Food

The Best Chocolate-Chip Banana Muffins

Which foods do you find impossible to resist? Homemade banana bread might be at the top of my list. My mom used to bake it for us, and I remember hanging out during those childhood mornings, excitedly waiting for the bread to cool while padding around the kitchen in footie pajamas. Well, lucky for us, Cristina of The Roaming Kitchen has come up with this delicious chocolate-chip banana bread—in muffin form! Here goes…

The Best Banana Chocolate-Chip Muffins You’ll Ever Have
by Cristina Sciarra of The Roaming Kitchen

These muffins—a happy union of bananas and dark chocolate—are a balm against even the worst case of four o’clock doldrums. A surfeit of banana mash and applesauce keeps them super-moist and flavor-concentrated; these are muffins that require no swipe of salty butter, no crumble topping, to make them stand up. Best of all, they come together in just one bowl.

The batter is closer to a cake than a quick bread, and one muffin alone is satisfying – they’re fairly dense. Sweetness is held in check by the bitter pop of dark chocolate chips and the nuttiness of wheat germ. (Peanut butter chips can be substituted for chocolate ones, if that’s your preference, or even toasted oats, if you want to be healthy about it. Personally, I like mini dark chocolate chips.)

I recommend baking with bananas that are past their prime. The skins should be thoroughly browned, the flesh of the fruit shrunken and pungent. As for the golden sugar, I like the faint molasses note it lends, but by all means, use white sugar if that’s what you have on hand.

Recipe: Banana Chocolate-Chip Muffins
Makes 28 muffins

You’ll need:

1 cup golden sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
2 eggs
6 over-ripe bananas (or 1.5 cups mashed bananas)
1 tbsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup applesauce
2 cups flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 cups mini dark chocolate chips

Take the butter and the eggs out of the fridge. Do this the night before if you can, but at least a few hours in advance. Trust me: the microwave is not your friend in this situation—there is no such thing as speed room-temperaturing.

Heat the oven to 350F. Grease your muffin tins; I like to use a pastry brush, but a paper towel works, too.

Add the golden sugar, white sugar and butter to a large bowl. Set an electric mixer to medium speed, and, using the beater attachments, cream the butter with the sugars for 3-4 minutes. You are looking for the sugars to disappear completely into the butter, and for the butter to fluff up a bit. Now crack both eggs into the bowl and continue mixing, until the eggs are incorporated into the butter.

Add the bananas, lemon zest, vanilla and applesauce to the bowl. Mix on medium-low speed, until everything comes together. (It’s up to you how chunky or smooth to make the banana mash.) At this point, the batter might look like it’s separating a little, but don’t worry—this will correct itself once you add the dry ingredients.

Add the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the bowl. Mix on low speed, just long enough to evenly combine the dry ingredients into the wet ones. (A tip for the flour: to achieve the same effects as sifting, whisk the flour in the bag before you spoon it into the mixing bowl.) Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tins: fill each cup about ¾ of the way to the top. Bake the muffins for 25 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, before moving the muffins to a wire rack to finish cooling.

DELICIOUS! Thank you so much, Cristina!

P.S. More best recipes, including raspberry coffee cake and crumbly blueberry muffins.

(Photos and recipe by Cristina Sciarra of The Roaming Kitchen. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I softened the butter a bit in the microwave (lack of prep time!), used ripe bananas (not overly ripe), and left out the wheat germ–and they still came out fantastic! Made them for my husband for his birthday.

  3. I always buy bananas… but never eat them. i have a bunch of bananas ready to cook! thanks for the great recipe!

  4. Softening butter used to be my nemesis. Unless I would plan ahead to make something, I would have to wait for hours for the butter to soften before I could start baking. Grr. However (I forget where I learned this trick from), if you grate the butter (I use the biggest size on my box grater), the butter softens in no time at all. That trick has saved my sweet tooth more than once. Happy last minute baking!

  5. I made these today–so delicious!! I deviated a tiny bit from the recipe by using half of the amount of sugar and substituting it with Truvia & used whole wheat flour instead of white. I will definitely be making these again!

  6. WOW
    Iam just always a little confused with measures working out with cl and grammes in france. I do not not what cups refers to….
    But I am starving myself with the pictures.
    Yum Yum YUm

    • CS says...

      Hi Olithée, my boyfriend is French, so whenever we visit his family, I bring cups and tablespoons with me!

      Here is an ingredient translation:

      1 cup sugar=200 grams sugar; 1/2 cup butter=113 grams butter; 1 tablespoon lemon zest=the zest of 1 small lemon; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract=5 ml vanilla extract; 1/2 cup applesauce=122 grams applesauce; 2 cups flour=256 grams flour; 1/2 cup wheat germ=50 grams wheat germ; 2 teaspoons baking powder=10 grams baking powder; 1 teaspoon baking soda=6 grams baking soda; 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt=3 grams kosher salt; 1 1/2 cups mini dark chocolate chips=263 grams mini dark chocolate chips

  7. I recently went on a chia seed shopping spree and now I am looking for ways to use it. I have not baked with them so I am not sure how they would affect the muffins. Any ideas?

    • CS says...

      Hi Kelly, I’ve never baked with chia seeds! But whenever I have a cooking question, I always ask here: http://food52.com/hotline. Good luck!

  8. These look amazing. I don’t even know where to buy wheat germ. Is there a substitute for it?

    • CS says...

      Hi Rachel, Believe it or not, wheat germ is pretty easy to find in the baking section of most grocery stores! If not, check out my response to Jessica above. Happy baking!

  9. What a GREAT recipe. This is hands down one of my favorite foods. Thanks for the post! xx

  10. Yum! I absolutely love banana muffins, but never thought to put choc chips in them. Definitely giving this a try!

  11. I was wondering if you could substitute the weat germ for anything? Would oats work? I live a really rural area in Nevada that has an extremely limited supply of groceries.

    • CS says...

      Hi Jessica, The wheat germ isn’t totally necessary–I added it for its nutty quality, and to soak up some of the liquid in the batter. If you skip the wheat germ, I might also skip the applesauce. If not, you will still have very tasty muffins, but they will be quite dense. Feel free to experiment with oats or the like. Good luck!

  12. I always want to like banana break, but I’ve never been able to…I just don’t like the taste of bananas. These look fab though, I might make these for friends.

    If anyone would like to look at my new blog, I’d be grateful!
    http://greenmountainglobetrotter.blogspot.com/

  13. These look fantastic! I have a chocolate chip banana cookie recipe, but these look even better and I can eat them at breakfast! Yum!

  14. When I make banana bread I mix some chocolate chips into the leftover batter and make mini muffins – they never last long!

  15. I don’t plan on buying wheat germ but flaxseed is a good replacement, according to the internet…

  16. Man, those look insanely good. Great minds think alike, I’ve got a chocolatey banana bread recipe coming up on my blog for the end of this week too! You can never have too many good quick bread recipes!

    http://www.nomadicd.com

  17. Yum, Im a banana bread fan and love making it at home. These though look amazing, esp with chocolate -how could you go wrong ;-)

  18. oh i love banana bread! but i think my biggest food weakness is cinnamon rolls. i don’t make them very often but i did this morning and i’ve already had three! oops. but i’m eating for two so it’s okay, right?

  19. banana bread is my absolute favorite! it would definitely be a treat to add some chocolate chips! i’ll be trying this recipe over the weekend. thanks.

  20. I was just thinking of the next baking project with my three year old. Thanks!