Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Muffins are Bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

You probably think I have some sort of banana obsession, and to tell you the truth, that might not be too far off the mark. I do love baking with bananas and while I've shared my old stand-by banana bread recipe with you, I am always looking for new variations.

I came across a muffin recipe on another blog yesterday and decided to try it, mostly because the oatmeal crumb topping looked pretty delicious. It also had an unusual ingredient that caught my eye: vinegar. Yes, you read that right. Vinegar. I did a double-take, too.

The blogger claimed that vinegar adds a "brightness" to the recipe, which is something I hear often (not in reference to banana bread, but when vinegar is added in general). Before I read the recipe in detail, I thought for sure the real reason must be to create the same flavor profile you'd achieve with buttermilk (sometimes a bit of vinegar or lemon juice will be added to regular milk to create a buttermilk substitute). Then I realized there was no milk in this recipe.

Whether I ever uncover the purpose of the vinegar or not, these muffins were delicious. I've had a hard time topping my favorite banana bread recipe, but these muffins might rank right up there. Oh, and I added an extra ingredient to give them my own twist ... coconut in the topping!

Banana Oatmeal-Coconut Crumb Muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar

For Topping:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cold butter
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup toasted coconut, optional (see note)

Prehat oven to 375 degrees (or, in my case with my super hot oven, 350). Prepare a 12 cup muffin tin.

Place topping ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, stir together the mashed banana, sugar, egg, butter, vanilla, and vinegar. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. (Do not over mix.)

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the muffins. Bake for 20 minutes (mine came out of the oven perfectly done after 16 minutes). Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: The coconut is, of course, optional. The original recipe didn't call for it, but I'm on a bit of a coconut kick lately and thought it would be a delicious addition (and I was right ... as usual.) I had some leftover coconut that I had already toasted on hand, but it's very simple to toast your coconut either in the oven or on the stovetop. If you choose to use the oven method, heat the oven to 350 degrees, spread your coconut flakes in an even layer on a baking sheet, and bake about 5 minutes, stirring coconut a couple times. Keep an eye on it because it can burn easily. If you choose to use the stovetop method, heat a heavy skillet over medium heat, spread the coconut flakes in an even layer in the skillet and stir gently for about 5 minutes.


  1. Oooh, what a great combination! I always have the hardest time choosing between coconut and banana cream pies, so whenever those two flavors are combined, I'm all over it! And coconut IN streusel..brilliant idea!

  2. I have to admit, it was a pretty genius idea :) I still think it needs even more coconut, though!