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Crunchy brown sugared muffin tops lead the way to moist and tender banana centers, studded with plenty of toasty pecans!
It’s APRIL! The best month!
Not just because it happens to be my married last name, but because we’re finally past those first awful months of the year, spring has sprung, FAF celebrates a birthday (only 9 days away– stay tuned for a special post and giveaway that day!), and summer is so close, we can almost taste it.
Oh, unless you’re in our neck of the woods, and you got SNOW on Monday. Like… Worst April Fool’s Day joke a day late ever, universe. Thankfully, nothing stuck, but let’s not do that one again.
Also… Things are getting real for real over here. We are just 6 weeks away from our due date with this second little boy and I am equally excited as I am freaked the heck out and in complete disbelief that 2 under 2 is about to be our reality for a hot second as we march on into newborn life again.
Ohhh, newborn life. What are we thinking?!
In all seriousness, we are feeling a bit more prepared this time around, both mentally, physically, emotionally, and, thanks to a bit of a self-imposed “spring break” of sorts, our FREEZER is stocked with, oh, about a million muffins and other things.
I took a few days off of work to not only stock up on some things to have when we come home to complete chaos but also so that I have some content through my maternity leave.
I naively thought I would spend my leave with Joey baking and photographing and blogging all the time.
Are you laughing? Because I am.
Since 2018 is all about Muffins of The Month, I have been making muffins for days. I have 4 kinds in the freezer (this one included), and one in the pantry that we are working through (they’re sort of like this toddler muffin but a little more for adults, too, and we have been munching on them since the weekend), so that’s muffins clear through July.
Also in there is a baked ziti and a NEW breakfast casserole that’s coming your way in a few weeks (edit: find that breakfast enchilada bake here)! I will not starve this maternity leave, that’s for sure.
This muffin is probably at the top of my list right now, even though we still have 8 more muffins to work through during the rest of the year. It is absolutely one killer of a muffin, and I have been lovin’ up on this recipe for about 10 years now. The recipe comes from Betty herself, but specifically from my MIL.
She’s been making Betty’s banana bread for as long as Matt can remember, and ohhhh man is it a perfect little recipe! I made a few tweaks and turned it into muffins for our little monthly muffin party, and they turned out just as amazing as I expected them to.
Little bits of handheld banana bread, perfect for snacking, breakfasting, and especially perfect for little toddler hands.
If you peek at the recipe, you’ll see it calls for water. Water? Yeah, water. I thought about trying out some milk or buttermilk, but I just didn’t want to mess with a good thing.
Betty knows what she’s talking about, and this 1980something recipe has stood the test of time in the April family, so why mess with it? Just go with the water, folks. I promise.
I also added a touch of cinnamon because WHY NOT? Bananas, nuts, and cinnamon? Oh yeah. Go with that one too.
Ok, now why I love these muffins so much– while I would never turn away a loaf of banana bread, there’s something special about these little muffins. The tops get toasty with the pecans and they turn a little bit crunchy with all that brown sugar business going on.
Slightly crunchy tops making way to moist and fluffy banana centers.
All the things you love about a slice of banana bread, but you get the slightly crunchy top every single time, not just closer to the edges. That is a winnnnnner in my book!
These banana muffins are the perfect “2 banana muffins” for those times you have 2 bananas hanging out, going brown. Buuuut I know letting bananas go or discovering bananas have turned may not always be the best timing when you’re feeling a sweet treat, so go ahead and freeze some turned bananas!
We almost always have 2 bananas frozen together for times just like this. Simply thaw in the fridge and use as normal. Easy peasy!
I’m so glad I married into a family who takes its banana bread as seriously as all people should. Thanks to their bone-deep love for Betty’s recipe, you all get to share in the love via muffins.
Handheld banana bread, basically. Who wouldn’t automatically love that too??
Banana Nut Muffins
- 1 and 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 3 medium or 2 large bananas mashed (about 1 and 1/2 cups)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts I prefer pecans or walnuts, reserve about 2 Tablespoons for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Spray the wells of a 12 count muffin pan with non-stick spray or line them with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with a handheld mixer, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat both of the sugars and butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and beat again until completely incorporated. Add the banana and the water and beat again until everything is combined.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, stopping when everything is just incorporated. Stir in the nuts with a spatula.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared wells. I like to use an ice cream scoop with a thumb trigger. Sprinkle some reserved nuts on top of the batter. Bake the muffins for 8 minutes, then without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 350ºF and bake for an additional 13-15 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Muffins stay fresh kept in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days or in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Muffins freeze well, up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature before enjoying or pop in the microwave for about 15 seconds to warm up.