Monday, February 27, 2012

Daring Bakers: Healthy Mini Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lisa! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

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I love bananas, especially when they’re dressed with a spoonful of peanut butter and sandwiched between two slices of bread. But I have a thing with bananas: I don’t like to eat them ripe. They have to be firm and plump and homogenously yellow, without a speckle of brown indicating impending ripeness.

So what to do with five overly ripe bananas? Make Mini Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins, of course. These muffins are healthy enough to eat for breakfast and decadent at the same time, thanks to the disproportionate amount of chocolate chunks littered over top.

Everyone has their own banana muffin/cupcake/cake/loaf recipe and I myself would be hardpressed to try a new recipe, but try these. They're unbelievably healthy (if you refrain from littering obscene amounts of chocolate chips over top, but really who can help themselves) and they're delicious. The fact that my younger brother Kyle devoured half a dozen of these for breakfast proves it. I tweaked my mom's recipe for banana bread, substituting the oil/butter with applesauce, using whole wheat flour in place of white, and adding ground flax seed and oat bran.

Click below for the recipe.

Mini Chocolate Chip Banana Cupcakes

Adapted from my mom’s recipe
Yield: 48 mini cupcakes 

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed, ground
  • 2 tablespoons oat bran
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 medium ripe bananas (about 1 ¼ cups), mashed
  • ½ cup apple sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling if desired


Preheat oven to 350F. Line two 24-cup mini cupcake trays with paper liners. 

In a small bowl, sift flour, ground flax seed, oat bran, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir mashed banana and apple sauce together. Add brown sugar and mix. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and stir until smooth. Mix in flour until thoroughly blended. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the muffin tins, filling them about three-fourths full. Sprinkle a couple chocolate chips on top of each muffin.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool slightly, and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.


  1. Kyleen

    Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins are a favorite at our house too! I use my Mom's recipe she found in an old Hershey's Chocolate Cookbook. My substitutions are similar to the ones you made.

    Printed off your recipe to try next time I need a banana muffin fix.

    PB and bananas are the best!

  2. I don't like bananas when they're ripe either. These look divine. Love love love.

  3. Despite my banana aversion, I love banana bread. Giant chunks of chocolate make everything better.

  4. Any muffins that are healthy are tops in my book. These look great!

  5. Kyleen, I love everything about muffins... and this is one that I would eat for breakfast, as a snack, and as a dessert and not feel guilty.

  6. these look like they came out perfectly and were a success!

  7. Nice to know muffins are the healthy version! Your mum is so good baking these for you. I would love to bake these for my son too :D

  8. "Healthy" you say? I'll take 10! They look great Kyleen, although I think I'd be putting the chocolate on top too! Don't want them too healthy, now, do we?! :D

  9. All banana muffins should have a liberal sprinkling of chocolate chips! This is perfect since I never have ripe bananas around.

  10. I am SO with you on bananas. They have to be almost green for me to eat them! Anything after that...and into banana bread they go! Or now...banana chocolate chip muffins. SWOON.

  11. I totally agree with you - if a banana has just one speck of brown on it, it has to wait to be made into banana bread, because I won't eat it!! :) And great idea to counterbalance the chocolate chips with healthy muffins! :) They look great!!

  12. I love bananas in baked goods. Another healthy looking treat! Thanks Kyleen. Going to save this one. The chocolate on top looks delish!

  13. These look delicious! I love muffins.

  14. i love banana and chocolate chip and pb together. it is my favorite combo in anything!! :)

  15. These look fab Kyleen - I want to steal the chocolate off the top of them.

  16. Love how you "healthified" these little muffins - great combo, my kids would love these!

  17. I'm the same way - I won't eat bananas unless they're perfect - I even like them underripe! I had 3 bananas WAY past their prime just hanging out in the fruit bowl, so I made this and the muffins are cooling on the counter. I snuck one - delicious! You'd never know they were healthy! I told my husband "I made you chocolate chip banana bread!" and he's so excited - no need for me to disclose that they're healthy. :) BTW as far as yield I got 24 mini muffins out of this, and then I had a little bit of leftover batter so I poured it into a ramekin and made a teensy mini cake (I just baked it way longer). Great recipe - thank you for sharing with us!

    1. Me too. One time, my mom bought supremely green bananas which didn't ripen even though they sat on the counter for a couple weeks and then my dad made a joke that I should eat them since I like underripe bananas.

      I'm so glad you liked the muffins! And I'll take the yield into note. My muffins were actually quite small and didn't puff up that much. Next time I'll try putting more batter in each cup. Thanks!

  18. Making these yummies this morning with my daughter! Can't wait to try them. Doesn't get much better than chocolate and bananas. Thanks for a healthy take on one of our favorite combos!

    1. Just coming back to say that Jane and I made these last weekend, and they were fabulous! Thanks, Kyleen!

  19. My kids would love these & I'm so glad you made them with whole wheat (something I'm trying to incorporate more and more into our diets)

  20. These are wonderful! I came across the recipe on Pinterest and I'm definitely adding this to my rotation of "healthier" snacks.


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