Banana Bread Muffins

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Is there anything more comforting than a warm muffin?

Okay, yes: there are melty, gooey chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven; plush, decadent weekday pancakes swimming in hot butter and rich maple syrup; soul-soothing peanut butter treats that is Mr. Darcy to my Elizabeth Bennet; not to mention those steaming mugs of soup that seem to bypass the stomach entirely and go straight from the spoon to your heart.

Yet despite the wealth of cozy, hand- and heart-warming recipes out there, I can’t help but find something deeply satisfying in the humble simplicity of a good muffin.

These muffins are light and wholesome, honey-sweetened and gently spiced, with a moist and tender crumb thanks to the generous quantity of banana. I subbed coconut oil here for the more traditional melted butter because I liked the subtle boost it gives to the shredded coconut incorporated into the batter. Even my banana-averse roommate (I know! She also doesn’t like raisins; how on Earth do we live together?!) couldn’t resist these not-so-bad boys and admitted that “perhaps bananas have someplace in the kitchen.” (She’s going to freak out when she learns about chocolate chip banana bread.)

So whether you’re a muffin devotee already or plotting to change someone’s opinion on this beloved comma-shaped fruit, I wish you happy baking and happy snacking! Enjoy!

Banana-Coconut Muffins (inspired by banana bread/muffin recipes on Allrecipes and Ambitious Kitchen)

Ingredients:

  • 4 large, very ripe bananas, mashed (mine came out to 442 g)
  • 1/4 cup (70 g) runny honey
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) unsweetened soymilk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup (128 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (65 g) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) oat bran
  • 1 + 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 — 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I use 2 teaspoons, but I really like cinnamon, so feel free to use a little less if you’re not as spice-crazy as I am)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) chopped, toasted pecans, plus more for topping
  • 1/2 cup (40 g) dried, unsweetened, shredded coconut, plus more for topping

Protocol:

  1. Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350 F. Prepare a standard, 12-cup muffin pan by lightly buttering/greasing each tin and dusting with flour, tapping out any excess.
  2. In a large bowl, mash your bananas with a fork until mostly smooth (a few moderate chunks here and there is fine and actually rather delicious).
  3. Add honey, egg, coconut oil, soymilk, vanilla extract, and almond extract, and mix with a fork until very well combined.
  4. Add all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, bran, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix at this point, as too much mixing will overwork the gluten in the flours and lead to a denser muffin — we want these to be nice and fluffy!
  5. Add pecans and coconut, mixing until just combined.
  6. Divide batter evenly between your 12 prepared muffin tins, topping each with a scattering of pecans and coconut and a wee little dash of cinnamon.
  7. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each muffin comes out clean or with only a few crumbs. Let muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to cool completely on a wire rack.

Happy snacking!

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