Chocolate Chip Habanero Muffins, just in case you’re awesome

Chocolate Chip Habanero Muffins< Chocolate and heat are great together. That is, if you're brave enough to handle a little something spicy with your chocolate. I know I am, but I also know that some people are big cowards. I'm sure that's not you. Scaredy cats like that probably bug the pants off you. Anyway, since you and I are similarly stouthearted when it comes to our peppers, I felt like making us up a batch of something hot-chocolatey. Chocolate usually gets paired with cayenne, which is nice. But I was curious about what would happen if I tried combining it with the flavor or fresh habanero peppers instead. So I chose this excellent double chocolate muffin from Cookie Madness, sneaked in a couple of very hot, very fresh peppers from a local farmer’s market, and voila! New favorite muffin of the week.

The chocolate doesn’t leave room for much of the pepper’s sweetness, but fresh pepper flavor peeps through and gives the muffin a familiar-but-more-interesting-than-expected taste. Each deliciously dense and chocolatey bite is followed by a surprising lingering spiciness.

I seem to have a reputation around here for disliking spicy foods, but I don’t know where that ever came from. Maybe my threshold for heat, although remarkable and something to be admired, just isn’t as impressive as it could be. I’m no lily-livered spice-weenie, make no mistake, but I don’t really enjoy eating anything that makes my lips sting or my nose run. So although for me, two peppers is the ideal balance, I suppose you could add a third if you wanted something a little bolder. (But not for breakfast, right? I mean… right? Take it easy out there! You just rolled out of bed and you’re gonna pop twenty-five thousand scoville units* in your gob?)

On the other hand, you could use just one little pepper if you’re some kind of sissy who can’t handle a little heat, like for instance if you are a giant chicken posing as a man.

*I’m not actually sure that you can break down Scoville units that way, but if a pepper rates at 100,000 and you divide three of them amongst a dozen muffins, then maybe each muffin contains 100,000*3/12—aka 100,000/4, aka 25,000—units? I don’t know. I would be interested in knowing if it works that way. Anybody?

Chocolate Chip Habañero Muffins

Makes 12

  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 habanero peppers
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 heaping cup semisweet chocolate chips (mini chips are ideal)
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a muffin tin.
  2. Coarsely chop the peppers and place them (seeds and all—be brave!) into a blender. Add yogurt, egg and vanilla. Puree until the pepper is fully pureed and the whole mixture is smooth.
  3. Stir brown sugar and melted butter together in a medium size bowl, then add the yogurt mixture and stir until thoroughly blended.
  4. Combine flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture, stirring only until blended. Too much stirring will turn your muffins into bricks.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Spoon batter into greased muffin cups and bake 22-25 minutes.

Rich, chocolatey habanero muffins

Kristina Ackerman

Kristina Ackerman is a busy freelance web designer, living and DIYing with her fella and their little fella in a cute old house in Atlanta, GA, USA.

  • Jonathan Meter

    Nice idea, i'm always a fan of the spicy-chocolate combo and the habanera definitely makes it interesting. Also, really nice image to open the post, the color of the pepper really pops, the angle works for the composition, and the texture of the chosolate is great.

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss

    Nice idea! I'll have to make these next time I'm home. My dad has pepper eating contests with his work buddies to see who can handle the hottest ones. I think he'd get a kick outta these.

  • Kristina


    Mary, it's really fun that your dad does that with his pals! Maybe for his muffins, you should make it FOUR peppers. I'd be curious to know how they'd go over… especially if you let the peppers be a surprise… heh. Too cruel?

  • Alec

    the scoville scale is actually relatively imprecise. the scoville rating of a pepper is determined by the number of times the concentrated oil of that pepper must be diluted until the heat is unrecognizable, to human taste. i'm not entirely sure either but i don't think you can break down SHU's that way… In any case, i bet they're still quite hot and delicious. I'll be making them today or tomorrow!

  • Alec

    also, just to add-

    contrary to popular belief, the spice in a pepper does NOT come from the seeds. Actually, most of the heat comes from the white membranes holding the seeds, and some from the actual flesh of the pepper. The seeds themselves(after being rinsed) are actually some what bitter. If you use just the flesh and not the seeds or the white membranes, you can use more pepper and still have the same heat level but also have more habanero flavor and less bitterness.

  • Laura

    Not only is this super creative and brilliant, I nearly spit out my smoothie when I read "lily livered spice weenie"… awesome. Great post!

    -Laura :)

  • Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking

    That is a really interesting combo that I am veery intrigued to try out!

  • Kelsey{itsybitsyfoodies}

    What a creative idea. I will have to try these. My family loves habanero!

  • Kristina

    Alec, thanks for that! You've opened my eyes to the truth about peppers and their terrible seeds, and I will live my life differently from here on out. (Seriously.)

    Laura—haha, thanks. Sorry about your smoothie (nearly)!

    I'm glad you guys like the sound of this, and I hope you do try the recipe. It's pretty easy and I think the muffins are crazy delicious. Naturally, I'm curious about what you're all going to think!

  • Kevin S C

    your blog template seems to be messed up. apparently the template that you are using got deleted. it happened to me too.

  • Kristina

    Oh no! Thank you for letting me know, Kevin. It still looks okay to me, but sometimes I'm not as observant as I could be, even when I'm trying. I may just need to check it out in another browser. What parts look messed up to you?

  • Wow…chocolate and habaneros?? That must be deliciously caliente. Loved your picture.

    • Kristina

      Thanks, Anna! It is tasty for sure.

  • man your blog is just awesome i had to get that out my system

  • Joanne

    Hey there – Thanks so much for the recipe – we made it last week and it was so incredibly EASY!!!. – Joanne

  • Yum! I tried these last night, but substituted three red jalapenos from our CSA share since I didn’t have any habaneros handy. They were so yummy!! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  • I bet it’s awesome with jalapeños! So glad to hear you loved them, Anisa!

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  • These muffins sound delicious! I like the addition of greek yogurt to your recipe!

  • RollieFingers

    Those look really good.

    There’s no enye in the word though, it’s just “habanero”, from the word Habana (as in Cuba). Habanero= masculine gender thing from Havana (Habana in Spanish).

    • Anonymous

      Hey, thank you! I don’t know where I got that idea.

  • I enjoyed the flavors of these & combine the flavors I love in those spicy chocolate bars too! My problem was the consistency… I followed directions exactly but it was way too dry & even with the addition of some extra liquid was still a bit dry – but they were still awesome & a great study break pick-me-up!