Loaded Banana Muffins start with a moist, soft banana bread base that gets extra flavor and texture from coconut, toasted pecans, and honey-kissed granola sprinkled on top!
Okay, all you monkeys out there…get ready to go bananas (sorry) for today’s recipe! And if you currently have a pile of splotchy, dark brown bananas sitting on your kitchen counter? You’ll love this post, too. Because in both cases, these Loaded Banana Muffins are decidedly different than your everyday banana bread, meaning they’re guaranteed to garner rave reviews!
As I’ve been known to do, I started this recipe with my tried-and-true banana bread batter as a base. But instead of taking it in a chocolate direction, I instead opted to add lots of texture with chewy coconut, toasty pecans, and honey-kissed granola. The add-ins for these muffins were actually inspired by a Barefoot Contessa episode I saw years ago during which Ina added all kinds of yummy, chunky things to some giant banana muffins. And as usual, Ina was spot on with her recommendation. Plain ol’ banana muffins are good, but banana muffins studded with plenty of chewy, crunchy texture are even better!
I made these Loaded Banana Muffins for a Teacher Appreciation breakfast at my boys’ school last week and I can only assume that they were a hit, seeing as how my muffin tub was returned containing nary a crumb. And because I was baking for a crowd, I doubled the recipe, which ended up yielding over 30 muffins. My boys were very excited about this number since my muffin tub only holds two dozen muffins, meaning that there were a few leftover muffins for their breakfast the next morning. And their verdict? FOUR THUMBS UP!
Alas, my 3-year-old’s daughter’s thumbs were not enthusiastically pointing skyward because she is of the age-appropriate yet unfortunate opinion that different foods must be kept completely separated…in other words, no granola, or coconut, or (*gasp*) nuts tainting her banana muffins, thankyouverymuch. Oh well…you win some, you lose some… 😉
Now I realize that (aside from my preschooler) some people aren’t fans of coconut…or don’t care for nuts…or will only want to put the granola on top of and not in their muffins. And guess what? Any of that is fine! Just keep in mind that if you decide to leave out any of the add-ins, the total volume of the batter will be reduced and you’ll probably end up with slightly fewer muffins.
As for a few additional recipe notes, you may use either sour cream or Greek yogurt in these muffins. You may use store-bought granola or whip up a batch of homemade (like my favorite Nut & Honey Granola). If you’d like to make this recipe a bit more wholesome, you may substitute whole wheat pastry flour for the all-purpose flour. Doing so will slightly change the flavor and texture, of course, but not in an unpleasant way…you’ll just feel a little more virtuous eating your muffins. On the other hand, if you want to go for a Chunky Monkey-type of vibe, feel free to invite some chocolate chips to the party. Yum!
So who’s ready to put those overripe bananas to good use? Treat some hard-working teachers in your life to a thoughtful breakfast treat, or make Loaded Banana Muffins as a special after-school snack for the kiddos as the school year winds down. Or heck, just bake up a batch for yourself, no special occasion required! But regardless of who enjoys them, I predict you’ll be willing that next batch of bananas to hurry up and darken so that you can make these again…soon. 🙂
More banana delights…