First, I should state that bananas are my favorite fruit. I think that makes me biased toward foods that retain an actual banana flavor without other ingredients overpowering it. It doesn’t mean that I would leave nuts or cinnamon out of banana bread, but sometimes I find simple to be best. Here’s a case in point. These Banana Muffins from Martha Stewart—and you can find a wide variety of banana muffins attributed to her—might have the most authentic banana flavor I have ever had in a muffin, and that’s even with the additions of whole wheat flour, brown sugar, and sour cream. They have a moist cake-like texture, instead of that drier crumbly texture of typical muffins which I love, but they are just so darned good, that as far as bananas go, this is going to be my go-to recipe for muffins. I fought the urge to tinker with the original recipe by adding nuts or cinnamon right up to the end, and then decided to make it a test of the recipe, and it was a good decision.
Martha Stewart Banana Muffins
Find the original recipe here and below: http://www.marthastewart.com/345534/banana-muffins
Preheat oven to 350°; line muffin tin with paper liners.
4 ripe bananas, plus 1 for garnish
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste)
- Peel four bananas, and place them in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until mashed, about 1 minute.
- Add brown sugar, oil, and egg; beat until smooth.
- Add flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; beat until smooth.
- Add sour cream and vanilla; beat until combined.
- Fill muffin liners three-quarters full. Slice remaining banana into 1/8-inch-thick rounds; place a slice on each muffin.
- Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes for regular muffins and 20 for mini, rotating pan halfway through. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Store, covered, at room temperature.
I filled my muffin cups 3/4 full and had enough batter left over to pour into a buttered mini loaf pan. 25 minutes worked exactly for my muffins. I had been concerned that the banana slices would sink into the batter, but they came out just as described.