One of my favorite childhood memories is having a slice of my mom’s banana bread for my snack at morning recess at school. Mom would slice it, butter it, cut it in half, fold it and wrap it in saran wrap. I loved finding a piece of banana bread in my lunch box, it was my favorite snack. One of my childhood friends recently confessed that she was always jealous of my banana bread. I shared, but not all the time I guess.
My mother’s banana bread, made with walnuts, was a family favorite for a long time. At some point, the banana bread evolved into banana muffins. Mom found this recipe in a little Robin Hood muffin booklet. They are called Best Ever Banana Muffins. They really are worthy of their name. This recipe quickly became a family standard, and I have been using it for more than 20 years now. I’ve tweaked it a little and use whole wheat flour and honey, but the foundation is the same.
These muffins will have more weight in your hand because of the honey and the whole wheat flour, but they are still very light in texture. The whole wheat flour will also make them more filling than using white flour.
There is a simple trick to making great banana muffins. You need to use very ripe bananas. I mean really, really ripe bananas. Bananas so ripe, you don’t want to eat them. Around here, we call them “dead bananas”. The more ripe the bananas are, the sweeter they are, which gives your banana muffins lots of great banana flavour.
If your bananas look like this, don’t use them. The muffins won’t have any flavour.
If your bananas look like this, they still won’t have any flavour.
I wouldn’t consider using bananas that are any less ripe than these. These are just barely acceptable for banana muffins. More ripe is much better. So be patient, and wait for your bananas to really ripen to make your muffins.
If your bananas are ripe enough, they will be easy to mash and will become a purée like this, and it will help give them great texture, without any big banana lumps in the muffins.
So now that you have bananas that are really ripe, here is the recipe.
Best Ever Banana Muffins, version 2.0
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour (I use all-purpose whole wheat)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup (180 mL) honey
- 1/3 cup (80 mL) melted butter or canola oil
- 3 to 4 very ripe bananas, mashed
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.
- In a second bowl, beat egg, honey, melted butter and mashed bananas together.
- Add the banana mixture from the second bowl to the dry ingredients in the first bowl. Stir until just moistened. Over stirring will cause your muffins to be tough.
- Place muffin liners in muffin tin. Fill liners with batter.
- Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly pressed with finger.
- Let cool in muffin tin for 2 – 3 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. But don’t forget to enjoy at least one while they are still warm 🙂
This is the base recipe for banana muffins. Now you can customize it to your own taste and make it your own. Do you like cinnamon in your banana muffins? If so, add a teaspoon of it. Like nutmeg? Go ahead and add a half teaspoon. Like both? Add them both. Are you a banana chocolate chip fan like Greg? Add a half cup of them. Do you love banana muffins with walnuts, like me? Go nuts, add a half cup. Or add raisins, or dried cranberries or even chopped up apricots. Now that you have a great foundation recipe, play with it. Then please come back and answer this. What is your favorite?