Banana Muffins: Crumbly, sweet, also kind of good for you

Banana Muffins

I think it’s okay when we accidentally let our bananas slip our minds. It means we’re about to have some over-ripe bananas, and over-ripe bananas mean delicious banana baking, which means delicious banana dessert eating, and that is relevant to my interests.Usually, I just set-and-forget a loaf of banana bread, but this time I wanted to find something a little different to try. I was definitely against banana muffins. They sounded boring. I’ve had them before. They’re good. But they’re no big deal. They’re like single-serve banana bread. Didn’t I just say I didn’t want banana bread?But then I noticed a lot of people on Internet were talking about banana crunch muffins. As a matter of fact, no fewer than four of my Page 1 search results pointed to different blogs reprinting the exact same recipe. I tracked down the Allrecipes recipe where I think a lot of blogs are getting it, and found thousands of comments and stars and favorites and reviews. It was beginning to look like banana muffins might be worth considering after all.

Still, as nice as it sounded, I wasn’t sold. If I was going to make muffins, I wanted oats in there. Oats are important. They give a muffin credibility. Breakfast credibility. So the hunt continued until I found these muffins from Cheap Healthy Good, a blog I find utterly fantastic, with solid recipes, handy-dandy calculations on each, and a delightful personality. (Not to change the subject, but while you’re there, check out The Brown Bag Brigade for some really good ideas on packing a lunch. I love it.)

I had to make a few substitutions in the basic banana oat muffin recipe based on what I had in the house. I have no oat flour, for instance, and the food processor is just too high up for me to get to — by design, because I hate having to use it — so all-purpose flour it is.

But just to make sure my muffins would be all the way glamorous, I also added the crunchy crumbles from the Penzey’s Spice Catalog recipe I found via Adventures Recipes. (It makes enough for two dozen muffins, so if you wish to be reasonable, you might halve it; I didn’t.) If there’s one thing I know about muffins, it’s that you have to have crumbles if you want them to be their best. They’re like the muffin equivalent of sexy high heels. Delicious high heel shoes made of butter. As a muffin, you cannot go wrong with these.

The muffins turned out very dense, very moist, very sweet, just like banana bread. I admit I went a little crumble-crazy, so although the crumbles are the perfect thing for these muffins, I might back it off just a little bit next time. I guess I just got excited. I mean…butter shoes, you know?

Banana Oatmeal Crumble Muffins (Makes 12)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the crumbles:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut in small cubes
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, stir oats, sour cream, and milk together until combined. Set aside for 10 minutes.
    Banana Muffins
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  4. To the oat/sour cream mixture, add brown sugar, vegetable oil, bananas, egg, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine. Add flour mixture. Stir until just moistened. The batter will be very, very thick.
  5. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray (or use muffin cups). Evenly distribute batter among cups.
  6. For the crumbles, mix together the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl (remember the bowl you had your flour in before? use that one again now! unless you love washing dishes). Add the cold butter and cut it into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs. Divide the crumbles, in whatever amount you prefer, over all the muffins. If you use tons of crumbles like I did, be sure to put a cookie sheet on the shelf below your muffin tin, to catch any melty overflow.
    Banana Muffins
  7. Bake 18-20 minutes, until crumbles are golden brown and muffins pass the toothpick test. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove them from the pan and place them in a dish to cool. Enjoy warm or let cool completely.

Kristina Ackerman

Kristina Ackerman is a busy freelance web designer, living and DIYing with her fella and their little fella in a cute old house in Atlanta, GA, USA.

  • I kept rationalizing that bread making was alchemy that would not turn out for me.

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