When it comes to baking recipe staples, banana bread is pretty high up there. We’ve all been faced at one point or another with needing to do something with some overripe bananas, or if you’re like me, buy extra bananas each week to ensure I have some leftover to bake with.
Because there are probably millions of banana bread recipes on the internet, I wanted to something slightly different to set mine apart. Taking the time to caramelize the bananas in these caramelized banana bread cinnamon chip muffins is KEY. Not only that, but I stray away from the standard chocolate chips and opt for cinnamon chips.
These cinnamon chips were the star of my ultimate holiday pie bars and I happened to have a bag leftover from when I made them. In true Blaire fashion, when I was on my way home from DC to NJ this past holiday season, I realized that I had forgotten to pick up a bag of these to make them. And I had already promised to bring them to not one, not two, but three different holiday functions.
So, not having them was simply not an option.
Right then and there, I pulled the car over, hopped onto Amazon and ordered some. But, in order to get the cinnamon chips delivered in time, I had to go for the 6-pack. Hence the leftovers. However, that clearly isn’t a problem in my kitchen.
Alright, so we added a unique chip flavor to a classic – check. But now, for the caramelized bananas. The caramel-like nuttiness and strong vanilla flavor that results from taking the extra 5 minutes to do this is BEYOND worth it. And, we do add one banana that is not caramelized in the batter as well just to keep textures interesting, but the caramelized ones are crucial nuggets of flavor here.
Next order of business was how to perfect that high-domed, bakery style muffin top.
I took some notes from Lori over at the Kitchen Whisperer and used her high temp trick to get that bakery style high dome. While this doesn’t impact the flavor at all, I personally liked this one better (the first picture above).
In both versions above, the same amount of chips were used on top, but you’ll notice how the chips spread out a lot more as the muffin top rose up in the first picture. That is the one where we cranked up the heat, to, as Lori puts it, create “a burst of steam that lifts the batter.”
Caramelized bananas and cinnamon chips come together to create a unique spin on classic banana bread.
- 2 TBSP Butter
- 3 Medium bananas, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Caramelized bananas (above)
- 1 overripe banana, chopped
- 1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted
- 3/4 dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 TBSP Vanilla
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup Hershey’s cinnamon chips, tossed in 1 TBSP AP flour
- 1/2 cup Hershey’s cinnamon chips, for topping
Preheat the oven to 425***(read note below). Line a muffin tin with muffin liners.
In a medium sized pan over medium heat, add the banana slices, butter, honey, and cinnamon and cook until caramelized (light brown color on the bananas). Be sure to flip them over once the color is obtained on the first side. This takes about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, add the brown sugar and butter and whisk until combined. Mix in one egg at a time, then add the vanilla. Whisk in the buttermilk and both bananas, caramelized and chopped.
Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add in the cinnamon chip/flour mixture. It is okay if you still have some lumps of flour in the batter at this point. That is better than over mixing it. Fill the muffin liners almost all of the way.
Bake at 425 for 7 minutes, then crank the heat down to 375 and bake for another 12-13, without opening the oven door (important!). This will get you the bakery style, high dome muffin.
If you want to just bake it at 400 the whole time, preheat the oven to that temp from the start and bake for 18-20 min. However, you will not get the bakery style muffin top doing it this way. They’ll still taste the same!