Biting into a fresh, fluffy chocolate chip banana muffin early in the morning is guaranteed to start your day on the right foot. The combination of gooey chocolate chips and sweet bananas is unbeatable. The smell alone that will fill the kitchen while they bake will instantly lift your spirits.
Banana bread has taken the world by storm in recent years because it’s easy enough for a novice baker to whip up with ease and is made with only basic pantry ingredients. These vegan chocolate chip banana muffins are treats well beyond breakfast too, perfect for dessert, a snack, or anytime sweet cravings strike.
If you want a comforting meal on the go, baking a batch of muffins along with your other meal prep is a great way to save time during the week. Despite making a generous dozen muffins per batch, you can double the recipe to bake for a crowd. Leftover muffins freeze and thaw beautifully, so you’ll never run out.
Whether you want just a one-bite pick-me-up or a full loaf, it’s easy to adapt this recipe for any size of baking pan you prefer.
All-purpose flour is the gold standard for soft, tender, yet sturdy baked goods. If you want to add in a serving of whole grains, light spelt flour is an excellent alternative, containing much more fiber and a subtly nutty wheat flavor. If you want to make gluten-free muffins, you can substitute this with a gluten-free flour mixture that measures the same as conventional flour.
It’s hard to beat that warm, cozy spice, especially paired with the fruity sweetness of bananas. To really amplify the flavor, try toasting your ground cinnamon in a dry skillet for about 5 minutes. As a bonus, the whole house will smell amazing!
The most popular fruit in the entire world, bananas are always in hot demand. The trouble is that they ripen so quickly, it’s easy to end up with a surplus on hand. This recipe is a great way to make use of those super ripe, spotty bananas, so don’t even dream of tossing them out!
Offering much more than just straight sweetness, maple syrup has a distinctly woodsy, earthy flavor and gorgeous amber-brown color. It also contains more minerals, nutrients, and vitamins than other common sweeteners.
Though solid at room temperature, coconut oil melts easily at 77°F (30°C). Virgin coconut oil has a subtle tropical taste, whereas refined coconut oil is completely flavorless.
Everything is better with a little bit of chocolate, right? Bittersweet or dark chocolate works best in this recipe to balance out the sweetness in the batter, but you can use any vegan variety you’d prefer. For even bigger chunks of chocolate in every mouthful, use a roughly chopped chocolate bar instead.
Muffins are an easy way to get started if you’re new to vegan baking. You can’t go too far wrong with this fool-proof recipe, but there are a few simple tricks to remember for baking up the best batch yet.
1. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients. This is called the “muffin method” specifically because it’s the most efficient way to combine the two mixtures without having flour go everywhere when you start to stir.
2. Don’t overmix the batter. Though it’s tempting to beat out all the lumps, it’s better to leave a few once the rest of the batter is smooth. Avoid creating extra gluten by mixing too much, which makes tougher baked goods.
3. Use the center rack in the oven. Too close to the bottom or the top, and they’ll burn before they’re cooked all the way through. Keep the pan in the middle of the oven for more even cooking.
4. Don’t overcook the muffins. Start checking at the earliest estimate for the baking time range, inserting a toothpick into the center of the muffins. If it pulls out cleanly, with maybe just one or two moist crumbs sticking to it, they’re all done! If it comes out coated in wet batter, they still need a few more minutes.
If you want to increase the nutrition, feel free to switch out all-purpose flour for something like light spelt flour. You can also add chopped walnuts to the batter, or completely omit the chocolate chips and only use walnuts instead. Also, if you’d like the recipe to be oil-free, you can swap out the coconut oil for unsweetened applesauce.
Make sure to always use super ripe bananas! You might think that a spotty banana with a lot of black marks is bad, but this kind of banana is absolutely perfect for these vegan chocolate chip muffins. A recipe like this is a great way to use bananas that are about to go bad. If you don’t have the time or ingredients to make muffins right away, you can freeze ripe bananas and save them for your next baking day.
Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins photos by Kathy Chrzaszcz for World of Vegan. Recipe and photographs copyright of World of Vegan™, all rights reserved.