Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
These mini banana chocolate chip muffins are everything you want: moist and flavorful like banana bread, generously studded with chocolate, and absolutely adorable! In theory, their mini size is perfect for portion control. Except I’m not actually sure about that last part, lol. My college roommate once said that she loved mini things—mini candy bars, for instance—because you could eat more of it, but it was okay since “it’s mini!”
While I think there’s an element of truth to this, it’s oddly hard to actually apply it in baking recipes. Most recipes are meant to use up leftover ingredients like overripe bananas in banana bread and fruit for cobblers, crisps, and pies. Others are meant for celebrations and have portions that bring a crowd together. Maybe I’m overthinking this, but aside from muffin and loaf pans, there aren’t really a whole lot of other mini baking pans, right?
I also suspect that mini muffin and loaf pans exist because they’re both baked goods commonly associated with breakfast. Most breakfast pastries are usually eaten on the go, or solo—hence the need for a smaller serving size. Or maybe this is all just in my head. Whatever the real answer maybe, I present to you my first official “mini” recipe for mini banana chocolate chip muffins.
Why You Should Make Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Because the office loves them and they can feed a crowd.
Although banana bread will always be one of my favorite baked goods, I like to make banana muffins when I’m feeling a little bit fancier. Muffins are especially great for sharing with the office; when I worked in corporate, folks would get INCREDIBLY excited when I brought in muffins. Most muffin recipes, however, only make 12 or so muffins (which was not enough for my 16-person engineering team). And therein lies the genius of the mini muffin tin—a muffin recipe that makes 12 regular sized muffins can usually make AT LEAST double the number of mini muffins. It’s truly great for feeding a crowd.
Because they’re good for portion control.
Here’s a fun fact about me: left to my own devices, I have zero self control. I’m the kind of person who can eat an entire order of delivery pizza in one sitting. It’s a problem, especially when you work as a freaking baker and desserts blogger. But that’s why I love, love, LOVE the size of these mini muffins. IMO, they’re the perfect portion to ensure that you don’t feel any guilt about essentially eating cake for breakfast.
Because they’re fun to make.
This banana muffin recipe is also fun to try if you’re a beginner baker looking to step up your game. If you’ve made banana bread, you can easily make banana muffins. The recipes are pretty much the same, but vary in technique. Making mini muffins is a fun little challenge too! Although it can be slightly tricky to fill up the smaller cavities of the muffin tin (be sure to check out my baker’s notes below on how to best do so!), it’s still a totally attainable technique for amateur bakers and folks who seldom bake. It’s not like, say, making macarons (which I have never managed to successfully do).
Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins Ingredients and Substitutions
Now that I’ve convinced you to make these mini banana chocolate chip muffins, here’s your shopping list for the recipe:
Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe Shopping List
- sour cream
- pure vanilla extract
- all-purpose flour
- baking soda
- baking powder
- kosher salt
- unsalted butter
- light or dark brown sugar
- large eggs
- mini chocolate chips
And let’s talk about some of the key ingredients in the recipe:
This recipe works best if you use incredibly ripe, spotted, and almost black bananas. The spottier they are, the sweeter and more flavorful your mini banana chocolate chip muffins will be. Although there are many hacks available online to get your bananas to ripen faster, I like the old-fashioned way. Place the bananas in a paper bag, seal it, and place in a warm spot, untouched for a few days. The warmth will encourage the release of ethylene gas (the gas that causes fruit to ripen). The gas then collects and concentrates in the paper bag to ripen the bananas faster.
I always like to pair my banana baked goods with sour cream. I find that it makes them extra moist and flavorful. It also gives them a subtle tangy flavor that pairs wonderfully with the bananas! If you don’t have sour cream, substitute with the same amount of creme fraîche or full fat unsweetened yogurt (Greek or regular will work in this recipe).
Most baking recipes primarily use light brown sugar in their recipe. However, I like the extra moisture and flavor that dark brown sugar gives in this recipe. But in a pinch, you can use either light or dark brown sugar.
Light Versus Dark Brown Sugar
Brown sugar is granulated white sugar with a touch of molasses to give it its signature color and flavor. Because brown sugar contains molasses, it adds more moisture to baked goods than granulated sugar otherwise would. Brown sugar is available in two varieties: light or dark. Dark brown sugar is my personal preference; because it contains more molasses, I find it to be more flavorful.
Mini Chocolate Chips
When making mini muffins, it’s only appropriate that you use mini chocolate chips too, right?! I love mini chocolate chips because I feel like they disperse better throughout batters and give you more chocolate distribution per bite. That being said, regular chocolate chips work just fine in this recipe too. And if you don’t have chocolate chips to spare, chop up your favorite chocolate bar into ¼- to ½-inch pieces and use that instead! I recommend using chocolate that is at least 60% cacao to really contrast with the banana flavor.
How to Bake Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Here are the basic steps needed to make mini banana chocolate chip muffins from scratch:
- Prep Your Ingredients (Work Time: <5 Minutes)
Make the wet mix by mashing the bananas and sour cream (or creme fraiche, or yogurt) together, and the dry mix by whisking together the dry ingredients. If using a digital scale, weigh out the bananas and sour cream all in the same bowl, the dry ingredients in another, and the butter and sugar in the bowl a stand mixer. This will help save you dishes!
- Make the Muffin Base (Work Time: 5 minutes)
Cream together the butter, eggs, and sugar, then alternate adding the dry mix and the wet mix, followed by the chocolate chips.
- Scoop the Dough into the Mini Muffin Tin (Work Time: 10 minutes)
For me, this was the most time-consuming and tricky part of the recipe. That’s because the muffin cavities are pretty small. You’ll need to scoop a generous amount of batter in each one to give them nice domes! A few key tools will make the job go by easier—be sure to check out the baker’s notes for links. After scooping the muffins, sprinkle some mini chocolate chips over each one to give them a nice finish.
- Bake at a Higher Temperature (15 minutes per batch)
Most baked goods are usually baked at 350℉, but muffins are typically baked at a higher temperature because of their high fruit content. The juice and sugars from the fruit need to be cooked longer. In this case, the muffins are baked at 375℉, but it’s not uncommon for muffin recipes to baked at even higher temperatures like 400℉. The higher temperature also encourages more doming in the muffins.
Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe Troubleshooting and FAQ
Everything you wanted to know about making mini banana chocolate chip muffins (or mini muffins in general):
How big is a mini muffin?
Mini muffins are about a quarter of the size of a regular muffin; each muffin cavity is about a n inch wide and an inch deep. While I typically use 6 tablespoons of muffin batter to make one regular-sized muffin, I used 1 ½ tablespoons of muffin batter to make one mini-sized muffin.
Where to buy a mini muffin pan?
The mini muffin pan I used for this recipe is from Williams-Sonoma’s Goldtouch nonstick line, which I love, love, love (I even recommended all their baking pans in my cookbook!). But pro-tip: you can find mini muffin pans for cheaper on Amazon. Whatever you choose, stick with a light-colored pan (like this one). Dark-colored baking pans absorb heat more quickly and as a result, have a tendency to burn baked goods.
Where to buy mini muffin liners?
Mini muffin liners are available in the baking aisle of most grocery stores; in a pinch, you can also buy some online.
How to adjust baking time for mini muffins?
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula or standard rule for adjusting the bake time of regular muffin recipes for mini muffins. It really depends on the recipe you’re making. You want to bake the mini muffins until they are domed and golden brown around the edges; a skewer inserted into the center of a muffin should come out clean. If baking a regular muffin recipe in a mini muffin tin, I would start checking for doneness about 10 minutes before the recipe’s original time.
Best Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin Tips
Best Ingredient Tip
- Bananas are listed in the recipe by weight, not volume or size. Why? It’s risky not to include exact measures for banana recipes. Too little banana and your baked good will turn out dry, flavorless, and maybe even soapy tasting (banana’s natural acidity helps neutralize the baking soda in the recipe, so without enough fruit, the muffins will taste like baking soda!). But too much banana and your muffins might take forever to bake or collapse in the center. For best results, first peel the bananas, then use a digital scale to weigh the naked fruit. For those of you who need volume measurements though, this recipe needs around ⅔ cups mashed bananas, from about 1 large banana or 1 ½ medium ones.
Best Equipment Tip
- No mini muffin tin? You can make this recipe in a regular muffin pan; it will make a small batch of around 6 muffins. Line every other cavity with a paper liner and fill the empty cavities halfway up with warm water. Scoop about 6 tablespoons of batter into each lined cavity and bake for 22 minutes.
Best Technique Tip
- The recipe instructs you to fill your muffin tin with a generous portion of batter (1 ½ tablespoons per cavity). It will seem like a lot and that the muffins will overflow, but the batter is fairly thick and will hold its shape before and during baking—this is the secret to sky-high domes! I used this 1 ½ tablespoon measure and a small rubber spatula to measure out each cavity; it was accurate but a little on the time-consuming side. If I had to do it again, I would probably in vest in this 1 ½ tablespoon cookie dough scoop for the job. Whatever tool you decide for the job, be sure to level out your measure properly or you might run of batter to fill each mini muffin cavity!
Best Storage Tip
- Can you freeze banana chocolate chip muffins? Yes, yes you can. They’ll lose their crispy tops but will still taste wonderful. To freeze banana chocolate chip muffins, individually wrap each one in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and eat slightly chilled or rewarmed in the microwave or oven.
More Muffin Recipes
Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe
For the Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- 5 ounces (or 142 grams) very ripe peeled bananas (⅔ cups mashed bananas, from about 1 large banana)
- 2 Tablespoons sour cream
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (4.5 ounces or 128 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 Tablespoons (3 ounces or 85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup tightly packed (3.75 ounces or 106 grams) dark OR light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup (6 ounces or 170 grams) mini chocolate chips, plus more for garnish
For the Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Prep your oven and pan. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners.
- Make the muffins. In a medium bowl, use a fork to mash the bananas, adding the sour cream and vanilla and stirring them into the mixture as you do. The mixture will be thick and chunky, but that's totally okay, I promise!
- In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium until light, fluffy, and doubled in volume, 2 to 3 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce the mixer to low and add the egg, mixing until combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in two equal parts, adding the second half only when the first half has been just combined. Add the banana mixture all at once and beat on low until just combined. Add the mini chocolate chips and beat until evenly distributed. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl once more, and beat on low for an additional 30 seconds.
- Carefully scoop a scant 1 ½ tablespoons of batter into each paper liner. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with mini chocolate chips.
- Bake the muffins. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the muffins are domed and golden brown around the edges and a skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with a few crumbs attached. Cool completely in the muffin tin on a wire rack.
- Serve and store. Serve warm or at room temperature. The muffins can be stored under a cake dome (or a large bowl turned upside down) at room temperature for up to 3 days.
This post was last updated on 8/15/2020.
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Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.