Whole Wheat Banana Molasses Muffins

closeup photo of banana muffin tops
They’re way healthier than they look

I’m not a big muffin fan, but it’s because I got so used to thinking of muffins as these giant cupcakes the size of my head. You know the ones from Costco that taste like they’re 50% sugar?

So when Kailee and I started making muffins to have some easy and healthy breakfasts I wasn’t completely on board. But these whole wheat molasses banana muffins with some oats and pecans thrown in are definitely going to get made again.

The molasses and bananas are the only added sweeteners, and there’s only a half cup of molasses between a dozen muffins… that’s like… a half tablespoon per muffin? Someone check that for me.

Anyway, these are really really good. And they’re easy to make! So if you think all muffin mixes come from a box, or all muffins come from Costco, then you should definitely give these a try. And as always, you can go straight down to the recipe by pressing here.

Easy & Delicious Muffins in Under an Hour

I didn’t have to do any grocery shopping for this recipe which is one reason it was so easy – it uses common pantry items and leans on molasses to bring its complex flavor to the party without using a whole bunch of additives or extra sugar. If you don’t have molasses then just use maple syrup, or honey (but seriously, molasses is the bomb and worth having around).

The trickiest part of any muffin recipe (or most baking where the subject is inside a tin) is getting them out of the tins after they come out of the oven. I used cupcake liners for this recipe mainly because we’re eating these on our way out the door and they were easier to transport that way, but they’re also a great way to make the recipe more foolproof if you’re worried about sticking.

Non-stick pans are useful too, of course. If you’re old school and without liners then just make sure you grease the tins well and use a knife to help edge out the muffins when they’re done.

I save the old wax wrappers from sticks of butter for greasing bakeware, or you can use oil on a paper towel… I don’t recommend the spray on oils like PAM. Not because I think they’re going to cause super cancer or anything, but I just don’t think a good home cook needs another thing to keep track of in the kitchen when we have things that serve the same purpose.

Other Things You’ll Want to Consider When Baking Muffins

The Sheet
This muffin recipe, and most others you’ll find, will usually be for a standard 3×4 muffin tin which will make… 12… yeah, 12 regular sized muffins! Then there are sheets that hold 24 regular sized muffins, sheets that have 24 smaller sized muffins, and sheets that make 48 mini muffins or cupcakes. A standard / regular sized muffin tin will hold just under a half cup of water per hole, so there’s an easy way to check if you’re not sure.

And if you’re using tins that make smaller muffins, then make sure you check for doneness before the recipe calls for as they’ll finish faster.

Filling The Holes
Getting batter into the holes can be messy if you’re just using your fingers and a spoon. I use a trigger ice cream scoop like this one below which keeps my hands clean and lets me get the batter into the hole without fiddling around with an extra spoon or spatula.

If you’d like to see the Amazon page for the trigger scoop, use this link: STC.com/trigger-scoop

Of course, that’s just a quality of life thing. It’s just batter and won’t hurt anything if you make a little mess. But if you think muffin/cupcake baking is going to be your thing then you’ll probably appreciate a trigger scoop.

Pictures of the Process

Here’s more or less how my muffin baking went. Props to Kailee for letting my steal her happy light so I could get better photos. The joys of a bootstrapped cooking blog!

All the ingredients ready to go

Getting everything laid out doesn’t just make for a pretty picture, it let’s you double check that you have everything before you get started. It will also make the whole process much smoother if you have everything measured out before you start mixing everything together.

mash mash mash

I used my potato masher to make fast work of the ripe bananas, but a fork or wooden spoon could work as well if you don’t have a masher. The banana should be pretty liquified by the time you’re done with it.

all mixed together and ready for the tin

After mixing in all the other ingredients… I know, I probably should have taken more photos but I got pretty invested in the actual… you know… cooking part of this cooking blog that I forgot.

ready for the oven

Wow, that’s bright. Someone should edit these photos better. Again, I used the trigger scoop to get these into the tin without a big mess. Before I had a trigger scoop I’d get batter all over my hands and on the baking sheet trying to scoop it over. And I get to feel like I work at Baskin Robins, so that’s a plus.

And then finished muffins, yaaaay!

closeup photo of banana muffin tops
BAM…ana!

And that’s all folks. Really easy, delicious banana muffins with a twist of molasses that you may not have tried before. Give it a try and let me know what you think, or if you have any questions, down in the comments below.

This recipe is inspired by a great post by CookieAndKate.com – Kate produces some great photos and vegetarian recipes. Check out her original recipe here: http://cookieandkate.com/2015/healthy-banana-muffins-recipe/ and let her know who sent you.

Check out the recipe below!

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Print Recipe
Healthy Molasses Banana Nut Muffins
These healthy banana muffins get their dark side from molasses that have them bursting with flavor without adding extra sugar. It's an easy and healthy recipe with common ingredients that you can whip up for weekday breakfasts or a work meeting.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Muffins
Toppings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Muffins
Toppings
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and get all the ingredients out. Prep your muffin tin if it's not nonstick with liners or grease it with butter.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon).
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and molasses until thoroughly mixed together.
  4. In a large bowl, mash the bananas until they seem liquidy. Add the olive oil/molasses mixture, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Beat/stir until well incorporated.
  5. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix in the dry ingredients until no streaks of flour remain. Then fold in the chopped pecans and oats until evenly spread throughout the batter.
  6. Evenly distribute the batter through the prepared muffin tin. If you're going to do the caremalized banana topping then prepare this now (instructions in the notes below). If not, top with oats and chopped pecans, bake for 25 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the middle, if it comes out clean then they're done - if it comes out with bits of muffin/batter then bake for another 2-3 minutes and check again. Mine were done after about 28 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes in the tin, then remove and finish cooling on a wire rack. If you used a grease pan, have a knife handy to slide between the muffin sides and tin to help release cleanly.
Recipe Notes

How to Make the Caramelized Banana Topping

The caramelized banana topping is totally optional. I mainly did it because the batter was really dark from the molasses, and I wanted the pictures to have an obvious banana component.... okay, and we totally used the extra caramelized bananas over ice cream.

If you want to make them, simply slice one or two bananas into quarter-inch disks. Melt one tablespoon of unsalted butter per banana in a pan over medium to medium-high heat. Once the butter is bubbling, add equal parts sugar (one tablespoon per banana) and the sliced bananas. Stir to incorporate the sugar and to coat the bananas. Cook until softened and caramelized, 5-10 minutes... longer if you're going to turn it into a sauce over ice cream!

Use a spoon or small rubber spatula to place a caramelized banana slice on the top of each unbaked muffin before they go in the oven.