Delicious “bakery style” chocolate banana muffins made a bit healthier — lots of mashed up banana, Greek yogurt, and far less sugar than a typical bakery style muffin.
We (the toddler and I) have been baking with bananas like crazy that last couple of months. It all started with having way too many ripe bananas around and has ended with me “speeding up” the banana ripening process (baking the bananas — more on that later) just to have some more Greek yogurt banana bread, these muffins, or a healthier banana cake that is COMING SOON!
This past October, we got passes to Cornbelly’s which is a local corn-maze and outdoor activity place. The entire theme of Cornbelly’s was the minion movie. They had people dressed up like minions and that quickly became the toddler’s favorite part of the whole place. He was completely obsessed with them and spent more time trying to give them high-fives than playing on all the attractions.
As a result of that month of high fiving and hugging the people dressed up as minions, he has become completely obsessed with them. He currently has four large minion toys (some stuffed animals and the others dance/sing). He saw the minions movie twice in the theaters, has a minion toothbrush and toothpaste, ? minion water-bottle, and now owns the minions movie.
And not only did he become obsessed with minions, he also became obsessed with bananas. Since the minions love ’em, he has to love them too I suppose. Except I don’t know if he actually really likes them because he will beg and beg for a banana and then eat one or two bites and then give it to me to eat.
He also begs and begs and begs to buy them at the grocery store every time we go. And since I’m the responsible adult that is supposed to be in charge, I buy a whole bunch every single time. ? So these past few months we end up buying ALL the bananas and actually eat about 20% of them in their ripe state. The rest I end up freezing to use in smoothies and the others, I wait until they are pretty much completely black and use them in baking and recipe testing.
And sometimes I’m impatient with the bananas turning completely black (when they are at their very ripest and also their sweetest), so I speed up the process. I highly recommend this if you are anxious for ripe bananas but yours aren’t quite at their ripest. All you do is place the bananas on a tray and bake at 350 degrees F for 6-12 minutes depending on how ripe they are to begin with. All the bananas are different so I just watch them until the skins turn a disgusting black and that means they are ready to go!
Okay let’s talk a little about these muffins. First off, the ripest bananas are the BEST. I’ve already said it, but I’ll say it again — when they are their ripest they are also at their sweetest. I’ve found when the skins are completely black they make for the very best banana baked good.
Next, the chocolate. I call for two types of chocolate chips — miniature and regular sized. I love the different texture of both in these muffins AND you’ll have ripples and pools of melted chocolate throughout the entire muffin which is just straight up amazing. I typically just use dark chocolate since it’s healthier and we love it, but these are also delicious with two types of chocolate (milk and dark, semi-sweet and milk, semi-sweet and dark). Yum.
And the Greek yogurt. I’ve tried 3-4 different types of Greek yogurt in these. Plain or vanilla is best with vanilla being my absolute top preference on flavor. The type of yogurt you use matters — the creamier and thicker the yogurt, the better these are.
And finally, flour. I remove 1 tablespoon of the flour and replace it with cornstarch to make a lighter cake-like flour. Then tossing the chocolate chips in the flour helps to keep the chocolate chips throughout the muffin instead of sinking all to the bottom. And finally, when you mix the flour with the other ingredients, make sure to mix as little as possible which keeps these muffins light and airy instead of becoming dense. The more you stir, the denser these will become.
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour or plain white flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup miniature dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup vanilla or plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup brown sugar lightly packed
- 1 cup extremely ripe bananas (2-3 bananas)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Generously coat a muffin tin with cooking spray and then dust the cavities with cocoa powder. These muffins stick to muffin liners so I do not recommend using them.
Remove 1 tablespoon of the 1 cup of flour.
In a small bowl, toss together the remaining flour (after removing 1 tablespoon from the 1 cup), cornstarch, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, and both types of chocolate chips. Stir.
Make sure your bananas are at their very ripest (black skins are best; see post to speed up the ripening process if not all the way ripe.) Remove the skins and mash the bananas extremely well.
In another bowl, briskly whisk together the egg and Greek yogurt. Stir in the melted coconut oil (slightly cooled, but measure in it's melted state),vanilla extract, brown sugar, and the extremely ripe mashed bananas.
Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix until JUST combined. Over-mixing results in denser muffins.
Separate the batter evenly among the 12 cavities or fill up 9-10 for extra large muffins.
Bake for 18-23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a muffin.
Allow to cool and then remove from the muffin tin. (Use a butterknife to cut around the edges and help pull them out!)
Store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days.
When ready to enjoy a muffin, microwave for 15-20 seconds. Spread with peanut butter if desired!
The dark chocolate chips is purely for a healthier option. If you don't like dark chocolate feel free to use milk chocolate or semi-sweet -- whichever you like best!
More delicious healthier snacks: