I subscribe to the gospel that it is never, under any circumstances, too early to get your chocolate fix. If you are a fellow believer, then these Chocolate Banana Muffins are THE healthy muffin recipe for you!
These dark chocolate banana muffins are supremely moist and fudgy, packed with double the chocolate in the form of both chocolate chips (inside and on top) and cocoa powder (a lot), and their high-rise domed tops are prime for picking, munching, and licking off your fingers.
If you’ve been following this blog for any stretch of time you—and, this expansive collection of healthy muffin recipes—can attest that I take my muffin game very seriously.
Additionally, I take my chocolate-for-breakfast game (Healthy Chocolate Muffins, Chocolate Zucchini Muffins; Healthy Zucchini Muffins with Chocolate Chips) and my banana muffin game (Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins; classic Healthy Banana Muffins; blender Banana Oatmeal Muffins) extra seriously.
Thus, when I decided to combine the trifecta of chocolate, banana, and muffins into one single muffin experience, I knew they needed to be the best of the best!
And HERE WE ARE! These are the very best chocolate chip banana muffins you will ever eat. This recipe took me four tries to get right. They were worth it!
These whole wheat chocolate banana muffins are virtuously made with no sugar (they’re naturally sweetened instead) and no butter, and they taste positively scrumptious.
Through the assorted batches, I’ve had quite the range of taste testers. These chocolate banana muffins with chocolate chips earned full points from an eclectic mix! The approving group included but was not limited to: picky toddlers; high-powered attorneys; the folks who work at our gym’s front desk; fellow food blogger friends who aren’t afraid to tell me the truth; and of course the biggest believer in chocolate-for-breakfast of them all: yours truly.
I’m so glad I didn’t rest until these healthy chocolate banana muffins were perfect. I know you are going to love them too!
How to Make Chocolate Banana Muffins
As with their quick bread twin, Chocolate Banana Bread, it was important to me that these muffins be made with wholesome ingredients. They’re a deliciously healthy way to start your morning!
- White Whole Wheat Flour. These whole wheat chocolate banana muffins are 100% whole grain (meaning they have more fiber, protein, and nutrients than their white-grain counterparts), but you won’t taste it one bit! White whole wheat flour, while still a whole grain, has a mild texture and flavor.
- Banana. The browner and spottier, the better! Ripe bananas make these muffins magically moist and sweetens them naturally.
- Honey. My next natural sweetener of choice. If you’d like to play around with making the chocolate banana muffins vegan, you can swap in maple syrup.
- Coconut Sugar. I found that using only a liquid sweetener like honey didn’t give the muffins the perfect moist-yet-fluffy texture I was after. A touch of coconut sugar (which tastes similar to brown sugar but is less processed, and your body can break it down more slowly) did the trick. Coconut sugar is widely available in most grocery stores and online here. If you do not wish to purchase it and are not concerned with making the chocolate banana muffins without sugar, you can swap light or dark brown sugar instead.
- Cocoa Powder. Making these chocolate banana muffins with cocoa powder is what gives them their deep, dark chocolate flavor, without weighing them down.
- Chocolate Chips. For double the chocolate! If you’d like to reduce the calorie count or make them without any refined sugar, you can also make this chocolate banana muffin recipe without chocolate chips. The cocoa powder will still make them plenty rich and chocolatey. Or, you can embrace chocolate in all its form and sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top before the muffins go into the oven. Both are tasty choices.
- Espresso Powder. It’s optional but will intensify the flavor of the cocoa powder and chocolate chips. If you love chocolate recipes, it’s definitely worth picking up a container.
- Milk. Any kind you like! We used almond milk (which I had in the fridge), and you could also make these chocolate banana muffins with buttermilk, if you have any on hand you’re looking to use up.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda. To make the muffins rise sky-high. Don’t try making these chocolate banana muffins without baking powder or soda. Because this recipe uses honey and regular cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed cocoa powder, which is already neutralized), you need them both so that the proper reaction between the ingredients occurs.
- Pure Vanilla Extract. I can’t bake a muffin without it. Make sure you are using the real deal, not imitation, which has an inferior flavor.
- Coconut Oil or Canola Oil. I played around with different amounts (and, I also tried making the chocolate banana muffins with Greek yogurt and with applesauce too), and found that a modest ⅓ cup of oil is the magic number. You do need some oil to make the muffins satisfying and keep them from becoming dry or gummy.
For an EXTRA decadent taste, you can use melted butter instead of oil. Personally, I found the version of the recipe below (chocolate banana muffins without butter) perfectly rich. You can also try my Banana Bread Brownies or Chocolate Muffins for a more decadent treat.
The Recipe Steps
- Grab two bowls, a whisk, and a wooden spoon.
- In one bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients.
- In a second bowl, mash your bananas. Double check the amount—you need 1 cup mashed total, which is about 3 large bananas. The riper the bananas, the better. A hand mixer is a handy shortcut for mashing bananas too.
- Whisk the rest of the wet ingredients into the bowl with the mashed banana. If you’ve already dirtied a hand mixer mashing the banana, go ahead and use it for this step too.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir gently, and be patient. It’s important to do this step by hand so that you don’t activate the gluten in the flour, which will make the muffins tough. The batter will seem dry at first, but will slowly come together and resemble the thickest, most glorious bowl of brownie batter. Fold in the chocolate chips, reserving a few to sprinkle on top.
- Lightly grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan, then scoop in the batter. You’ll have anywhere between 12 and 14 muffins (all pans are a little bit different). It’s OK to fill them almost all the way to the top. Sprinkle on more chocolate chips. You’ll thank yourself later.
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 22 to 26 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin at the center of the pan comes out without any wet batter clinging to it. You may have some melted chocolate chips that stick to it, which is deliciously fine.
- Let the muffins cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then gently transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. Or, just devour them as soon as you’re sure you won’t burn yourself.
These muffins tasted excellent the day they were baked, but we loved them even more the next day after the flavors had a chance to settle and marry.
- To store. Most importantly, let the muffins cool completely on a wire rack before placing them in a storage container. Next, line the bottom of an airtight storage container with a paper towel and place the muffins in a single layer on the paper towel. Finally, top your muffins with another paper towel to absorb the excess moisture. Store at room temperature.
- To freeze. Individually wrap the chocolate banana muffins in plastic, then place them in a ziptop bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Let thaw at room temperature or rewarm gently in the microwave.
- For even more storage tips, check out my post on How to Store Muffins and Other Quick Breads.
Recommended Tools To Bake Chocolate Banana Muffins
- Standard muffin pan (I love this option if you don’t need the lid)
- Batter scoop (my secret to big, puffy muffin tops)
The Best Chocolate Banana Muffins. EVER.
These chocolate banana muffins might be healthy, but they’re so rich and moist, you’ll feel like you are eating a moist hunk of chocolate cake for breakfast, without the pesky twinges of guilt.
AND, you’ll be getting your chocolate needs taken care of ASAP in the morning.
It’s kind of like taking a vitamin…an extra delicious vitamin that tastes like a chocolate banana muffin.
Chocolate Banana Muffins
- ⅓ cup coconut oil or canola oil
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder optional for a more intense chocolate flavor
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup mashed ripe banana about 3 medium-large bananas
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup milk any kind you like (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- ⅓ cup honey
- ¼ cup coconut sugar or light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips plus additional for sprinkling on top (if desired)
- If using coconut oil, melt it now and let it come to room temperature. (If using canola oil, skip this step.)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a standard muffin pan with paper or silicone muffin cups, then lightly coat the cups with nonstick spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, add the mashed banana (if you are mashing the banana directly in the mixing bowl, double check that you have the correct amount), then whisk in the eggs, milk, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and oil. If the oil resolidifies, warm the bowl in the microwave in 10-second bursts, just until it melts.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir gently and patiently to combine. The batter will look dry at first but will begin to come together as you go. It will also be thick and shaggy, which is just right. Stop as soon as the dry ingredients disappear and don’t over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan; the cups will be quite full and the tops will dome when the bake. Sprinkle with extra chocolate chips if desired.
- Bake the muffins for 22 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin in the center of the pan comes out clean without any wet batter clinging to it. Test a few times to make sure the muffins are cooked through (and that what stuck to the toothpick was in fact batter and not a melted chocolate chip).
- Remove the muffins from the oven and place them on a wire rack. Let cool in the pan for 3 minutes. Then, using a dull knife or fork to help you out, gently remove the muffins from the pan, allowing them to cool for about 15 minutes on a rack before peeling off the muffin papers. Enjoy!
- TO MAKE GLUTEN FREE: Use a 1:1 all purpose GF baking blend like this one.
- TO MAKE DAIRY FREE: Use a non-dairy milk, such as almond milk
- TO MAKE VEGAN: **Not yet tested. This is my best estimate.** I believe you could swap flax eggs for the regular eggs, use non-dairy milk, and swap maple syrup for the honey. If you decide to try this, I’d love for you to report back in the comments.
- TO STORE: Store muffins according to my guide for How to Store Muffins and Other Quick Breads.
- Yield: 14 muffins is based on the standard 12-cup muffin pan I used to make this recipe. Different brands can vary a bit based on size (even when they have room for 12!). Fill the muffin cups almost all the way to the top, and if you have a few extra (or a few less), don’t worry. You’re still getting the same amount of delicious muffin bites!
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