remove and let cool in the pan (the centers will sink, this is normal).