Recipe: Mocha-Cream Muffins



I recently went to visit Mindy Celeste for the Christmas holidays. Before leaving, I threw my unused half-and-half into the freezer, since  it would have spoiled in the week I was gone. Alas, thawed half-and-half isn’t great in coffee. It tends to separate in the freezing process, so when you put it in your coffee you get a smattering of clotted fat globules floating on top. Yum.

But it works in baking just as well as the fresh stuff. What was there to do but make muffins?

Despite the cream, these muffins come out very dark thanks to the cocoa powder and coffee. Sweet potato adds moisture and a bit of sweetness, but otherwise you wouldn’t know it’s in there.


  • measuring cups and spoons
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • mixing spoon or electric mixer
  • muffin tin with 12 2 ½-inch cups
  • cooling rack


  • 1¼ cup white whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar or xylitol
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon hot cocoa powder, instant sweetened mocha powder, or chocolate whey powder
  • 3 liquid ounces (6 tablespoons) espresso or strong brewed coffee
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon half and half
  • ½ cup mashed sweet potato
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon Kahlua or coffee liqueur
  • ½ cup chopped bittersweet baking chocolate or chocolate chips

Making the muffins

  1. Mix the dry ingredients (except for chocolate pieces) together in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with the sweet potato until smooth. Continue to stir as you add the rest of the wet ingredients to the sweet potato mixture.
  3. Add the sweet potato-coffee-cream mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until all the dry ingredients are wet. Batter should be somewhat lumpy.
  4. Stir in chocolate pieces.
  5. Spoon batter into lined or greased muffin tin. Fill each cup about three-quarters full.
  6. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes, or until the tops are firm.
  7. Cool on racks before eating.

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