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Easy Chocolate Cherry Muffins

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Very easy to make chocolate cherry muffins with fresh sweet cherries.

cherry muffins on a wire rack

Muffins are always good! Always! Simple muffins, strawberry muffins, cinnamon muffins, you name it, I have rarely had a muffin I didn’t like.

They are simple, not overly sweet and always so comforting and satisfying, perfect whenever you feel like eating cake, but not feeling like spending a lot of time with baking.

Tips for making perfect muffins

Measuring:

  • Measure the ingredients the right way, which is using a digital kitchen scale. A scale is cheap and you will use it for years.
  • We always use kitchen scales in Europe and I have only started using cup measuring (for once in a while) when baking American recipes.
  • And what I have noticed is that more often than I like it, I have to bake an American cup recipe repeatedly before I get the results I want. And it all comes down to measuring the ingredients.
cherry muffins
  • First of all, the flour. No matter how much I try it, I will always have different amounts of flour when measuring the flour in a cup. Sometimes there is only 5 grams difference, but sometimes it is more, and we all know that baking is rather an exact science. 20 – 30 g can really make a difference.
  • And then the butter. How on earth does anyone manage to measure a cup of butter correctly? How much you can get into a cup depends on the butter’s consistency, on how much you squeeze the butter, on its fluffiness, and so on.
  • Even if you think you know exactly how much you have to press that butter into the cup to get it right, I am 100% sure you will still have a different amount of butter every time you try it.
  • And then the mess! When using a scale you put the bowl onto the scale and measure the things inside. Tipping the ingredients in there takes seconds. When using cups, you have to put the ingredients into the cup first, and spooning everything takes much longer.
  • And if you measure the liquids before the flour, you will have to wash the cup in between, so that the flour or sugar don’t stick to the cup. And then washing all the cups and spoons.
  • And every time I measure flour or cornstarch, there is bound to be something landing on the counter and on the floor. Which I have to clean up.
  • But I am working myself up here like I always do when I have to use cups… we will never get to be friends…
cherry muffins inside

Mixing the muffin butter:

  • Another super important thing to know when making chocolate cherry muffins or any kind of muffins is to not over-mix the batter.
  • Over-mixing results in dense muffins, they will lose their softness and airiness.
  • The best is to stir the muffin batter with a whisk instead of an electric mixer, this way the risk of over-mixing reduces.
  • After mixing the wet ingredients into a bowl, add the mixed dry ingredients and gently and shortly fold them in with the whisk or a plastic spatula. You don’t even have to mix in the flour entirely, a few streaks here and there are fine.
  • Here is the best article on mixing and over-mixing that I have ever read.
cherry muffins with fresh cherries

Baking the muffins:

  • Bake the cherry muffins in paper cases. My experience is that no matter how well you butter the molds of the muffin pan, there will always be some that will stick.
  • You don’t need paper cases if you use silicone molds.
  • Always preheat the oven before baking muffins and most other stuff anyway. I have only a handful of recipes that need no preheating of the oven, like our favorite spelt bread.
  • Don’t bake the cherry muffins too long. Always make sure that the oven has the right temperature and check the muffins about two minutes earlier than indicated in the recipe, just to make sure that you don’t overbake them in case your oven is hotter than others. Keep in mind that every oven is different.
  • Check if the muffins are done by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the muffin. It should come out clean, a crumb or two might stick to it, but it should not be wet.
cherry muffins wire rack

Cooling the muffins:

  • Let the fresh cherry muffins cool in the pan for 2 or 3 minutes, they will set, and that will make the transfer easier.
  • After this time, carefully remove them from the molds and let them cool completely on a wire rack. If you let them cool completely in the pan or on a surface where they can’t breathe, the muffins will become soggy.
  • If the edges of the muffins slightly stick to the pan, run a small knife around the sides to loosen the edges. Be careful not to scratch the muffin pan though.
cherry muffins recipe

How to make cherry muffins?

  • Pit the cherries. I weighed the cherries after pitting them, so I had 250 g/ 8.8 oz/ 1 1/8 cup pitted cherries. To get that amount of pitted cherries, you will probably need about 350 g – 400 g/ 12.3 – 14 oz/ 2 ½ -3 cups unpitted cherries, depending on their size. Let drain in a sieve while you prepare the muffin batter.
  • Place the soft butter, sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, and milk into a bowl. Whisk well.
  • In another bowl mix together the dry ingredients: flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Gently start folding the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients using a spatula. Once you have mixed the dry ingredients about halfway, add about 2/3 of the cherries as well.
  • Mix again but take care not to over-mix, a few streaks of flour in the batter are OK.
how to make cherry muffins
  • Line the muffin molds with paper cases and spoon in the muffin batter.
  • Place the remaining cherries on top of the muffins and sprinkle with a little sugar (brown or white granulated sugar).
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, checking after about 22 minutes already. A toothpick inserted in the middle of one muffin should come out clean.
  • Let the chocolate cherry muffins rest in the pan for about 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
how to make cherry muffins

Can you freeze the muffins?

  • You can definitely freeze the chocolate cherry muffins. They have no glaze whatsoever and that makes them even more suitable for freezing.
  • Let them get completely cool before freezing.
  • To prevent freezer burn, wrap each muffin individually in freezer wrap or foil. Packing them individually will also allow you to defrost only one or two muffins at a time when needed.
  • Place into airtight containers, like plastic containers or freezer bags.
  • The cherry muffins can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Keep the wrap on the muffins while they are defrosting.
  • The defrosted muffins will be even better if you heat them shortly before eating. It is not mandatory, but it’s nice.
  • You can heat up defrosted (and unwrapped) muffins at 140 degrees Celsius/ 280 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes.
cherry muffins

More muffins?

small chocolate muffins on a wire rack.

Easy Chocolate Cherry Muffins

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Very easy to make chocolate cherry muffins with fresh sweet cherries.

Ingredients

  • 250 g/ 8.8 oz/ 1 1/8 cup pitted cherries (See note 1,2)
  • 125 g/ 4.4 oz/ ½ cup unsalted butter, very soft (See note 3)
  • 150 g/ 5.3 oz/ ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 ml/ 1.7 fl.oz/ ¼ cup milk
  • 75 g/ 2.6 oz/ 2/3 cups cornstarch
  • 125 g/ 4.4 oz/ 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 25 g/ 0.9 oz/ ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2-3 teaspoons brown sugar (or regular), optional

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the molds of a muffin tin with paper cases.
    2. Pit the cherries. Weigh the needed amount (250 g/ 8.8 oz/ 1 1/8 cup) after pitting. Let drain in a sieve while you prepare the batter.
    3. Place the soft butter, sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, and milk into a bowl. Whisk to combine.
    4. In another bowl, mix together the cornstarch, flour, baking powder, and cocoa powder.
    5. Gently start folding the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients using a spatula. Once you have mixed the dry ingredients about halfway, add about 2/3 of the cherries as well.
    6. Mix again but take care not to over-mix, a few streaks of flour in the batter are OK.
    7. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin.
    8. Place the remaining cherries on top of the muffins and sprinkle with the extra sugar.
    9. Bake for about 25 minutes, checking after about 22 minutes already. A toothpick inserted in the middle of one muffin should come out clean.
    10. Let rest in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  1. To get that amount of pitted cherries, you will probably need about 350 g – 400 g/ 12.3 – 14 oz/ 2 ½ -3 cups unpitted cherries, depending on their size.
  2. If using frozen cherries, defrost them well and pat dry with kitchen paper.
  3. Always use a digital kitchen scale to measure the ingredients, it guarantees for best results (Amazon affiliate link). See my rant about cup measuring in the blog post.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 123mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 3g

Nutritional information is not always accurate.

Jessica Miszczak

Wednesday 24th of March 2021

Hi! I just made these and am so bummed that the taste of cornstarch is overpowering. 😥 The ratio of cornstarch and flour seemed off to me, but I decided to still go with it. I am from the US and have never baked with cornstarch. Does the taste of cornstarch disappear over time? I really would hate to throw these away as I spent time and money. Please advise. Thank you.

Adina

Wednesday 24th of March 2021

Hi Jessica. I am sorry to hear that, I've never had that problem. I've checked the recipe again, the amount is correct. Adding cornstarch to baked goods is kind of common, it helps create a tender texture. Did you measure the starch and flour on a scale or with cups? Cup measuring could cause this kind of problem, adding too much of something without meaning to. I don't know if the taste will disappear, I never had that... wait until tomorrow and try them again. I am also not sure what kind of taste that is, cornstarch is like flour, doesn't really have a taste.

Jean

Saturday 13th of February 2021

I have read the instructions carefully, over and over, and I can’t find the temperature to cook the muffins!

Adina Beck

Saturday 13th of February 2021

@Jean, sorry, I seem to have missed that. 180 degrees Celsius or 360 Fahrenheit.

Pat Lynn

Sunday 28th of July 2019

Can you use frozen cherries

Adina

Sunday 28th of July 2019

Yes, sure. Defrost them and pat them dry with kitchen paper.

Marvellina | What To Cook Today

Sunday 21st of July 2019

I love cherry season! I've been stuffing my face with cherries everyday! LOL! To be honest with you, I hate cooking , especially, baking, using cups measurements! SO inaccurate! I prefer using scales. Besides, I ended up having to wash so many measuring cups just for one recipe! Your chocolate cherry muffins are to die for!!!!

mjskitchen

Sunday 21st of July 2019

Oh my goodness! You're killing me with all of these cherry recipes. Now it's a toss up between the scones and these muffins. Let's just go all of the way and pour some of your chocolate sauce on these muffins. Now I'm really in heaven. :)

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