Banana Muffins

This recipe isn’t anything ground breaking or new, but it’s super easy and the caramel butter icing takes your average banana muffin from good to great. Perfect for an afternoon snack or dessert! Equally, additions such as blueberries, chocolate chips, raspberries, nuts etc.. make for a decadent breakfast that’ll pair perfectly with your morning cup of tea or coffee.


Here are a few tips:

  1. Make sure you use over ripe bananas, the riper they are the moister the muffins will be!
  2. When you combine the two together, only mix until they combine. If you over mix the wet with the dry, your muffins will be heavy, tough, and dense.
  3. Fill your muffin pans all the way to the top. Set the initial oven temperature high, then lower it as the muffins bake. Setting the oven to a “high temperature burst” lifts the muffin top up quickly and creates a tall crust.

Recipe

Recipe from the blog Sally’s Baking Addiction

For the Banana Muffins

3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (very careful not to overmeasure)

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup caster sugar

¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar

1 cup (240ml) milk, at room temperature

1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil

3/4 cup mashed banana (2 small, very ripe bananas)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Caramel Butter Icing

250 g salted butter (softened)

500g icing sugar (sieved)

4 tbsp caramel sauce or a few drops of caramel essence

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees(C). Fill a muffin pan with cases and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, gently toss together flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix until all dry ingredients are combined – a 20 second toss to disburse everything together. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and granulated sugar until combined. Whisk in milk, oil, mashed bananas, and vanilla extract. Mixture will be pale and yellow.
  4. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix everything together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Avoid over-mixing, which will produce tough, dense muffins. Gently mix until all the flour is off the bottom of the bowl and no big pockets of flour remain. The batter will be extremely thick and somewhat lumpy.
    Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling all the way to the top.
  5. Bake muffins at 200 degrees(C) for 5 minutes. Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce oven temperature to 180 degrees(C) and continue to bake for 25-26 minutes until tops are lightly golden. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
  6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  7. To make the butter icing, put the softened butter, caramel sauce or essence and half of the icing sugar into a medium bowl and beat well.
  8. Slowly add the remaining icing sugar, tasting after each addition until the icing is sweet enough. You may not need to use all of the icing sugar, if the icing starts to become too stiff you can add a little bit of milk to loosen it up.
  9. Fill a prepared piping bag with the butter icing and pipe swirls on top of the cooled muffins. I like to use a star shaped nozzle for cupcakes and muffins.
  10. Top with slices of banana (either fresh or dried banana – the dried banana will keep better if not being eaten on the day of baking)
  11. Muffins taste best fresh the same day. Store muffins at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. (They also freeze well ~up to 3 months).

Mary Berry’s Banana Bread

Don’t get me wrong, I love bananas, however once they start to turn brown I won’t touch them. I like them almost under ripe so that the fruit inside is still firm.

So, what are you meant to do with all of those bananas that you forgot about in the back of your cupboard or in your fruit bowl that are now past their best by quite some way?

For me, the answer has to be banana bread. It is utterly delicious and the natural sweetness of the fruit lends itself perfectly to baking! While it’s still not as healthy as eating bananas by themselves,  it’s at least slightly better than a cupcake smothered in copious amounts of butter icing or a deep fried, sugar coated doughnut.

When I told one of my friends that I was making banana bread they threw up a bit of a par-larva about the name. Which to be fair is understandable seeing as, strictly speaking, banana bread is more of a loaf- shaped cake.

Personally I’ve never understood the difference between banana bread and banana cake, and seeing as I can’t come up with a reasonable explanation I’m guessing that it probably isn’t all that significant! In fact, categorising it as a bread rather than a cake just legitimises it’s consumption at any time or hour of the day (i.e. making eating cake for breakfast socially acceptable), explaining why this is such a popular and successful recipe!

 

 

The great thing about banana bread is that it doesn’t matter how long they’ve been sitting in the back of your cupboard for forgotten about. In fact, in order to make the best banana bread it’s a well known fact that your bananas should be so ripe that they practically dance into the oven by themselves.

When I’m in need of a recipe quite frankly there’s only one person to turn to, and that is of course the queen of baking Mary Berry. This recipe has everything you’d want from banana bread, it’s moist, hearty and packed full of flavour!

I’ve added blueberries to the recipe but this isn’t strictly necessary, it just depends on how adventurous you are with your banana bread. Feel free to stick to the classic recipe or make your own additions such as chocolate chips, raspberries, peanut butter chips etc etc…

Mary Berry’s Banana Loaf Recipe

Ingredients

100g Softened Butter

175g Caster Sugar

2 Large Eggs

2 Ripe Bananas (mashed)

225g Self Raising Flour

1 tsp. Baking Powder

2 tbsp. Milk

150g blueberries

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / Fan 160C / Gas 4.
  2. Lightly grease a 2lb loaf tin, then line the base and sides with greased proof paper.
  3. Measure all ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat for about 2 minutes, until well blended.
  4. Fold in the blueberries.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface. At this point you can sprinkle a few oats on top before baking.
  6. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 1 hour, until well risen and golden brown. A fine skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean if the loaf is ready.
  7. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out, peel of the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Happy Baking! x