Cocoa Banana Muffins
Oatmeal, bananas, “chocolate” … one mixing bowl (okay maybe two), no mixer, make batter the night before … what’s not to love! These Cocoa Banana Muffins are 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 have happy stomachs before heading off to school. It was usually the first thing they asked for as they came in the door after school too.
Tips for perfect cocoa banana muffins
Here are few pointers to help your muffins turn out perfectly:
- Do not use old baking powder or baking soda; check the expiration date on the containers. These ingredients can lose their efficacy and stale or old baking powder and/or soda will affect the consistency and the density of the muffins. See this article from Joy of Baking for tips on how to test the efficacy of baking soda or powder.
- Over-mixing the batter can result in muffins with peaks and cracks instead of a pretty, rounded top.
- Sprinkle Turbinado (or raw) sugar or a coarse decorators sugar on top of the batter in the muffin pan before baking. This will add a little texture and sparkle to the finished product.
- A darker metal pan will likely bake faster than a light metal pan. If you are using a darker pan, consider reducing the oven temperature by 25°.
Muffins, loaves or doughnuts
As the recipes states, this recipe will make 12-15 muffins depending on the size of the muffin cups. An individual serving like this is always handy for packing lunches or serving on a buffet but this recipe will also make a beautiful loaf of bread. Simply pour the batter into a loaf pan (approximately 8″x4″x4″) that has been coated with cooking spray and bake for 30-40 minutes (until a toothpick, inserted in the center of the loaf, comes out clean when removed).
We have even made this recipe into doughnuts! The idea was born when my oldest son received a doughnut pan from a white elephant Christmas gift exchange with his girlfriend’s family. 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. Adding a little more milk to thin the batter was all it required. The baked 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!
Cocoa Banana Muffins
- 5 tablespoons butter or margarine melted (but not hot)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
- 2 eggs gently beaten, or 3 egg whites
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 ripe bananas mashed (about 1 cup mashed)
- 1 cup regular or quick-cooking oats
- Turbinado or decorating sugar
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Spray muffin pan 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).
- Scoop batter into muffin pan, filling each about 2/3 full.
- Sprinkle tops with Turbinado (raw) or decorating sugar.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes. The muffins are done if a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean when removed.
- Allow muffins to cool in pan for 3-4 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.