Cocoa Banana Muffins


Chocolate doughnuts for breakfast?  What’s not to love, right?  In fact, there is a lot to love about this recipe.  Oatmeal, bananas, low sugar … one mixing bowl (okay maybe two), no mixer, make batter the night before … doughnuts, muffins or bread loaf.  It’s an all-time favorite at our house.  The smell of these muffins baking in the morning would bring my boys out of their rooms to the kitchen to confirm that they would be enjoying this delicacy before heading off to school.  And, usually, as an after-school snack.

Cocoa Banana Muffins

5 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted (but not hot)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs (or 3 egg whites), gently beaten
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 ripe bananas, mashed (equivalent of 1 cup mashed)
1 cup regular or quick-cooking oats
Turbinado (Raw) Sugar

If baking right away:  Preheat oven to 400°F.  Spray pan of choice with nonstick cooking spray.  

In a mixing bowl, stir together melted butter/margarine with brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in eggs until well combined.  In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Pour half of the flour mixture, half of the milk, and half of the bananas into the butter/sugar/egg mixture and fold to incorporate just until smooth. Pour in the remaining flour mixture, milk, bananas, the vanilla and the oats and fold again to combine (over mixing causes muffins to peak when baked).  If using a doughnut pan(s), thin the batter out a little more with an additional 1/4 cup of skim milk.

Scoop batter into loaf/doughnut/muffin pan until about 2/3 full.  Sprinkle tops with turbinado (raw) sugar.  Bake for 40-45 minutes for a loaf pan, 15-18 minutes for a muffin pan and 12-15 minutes for a doughnut pan.  The bread/muffins/doughnuts are done if a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean when removed.

This recipe will make one loaf of bread, about 12-14 muffins (depending on size of muffin cups), or 18 regular-size doughnuts.  

Note:  Make the batter the night before to save time in the morning.  Simply cover the batter and put it in the refrigerator.  In the morning, take it out of the refrigerator and preheat the oven (400°F).  The batter will be a bit thicker but that will not hurt.  Follow the instructions above for filling the pans and baking.  It may take a little longer to bake since the batter is cold.

By the way, the whole doughnut thing came about because my oldest son received a doughnut pan from a white elephant Christmas gift exchange with his girlfriend’s family. The other day, he asked me if we could make cocoa banana muffins soon and then asked if I thought the muffin batter would work in the doughnut pan.  And from there, the cocoa banana doughnut was born.  Made his day!  He is 24.  Never too old to get excited about doughnuts for breakfast.  Just ask my husband!

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