Marbled Chocolate Banana Muffins with Chocolate Graham Cracker Streusel

I did it again. I bought a bunch of bananas and let them sit there until they looked worse and worse. Tell me I’m not the only one who does that? Please? In the grand scheme of things bananas are cheap, but still…starving kids in blahblah and all that…so I always feel bad about wasting food. I cannot tell you how much I didn’t want to make banana bread, though. I don’t even really like banana bread, I much prefer my mom’s applesauce bread. But what do you make with mushy bananas besides banana bread? I searched for alternatives but didn’t find anything interesting that I had all the ingredients for or that wasn’t a million calories.

Since I was stuck with banana bread, my next thought was that I should do something to make it less banana-y.  Of course, chocolate popped right into my head.  Chocolate makes everything better.  You might know I’m kinda obsessed with marbled chocolate desserts, so I decided to do a marbled chocolate banana muffin.  It’s just more fun that way! (Also, I wanted to use the new extra large muffin tin I recently bought.)  And since my favorite muffins are the ones with streusel on top, I made a streusel using chocolate graham cracker crumbs and sprinkled it on.

Marbled Chocolate Banana Muffins with Chocolate Graham Cracker Streusal

I’ve never had any kind of chocolate banana bread before, so I wasn’t sure if I would like the flavor combo, but they turned out really good.  These muffins actually made me like (possibly even, dare I say it…love) banana bread for the first time ever. They are super moist and I highly recommend that you make them the night before and let them sit in an air-tight container or the fridge overnight because the flavors are even better the next day.  But I have to say, if you don’t want to deal with the marbling, double the amount of chocolate/cocoa and put it in all the batter instead of half.  I liked the chocolate parts of the muffin better!  There’s nothing wrong with the plain banana part, it’s good, but it just tastes like banana bread, everyone knows what that tastes like.  Adding the chocolate definitely elevates it beyond boring banana bread.

I did want to at least attempt to make these healthier, so I used white whole wheat flour and non-fat buttermilk.  You could make them even healthier by using egg substitute and replacing some of the butter with applesauce. You don’t really need the streusel either, but I love chocolate graham crackers and I love streusal and I think it works great on these.

Wanna know how much I like these? See those bananas in the pictures? I hid them in the pantry so they can get good and ripe and I’ll have an excuse to make some more muffins. 🙂

Marbled Chocolate Banana Muffins with Chocolate Graham Cracker Streusel

Marbled Chocolate Banana Muffins with Chocolate Graham Cracker Streusel

from Back to the Cutting Board

If you are looking to cut down on the sugar/calories, these muffins are just as good without the streusal on top!

Breakfast, Dessert | Servings: 6 extra-large muffins or 12 regular sized muffins
Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 25 min | Total time: 55 min

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour OR 1 cup sifted whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat) + 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temp.
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup nonfat or low-fat buttermilk (or nonfat/low-fat milk with a tsp. of lemon juice added, let sit for at least 10 minutes before using)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup mashed bananas (2-3 bananas)
  • 1.5 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (chips or squares)
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa

Streusel

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/3 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 3 full graham crackers)

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Add cupcake liners to a muffin tin or spray well with cooking spray.
  2. Melt chocolate over medium-low heat. Set aside to cool.
  3. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, mix together butter, sugar and graham cracker crumbs until crumbly. Set aside.
  4. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  5. In a large mixer bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light. Add in egg.
  6. Combine bananas, buttermilk and vanilla in small bowl. Add half of the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and mix, then add half of the flour mixture and mix. Repeat with remaining banana and flour mixtures until everything is combined, try not to overmix.
  7. Pour half of the batter into the now empty flour bowl. This will be your regular banana bread.
  8. Add the melted chocolate and cocoa to the remaining batter in your mixer bowl and mix until combined.
  9. Using a spoon or small ice cream scoop, alternately add heaping spoonfuls of each batter on top of one another, swirling lightly afterward, until the muffin cup is about 3/4 full. Sprinkle with streusel.
  10. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (my extra large muffins took closer to 35 minutes). Keep in pan for 10 minutes and then remove muffins to cool on a wire rack.