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banana-nut muffins to the rescue!

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By Jen White · February 2, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

[Bake and freeze, for those days when life is too hard to make toast.]

When January 1 was just a glimmer on the horizon, I started thinking about making some resolutions--something I don't usually make, but I felt up to it this year. I'm turning 40, why not resolve to do something to improve my life, or better yet, some things?  I spent a few weeks toying with ideas, but I didn't want to make any resolutions that were going to set me on a sure course to fail.  If there's one thing I've learned in all these years as a human, it's that failing myself doesn't feel good.

I did not resolve to exercise three times a week, or to go on a diet, or to read 52 books this year.  I did resolve, however, to eat breakfast every day.

I've become a breakfast-skipper over the past few years, and it's not something I'm proud of.  I LOVE breakfast, don't get me wrong.  But my work schedule is such that sometimes I sleep till...well...till 10 or 11 in the morning: practically lunchtime. So there have been many days when I've had to skip breakfast just due to timing concerns.  Most of the time, I'm up plenty early for breakfast, but I get too busy doing Nothing Productive on the interwebs and I neglect my hunger pangs, sending my whole entire day into a tizzy.  So since January 1, I've been trying hard to eat something for breakfast every single morning, whether it's toast and jam, a quesadilla, or when I'm really feeling it, a smoothie.  But sometimes life gets too hard even for toast. Sometimes you have a bad cold, or the winter doldrums, or you're unable to imagine preparing any sort of food fit for anyone.  I have had these mornings lately.  Yesterday, I got tough, and baked a batch of my favorite banana-nut muffins to freeze so I will always--at least until this batch runs out--have something to start my engine in the morning.  Not a bad way to start it, I might add.

This recipe is one of my long-standing, tried-and-true faves.  I don't know where I got the original or what I changed about it, but I've been making it for a long, long time.  These are cakey, buttery muffins veering just short of cupcake status.  Bake them up, wrap each one individually in plastic, and toss them all in a big freezer bag.  They'll thaw on the kitchen counter in under an hour.  P.s.: Add chocolate chips if you like.

banana-nut muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar (I use a scant cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 large)
  • 3/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans (I toast them in a small, dry skillet until fragrant)


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners.*
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; whisk together.  Set aside.
  3. In another medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla.  Stir in banana with a rubber spatula.
  4. Add dry ingredients to banana mixture, stirring just until moistened (do not overmix).  Gently stir in nuts.
  5. Fill muffin cups almost full, and bake at 350 for 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown on top and slightly firm to the touch.  Cool on a wire rack.


*Makes 12 muffins, but I usually end up with 11.  This is because I like muffins slightly bigger than the way they come out if I make 12, so I just fill 11 cups with batter, and put a little water in the bottom of the empty cup so it doesn't scorch in the oven.  Because they're bigger, they take a few extra minutes to bake, but I've got no problem with that.

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