Banana-Peanut Butter Muffins

May we agree that banana and peanut butter are one of food's great romances? But then stir in a little chocolate? Oh, heaven. These quick muffins are made with healthy 100% whole-wheat flour and are less sweet than most muffins. For Banana-Peanut Butter Cupcakes? Just drizzle the muffin tops with a little Peanut Butter Frosting.

Banana-Peanut Butter Muffins ♥ With mini chocolate chips? Heaven!

Warm Muffins, Made from Scratch in Minutes. Mix by Hand, No Mixer Required. Real Food, Fresh & Family-Tested. Budget Friendly.

Take Cover. NOW.

Mom chasing two toddlers on a wall.

The joke in the family is, “If ever there’s a hurricane named Jackson or Jerome, take cover. NOW.”

That’s because the havoc wreaked by two-year old twins is matched only by – well, moms, YOU know how much disorder is created by one toddler, let alone two, both so curious about the world flowering before their eyes, so energized by the world beneath their swift-scissor legs.

It’s quite amazing for me, never a mother, to watch these little tykes grow up, moving from too-many scary weeks in the NICU to can’t-hold-‘em-down toddlers.

The older one is cerebral and intense. He is wiry and eats with fervor. The younger one – born just minutes later but on the next day, yes, separate birthdays! – is athletic and relaxed. He is stocky and prefers the toybox to the highchair.

So call me excited when both boys plus their best-ever-big-brother Blake all greeted these muffins-cum-cupcakes with happy smiles and reached for seconds with stubby-sticky fingers.

Quick Update. The twinzz just turned 13. Yes, teenagers! And better still, lovely young almost-men.

The morning of their 13th birthday party, I mixed a batch of these muffins. It was total happenstance, Only later, updating the recipe here online, did I connect the two birthdays.

Yes, I cried. What were the odds?

Muffins? Cupcakes??

So are Banana-Peanut Butter Muffins muffins or cupcakes?

It depends.

As muffins, they’re sweet but not too sweet, able to pass as sweet-ish breakfast muffins or a less-sweet after-supper treat.

As cupcakes with even just a drizzle of peanut butter icing, they’re definitely cake but less sweet than other cakes.

Banana-Peanut Butter Muffins ♥ With mini chocolate chips? Heaven!

What's In Banana-Peanut Butter Muffins? Pantry Ingredients!

In all my recipes and most well-written recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. It's not that an ingredient can't be substituted by something else but when choosing the substitute, it's important to understand why the original ingredient was present in the first place.

  • Banana You'll need about a cup of ripe, mashed banana.
  • Peanut Butter Just a couple of tablespoons, smooth, chunky, whatever you have on hand.
  • Brown Sugar Dark or light, whatever you have on hand.
  • Egg Just one, a large egg. Could you use a flax "egg" to make the muffins vegan? I think so!
  • Vegetable Oil That means a clear, pourable vegetable oil like Crisco or canola or safflower. Could you use an equivalent amount of melted butter? Sure.
  • Whole Wheat Flour It's a rare muffin that calls for all whole-wheat flour. Usually, whole-wheat flour is mixed with some all-purpose flour to lighten the end product. But here, whole-wheat flour works beautifully. Could you substitute all-purpose flour? or bread flour? or white whole-wheat flour or a gluten-free flour specially formulated for baked goods like muffins? Yes, I think you'd have great results with each of these, muffins are pretty forgiving of substitute ingredients. That said, I only make these muffins with whole-wheat flour.
  • Leavening Both baking powder and baking soda.
  • Spices Cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Salt I use and recommend table salt for baking, its small grains evenly distribute the saltiness throughout the muffin batter. A finely ground sea salt would also work but you might up the volume.
  • Add-Ins These are truly optional but here, we're really into a small measure of mini chocolate chips. Why mini? Because every muffin gets small bits of chocolate flavor.
Batter for Banana-Peanut Butter Muffins batter ♥ With mini chocolate chips? Heaven!

For Best Results

For my weekly column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, I interviewed chefs and translated their restaurant recipes for home kitchens. The most iluminating question? "How can a home cook ensure the same results?" So now I ask that question of myself, too, for my own recipes. Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

Wait for the Bananas to Ripen! The riper the bananas, the stronger the banana flavor. How ripe? The short answer is: "Bananas with brown spots are not yet ripe enough." The answer might surprise you. Ripe Bananas for Baking: How Ripe Should Bananas Be?

Work Out Sugary Lumps Brown sugar tends to form tiny lumps of concentrated brown sugar after a bag or box is opened, even before if it sits in the pantry for awhile. You can pull out the lumps and toss 'em. Or you can work them out before mixing in other ingredients. Just put the brown sugar in your mixing bowl and use the back of a spoon to press/smash the lumps against the side of the bowl.

"Don't Overmix the Batter" Most recipes include this admonition. But what, exactly, does it mean to avoid over-mixing?

The truth is, over-mixing isn't, like, fatal. If you do over-mix a batter, the muffins (or cake or quick bread) may form small tunnels while baking in the oven. So the appearance is affected but not the taste or shelf-life or anything really important.

The truth is, you can "over-mix" all you like up until the moment the flour, baking soda and baking powder go in. That's why many recipes, including this muffin recipe, call for mixing these ingredients separately, all on their own, before stirring them into the batter. This means that the leavening (and salt, spices, anything that's small and dry) can be evenly and completely distributed throughout the flour before being combined with the wet batter.

Okay, so I promised I'd tell you how to now over-mix a muffin batter. First, mix the wet ingredients all you like, go to town, stir and whisk and combine and mix them until they become their own single entity. Then, if you've separately mixed the flour with the baking powder, etc., pour that flour mixture across the bowl, across the whole wet batter. If you used a whisk for the wet ingredients, it's time to switch to a wooden spoon or a large serving spoon or a large meat fork or a small spatula to continue mixing. Now stir the flour into the wet batter. The goal is to unify the batter with as few strokes as possible. Stroke by stroke, mix in the most floury area into the most-mixed area, be sure to dig deep into the bottom of the bowl to include that batter. Once all the floury areas are mixed in, stop! It's okay if there are still a few floury bits on the side of the bowl.

Banana-Peanut Butter Muffins ♥ With mini chocolate chips? Heaven!

What Makes These Muffins Special

  • Magical combination of banana, peanut butter and chocolate.
  • Flexibility to move sweeter toward cupcakes.
  • Calls for healthy all 100% whole-wheat flour.
  • Kids love 'em! Grown-ups too!
  • No mixer required, just a bowl and a whisk or a spoon.
  • On the table in mere minutes.
  • Ready to get started? Here's your recipe!

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this easy muffin recipe hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Banana-Peanut Butter Muffins ♥ With mini chocolate chips? Heaven!


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Makes 12 regular-size muffins or 36 mini muffins
  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (33g) smooth or chunky peanut butter
  • 1 cup (250g) mashed banana from 2-3 very ripe bananas (how ripe should bananas be for baking?)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup (65g) vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup (50g) mini chocolate chips (our favorite) or peanut butter chips
  • - or -
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
  • About 1 teaspoon raw sugar, for each muffin top

Heat the oven to 400F/200C. Spray the muffin tins with baking spray.

WET INGREDIENTS In a large bowl, mix the wet ingredients with a wooden spoon or whisk until well blended.

ADD-IN Turn in any Add-Ins.

DRY INGREDIENTS Separately, stir together the dry ingredients, then gently turn into the wet mixture, mixing just until blended.

FILL With two spoons, one to scoop and one to scrape, fill the muffin tins equally.

FINISH If you like, for a sweet, crackly finish, lightly sprinkle each muffin with about a teaspoon of raw sugar.

BAKE Bake for 15 minutes for regular-size muffins or 10 minutes for mini muffins or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

COOL Let cool for 5 minutes before turning out of the muffin tray.

SERVE Lovely warm from the oven, best the same day.

ALANNA’s TIPS When brown sugar starts off with lumps, be sure to work them out or toss them out before adding any other ingredients. Otherwise you’ll end up with crunchy burned bits throughout the muffins.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Muffin (excluding an add-in): 277 Calories; 7g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 17mg Cholesterol; 249mg Sodium; 25g Carb; 2g Fiber; 11g Sugar; 4g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 4 & PointsPlus 5 & SmartPoints 7 & Freestyle 6 & myWW green 6 & blue 6 & purple 6 & future WW points
Adapted from Muffins, A Cookbook (affiliate link), a fun little self-published cookbook by Joan Bidinosti and Marilyn Wearring, Canadians who in 1982 acted on their children’s suggestion, "Mum, you should write a muffin cookbook." Many thanks to my own mum’s friend (and mine!) Margie and her daughter Kirsten for suggesting the cookbook and this, their favorite recipe from it! I happened to find a used copy on Amazon for a few dollars but since it’s out of print, you’ll need to watch for a good price. Still, I can’t but wonder if today’s kids don’t say, "Mum, you should write a food blog." My Disclosure Promise


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time-to-table: 10 minutes
Makes about 2/3 cup, enough for icing the entire batch

Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 2 tablespoons peanut butter and 2 tablespoon brown sugar until the sugar melts. Stir in 2 tablespoons milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla and about a cup of powdered sugar.

More Favorite Muffin Recipes

~ muffin recipes ~
Sunshine Orange Muffins ♥, barely sweet, sweetened mostly with a whole orange and one of my favorite pantry ingredients for a flavor boost, frozen orange juice concentrate.

Make-Ahead Bran Muffin Batter ♥, mix now, bake in small batches later, including a single microwave bran muffin in a mug.

Sunshine Orange Muffins ♥, barely sweet, sweetened mostly with a whole orange and one of my favorite pantry ingredients for a flavor boost, frozen orange juice concentrate.

Bakers ♥ Baking with Bananas

~ bananas recipes ~
Shhh Banana Bread ♥, healthy low-fat banana bread, just 1 tablespoon oil and whole wheat flour. Weight Watchers Friendly!

Banana Nut Cake with Caramel Frosting ♥, my mom's famous recipe, a great special-occasion cake yet simple enough to make often. Plus, a new banana technique: no more waiting for bananas to ripen! Recipe, tips, nutrition & WW points included.

Banana Oatmeal Cookies ♥, oatmeal cookies with a banana twist.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ peanut butter recipes ~
~ banana recipes ~
~ chocolate recipes ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2011 & 20222 (repub)

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. While I L.O.V.E. your recipes and your blog, I really don't want the ads in your emails - any chance we can opt out?

  2. Hi Susan, I L.O.V.E. your taking the time to speak out, thanks! The short answer is 'no'. But the longer explanation is that all of us (those who publish online, the companies that provide services for those who publish online) are looking for ways to be paid for our work. (I'm sure you hear the same discussions on NPR, the NYT, all over the media.) At the moment, the only real game is advertising. Both the e-mail services I use provide their services to me at no cost. I provide recipes to you at no cost. The "price" -- if you will -- is an ad or two in your messages and on these pages. I hope that this long explanation helps you understand a little about what happens in the background.

  3. Oh, yes, Alanna :)

    PS I love that you've provided metric measurements in grams for your European readers. Next time we meet up, you need to explain the big difference between a muffin and a cupcake - I'm forever confused ;(

  4. The muffins look wonderful, but what's even better is to know that the little twins are doing well!!

  5. Love your excellent response to the first comment. Well said! I also could have a lot of fun with that peanut butter frosting -- the method is so great! The muffin/cupcake dilemma is interesting...I've been focusing on muffins with much less fat, so they are beginning to seem more cakey. Hadn't thought of that before.

  6. Thanks for the ever wonderful recipes! Just took my muffins out of the oven, they smell delicious. As a European in the US who still hasn't the whole cup-measuring system fully figured out, I appreciate the grams...

    I am inspired by your blog almost daily when planning my meals. Looking forward to many more recipes from you!


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna