I wasn't planning to write a post about these banana muffins. They were just something me and the kiddos were whipping up on a Saturday morning. Pretty much every food blogger and their Great Aunt Estelle has published a banana muffin recipe, so why would I? Two reasons: (1) they were unusually delicious (B) I worked out a way to make them in a single bowl, which cuts down the mess and makes it easier with munchkins.
The trick to using a single bowl is trivial. I get all the wet ingredients and the salt thoroughly mixed. Then the flour and leavening is combined in a sieve and sifted directly into the wet. By the time you fold them together, the leavening is distributed just fine. That might not be good enough for a layer cake you are hoping to medal with at the state fair, but in these muffins you'll never know the difference.
Here's a good tip for baking with very young kids: get out all the ingredients and tools you need first, before you have them join you. That way you won't be rooting around in the cabinets while they threaten to dump softened butter on the cat.
If we have bananas that have gotten too ripe to eat out of hand, I always freeze them for banana muffins or banana bread. If you are using frozen, just defrost them in the microwave first. Otherwise, if you are using fresh, you'll see that I still microwave them a bit along with the butter, to make them mash more evenly.
We used lots of vanilla and a good amount of salt to bring out the banana flavor. If you want to add chopped and roasted nuts or chocolate chips, you certainly have my blessing! Just fold them in at the end.
One-Bowl Banana Muffins
Vegetarian; not vegan nor gluten-free
Yields 10 good sized muffins
- 2 large ripe bananas, peeled
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat the oven to 375, convection if you have it. Line 10 spots in a muffins tin with muffin/cupcake liners.
- Put the bananas in a large, microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Add the butter and microwave 20 seconds at a time until the butter is softened but not melted. (It is fine if a little bit of it melts).
- Using a potato masher or whatever you have to hand, mash the bananas and butter together until there isn't a lot of lumpiness left.
- Thoroughly stir in the sugar, beaten egg, milk, vanilla extract, and salt.
- Place a sieve over the bowl and fill it with the flour, baking power and baking soda. Sift the contents into the wet ingredients, trying to stir the sieve as you go to distribute the leaveners.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Stop when they are just moistened. We'd rather have a couple lumps than risk overbeating it and having tough muffins.
- Distribute the batter into the tins. Bake until quite dark brown, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry, rotating once about halfway through baking. Total baking time in my convection oven was about 25 minutes.