These easy pumpkin banana muffins are the perfect way to step into fall AND use up those leftover bananas on your counter.
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Just some basic fall muffins that also use up those bananas languishing on your counter. Pretty much perfect if you ask me. Moist, lightly spiced. Delicious with a smear of butter. Maybe get extra and make some honey cinnamon butter. Make with or without the crumble top but everyone in my life votes with.
Ingredients for pumpkin banana muffins:
- Pumpkin-from a can. Don’t buy canned pumpkin pie filling, that already has spices and whatnot mixed in. Just 100% pumpkin. You’ll have some leftover. I know that’s annoying but put it in a bowl in your fridge and use it in another recipe.
- Bananas-really ripe. Like so ripe you think that maybe you should throw them away. The riper the banana, the sweeter it is and we want these bananas to add some natural sugars to our muffins.
- Granulated and brown sugar-adds sweetness plus a little added moisture and complexity from the molasses in the brown sugar.
- Vegetable oil-oil is 100% fat unlike butter that is about 20% water. We don’t want to add any more water to the recipe because our pumpkin has plenty. Can swap out with any neutral tasting oil.
- Eggs-adds moisture, protein, emulsifiers-you know that eggs are basically power houses in the baking world.
- Vanilla-flavor crystals.
- Baking soda-gives our muffins some lift. We’re using baking soda (rather than baking powder) because of our acidic ingredients (I’m looking at you brown sugar and bananas).
- All-purpose flour-you can sub in 1 cup of whole wheat flour for 1 cup of the all-purpose flour if you’re feeling feisty.
- Pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon-warming spices-’tis the season
What can I substitute for pumpkin pie spice?
No pumpkin pie spice? No problem. Use this instead:
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Flavor wise, I personally think the cinnamon and ginger are the most important, so if you don’t have nutmeg or cloves, simply add in 1/4 teaspoon more cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon more ginger.
About The Crumble Top…
Is it necessary? Absolutely not. Feel free to leave it off completely. However, basically since I learned to make a crumble top (looking at you zucchini pineapple muffins) I don’t really think I want to make a muffin without it.
Alternatively, you could put a cinnamon sugar mixture on top like in my cinnamon sugar rhubarb muffins. It’s a little bit easier but I think the crumble top is worth the effort.
Let’s talk mixing method.
Muffins come together quickly in one bowl using only a spoon or whisk to stir. You stir together the wet ingredients and then fold in the dry ingredients, leaving lumps in the batter (a batter that is too smooth will create a uniform crumb, more like a cake, which is also why we don’t want to use our mixers).
Note: Sugar acts like a wet ingredient when making muffins or quick breads because it melts when it’s baked. If you use an artificial sweetener like Splenda, it doesn’t melt and should be treated like a dry ingredient.
Should you use butter or oil for muffins?
Either one is fine. If you use butter, melt it and whisk it with the eggs because the emulsifiers in the eggs will help the fat and the water come together. (Emulsifiers are what makes the water and the fat play nice together).
Be sure to use whatever the recipe calls for, however butter is 80/20 fat to water and you don’t want to screw everything up by adding too much water to the system. We’re using oil because we have plenty of “water” from the other ingredients.
What oil is the best for pumpkin banana muffins?
I’m a fan of good ‘ole vegetable oil. However, any neutral tasting oil will work. What are some neutral tasting oils you ask?
Any of these will work just fine. You can use a stronger flavored oil instead, like olive oil or walnut oil, but don’t be surprised if you can taste it a little bit.
Why do muffins fall after baking?
Is there anything more annoying than seeing your big beautiful muffins puffed up in the oven and then once you pull them out, they collapse creating a giant sinkhole that no amount of butter can cover?
There are a couple reasons why your muffins fall when they come out of the oven. Too much baking soda/baking powder can lead to sunken or collapsed baked goods because too much batter expansion takes place too soon and the batter is stretched too thin to support it’s own weight once it comes out of the oven and not full of hot air anymore.
The other reason is that you didn’t bake the muffins long enough to allow for the internal structure to solidify and then once the muffins come out of the oven, the middle collapses under its own weight.
Can I bake muffins without a muffin pan?
I mean, you can try. You might have some misshapen muffins but if you don’t care, neither do I. Put your muffin papers close together on a rimmed cookie sheet and give it a whirl. Let me know how it goes.
I saw this hack using canning rings if you don’t have a muffin pan but my thought pretty much was, if you don’t have a muffin pan, do you have canning rings?
Truth be told, I personally feel like a muffin pan is one of those things that if you spend the money, you’ll use it over and over. I have had the same ones for at least 15 years and I’m pretty sure my mom has the same ones she got as a wedding gift.
Easy Pumpkin Banana Muffins
- muffin pan
- 2very ripe bananas
- 1/2cupgranulated sugar
- 1/4 cupbrown sugar
- 1/2cupvegetable oil
- 1teaspoonvanilla extract
- 2cupall-purpose flour
- 1teaspoon baking sods
- 1teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1teaspoonground cinnamon
- 4tablespoonssalted buttermelted
- 1/4 cupbrown sugar
- 1/2cupall-purpose flour
- 1/4cupold fashioned oats
For the Muffins:
- Line muffin pan with muffin papers and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl put peeled ripe bananas, pumpkin, and sugars. Mash together.
- Stir in vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla.
- Stir in baking soda, flour, and spices.
- Using a tablespoon, fill muffin papers 3/4 full with muffin batter. Sprinkle crumble top on top of each muffin before baking. (See below for crumble top instructions).
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
For the Crumble Top:
- Melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, flour, and oatmeal.
- Crumble top will be like a thick dough. Take a handful and "crumble" it over the muffin batter.
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