Chocolate Vortex Muffins

This is a ridiculous name for a recipe, and yet it’s what I have always called these muffins, and now, try as I might, I can’t seem to think of another name for them which works for me. I think that once you have moved past chocolate, and double chocolate, and triple chocolate, you are not really supposed to start calling something quadruple chocolate: the thing has surpassed all the normal chocolate categories and become something else. If we can think of a vortex as something regarded as drawing into its power everything that surrounds it, then the title of this post doesn’t seem so odd, at least to me – I was certainly drawn into the power of these muffins and somehow ate three in a row without really thinking. It also sort of reminds me of one of my favourite things on the whole entire world wide web.

I feel like muffins have been slightly forgotten in the cupcake craze of the last decade, which makes me sad. I love a cupcake, as evidenced by the many cupcake recipes on this blog, but I still have a great deal of time for the lesser-spotted muffin, delicious as they are unadorned with pretty frosting and edible glitter. Muffins are solid, dependable, a vehicle for all manner of loveliness. Their pleasing heft and straight-from-the-oven gooey warmth should not be underestimated.


Baked white chocolate is a wonderful thing. I know a lot of chocolate lovers who spurn the white stuff, insisting that it’s ‘not real chocolate’ and is vastly inferior to the stuff with actual cocoa solids. While I know they are technically right, I don’t mind white chocolate – although it’s certainly not my favourite – and would quite happily gnaw away on the better quality varieties. However, white chocolate becomes truly lovely when baked. I don’t know why (maybe because the sugars caramelise?), but it melts more quickly than milk or dark chocolate, turns a beautiful toasty colour, and develops a surprising depth of flavour.


I feel honour-bound to admit that I was making these in a great rush, and initially forgot to add the milk. I looked at my dry, lumpy batter in confusion for a moment before remembering, and quickly dashed in the milk, swearing and beating the mixture rapidly. The muffins came out absolutely fine, so I think it’s fair to say the batter is pretty forgiving.


Notes: These muffins are best when slightly under-baked in the centre, when they become gooey, volcanic, and irresistible, so do err on the side of caution and don’t leave them in the oven forever. They do keep fairly well, though, and are very hearty and chunky beings. You should get 12 good size muffins from this recipe.

I like to make these in the tulip muffin cases in the photos – you can get them from any supermarket, or even fold them yourself out of greaseproof paper if you are crafty – but obviously these are not essential and feel free to use whatever muffin cases you have kicking about.

I tend to keep back a few bits of chocolate from the main mix and push them into the top of the muffins once the mixture has been divided between cases, just before baking, to get the full effect of the glorious bronzed white chocolate.

Source: I got this recipe off the internet years and years ago and saved it to my hard-drive, and have since played about with it a bit. I’m afraid I have no idea where it was from originally, so if you do recognise it then please let me know.


175g good dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
325g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
70g cocoa powder – not the drinking chocolate stuff, proper cocoa powder
125g light brown soft sugar
365ml whole milk
100ml vegetable oil or other flavourless oil such as corn oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
125g milk chocolate – either break a bar into pieces, or use chocolate buttons, which work well here
125g white chocolate – as above, buttons work well


  1.  Get your dark chocolate melting slowly in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. Preheat your oven to 180C/ 160C fan/ gas 4. Line your muffin tin with paper cases. Sieve your dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, and cocoa powder – into your largest bowl and stir in the sugar. Make a well in the middle.
  2. Measure your milk and oil into a measuring jug, pop in your eggs and vanilla, and whisk it all up to combine. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the well of the dry ingredients, stirring to combine until evenly mixed. Working quickly now, fold in your melted dark chocolate and your pieces of milk and white chocolate.
  3. Divide your mixture equally between muffin cases and bake for 17-2o minutes, or until risen and mostly set but slightly gooey in the middle. Cool on a wire rack, or shove muffins into your mouth hot, by the handful.

3 thoughts on “Chocolate Vortex Muffins

  1. Alice

    I could absolutely devour one of these right now. Practically breath it in and enjoy it’s deliciousness. 12pm on a Monday morning, YES this really should be happening. Yet sadly not! I have a weekend with some of my best friends so as a treat I may just have to test out your recipe for them! Alice xx


  2. Alison Clements

    Let’s just be frank, a good muffin beats a good cupcake every time. I have a nice rhubarb and marzipan muffin recipe from waitrose a decade ago, which I couldn’t use while we were in NZ because I couldn’t get marzipan (only almond icing which does not work when you cook it!)

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