These banana chocolate pudding muffins are insanely moist and feature chocolate chips with a rich flavor. Adding dry pudding mix to the batter helps ensure these chocolate muffins stay moist for days!
If there was ever a blurred line between what's considered a muffin and what's considered a cupcake, I think these chocolate pudding muffins would land squarely in the middle of it.
For starters there are multiple forms of chocolate here, from unsweetened cocoa powder to instant chocolate pudding mix to mini chocolate chips. Score one for the cupcake side. But then we have to take into account the fact that there are two bananas hidden in this batch and a portion of the flour is whole wheat.
That's more 'muffin' than 'cupcake', in my opinion.
I ended up calling these muffins due to the lack of frosting (a cupcake essential), but will say that I ate these moist chocolate muffins equally in the morning, afternoon, and as a late-night snack. Acceptable for any occasion!
These muffins will stay super soft and moist for days thanks to a secret ingredient. Well, a not-so-secret ingredient given that it's in the title of this post, but anyway. A little bit of dry instant pudding mix mixes into the batter and provides the perfect amount of tenderness.
There's no need to prepare the pudding according to package directions...just add the powder in along with the other dry ingredients and that's all you need to do.
Besides the pudding mix, the other base ingredients are fairly standard, including flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, salt, vanilla extract, eggs, and oil. Then we have mashed ripe bananas for flavor and additional moisture and chocolate chips. Because why not take that chocolate theme and run with it?
I like to use a mix of all-purpose and white whole wheat flour here to add a slight nudge to the nutrition without any impact on taste, but you can also just use entirely all-purpose flour (or all white whole wheat) and it works just fine.
"Natural" unsweetened cocoa powder is the way to go here, as its acidity is necessary in order for the baking soda to react and rise. The treatment that "Dutch-process" cocoa goes through neutralizes its pH and it wouldn't get the baking soda going like we need.
"The muffin method"
Even with dry pudding added, the same old muffin method applies to this recipe. Both the wet and dry ingredients are combined in separate mixing bowls, with the wet ingredients then being added to the bowl with the dry and stirring together until just combined.
You never want to overdo it on the mixing as that activates the gluten in the flour. A heavy hand with that can lead to tough, less tender baked goods, and that's not what we want for this chocolate pudding muffin recipe.
Up until recently I didn't realize that different brands of instant pudding mix come in totally different weights. Some 3.4 oz, some 1.85 oz, etc. So instead of saying "one package of pudding mix" in the recipe below, I measured out one ounce from one package. One ounce will do the trick here.
If you don't have a kitchen scale, one ounce of dry pudding mix is equal to approximately two tablespoons. It doesn't have to be ultra precise.
More muffin recipes
While these moist banana chocolate muffins straddle the line between breakfast/snack and dessert, here are some other muffin recipes you might enjoy.
- Looking for a quintessential blueberry muffin recipe? These blueberry crumb muffins are my very favorite. The aroma wafting from your oven is classic, and who doesn't love a crumb topping?
- This recipe for pistachio muffins is another that makes great use of dry instant pudding. An unexpected-yet-totally-makes-sense ingredient helps bump up this delicious nutty flavor.
- Citrus lovers! Lemony ricotta muffins with almond glaze are spongy perfection.
- Fresh (or frozen) cherries shine in cherry almond streusel muffins.
- Measure flour by the spoon-and-level method. Stir the bag of flour to fluff it up, then spoon it into a dry measuring cup until it's heaping. Use a straight edge to level off the flour, allowing the excess to fall back in the bag. This prevents the flour from becoming packed in the cup, which can lead to drier baked goods.
Banana Chocolate Pudding Muffins
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup white whole wheat flour (or more all-purpose)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 oz dry instant chocolate pudding mix (about 2 tbsp)
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 medium overripe bananas (about 7-7.5 oz total)
- ½ cup canola oil or vegetable
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a muffin pan and set aside.
- Whisk together flour(s), sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, dry pudding mix, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Add bananas, oil, and vanilla extract to bowl with the eggs and mix until pretty smooth and creamy. You may still have small chunks of banana remaining.
- Pour wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry and stir until just combined.
- Fold in chocolate chips.
- Divide batter evenly between the twelve muffin cups, filling each between two-thirds and three-quarters of the way full.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted into the center of the highest part comes out clean or with just a few crumbs clinging to it. Let muffins cool in the muffin pan for 5 minutes, then remove to cool completely on a wire rack.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer