These banana muffin tops are chewy, dense, and gooey. They have the perfect balance of crispness from the crust and chewiness inside – like a cross between a cookie and a muffin. I usually make these muffin tops for breakfast (since they are only sweetened with bananas and dates) or have them for a quick snack.
Let’s be honest – cleaning the muffin pan is the WORST job in the kitchen. No matter how much you grease it, stuff always sticks to it and no cleaning apparatus lends itself to fitting in there easily. Sometimes the internal debate about how badly I want a muffin versus the clean up goes on in my head for hours.
Normally, I am the one who cooks/bakes and Tanner (my husband) does the dishes. However, when the muffin pan is involved, Tanner refuses to do the dishes and leaves the kitchen! So the last time I was about to make muffins, I made muffin tops instead. Not only are muffin tops the part of the muffin that everyone loves the most, but there is also only one bowl to clean after!
I say, why make muffins when you can make muffin tops?
Tips for Making Banana Muffin Tops
CREDIT: the banana muffin tops recipe has been inspired by Banana Bread Muffin Tops from Oh She Glows.
Bananas are sweet, contain moisture, and have binding properties. That’s why they make a great substitute for added sugar, butter, and eggs in baked goods. You can use bananas not only in muffin tops, but also in regular muffins, breads, pancakes, or granola bars.
Another sweetener and a binder in this recipe are Medjool dates. Because dates are high in fiber and naturally sticky. they can be blended into a binder for pretty much any raw or baked dessert. I incorporate dates into cheesecakes, brownies, fudge, granola bars, any dessert, really.
I use rolled oats for this recipe, but even instant oats would work. The reason I like rolled oats better is their texture. Instant oats get kind of lost in the muffin top whereas rolled oats provide more of a bite. As eaters, we tend to downplay texture’s importance. However, how a food feels affects our enjoyment of things. If I was making these muffin tops as a dessert, I might even use oat flour instead of oats for extra fluffiness. But for breakfast, I prefer something more chewy and dense.
The baking powder provides an extra lift to these muffin tops so don’t leave it out. It serves as a leavening agent here, inflating the muffin tops up and out.
Most of my raw treats and snacks require one of two appliances – a blender or a food processor. The good news is that if you buy pre-made date paste, you don’t really need a food processor for this recipe. Simply mash the bananas with a fork, add the date paste, mix all the other ingredients in with a spatula (I would probably use instant oats instead of rolled oats in this case) and you’ve got the banana muffin tops mixture ready in no time.
If you are using a food processor, you’ll need to make these muffin tops in two stages. First, puree the bananas and dates. I let my food processor run for a few minutes to get the dates form a nice smooth paste. Once you have the banana-date paste ready, use the pulse button only to incorporate all the other ingredients. As I already mentioned, the less you process the oats, the more texture you’ll get.
Tools You’ll Need
1. Food Processor (Breville Sous Chef) | 2. Baking Sheet (Pampered Chef, Stone) | 3. Cooling Rack ( Stainless Steel) | 4. Measuring Cups (Set of 6, Bellemain, Stainless Steel) | 5. Measuring Spoons (Set of 6, 1Easylife, Stainless Steel)
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- 2 bananas
- 1/2 cup Medjool dates, pitted
- 1/4 cup vegan butter or coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if necessary)
- pinch fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 °F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Add bananas, dates, vegan butter (or coconut oil), and vanilla into a food processor. Process until smooth.
Add all the other ingredients and pulse a few times until combined. The rolled oats should be roughly chopped, but not completely broken down. Finally, fold in the pecans (optional).
Using a large ice cream scoop (or a large spoon), spoon about 3 tablespoons of the dough onto the silicone mat. Do not press the dough down - it should resemble a muffin top.
Bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of the muffin tops), or until golden brown on the bottom. Let cool completely before serving.
*If you're using Deglet Noir dates, you will need to soak them in water first so they soften up a bit.