Beyond banana bread: muffins with add-ins (and attitude).

Banana bread.

It’s SO ’50s.

So… home ec.


And even better with chocolate. Really.

Bananas and chocolate? Well, think banana split. And chocolate-covered frozen bananas.

Trail mix with chocolate chips and dried bananas. And…

Banana chocolate chip muffins.

While unexpected, the marriage of bananas and chocolate is really quite spectacular. As is another fruit/veggie/chocolate combo: pumpkin bread with chocolate chips. Which just happens to be one of our top-rated recipes.

If you’re a fan of classic banana bread, moist and dense and baked in a loaf pan, try our Heavenly Healthy Banana Bread. This recipe graced the back of our whole wheat flour bag for many months, and gets superior customer reviews.

As does our Guaranteed Banana Bread recipe, with its “secret ingredient.”

C’mon, you didn’t seriously think I’d give away the secret right here, did you? Click to the recipe to find out what makes it extra-special.

And finally, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. With cinnamon chips, and nuts. And butter-rum or coconut flavor.

Now, THAT’S banana bread with attitude! Let’s do it.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12 to 14 standard muffin cups. You’ll use the larger number of cups if you include the full amount of all three add-ins: chocolate chips, walnuts, and cinnamon chips.

Next, the banana. Hopefully you have nice, ripe bananas like this one. The riper the banana (mottled brown, even black), the stronger the flavor.

You’ll need 1 cup mashed banana, about 2 medium or 1 1/2 large bananas. Mash with a potato masher, or simply beat in the same bowl you’ll use to put together the recipe.

Next, beat together 1/2 cup butter and 2/3 cup sugar till smooth. Add 1 large egg.

At this point, you can also add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon butter rum flavor or coconut flavor, if you like.

Add the 1 cup mashed banana, and 1/3 cup milk.

Beat to combine. You’ll make a curdled-looking batter; don’t bother trying to beat it smooth.

Add the following:

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup King Arthur Premium Whole Wheat Flour or King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour

Beat to combine. It’ll still be a bit lumpy, mostly from the banana; that’s OK.

Next, we’re going to add cinnamon chips. Cinnamon Flav-R-Bites are on the bottom; cinnamon mini chips on the top. You can use either or both.

What’s the difference? Flav-R-Bites are more strongly flavored, and more solid in your finished muffin. Cinnamon chips are milder-flavored, and have a melty consistency, like chocolate chips.

Add the following to the batter:

3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts, pre-toasted in a 350°F oven for 8 minutes, if desired
1 cup cinnamon chips or cinnamon Flav-R-Bites, optional but tasty

Can you add just one, or two, of these ingredients? Yes.

Can you omit all of them? Yes.

Freedom of choice: it’s the American way!

If you’ve used cinnamon Flav-R-Bites, allow the batter to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature; this will soften the bites up.

Note: If you’re going to use the Flav-R-Bites, you don’t need to preheat your oven at the start; you can do it now, while the batter’s resting.

Heap the thick batter into the prepared muffin cups, mounding them quite full; a muffin scoop works well here.

Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired.

Bake the muffins for 20 to 23 minutes…

…until a cake tester inserted into the center of one of the middle muffins in the pan comes out clean.

Hey, wait a minute – how come there are only 6 muffins baking here?

Because I was doing an experiment:

On the left: a muffin made from batter that rested before baking. On the right: baked immediately, without a rest.

Even if you don’t use the Flav-R-Bites, letting the batter rest for 30 minutes before baking results in a slightly taller, more peaked muffin.

Transfer the muffins to a rack to cool completely. Looking good, aren’t they?

By the way, this is a 5-star recipe, as ranked by our readers. Take a look at the full recipe – Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins – and add your own review!

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. SMJ

    I am a big fan of the Heavenly Healthy Banana Bread recipe, it always turns out delicious and it gets eaten fast by everyone. This muffin version looks fantastic so I will have to try it soon.

    My husband refuses to eat bananas that have brown spots. Growing up in the Caribean I miss the sweet flavor of bananas properly ripened “on the vine” and not picked too early. We had a banana tree and a baby banana tree in our backyard. Baking with bananas works well with the bananas that I can get here in New England.

    Thank you for another fantastic recipe.

    Glad our NE bananas are working for you – but I can imagine they don’t come close to your backyard bananas! PJH

  2. HMB

    I’ve been putting chocolate chips in my banana breads, muffins and cakes for many years — really is yummy. But another thing yummy in banana bread that I had never thought of until I had it at a bakery: chopped dried apricots. I’ll also agree that chocolate chips in pumpkin bread and muffins is great, but to make that even better, add chopped candied ginger. I also love adding chocolate chips to your Pear and Ginger Quickbread recipe — I have a pear tree in my backyard, and that’s a favorite recipe because it’s easy, delicious and freezes well.

    You have a good imagination, I can tell – thanks for sharing. And I envy you your pear tree! I’ve never, ever had a fruit tree in my yard – maybe if I move South (to Massachusetts!) 🙂 PJH

  3. Wei-Wei

    Yum! I love melty chips (only ever tried butterscotch, chocolate and PB, but not cinnamon!) but I think I might like the hard ones too. This is a great recipe!


  4. Jules

    Huge fan of Flav-r-Bites. I always have some in my pantry. I use your banana bread recipe that came with my maple bites. Any chance to get the maple ones back?
    Ask, and we listen. The Maple Bites are in the new Fall catalogs, and are online NOW! Enjoy ~ MaryJane

  5. sarah

    This looks so tasty. I like that all quick breads can be turned into muffins. This is a trick I use all the time, and also in the other direction. The only difference is the cooking times, longer for a loaf and shorter for muffins. Great stuff!

  6. Colleen

    Is this generally true of baking muffins and other quick breads? Should they always rest before being baked? Why does this work? The difference between your test muffins was impressive!
    Resting the batter does several things. It allows the leaveners to start working, it softens the bran in the flour and allows the liquid to become absorbed in the batter and it softens hard ingredients like the Flav-R-Bites. Try it with your other recipes in your own “test kitchen” experiments. We’d love to see pics! ~ MaryJane

  7. linda

    hi pj!
    great post…i am on a banana muffin baking spree…so this is very timely for me.
    i have been adding dried cranberries & pecans or blueberries & now will def “rest” my batter & taking out my kaf chocolate chips…thanks for this tip!
    have a great w/e.

  8. Dionakaye

    Hi, PJ!

    I want to know if I let any and all batters rest (cake batters, etc.) for 30 minutes prior to baking, that they will ALL have better rising definition? Or, perhaps it depends on whether it is baking powder by itself, baking soda by itself, or a combination of them which is what you did, that makes the difference? Thank you.

    Diona, the answer is – I don’t know. I would have said baking soda by itself wouldn’t be a good candidate for a rest, as it reacts immediately once it hits liquid; but then, I make bran muffins whose batter sits in the fridge for 2 weeks, and they still rise just fine. I think cakes, where you cream the butter and sugar and then beat in air, wouldn’t be a candidate, as you want them to retain those air bubbles. So maybe this rest is best with stir-together muffins? Sounds like an interesting thing to experiment with… PJH

  9. Lee

    We have been making the banana chocolate chip muffins from the KA Whole Grain cookbook for a long time now – they are totally awesome, my daughter’s favorite all time muffin. I mix the whole thing up the night before and stick the bowl in the refrigerator then scoop out the batter with an ice cream scoop into the muffin tins in the a.m. This gives the batter a rest like you suggest (although a lot longer! LOL) and makes for whole wheat muffins that are as soft and tender as can be.
    I don’t know if I’ll be allowed to mess with the recipe but you have piqued my curiosity with the coconut and rum extract ideas!

  10. Peggy

    Hi PJ.

    I’m sure this is a great recipe, and I fully intend on baking some very soon…without the chocolate.

    Speaking for myself, and a few others, I never understood why anyone would want to ruin a perfectly good banana bread or pumpkin bread by adding chocolate.

    I’m sure I’m in the minority but the thought of adding the chips makes me cringe.

    To each his own, Peggy – I used to feel that way, till I had a frozen chocolate-covered banana – and I was hooked! 🙂 PJH

  11. TByrd

    Namaste PJ,
    Love the banana recipes! I’m tucked away high up in the Himalayas in a tropical valley and have 7 different types of bananas growing in my yard. We are talking serious banana largesse year round. Each variety of banana has a different taste and texture. Needless to say noone bakes up here. Because western style baked goods are pretty much unknown here I try to include flavors my Asian neighbors are already familiar with. As you might infer, they like LOTS of spice! I usually add 1/4 tsp. of mace, dry ginger, and cinnamon. Shabash! (That means FANTASTIC! in local lingo.)

    And SHABASH that you’ve reached out across so many miles… I can’t even imagine 7 different types of bananas, let alone have them growing in my yard. I’m wondering about the technology that lets you connect here? How do you get power? And access? Satellite? Thanks for chiming in here- PJH

  12. Sue E. Conrad

    Hi, P.J.!!

    Ooooh, another recipe to use the mini-cinnamon chips I purchased at KAF!!! The walnuts, though, are a problem……….what do you think about substituting toasted pine nuts?? The bananas would be ready in about 2-3 days here in FL, even if they’re somewhat green when purchased – the heat here ripens them double-quick!!!

    Off to Wichita and Denver for the rest of the month, but will certainly give these muffins a try when we return home!!

    Yum – fresh Florida bananas! Just leave the nuts out, Sue – I made these muffins this morning for a co-worker having a tough day – no nuts – just cinnamon chips and chocolate chips and big smiles all around! PJH

  13. KimberlyD

    I too have always added chocolate chips, minus the walnuts in my banana bread, but never have used the cinnamon chips or Flav-r-Bites. Would it be fine to use vanilla extract?

    Vanilla is ALWAYS welcome in whatever I bake, Kimberly – it plays so well with all the other ingredients… Go for it! PJH

  14. Ruc

    The muffins look great! Could applesauce be used instead of the banana?
    We have not tried this switch so if you do it will be an experiment. If you do try let us know how it worked. JMD@KAF

    Don’t see why not, Ruc – thicker applesauce, to mimic puréed bananas, would be better than thinner. Good idea! PJH

  15. TByrd

    Not sure if this is the place to reply. It’s me the ‘Himalayan TByrd’ again! Yes, courtesy of a solar battery powered wi fi tower atop my hovel I can ‘chime’ in with you. If only I could order and receive KFA products way up here as easily. Sigh. Yes, 7 types of banana ranging from ‘starchy & gluey ‘ to ‘sweet & custardy’. Anyhow, I’ve made up and or modified a few baked goods recipes to suit Asian tastes and local ingredients. I’d like to share them and see what ‘America” thinks of them. Interested? It’s a fun and good thing to broaden our horizons by learning about other’s customs, cuisines, and lives. I’m interested. Mary@KAF

    Hey, H-TByrd – would love love LOVE you to post recipes to our new community site. And join discussions, ask questions… just love that we can communicate with one another, from all over the world. In fact, I’d love to see a picture of your “hovel” – posted on our community site, I’m betting lots of people would enjoy it. Best wishes from the Atlantic Ocean (which is where I am now, on a boat off Boston…) 🙂 PJH

  16. Lorraine Stevenski

    Thanks again KA for giving us all excellent recipes. I am going to try this recipe this morning with the bananas that have been on my counter too long. I love your tip on letting the batter rest for taller muffins. I really do learn something new every time I visit your website! Lorraine

    You’re welcome, Lorraine – thanks for dropping by our kitchen! PJH

  17. Dana Courtney

    These sound wonderful (what KAF recipe doesn’t?) and I’ve printed the recipe to make. That PRINTING thing brings up my question. Are the blog recipes usually taken from your cookbooks? I have all your cookbooks and would like to be more earth-friendly by not printing every recipe I see here, but the books are in one place and the computer in another and I’m, well ok, too lazy to run downstairs and look in the indexes of all the books, not to mention if you’ve changed the name slightly I’ll never find it. Easier to print it, but that now means in additional to all the cookbooks, I have a HUGE stack of printouts! So, if they do come from your cookbooks, might it be possible to tell us which one somewhere in the receipe? Many thanks in advance! Usually they are new recipes- not from the cookbooks. Enjoy! Mary@KAF

  18. Jeanne

    Thank you for posting this – I forgot I had Flav-R-Bites in the pantry and this recipe made me remember! It was perfect – I had two over-ripe bananas too – delicious!

  19. Sue

    My muffins barely rose! I can’t figure out what happened. I’m a professional baker, made these exactly according to the recipe except that I left out the cinnamon chips (didn’t have any), opened a fresh can of baking powder so it couldn’t have been that. My oven temperature was correct. In spite of not rising, they were edible but barely. Any suggestions as to what might have happened.

    Oh, Sue – what a shame! I made these Friday and they rose beautifully. Was the batter fairly thick – like, it mounded in the muffin well, rather than being liquid and flat-topped? Did you include both baking soda and baking powder? (Sometimes you see one, and your eyes skip past the other.) That ould actually be my best guess, that you mistakenly left out the soda… PJH

  20. Irene

    Suggestions for resource friendly e-filing:

    –save the entire blog page as a web archive single file (.mht) . Do this by clicking on “save as” and then selecting the format of the file to be saved.

    –print to a pdf file if you have Adobe Elements software that comes with new printers

    –save as a text file (.txt) which cuts out all the pics but makes tree friendly paper printouts possible. Do this by clicking on “save as” and then select the text-only format. Edit this text file in Word to have a print preview to save paper.

  21. TByrd

    Just finished posting my ‘Indian’ version of banana bread on the new community site. Upon perusal of all KAF’s other banana bread recipes adding a bit of citrusy sweet orange marmalade to the spices in my recipe might be an excellent idea! Hmmmm. Hope you’re still having fun on that boat PJ!

    Oh, goodie, I’ll have to go check that out. Back to dry land, T- sitting at my desk. But still having fun! About to head into the kitchen to make “apple slab…” 🙂 PJH

  22. Paul from Ohio

    Mighty fine looking recipe PJ! Absolutely a must try it. I don’t have Cinnamon Flav-R-Bites, and will definately purchase some in my next order. I’m thinking your Unsweetened Coconut, which I do have, might make a nice addition with the chocolate and cinamon and the rum flavor! Sounds like scrumptuous!

    Dionakaye posted a question above asking if other things might gain from resting before baking – and I’m here to tell you the KAF Tender White Cake recipe is AMAZING in how much better it “rose” during baking after finding myself in a position in which I needed to let it rest before baking. I was one egg short and our car was “out”. The mixed up batter sat for about an hour or so before the car returned and the egg was procured, added, then baked. Tender White Cake remains one of my all time favorite KAF recipes – along with a zillion others!

    Wow, Paul, really interesting – I’ll have to run this by the “cake experts” in the test kitchen, see what they think is happening. Just the baking powder doing its thing, the flour absorbing more liquid and the gluten developing and thus being able to carry more weight, or…? Thanks for your info. – and your kind comments. PJH

  23. Becky at MyKidsMake

    YUM! We have made chocolate chip banana muffins before, but never with the cinn. chips. Sounds fantastic!! Thanks for the recipe. Those cinn. chips are the best, once you try them you are HOOKED.

  24. Brenda

    Sue: Are your baking soda and powder too old?
    KAF: Your posts are usually perfectly timed, but threw out bananas a day or 2 before because they were attracting fruit flies–couldn’t find my usual recipe, and most of your banana recipes were down the 2 or 3 times I checked.

  25. Karyn

    If you are really looking for a chocolatey banana treat, try replacing a 1/4 cup of flour with a 1/4 cup of cocoa powder.

  26. Donna

    Brenda, mash those fruitfly-attracting bananas and freeze the puree in small containers: you’ll be able to defy any future mistimed posts!

  27. Annzie

    Thanks for these ideas! I have to provide refreshments for our Fellowship Gathering after church this Sunday, and just made a batch of Banana-Applesauce-Walnut Mini-Muffins to take. Now Doris Sands’ Oatmeal Crispie Cookies are calling me to take them out of the oven. We won’t go hungry!

  28. Margy

    Love banana bread, will have to get some cinnamon chips to try. I throw my elderly bananas into the freezer, peel and all. Thaw, peel and mash for bananna bread, or peel frozen and use for smoothies or chocolate-dipped bananas.

    HA – love that, Margy – “elderly bananas.” I am definitely going to remember that. 🙂 PJH

  29. Mark Loveland

    Simply love banana bread, it is so elemental:) A worthy addition to a 1-1/2 lb. loaf’s worth of batter would be five (5) oz. worth — (i.e.: 1/2 10-oz. jar) — of halved-and-drained maraschino cherries. The theme is a carryover from a muffin application utilizing the same batter formula. I’ve carried it from the year-ending holiday season, into a full-year pattern.

  30. Ricardo Neves Gonzalez - Petrópolis, R.J. - BRAZIL

    This is one kind of recipes so easily to make that ever a child will do it, with excelent results.
    I´d baked with silicone cups and it turns fantastic, chewy, milded inside and with little bit of rum at filling…hummmm!

  31. melhuhta

    A modified version of these muffins is in the oven as I post. Would LOVE LOVE LOVE it if KAF would start posting nutritional info. I’m an avid baker with a type 1 diabetic in the house. I really need the carb information so I know where to make adjustments. Substituted 1/3 c of Splenda for sugar and since I didn’t have the cinnamon chips I left them out as well.

    We’d love to be able to run nutritionals on all of our recipes, but it’s a laborious process with our current software. We were talking about perhaps investing in some easier, less onerous software – I’ll pursue it. Thanks for your suggestion – PJH

  32. Lois Titherington

    My muffins shrank to about half the size when completely cool but are still delicious! Will try them again , fluff the white whole wheat flour as it does not go through my flour sifter and let them rest a full 1/2 hour. I am a perfectionist and was disappointed. I am always trying to find the perfect banana bran muffin and like the health aspect so will not be using chocolate chips. I’m sure they are delicious that way though.

  33. lrkersey

    Have just learned that my granddaughter has to get as much gluten out of her diet as possible. Would this recipe work with your gluten-free flour? This would be wonderful, because two of the foods she is not allergic to is bananas and chocolate.

    Not sure, as we haven’t tested it. You could try it, adding 1 teaspoon xanthan gum – no guarantees, as I say, but that would be my best educated guess. Good luck – PJH

  34. gegebliss

    Love the muffins, love all of the KAF recipes … that is one reason I now find myself on a program to lose weight. I love that the program allows 20% of my food intake to be “for fun” or indulgences because I am aiming for a new lifestyle and I can’t imagine life without bread and baked goods. My question is this; Are nutritional values available for the KAF recipes? I want to be wise about how I use my “for fun” calories.
    I know. I could never give up baked goods unless someone told me that if I took one more bite, I would die on the spot! I wish we had all of the nutrition facts available but for now I can put your request on our Customer Wish List for more facts! Also, here are some sites you can take a look at for a nutritional calculator. Enjoy! Elisabeth

  35. Mia Ormonde

    I used coconut oil rather than butter and it tastes perfect! Light and fluffy. I also let it rise. I used walnuts and chocolate chips. Yum!!!

    Mia: did you use the coconut in a liquid state or a solid? I wonder if it made any difference. There can be issues with using coconut oil in recipes (a GF brownie recipe was not as successful with the swap, although the eggs were also replaced with non-egg substitutes). Thanks for sharing your success! Kim@KAF

  36. micheal koleowo

    Pls is it only king anthur flour I can use to get best result or other flour can be used

    All of our recipes are made and tested with King Arthur flour. While other brands can be used, results may vary.-Jon

  37. Ozlem Oktar Varoglu

    They are in the oven:) This is my first time making muffins and I’m 50 🙂
    My son wanted something to eat by our night night tea. I found this recepie. reallt it was so quick and easy to prepare. I hope it will cook good.. So excited:)


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