Easy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

May 6, 2020 (Updated: May 18, 2020) By Aneesha |

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These healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are made with nutty whole wheat flour, super ripe bananas, brown sugar and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Perfect for on-the-go breakfast or snack, these buttery soft muffins can easily be transformed into banana bread with a simple swap of the baking pan.

whole wheat banana bread muffins in muffin tin

Healthy & Easy Banana Bread Muffins

I absolutely adore muffins. They offer a wonderful morning breakfast or delicious afternoon snack I can enjoy with a freshly brewed cup of coffee.

But the recipe today takes making muffins to a new level of convenience since the batter comes together in ONE BOWL.

These healthy banana muffins are lightened up from a traditional muffin since the recipe is made with super ripe bananas and less sugar.

That’s right – the trick is to use overripe bananas with those little brown specks all over. You’ll end up with delicately sweet, easy banana bread muffins that actually taste like bananas!

The nutty goodness of whole wheat flour adds an extra dose of fiber and the indulgence of chocolate chips takes this homemade muffin recipe over the top.

And with one simple swap of the pan, you can transform these muffins into a subtlely sweet Chocolate banana bread recipe, too.

Muffins vs Cupcakes- Whats the Difference

There seems to be a lot of debate about what distinguishes a muffin from a cupcake.

In my opinion, muffins are larger, denser and a little less sweet than cupcakes. Plus, muffins may or may not have a topping. If they do, they typically have a final sprinkle of the mix-in ingredients on top, drizzle of icing or a special crumb topping. Cupcakes on the other hand are almost always finished with frosting.

These banana muffins follow that same route of teetering on the less sweet side without any topping. We will find out why in a bit! 🙂

easy banana muffins with chocolate chips in muffin tin

Why Use Super Ripe Bananas

Super ripe bananas are the trick to creating a banana muffin that actually tastes like bananas. Ripe bananas indicate the starch has converted to sugar, giving the fruit a softer flesh and a characteristic sweet taste.

In other words, the riper your bananas, the less brown sugar you will have to incorporate into the batter.

I have even come across recipes that omit the sweetener entirely but keep in mind, sugar is not only added for sweetness, but for moisture and structure too. That being said, if you prefer an even less sweeter taste, you can easily reduce the sugar down to 1/2 cup in this recipe.

How To Ripen Bananas Quickly

Look for overripe bananas on the reduced price rack of some larger grocery stores if you are planning to make the muffins or banana bread in the next 1-2 days.

If all you could find were green or yellow bananas at the grocery store, don’t let that deter you. You can speed up the ripening of bananas in one of the following ways:

  • Paper Bag: Place the bananas in a paper bag with an apple or a couple of already ripe bananas to increase the amount of ethylene. The bananas should ripen in 1-2 days.
  • Oven: Place unpeeled bananas on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 300-degree oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway, or until the banana skins turn completely black all over. Let cool completely, then scoop the banana pulp from the peel and mash it. The fruit will have the texture and flavor of an overripe banana.
  • Microwave: Peel the bananas and place them on a microwave-safe plate. Heat on HIGH for about 30 seconds, or just until you hear them sizzling. Keep in mind this softens the bananas but does not increase the sweetness, so you may need to increase the sugar in the recipe to compensate. This method works better with yellow bananas rather than fully green bananas.

This reminds me of a time when the girls and I were hosting a baking fundraiser and had committed to baking 40 loaves of banana bread (yup.. 40!). When I reached the store, all I could find were yellowish green looking bananas. The oven method came to our rescue that time and saved our day!

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

The banana bread batter is made with super ripe bananas, melted unsalted butter, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, whole wheat flour (subs included), baking soda, salt and chocolate chips.

hand holding warm banana muffin with chocolate chips with bite
  • Bananas: The key is super ripe, brown speckled bananas. Bananas naturally sweeten the muffins, so the riper, the better. It also helps cut down on the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. The less sweet muffins allow the rest of the ingredients to shine through.
  • Sugar: The amount of brown sugar called for in the recipe gives a banana-bread like sweetness, not cupcake sweet. If you want a sweeter muffin, increase the amount of sugar to ¾ cup brown sugar instead. If you want it less sweet, reduce it down to 1/2 cup. Alternatively, an equal amount (2/3 – 3/4 cup) of regular granulated sugar can also be used.
  • Flour: I used whole wheat flour to make it healthy and bump up the fiber, but feel free to replace it with all-purpose flour. I have successfully tried this recipe with 100% all-purpose flour as well as a 50-50 ratio. If you are unsure about the taste of whole wheat flour, I recommend trying the 50-50 ratio first.
  • Chocolate Chips: Semi-sweet, bittersweet or dark chocolate chips can be used interchangeably. Alternatively, you can chop a 2 oz dark chocolate bar for larger and smaller bits of chocolate running throughout the batter. If you’re curious about the different types of baking chocolate, I found this article on Bon Appetit very helpful.

How To Make Chocolate Banana Muffins

These healthy banana chocolate chip muffins are easily mixed together in one bowl (thanks to cooled, melted butter), baked and ready to enjoy in less than 30 minutes!

One-Bowl Banana Bread Batter

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt butter in the microwave or stovetop and keep aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add peeled ripe bananas and mash them well using a fork or a potato masher. The consistency should be like baby food with a few very small chunks. (Pic 1)
  • Stir in melted butter and mix using a spatula. (Pic 2)
  • Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix it well. (Pic 3)
  • Add flour, making sure to reserve 2 tablespoons to mix in with the chocolate chips, brown sugar, baking soda and salt, and mix until fully incorporated. (Pic 4)
  • Toss the chocolate chips with the reserved flour, that prevents them from sinking to the bottom. Add to the bowl and gently fold in the batter. (Pic 5)
  • Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners. Using an ice cream scoop, fill the muffin tray evenly. (Pic 6)
  • Place the tray in the middle rack and bake for 17-18 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick or knife comes out clean. If it comes out wet, pop them back for another 1-2 minutes depending on how wet the toothpick was.
two hands mashing bananas, pouring in melted butter, mixing eggs, flour, chocolate chips with red spatula, scoop muffin batter into muffin tin, baked muffins
  • Once baking time is complete, remove the tray and cool for 5 minutes. After that, carefully remove the muffins from the tray using a knife or thin spatula and place on a wire rack for cooling. Enjoy warm or cooled!
whole wheat banana bread muffins on cooling rack

How to Make Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

The same batter can be used to make Banana bread instead. Here’s how:

  • Assemble the batter as per recipe and pour it in a greased 4 X 8 inches loaf pan (1 pound pan) for 45-50 minutes.
  • Check at the 45-minute mark by inserting a toothpick 3/4 of the way down in the center.
  • If it comes out clean, it’s done! If not, put it back for another 2-5 minutes depending on how wet the toothpick was.

How To Make Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

On occasion, I like to turn these into mini muffins for a cute, portable snack for my girls.

To make banana mini muffins, scoop the batter into lightly greased (or paper-lined) mini muffin pan. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until muffins spring back to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean. You should get about 30-35 mini muffins.

Muffin Variations – Different Kinds of Mix-Ins

I love to change it up from time-to-time with different kinds of mix-ins (or goodies, as we like to call them :)). Feel free to add in a 1/2 cup of any of the following:

  • Chopped, Toasted Walnuts
  • White Chocolate Chips
  • Cinnamon Chips
  • Peanut Butter Chips
  • Rolled Oats

Make-Ahead & Freezing Instructions

The banana chocolate chip muffins will stay fresh, moist and soft stored in an airtight container on the kitchen counter for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Banana muffins freeze well for up to 2 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat for 30 seconds in the microwave, if desired.

easy banana muffins with chocolate chips in muffin tin

Recipe Tips:

  • Use super ripe, brown speckled bananas. Riper bananas means tastier banana muffins with less sugar. Purchase already ripe bananas from the reduced price shelf found in some grocery stores or follow one of the methods above in How To Ripen Bananas Quickly.
  • Feel free to use all-purpose flour or 50-50 blend. I have successfully tried this recipe with 100% all-purpose flour as well as a 50-50 ratio of all-purpose and whole wheat flour. Use any combination to suit your needs.
  • Increase the sugar for cupcake-like sweetness. The brown sugar called for in the recipe produces a banana bread-like sweetness. For a sweeter muffin or quickbread, use 3/4 cup brown sugar. Alternatively, substitute granulated sugar instead.
  • Toss the chocolate chips in flour before mixing. The dry coating of flour ensures the chocolate chips stick and stay suspended in the batter. This prevents all that chocolate goodness from sinking to the bottom.
  • Add different kinds of mix-ins to enhance the flavor. Feel free to add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, white chocolate chips, cinnamon chips or peanut butter chips.

More Sweet Treat Recipes From My Kitchen

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whole wheat banana bread muffins in muffin tin

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

This easy Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (and bread) recipe is made with super ripe bananas and chocolate chips for a delicately sweet treat.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Servings: 12 Muffins
Calories: 239kcal

Ingredients

Equipment

  • Oven

Instructions

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt butter in the microwave or stovetop and keep aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add peeled ripe bananas and mash them well using a fork or a potato masher. The consistency should be like baby food 🙂 with few very small chunks.
  • Stir in melted butter and mix using a spatula.
  • Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix it well.
  • Add flour, making sure to reserve 2 tablespoons to mix in with the chocolate chips, brown sugar, baking soda and salt, and mix until fully incorporated.
  • Toss the chocolate chips with the reserved flour, that prevents them from sinking to the bottom. Add to the bowl and gently fold in the batter.
  • Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners. Using an ice cream scoop, fill the muffin tray evenly. Place the tray in the middle rack and bake for 17-18 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick or knife comes out clean. If not, pop them back in for another 1-2 minutes depending how wet the toothpick was.
  • Remove the tray and cool for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the tray and place on a wire rack for cooling. Enjoy warm or cooled!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • Follow steps 1-6. Pour batter in a greased 4 X 8 inches loaf pan (1 pound pan) for 45-50 minutes. Check at 45 mins by inserting a toothpick ¾ and if it comes out clean, it's done! If not, put it back for another 2-5 minutes depending on how wet the toothpick was.

Video

Notes & Recipe Tips

  • Use super ripe, brown speckled bananas. Riper bananas means tastier banana muffins with less sugar. Purchase already ripe bananas from the reduced price shelf found in some grocery stores or follow one of the methods above in How To Ripen Bananas Quickly.
  • Feel free to use all-purpose flour or 50-50 blend. I have successfully tried this recipe with 100% all-purpose flour as well as a 50-50 ratio of all-purpose and whole wheat flour. Use any combination to suit your needs.
  • Increase the sugar for cupcake-like sweetness. The brown sugar called for in the recipe produces a banana bread-like sweetness. For a sweeter muffin or quickbread, use 3/4 cup brown sugar. Alternatively, substitute granulated sugar instead.
  • Toss the chocolate chips in flour before mixing. The dry coating of flour ensures the chocolate chips stick and stay suspended in the batter. This prevents all that chocolate goodness from sinking to the bottom.
  • Add different kinds of mix-ins to enhance the flavor. Feel free to add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, white chocolate chips, cinnamon chips or peanut butter chips.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates. If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 239kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 157mg | Potassium: 221mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 300IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana bread muffins, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, chocolate banana muffins
Did you try this recipe?Mention @SpiceCravings or tag #spicecravings!

HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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