We went out for dinner with a group of my boyfriend’s university chums on Saturday night.  When his friend had been trying to book a table for the ten of us earlier in the week, nearly every place he tried was full.  One restaurant told him that he’d struggle to find space anywhere as it was the first weekend of February and everyone would be out celebrating the end of a dry and/or abstemious January.

It’s always a bit of a relief to get January out of the way.  It’s such a long month and such a struggle after the merriment of December.  With Easter being relatively late this year, the prospect of nearly four months without a break is slightly overwhelming.



Now that it’s February though, it feels like we’re really getting into this new year. Vague resolutions have been replaced by more concrete (and realistic) plans and it feels like there’s a lot to look forward to.

On Sunday morning, we broke with our tradition of the new year and didn’t breakfast on waffles. Between blog posts and instagram pictures, I had a hankering from a proper chocolatey chocolate muffin instead. In keeping with the recent trend around these parts, gluten free seemed the way to go.


There’s not a lot of difference really between knocking up a batch of muffins vs one of waffles. The technique is broadly the same – a bit of whisk, a bit of a fold and you’re ready to bake.  Muffins do have the added benefit of not requiring immediate consumption and these beauties have kept me going for most of this week as well.


chocolate, hazelnut and olive oil muffins

These are some of the nicest gluten-free muffins I've ever made/eaten. They are slightly more crumbly than their gluten-filled siblings due to the rice flour but not really so much that you'd notice. I love these warmed up a little so that the chocolate chips are all melty but they're equally good cold. They should last a couple of days in the fridge although, like all muffins, they are best eaten on the day that they're made.


  • 80g (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon) brown rice flour
  • 30g (1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) ground hazelnuts
  • 30g (just under 1/2 cup) cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 75g (1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) demerara sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) sour cream
  • 50g (2 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • Crushed hazelnuts, to scatter on top


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F (fan) and line a muffin tin with paper cases.
  2. In a large bowl, lightly whisk together the flour, ground hazelnuts, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and espresso powder. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, vanilla, olive oil and sour cream.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently fold a couple of times. Add the choocolate chips and fold again until the streaks of flour just disappear.
  4. Spoon the batter into the muffin cases, sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and bake for 20 - 15 minutes until risen and firm to the touch. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes or so before removing.


Fairly heavily adapted from canelle et vanille's blueberry, lemon and olive oil muffins. For a dairy-free option, use coconut milk rather than sour cream and dairy-free chocolate chips.


46 Responses to "chocolate, hazelnut and olive oil muffins {gluten free}"
  1. Laura says:

    Hooray for chocolate muffins! Glad my Insta pic helped nudge you towards these, in whatever tiny way. I think I have everything to make them and I really, really love olive oil and chocolate together. Might be the perfect project for the snow day we’re about to get here. And yes on February being the month that puts the resolutions into concrete form. I find January a little bleak too, so it’s nice to really feel in the swing of things. xo

  2. Teffy says:

    Those look so so good!
    I’m always on the search for gf recipes to make for my friend, and this is definitely one she’ll love!

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  3. Kezia says:

    Muffins are my favourite for breakfast – that’s probably partly because making enough pancakes, or things that have to be cooked one by one, for the 8 people in my family is really not my idea of fun! These look delicious and would be great for my mum as she is trying to eat less gluten.

  4. Jenny @ BAKE says:

    These chocolate muffins look incredible, easy recipes are exactly what everyone needs at this time of year!

  5. Sophia says:

    Gosh I am glad January is over as well – enough of being bombarded with healthy smoothie and salad recipes although I am not sure the fact that my pinterst homepage is basically pink is really an alternative! Love the look of these muffins – they combine so much of what I have been enjoying lately (toasted hazelnuts, rice flour, chocolate and olive oil together).

  6. Erika says:

    Olive oil, chocolate and hazelnut is an incredible combination.. I need to make these pronto.

  7. cynthia says:

    Ooh, Kathryn. These look so, so good. I’ve been looking for the right chocolate muffin recipe for awhile now — and yours are looking pret-ty promising! Like Erika said — olive oil, chocolate and hazelnut? Killer. Thanks for posting these gems.

  8. Ohhhhh these are gorgeous! My face hurts from wanting them so bad.

  9. I’m happy it’s February too – gee whiz was January long! I love these muffins in a major way – so yummy!

  10. I’m such a fan of this! Love the espresso powder and olive oil. So good!

  11. Cathryn says:

    These look amazing! I haven’t made muffins in ages, think I’ll add them to my “to bake” list! :)

    Cathryn x

  12. These muffins look absolutely wonderful. Can’t wait to try the recipe!

  13. I feel truly celebratory about February myself. We made it through January! Hooray! These muffins look lovely.

  14. Ha! We are the same page today. Be gone January! Now, these muffins, you can send a few dozen my way please? :)

  15. I love that these are a combination of decadent and healthy to balance out a weekend breakfast. I’ll have to get some brown rice flour so I can try them! And January always feels like a weird hazy month for me… I’m glad February is here and we are one step closer to Spring:-)

  16. Sophie says:

    I’ve got a bag of chopped hazelnuts in the cupboard and I’ve been stuck for what to do with them…now I have an idea. These look lovely, I can never turn down a chocolate muffin.

  17. Brown rice flour is where it’s! And chocolate and hazelnut is a blessed combination made by the goddess Nutella.

  18. Medeja says:

    chocolate and hazelnuts.. so yummy!

  19. Stephanie says:

    These looks so deep and chocolately delicious! And I totally agree that mixing up a waffle batter or a muffin batter is about the same amount of work

  20. Ohhh!! I am loving this combo!! Espresso, chocolate and hazelnuts is always a winner! Gorgeous!

  21. I always think your photos are beautiful but today’s photos were just stunning! The lighting is so soft and warm, you manage to make some regular plain old muffins look like art. And I want to eat every single one :)

  22. Every girl needs something seriously chocolaty in her life every so often. These muffins look gorgeous. I’ve never been one to eat muffins for breakfast but I’d happily scoff these down mid-morning or after dinner, warmed, with some ice cream (starts dreaming…)

  23. Trisha says:

    Yes please. Love the delicious chocolatey nuttiness!! x

  24. That first photo! Um, swooooooon. I need these in my life.

  25. Joanne says:

    I am defintiely ready to get back in the groove of more decadent muffin-eating. Not that I ever stopped….

    Chocolate and hazelnut were meant for each other! And I’m kind of loving the olive oil you through in…I so often just use that in place of vegetable oil in baked goods anyway and it’s great!

  26. alexandra says:

    Funny, as I think I’m the only one that looks forward to January. It’s a fresh start, it’s smack dab in the middle of winter where we hopefully have more snow than slush or treacherous ice. It’s my birthday month. :) When February rolls around is when I start to get down in the doldrums. Three or four months of cold downpours before the humidity and harshness of summer. Sigh.

    On a side note [and the true reason for commenting] – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single photo of a solitary muffin that looks as beautiful as the one on the top of this post. The light, the contrast. BEAUTIFUL.

  27. I can imagine how sophisticated these muffins must taste – great combination of flavors!

  28. Erin says:

    These just look like perfection.
    And I, too, and BEYOND glad that January is over. Now if only we could jump right to March or April.

  29. Grace says:

    I need these stat! Hazelnuts are my latest obsession. I think you’re right, February is off to a good start!

  30. Angharad says:

    These look deliciously chocolatey. They look like they “fancy” supermarket kind my mum would buy when we were teenagers but I have a feeling they taste slightly different.

  31. What a great combination of flavors for this muffin! This year is already flying, haha, next thing you know, we’ll be working up holiday baking menus! Ahh

  32. Kelly says:

    Oh dear, these are stunners! To think I helped inspire the muffinmania is awfully flattering, too.Love the flavours here. These will be making making an appearance the next time a muffin emergency pops up. Thanks for the recipe!

  33. These look so chocolatey, and I’m looking for some good gluten free recipes at the moment. I’d definitely eat them warm, as you suggest!

  34. Whoaaaa!!!! Aren’t these the most drool worthy photos? They look incredibleeeee and just the thing I’d like to wake up to every morning! :)

  35. I don’t have that issue with January as 90% of the birthdays in my family are in January , which makes it a month packed full of celebration and tasty treats, but I do understand that most people aren’t so into the month. I think November is my January. Now you’ve made me want chocolate muffins for breakfast! I love the idea of chocolate and hazelnut together, I imagine it’d turn out with a nutella-esque flavour, but without the grossness of nutella. Another great recipe, thanks Kathryn!

  36. Celebrating February? Hehe. That thought never crossed my mind. Maybe because I just eat and drink whatever, whenever.

    And these are gorgeous! Love your parchment paper wrapper.

  37. Linda says:

    Being an active part of the food blogging world really intensifies the food cycle for me: December’s all about excessive baking and gorging, January’s all about abstinence. By the time February rolls around, everyone’s talking chocolate and Valentine’s Day. It’s frankly a bit exhausting! I never thought I’d be so happy to enter a holiday-less period. It sounds strange to admit that, but it’s also kind of a silver lining, no?

    And I get cravings for muffins like these all the time. They look delicious, and their lasting power (because who likes soggy day-old waffles?) makes them mighty irresistible!

  38. These are some of the prettiest muffins I’ve ever seen. They look like they’re straight out of a fancy coffee shop! I love that you used parchment paper instead of muffins liner. Whenever I do that, the result looks slightly different ;)

  39. Skye says:

    Gorgeous photos, Kathryn! And yummy looking muffins too…
    January is a horrible month – very glad to have got it out of the way… The countdown to spring begins now! x

  40. Sophie says:

    These look so yummy and cute! LOVE those muffin cups.

  41. A-ha! Finally an excuse to use that brown rice flour stashed in the back of the pantry. What a gorgeous recipe – perfect for Valentine’s (or any time, really).

    This January was a particularly challenging month for us. Very glad to have it well out of the way.

  42. The combination of chocolate and hazelnuts is always a winner. And I really love olive oil in baked goods! These look perfect for a late Sunday breakfast or brunch as well as a snack to take to work.

  43. Meike says:

    Wonderful, I love the combination of chocolate and olive oil!

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