Commercial vs Homemade Chocolate Muffins
Commercially prepared muffins are convenient and usually taste very good. They can also seem like a bargain compared to the time and effort required to bake up a batch of muffins which actually takes every little time or effort compared to cakes, pies, and cookies.
Like buying any prepared foods, there is no planning, shopping for ingredients, no measuring or mixing, no baking, and virtually no clean-up.
But many commercial muffins provide more than you may expect. If you like preservatives (added to extend shelf-life), they are included. If you like artificial colors and flavors, they are in there. If you like ingredients you can’t buy and can’t pronounce without a course in chemistry, they’re in there. If you like ingredients that have never been evaluated for safety by the Food and Drug Administration and assumed safe by the food industry, they are in there. You can buy a lot of untested chemicals for just a few dollars.
Here is a comparison of a Commercial vs Homemade Chocolate Muffins; Costco’s Kirkland Signature double chocolate muffin and my double chocolate muffin recipe.
|1||Sugar||Enriched Wheat Flour|
|2||Enriched Wheat Flour||Water|
|6||Chocolate liquor||Vegetable Oil|
|7||Cocoa Butter||Cocoa Powder|
|8||Cocoa Powder (processed with alkali)||Baking Powder|
|9||Emulsifiers (mono & digleycerides; propylene glycol; mono & diesters of fatty acids; sodium stearoyl lactylate)||Baking Soda|
|10||Leavening (sodium bicarbonate; sodium phosphate; monocalcium phosphate)||Vanilla Extract|
|15||Locust Bean Gum|
As you can see, it takes a lot more ingredients making commercial muffins. Artificial flavors, which can be anything, are higher on the list than pure vanilla.
Just The Nutrition Facts
So how does Costco’s 6 ounce (164 g) double chocolate muffin compare to eating 3 small homemade muffins (6.3 ounces, 180g)?
|Calories From Fat||342||221|
|Serving Size||5.8 oz. (164g)||6.3 oz. (180g)|
Taste and Texture
I ate Costco’s chocolate muffins for for breakfast for many years. I’m a chocoholic. Then I stopped replacing the muffin with homemade cookies.
A comment for my YouTube easy homemade muffin video asked about making chocolate muffins. Their attempt failed because the recipe wasn’t designed for the added dry ingredients of cocoa powder and sugar required to make chocolate muffins. But I was curious if chocolate muffin could be made at home as easily as blueberry and other muffins.
The answer turned out to be yes. In less time than it takes me to make a round trip to the nearest Costco, I can whip up a batch of double chocolate muffins.
As you can see from the photo, there is a significant difference in appearance. The homemade muffin on the right is darker and not as moist as the Costco muffin on the left. The homemade muffin is moist and could be moister by adding more water. The Costco muffin has an underdone, gummy texture.
The biggest difference was taste. The homemade muffin is less sweet (uses less sugar) and had more of a dark chocolate flavor; which I prefer. The Costco muffin has a milk chocolate flavor with a slightly chemical aftertaste. One reason for the mild chocolate flavor is cocoa powder processed with alkali. The Costco muffin also has chocolate liquor which is the bases for all solid chocolate.
As with all foods, it is a matter of taste.
If you are concerned about what is in your food and the fact the food industry is introducing hundreds of new, untested chemicals into the food supply in a less regulated industry than it was 20 years ago, you may want to pass on commercially prepared foods.
If you are looking to cut calories, your only option with processed foods is cutting portion sizes. Mega-muffins provide mega-calories.
700 Calorie Meal
Two small or one large muffin, a serving of whole grain oatmeal, and a cup of coffee or tea makes a quick, convenient 700 calorie Continental breakfast with 75 fewer calories than one Costco chocolate muffin. More food, less calories.
380 calories Muffin
170 calories Oatmeal
65 calories Coffee with milk and sugar
615 calories total