These double chocolate banana muffins taste like a treat, but they’re made with coconut oil, whole wheat flour, honey, and naturally sweet mashed bananas. Enjoy all of the rich chocolate flavor and moist texture of chocolate cake, but in a slightly healthier whole wheat muffin.
For an extra special treat, you can even try them with a peanut butter swirl! See below.
Let’s go ahead and call these a healthier version of regular double chocolate muffins. Today’s recipe was originally published in 2016, and it remains on regular rotation. I’m bringing it back from the archives with new photos and clearer instructions… because no one should miss out on these!
This is a great recipe to make for kids’ lunch boxes or after-school snacks. Or maybe even a first-day-of-school special breakfast. They’ll think they’re getting a chocolate cupcake, but you’ll know the truth!
Reader Krithika says: “…Intensely chocolatey and amazingly moist, better than many cupcakes I’ve eaten…”
Here’s Why You’ll Love These Double Chocolate Banana Muffins
- Made from basic ingredients
- Super moist with rich chocolate flavor
- Quick and easy, just like regular banana muffins & pumpkin muffins
- A more wholesome version of these double chocolate muffins
- Uses whole wheat flour for a nutritional boost
- A delicious way to use up your spotty bananas
- Dairy free if using dairy-free chocolate chips
Reader Sydney commented: “These are amazing!! They don’t taste ‘healthy’ or even like whole wheat muffins— you’d never know they weren’t just your typical bakery style double chocolate muffins. I would say they weren’t super banana-heavy on the flavor either, which was actually a positive for us…★★★★★”
Ingredients You Need & Why:
- Bananas: Bananas naturally sweeten the muffins. Make sure you’re using super brown speckled bananas—the riper, the better. The chocolate flavor overpowers the banana, so you can expect a chocolate-forward taste with hints of sweet banana in the background.
- Honey: Honey finishes up the sweetening job. Feel free to swap maple syrup or agave in its place.
- Egg: An egg helps to bind the ingredients together.
- Coconut oil: You can always rely on oil to keep your baked goods moist, especially when they’re made with drying ingredients like whole wheat flour and cocoa powder.
- Vanilla extract, salt, baking powder, & baking soda: Flavor and rising essentials.
- Whole wheat flour: I like to use whole wheat flour when I can, particularly when I make healthier versions of my favorite treats, like this whole wheat banana bread.
- Cocoa powder: Cocoa powder takes the place of some of the flour in the recipe.
- Chocolate chips: Chocolate chips add some texture throughout. Plus, more chocolate!
Only 1 cup of flour in this recipe? Yes, that’s right! Cocoa powder acts as a dry ingredient too.
Using Whole Wheat Flour Instead of All-Purpose
Whole wheat flour has a big nutritional advantage over refined white flour—it’s richer in protein, fiber, and minerals. It’s also heavier and heartier than white flour, so it works especially well in muffin recipes, which naturally have a denser texture than cake—take these morning glory muffins, or these applesauce muffins, for example. Whole wheat flour absorbs a lot of liquid, so it can dry out your baked goods. But in this recipe we’re canceling that out with the super moist content of the mashed banana.
How to Mash Bananas
I started doing this a while ago and it’s been a total game changer whenever I make banana muffins, breakfast cookies, or banana bread. Just use your mixer to mash bananas! Peel and break the bananas into chunks, place in your mixer, and beat until mashed. Beat the rest of the wet ingredients right into this bowl, then beat in the dry ingredients. So easy.
If you’d rather not use the mixer (it really isn’t necessary for this recipe), just mash the bananas in a big bowl with a fork. You need 1 and 1/2 cups, which is about 345g or 3 large bananas.
The process is really easy. Whisk the wet ingredients and dry ingredients together in separate bowls, then combine it all. Fold in the chocolate chips, reserving some for the tops of the warm muffins.
Don’t forget about my high-temperature trick for sky-scraping muffin tops. Start baking the muffins in an extra-hot oven; the initial burst of high heat raises the muffin tops straight up. Then reduce the oven temperature to cook the centers of the muffins for the remaining bake time. It’s such a simple trick that produces beautiful, bakery-display-case-worthy muffins.
Expect a thick batter:
Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Banana Muffins!
If you love a chocolate-peanut-butter-banana combo like I do, you can add a peanut butter swirl to the tops of the muffins, and swap some of the chocolate chips for peanut butter chips.
Melt 1/4 cup (about 62g) of creamy peanut butter (or use runny natural peanut butter) and spoon 1 teaspoon of it onto each muffin before baking. Using a knife or a toothpick, gently swirl it around into the batter. Top with a few peanut butter chips (optional).
These are a really fun treat! Kids and adults go nuts for that peanut butter swirl and no one ever realizes they’re whole wheat.
Are These Healthy?
I’d say these are a healthy-ish treat. They’re made with some alternatives to traditional baking ingredients like bananas and coconut oil instead of butter, honey instead of refined sugar, and whole wheat flour instead of white. However, they may be too sugary for someone who needs to watch their sugar intake.
When it comes to labeling recipes as healthy, use the best judgment for YOU. You can calculate the nutritional information for these with the exact products/brands you use with the help of an online recipe nutrition calculator.Print
These double chocolate banana muffins taste like a treat, but they’re made with coconut oil, whole wheat flour, honey, and plenty of naturally sweet mashed bananas. See Note for peanut butter swirl version.
- 1 and 1/2 cups (345g) mashed bananas (about 3 large bananas)
- 1/3 cup (80ml) honey (or maple syrup or agave)
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (56g) coconut oil, melted (or vegetable oil, olive oil, or melted butter)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (130g) whole wheat flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/2 cup (41g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder (or dutch-process)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (save a few for topping)
- Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mash the bananas up using a fork.* Try to mash up any large lumps. Once mashed, whisk in the honey, egg, coconut oil, and vanilla extract until combined. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until everything is combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, reserving some for the tops of the warm muffins.
- Spoon the batter evenly into each cup or liner, filling each all the way to the top.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C); then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce heat to 350°F (177°C) and continue baking for another 15–17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 20–21 minutes, give or take. (For mini muffins, bake 11–13 minutes at 350°F (177°C) the whole time.)
- Press any remaining chocolate chips into the tops of the warm muffins. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the muffin pan, and then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling, or enjoy warm.
- Muffins stay fresh covered at room temperature for a few days, then transfer to the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: For longer storage, freeze the muffins for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then warm up in the microwave if desired.
- Bananas: You can also mash the bananas in a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer. Not a fan of bananas? Try these healthier double chocolate chip muffins instead.
- Whole wheat flour: If you don’t have whole wheat flour, you can replace with the same amount of all-purpose flour.
- Can I skip the chocolate chips? Yes, feel free to leave them out or replace with chopped nuts.
- Peanut Butter Swirl Version: After step 4 and before step 5, melt 1/4 cup (about 62g) of creamy peanut butter (or use runny natural peanut butter) and spoon 1 teaspoon of it onto each muffin before baking. Using a knife or a toothpick, gently swirl it around into the batter. Top with a few peanut butter chips, if desired. Proceed with step 5.
- Why the initial high oven temperature? Like I do for most muffin recipes, bake the muffins for 5 minutes at a very hot temperature. Then, keeping the muffins in the oven, switch to a lower temperature for the remaining bake time. This initial high temperature will quickly lift the muffin tops so they’re extra high, then the centers will bake during the lower temperature bake time. This trick makes beautiful bakery-style muffins every time.
- 2012 Version: An earlier version of this recipe published in 2012 was practically the same, only swapping 1/2 of the flour for all-purpose flour, applesauce instead of coconut oil, and 2/3 cup (about 130g) granulated sugar instead of honey. Today’s version yields a heartier, richer, moister muffin.
Keywords: chocolate banana muffins