When Making Copycat Costco Chocolate Muffins, Cinnamon Is Your Secret Weapon

Mashed recipe developer Molly Allen is a true fan of Costco's muffins, as she feels that "biting into [one] is an experience like no other," but are they really worth paying $60 a year for the privilege of purchasing? Not everyone wants to pay to shop at Costco, after all, while others simply live too far away to make regular trips to this big box store worthwhile. Still, if muffins are the one thing you'll miss if you give up your membership, that can easily be remedied with a copycat chocolate muffin recipe like Allen's.

Costco's bakery makes its chocolate muffins with standard ingredients like flour, sugar, cocoa, propylene glycol monostearate, and sodium aluminum phosphate, but Allen opts to leave out the latter two, along with all the other multisyllabic mystery add-ins. Instead, she throws in a pinch of cinnamon. As she explains, this ingredient "adds a nice hint of baking spice flavor to the batter," which stands to reason, because it is — in fact — a spice used in baking.

Even though it's a copycat recipe, feel free to do some tweaking

The job of a recipe developer channeling a copycat recipe is to recreate the original as closely as possible, and Molly Allen seems to have succeeded with these muffins, which she lauds as "almost like biting into a piece of chocolate cake" before going on to extoll the "rich notes of moist chocolate paired with plenty of chocolate chips tucked inside." Still, as someone baking the muffins for your personal use, you have no such obligation and can make any changes to the recipe that you like.

For one thing, you don't have to stick to super-sized muffins but can opt to make standard or even mini ones instead (just be sure to reduce the cooking time accordingly). It's also okay to change up the ingredients, too. While Allen and Costco use standard chocolate chips as a mix-in, you could go with white chocolate or butterscotch or swap the chips out in favor of chopped nuts or dried cherries. Also, if you feel that cinnamon is an overused spice, you can certainly omit the stuff, especially in light of the fact that Costco itself no longer seems to be using this flavoring. While Allen says that "cinnamon [was] actually listed on the Costco muffin label" a few years back, a 2023 photo of the label does not include the ingredient.