Anytime I mention chocolate and banana in the same sentence, my family goes bonkers. With this easy-to-make recipe (Chocolate Banana Muffins) for six big, moist muffins infused with those two ingredients, your family and friends will, too. Even better news: No power tools are needed for the batter! All you need is two bowls and a spatula to stir up the ingredients and fill the muffin tins. Easy mixing makes for even easier clean up, I say.

The not-so-secret secret ingredient is very, very ripe bananas. These muffins are the perfect vehicle for those browning bananas that didn’t make it into your breakfast bowl before passing their prime ripeness. For the deepest banana flavor – which is important when pairing with another strong flavor like chocolate – wait until the peel is covered with lots and lots of dark brown spots (see photo below).

If you're new to our Baking Together column, be sure to check out our other recipes: One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting; Pumpkin Cream Cheese Tart with Crushed Pretzel Crust, Butter Pecan Slice-and-Bake Cookies, Lemon Rosemary Parmesan Scones, Pie Plate Chocolate Chippers, Cream Cheese Pound Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, Lemony Blueberry Bars with Chunky Almond Crumble, Make-Ahead S’mores Squares, Streusel-Topped Ginger Pear Coffee Cake, Classic Apple Crumb Pie, Vanilla Rice Pudding for Two, The Ultimate Flourless Chocolate Cake, Coconut Cinnamon Tea Cake and Savory Parmesan Crisps.

Abigail Johnson Dodge


Here are a few helpful banana tips:



If your bananas are still on the yellow side, you can speed the ripening by putting them in a closed brown paper bag (add a ripe tomato or avocado if you have one) and leaving them on the counter for a day or two. 

If your need is urgent, you can bake the bananas in their peels on a sheet pan in a 325°F oven until the peels are black, 20 to 25 minutes. Remember to cool to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe. The flavor isn’t as good as old-fashioned ripening but it will do in a pinch.


When working with small quantities of bananas (as in this recipe), pop the peeled fruit into a small bowl and use a table fork to break it up. Keep working it until only small to medium chunks remain and the rest is more of a puree. Alternatively, you can use a hand-held potato masher.


If you have extra ripe bananas and no immediate use for them, freeze them in precise amounts in small, heavy-duty zip-top bags. Before freezing, I peel the bananas and weigh them according to the recipe directions and divide them among the bags. Pop the bananas (I keep them whole for freezing) into the bags, press out the excess air, and seal the bag. Mark the weight, recipe and date on the bag for easy reference. Thaw the bananas in the fridge or, for faster thawing, place on the countertop before using them in your recipe. To avoid a very watery mixture, use them when just thawed. If your recipe calls for mashed (like this one), squeeze the bag until the fruit is mostly crushed. Snip off one corner of the bag and squeeze the pulp into the batter as directed in the recipe.


If you find yourself a bit short of mashed banana, you can supplement with sour cream. Just add enough sour cream - using the weight measurement is best – to reach the amount called for in the recipe. The baked result won’t be as full-flavored but the texture will be similar.