“Secret Ingredient” Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE. Image courtesy of Freddie.
SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE. Image courtesy of Freddie.

While I’m not a strict vegan by any stretch of the imagination, it’s not unusual for me to prepare vegan fare each week. Flavor is queen in the kitchen. If you’ve tried any of the vegan dishes I’ve posted, you know that you don’t need animal products to make a delicious and nutritious meal. Desserts are a different beast entirely, though.

vegan festival
Image courtesy of Colorado Veg Fest.

I live in a vegan-friendly city, so there’s no shortage of vegan dessert expertise, but rarely, if ever, have I sought out vegan sweets. Usually vegan desserts taste “veganized” to me, and I’m left feeling guiltily resentful of the dessert, as if it was trying to pull a fast one on me. Also, I can’t eat many vegan desserts since many of the recipes make up for the lack of butter and eggs by stuffing extra sugar into each bite. I wish it were different, but sugar and I are not meant to be.

Today I’m here to attest to the glory found in unearthing a vegan sweet treat recipe that didn’t make me miss the butter-egg-sugar combo I’ve been conditioned to enjoy in dessert. Below you’ll find a secret ingredient recipe for vegan banana chocolate chip muffins, fluffy baked goods you’ll wish you’d known about your whole life.

The secret ingredient?

Absence without longing or bitterness. Sounds highfalutin, friends, but this recipe was crafted so that you don’t even know you’re missing out on eggs and butter. By the time you learn it’s vegan, you’re well into your second muffin and could care less. This trickery probably wasn’t the intention of cookbook author, Colleen Patrick Goudreau, when she put together her award-winning The Joy of Vegan Baking, but she turned this vegan dessert skeptic into a believer.

joy of vegan baking cookbook
Image courtesy of The Compassionate Cook.

The only change I’d make to the recipe the next time I make it is to reduce the 1 cup sugar to 3/4 cup. This batch of muffins contains four bananas, which add an extra wallop of fruity sweetness.

vegan chocolate chip banana muffins
Image by author.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (a Joy of Vegan Baking recipe)
Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients
– 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

– 1 1/2 tsp baking soda

– 1/2 tsp salt

– 1 cup granulated sugar (I recommend 3/4 cup.)

– 1/3 cup canola oil

– 4 ripe bananas, mashed

– 1/4 cup water

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– 1 cup nondairy semisweet chocolate chips

– 1 cup walnuts or toasted pecans (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease your muffin tins or insert muffin papers in the tins. (It’s best to use nonstick pans if you’re not using muffin papers.)

2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix/sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

3. In a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together, and then add the mashed bananas. (I used a stand mixer, but you can also mix by hand to similar effect.) Stir in the water and vanilla, and mix thoroughly. Add the flour mixture, along with the chocolate chips and walnuts or toasted pecans (if using), and stir to mix.

4. Fill each muffin tin halfway with the batter. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes (I only needed to bake them for 20 minutes in my oven.), until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

5. Let them cool in pans for 5 minutes, and then turn tins over on clean dish towel to release them from tins. You may need to use a paring knife to loosen the edges of the muffins from the tin if they’re being a bit clingy.

23 Comments Add yours

  1. Scarrie Bradshaw says:

    Haha, “The secret ingredient? Absence without longing or bitterness. ” What a life lesson! I also saw that KFC is hiring “talented individuals” and was thinking about applying since my mom says I’m one.

    1. gwynnem says:

      I’d rather you apply for a job at the capitol. I’d see you more often. 🙂

  2. These look delicious– I’m going to make them tonight 🙂

    1. gwynnem says:

      I hope they turned out to your liking!

  3. These ought to taste good with so many bananas. I’ve just made a second (attempt) batch of banana muffins today. And I’m sorely tempted to go with more bananas. If I can get the texture right. Sounds like these were nice and light.

    1. gwynnem says:

      These are very light and fluffy. It’s all in the final mixing. As soon as the batter comes together, stop stirring and you’ll be golden.

  4. Cathy says:

    I love the combination of banana and chocolate, so these are right up my street! I try and have a couple of vegan days a week too, but being vegetarian alone is looked at sideways here in Bavaria. Many people feel it is a direct criticism of their own eating habits when I say I don’t eat meat!

    1. gwynnem says:

      Am I totally wrong in thinking that sausage is popular in Bavaria? I know what you mean about some folks’ strange looks when you mention you avoid meat. If they feel criticized, then it’s their problem, not yours. That’s what I tell myself, anyway. ;P

  5. Veggiewitch says:

    Reblogged this on veggiewitch and commented:
    I’m going to make these today! Yummy! ♥

    1. gwynnem says:

      I hope you like them!

      1. Veggiewitch says:

        It’s our favourite combination, so I’m positive we will. Thank you so much for posting the recipe. (((hugs)))

  6. Sophie33 says:

    I also made these beauties & they tasted just right & yummy! 🙂 thanks! x

    1. gwynnem says:

      Awesome. Those bananas make you forget you ever thought muffins could need butter. 🙂

  7. Dina says:

    🙂 Yes, yummy indeed!

  8. afracooking says:

    Yum – these look delicious! And I can just smell them baking (ugh now my stomach is rumbling ;-> )

  9. Lindsey says:

    I’ve been using this recipe for a few years and still love it! The muffins come out perfectly every time and my kids love them. In fact the whole batch usually only lasts about 24 hours. Thanks SO much for this great recipe!

    1. gwynnem says:

      Awesome! Glad it’s brought so many good treats to your kitchen and children.

      1. Dianne says:

        This is me and my 5 year old daughter’s “go to” muffin recipe (for the past few years). I agree that they always come out perfectly. We made some tonight using “holiday” (red and green) chocolate chips and they came out great. Thanks so much for sharing; I have this bookmarked for whenever we feel like making muffins together 🙂

        1. gwynnem says:

          Yay! Love to hear this. Vegans and nonvegans have loved this one when I make it. 🙂

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