Cocoa Banana Muffins {ModBak}

The Modern Baker Challenge will be kicking off in a few weeks. I’m very excited about this challenge for several reasons. I have quite a sweet tooth, so a challenge including cakes, pies, and torts seems right up my alley. And speaking of pies, I’ve never been much of a pie maker, and I’m hoping this challenge will change that.

But the thing I’m most excited about is that I asked my 12-year-old to bake along with me, and she said yes! I love baking with my kids, and the thought of making 150 recipes over about two years with her thrills me to no end. I’m hoping that, in addition to us both developing some mad baking skills, I’m able to impart a few things to her, most especially the importance of using mise en place and of cleaning up as you go. Tall order, I know. But as I said, I have two years to accomplish it.

We are both so excited about the challenge that we started baking out of The Modern Baker about a week ago. So far, we have made Fennel Fig & Almond Bread (the first recipe in the book) and the subject of this entry, Cocoa Banana Muffins.

We started the muffins with our mise en place.

Although the recipe calls for quite a few ingredients, they are mostly things you probably already have on hand. The only thing I had to buy was Dutch process cocoa powder, not because I don’t normally keep it but because I was out. That and a few overripe bananas, and we were good to go.

While Molly mixed the batter, Abby and I prepared the muffin pan. The recipe makes 16 muffins, so we used our 12- and 6-cavity muffin tins. If you only have two 12-cavity tins, remember to fill the unused tins about half full with water to keep them from scorching.

We baked the muffins in a 350 dF oven for 30 minutes, until the cake tester came out with just a few moist crumbs.

The house smelled amazing, and the muffins looked great. We waited until they cooled, then began devouring them.

The dark cocoa made a huge difference in both the appearance and taste of these muffins. They were very moist and tasted more like cupcakes than muffins. Perfect with a cup of coffee or tea, these muffins would make a great addition to a weekend brunch with friends.



  1. April 13, 2010 at 2:28 am

    […] Phyl Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)BBA Challenge #43: Sautéed Onion and Parmesan MicheMellow Baker April 2010: (1) Light Rye BreadBBA Challenge: A Summary […]

  2. AnneMarie said,

    March 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm


    Of course, all of my questions are answered on your post about the challenge. Sorry, just getting ahead of myself.

  3. AnneMarie said,

    March 15, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    I bought the book this afternoon. It is beautiful,however I was surprised that there are no weights given. Are you going to post a list of what we are baking and when?

  4. Natashya said,

    March 15, 2010 at 6:58 am

    They do look delicious, so nice that your child wants to bake with you!

  5. ap269 said,

    March 15, 2010 at 4:50 am

    Wow, you already started the challenge. Will there be an official launch? The muffins look soooo scrumptious – can’t wait to make them.

    • gaaarp said,

      March 15, 2010 at 6:32 pm

      The official launch is April 1. I’m so used to baking on the weekends, I didn’t know what to do with myself once I finished the BBA Challenge. I didn’t really start early: I was just testing a couple recipes for you!

  6. Kayte said,

    March 14, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Oh, I forgot to say that your muffins look wonderful and I think it is absolutely delightful that you will be baking with your daughter. How fun this will be to get to hear about that…maybe she will do a post sometime!

    • gaaarp said,

      March 14, 2010 at 9:33 pm

      I’m hoping to get her to post at some point. She’s really sharp and a good writer, but a little shy about it.

  7. Kayte said,

    March 14, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Oh my word, we haven’t even started and I am officially behind! Yikes. I better get going on these first two recipes hadn’t I??? I was planning on sneaking in the Irish Soda muffins for St. Pat’s Day as I always do Irish Soda Bread in honor of my Granny Franny (maiden name O’Brien from the County Armaugh in Ireland).

    • gaaarp said,

      March 14, 2010 at 9:32 pm

      Don’t worry. You’re not behind; I’m just crazy! The cocoa banana muffins aren’t even the second recipe. They’re almost the end of the quick bread section.

      I’m thinking of doing the Irish Soda muffins for St. Pat’s, too. I think I’m going to bake all the recipes in each section, and I’ll do the sections in order, but I might not do each recipe within the section in order.

      I’ll probably redo the Fennel Fig & Almond bread, since I didn’t take any pictures or blog about it. Besides, it was really good.

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