Tired of banana bread but still want to bake? Try fluffy muffins instead

Walnuts and butter tuck themselves into a banana muffin.
(Caroline Marks / For The Times )

With so many of you having to stay home and cook for the first time — ever or more than you have in a long time — we get that it can be overwhelming to have to cook all your meals from scratch. So we’re here to get you started. Each day we’re going to post a new skill here and go into detail about how to do it — a resource for cooking basics so you can get food on the table and get through this.

A series of simple tutorials for making some basic recipes at home.

Lesson 50: Banana Muffins

Overripe bananas seem to keep multiplying on my kitchen counter. I was about to start another batch of banana bread when my daughter begged, “Please, not another loaf. Can you make muffins instead?” I thought she was just too lazy to cut slices, but she insisted she sincerely prefers muffins.

She has a point: Banana muffins aren’t just mini versions of bread. Because they bake much more quickly at a higher temperature, they’re fluffier than hearty, dense loaves. That makes them ideal for whole wheat flour, which tends to make slow-rising bread dry or heavy or both. Whole wheat has health advantages over white flour, but its real appeal is in its complex, almost nutty flavor, which pairs perfectly with the funky sweetness of bananas ripened to black.


Pecans complement that duo, especially when toasted and buttered as they are here. You get even more of their crunch and buttery richness because they bake on top of the muffins instead of softening in the batter. That extra touch makes these muffins more than just a way to use up bananas and transforms them into a breakfast that’s as delicious as dessert.

Butter Pecan Banana Muffins

Time 30 minutes
Yields Makes 12 muffins