Muffin Monday: Banana Nutella Swirl Muffins

My weekday mornings usually begin between 5:30-6:00 with my husband making enough French press coffee for us each to have two cups in the morning. Then I start slicing bananas into cereal bowls, grab the last few slices for adding to my homemade yogurt, honey, and a sprinkle of granola … and we're off to the races. Er. I don't think races is the right word. We're mostly functional … how's that? After the youngling is dropped at school and my husband is safely ensconced in his office and I've taken our furriest family member for his morning constitutional, I'm ready to get my workday officially started. And that means a warm muffin and my second cup of coffee.

How do I manage a warm muffin when I've been slicing bananas and wrangling a kid and a corgi all morning? I plan ahead. I make muffins in batches of 12-36 at a time and freeze them in resealable plastic bags. Then, when it's time to pour my second cup of coffee, I pop one out of the bag, set it on a plate, and microwave it for 30 seconds. Once my coffee is assembled, the muffin is perfectly warm and I take both the coffee and muffin to my office to enjoy while I browse through emails, graphics I have to attend to that day, articles on my to-read list, and other tasks that help me ease gently into my work day. And I mostly ignore the dog who has fallen deeply in love with the muffin on my plate!

These muffins are among my favorites because they feature tender, flavorful banana and a swirl of chocolate. It's just enough to feel decadent without being too heavy early in the morning. Basically, I can enjoy it without ruining my lunch. After all, there are several hours before that happens, but given that I think about, write about, look at, and make food it's no wonder that meals might be a subject of interest as my day progresses! So keep your eyes open for periodic Muffin Mondays, when I share some of my favorite morning gems.

Banana Nutella Swirl Muffins

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ⅓ c. canola oil
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ c. sour cream
  • 1 ⅓ c. mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium-sized bananas)
  • ¼ c. Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar. Add the eggs and sour cream; whisk until just combined. Add the mashed banana and dry ingredients. With a rubber spatula, gently fold everything together until it's just combined.

Fill each paper liner ¾ full with the batter. Scoop about ½ teaspoon Nutella into each muffin cup in a few additions, so the Nutella is spread out (this will keep it from sinking during baking). Using a toothpick, slightly swirl the top part of the muffin to make a chocolate swirl on the top of the muffin.

Bake the muffins in the preheated oven for 17–20 minutes or until they are golden brown on top and the middle springs back when press slightly. Remove them from the oven and cool them in the muffin pan for 5 minutes. Transfer the muffins to a cooling rack and cool completely.

  • Yields: 12 muffins
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes