Three Ways to Make Superb Banana Muffins

We love banana muffins this time of year. They fill a void waiting for the summer harvest to come on.  Besides, we’ve frozen so many over-ripe bananas over the course of the winter that it’s time to dig them out to make room for the freezer jam and more.

We have so many banana muffin recipes.  Some of them call for cinnamon chips and some don’t.  They all should.  Cinnamon chips in banana bread or muffins are superb.  If you have a favorite banana bread recipes that doesn’t, add 3/4 cup to the recipe.

If you don’t have cinnamon chips, get them now.  Later in the year, it will be too late to order them.  The heat will melt them in transit.  You’ll need them not just for banana bread but for zucchini bread and much more.

Later in this article, we’ll give you a table to tell you how many cinnamon chips you should use in your favorite cookie, muffin, and cake recipes.

How to Use Cinnamon Chips in Your Baking

Add them to breads, muffins, cookies, and pancakes in the following amounts. Always add them right at the end of the mixing or kneading process.

For pancakes, add 2/3 cup for each pound of pancake mix

For yeast breads, add 3/4 cup per loaf

For sweet breads, add 1 cup per loaf

For cookies, add 1 1/2 to 2 cups per 4 dozen batch

For muffins, add 1 cup per twelve muffins

For a sheet cake, add 1 to 1 1/2 cups per large cake

Keys for Success with Banana Muffins

Use the ripest bananas that you can find.  Ripe bananas have much more flavor. Even with the ripest muffins, we recommend adding a teaspoon of banana flavor.

Adjust the flour if needed.  Because bananas differ in their moistness as they ripen, you may have to add a couple tablespoons of flour.  The batter should be half way between cake batter and cookie dough for drop cookies.  It should be stiff enough that it can mound in your scoop.

Start out with a hot oven.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and then reduce the temperature as directed.  The initial hot oven creates a burst of steam that helps lift the muffins.

Check the cooking time.  Because you turn the temperature down, times are only an estimate and reflect the time required in our oven.  Other ovens may retain heat as ours does.

Top Hat Banana Muffins

We called these “Top Hat” muffins because they look like cute little top hats.  They were baked in a mini-cheesecake pan.  We used a recipe that yielded 12 high dome regular muffins and in this pan, made 24 little muffins.

This is one of our favorite muffin pans though it was intended for little cheesecakes, not muffins.  Notice that the bottom is a metal disk that slides out.  To remove the muffins, press up on the disk to pop the muffins out.

This recipe can also be made in a standard-sized muffin pan.  The bake time will be longer.

These can be made with and without cinnamon chips.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 cups ripe mashed banana
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream (not low fat)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon banana flavor 

1 cup pecan or walnut pieces

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.

In another bowl, mix the mashed banana, sugar, sour cream, vegetable oil, egg yolks, and vanilla together.

Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until the ingredients are mixed well.  Fold in the nuts.

Put the removable bottom disks in the pan and fill the tins.  Use all the batter for 24 muffins.  Sprinkle on the optional streusel topping.

Bake for 6 minutes at 400 degrees.  Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 6 to 10 minutes or until done.  Remove the muffins by pressing the bottoms up with your finger.  Place the muffins on a rack to cool.

Streusel Topping

1/3 cup pecan or walnut pieces
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted

To make the streusel topping, combine all the ingredients and stir until well combined and crumbly.  Sprinkle over the muffins before baking.

Cinnamon Banana Breakfast Muffins

This is a great glorified muffin. It is made like banana bread, topped with sliced bananas, brushed with butter, and then covered with a cinnamon and sugar mixture.
This muffin works best in a jumbo muffin tin.


1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about three large)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
bananas for slicing
2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing on the cake tops
1/4 cup turbinado sugar for sprinkling


Prepare the baking molds by greasing well and flouring the bottoms. Texas or jumbo muffin tins work best instead of the standard-sized muffin tins. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and continue beating. Add the bananas, vanilla, and buttermilk.
2. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon together.
3. Add the flour mixture to the butter-banana mixture and fold in.
4. Spoon the batter into the prepared molds.
5. Slice the bananas and arrange them on top of the dough. Use as many slices as desired. (Remember, the dough will expand in the oven while the banana slices will tend to become smaller.)
6. Brush the tops with the melted butter and then sprinkle them with turbinado sugar.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes depending on the size of the baking molds. A toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean. Cool on wire racks.

Chocolate Banana Muffins

This muffin is scrumptious, our favorite chocolate muffin. The bananas give it a tender moistness and the nuts and chocolate chips are just right. This may be a little indulgent for breakfast but we’re sure they won’t go to waste.

Yes, this muffin is as good as it sounds—–a chocolate muffin with chocolate chips and walnuts with the added flavor and moistness of ripe bananas. This is a great mid-morning snack. It’s a fairly sweet muffin but not as sweet as a cookie or cake and still maintains its muffin character. Keep this recipe.


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 brown sugar
2/3 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup ripe bananas, mashed (about two small bananas)
1 teaspoon banana flavor
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

In another bowl, mash the bananas. Whisk two large eggs and add those to the bananas. Add the oil, milk, brown sugar, and sour cream. Blend well. Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips.

With a spatula, mix the dry ingredients into the liquid mixture. Stir until just combined. Spoon the batter into 10 to 12 well-greased muffin tins. Ten muffins will give you large, nicely-domed muffins. Fill any unused muffins cups half full of water.

Bake for eight minutes at 425 degrees. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for another 6 to 10 minutes or until they test done with a toothpick. Let the muffins sit in the tins for a few minutes and then remove them to wire racks to cool.

Bakers note: The burst of heat in the initial high temperature helps dome the muffins.