Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sour Cream Banana Muffins

The other night I made banana muffins that were so good I just have to share with you. I would give you an actual taste, but now they are just a memory. They were soft with a delicate crumb and a pronounced banana flavor that remained subtle. They weren't overly sweet, which is a little surprising as the original recipe is for a banana cake, not a muffin. I made them to be nice to Lewis who has been putting up with my whining and low grade cooking since the beginning of the year. Tp begin the year I got a miserable cold that morphed into bronchitis. I'm still not totally done with that foul illness, but I have gotten back my will to cook. That really was the most troubling of my symptoms for my family.

Lewis makes breakfast on most weekday mornings and he was wondering what we could have the next morning. I said no to making another loaf of the bread machine bread, which helped us get through the month. So while Lewis read to the boys for bed (we take turns, each reading our own chapter book to them), I scrounged for ingredients in my kitchen and inspiration for muffins. I always have overripe bananas lurking in my freezer (the ones I have are far sorrier looking then the ones in the photo above, they are not really photo worthy). So I perused some of my favorite blogs to see what recipes I could find. For my first real baking in a month I wanted to make something new, not my regular banana bread muffins. Molly at Orangette blogged about this banana cake recipe and as I looked at the ingredients I became hopeful. Hopeful that this cake would be as good as the banana cakes from Eli Zabar's that I fell in love with last time I was in New York. The ingredient list was the same so I forged ahead, making them as individual muffins so I could feel like it was breakfast.

The resulting muffin was just what I was looking for, although happily not as sweet as the cake from Eli Zabar's. If I am going to bake a cake as muffins and serve them for breakfast it is better if they aren't sticky sweet. I may in the future try them with less butter and sugar but really I will probably just bake them up following this same recipe. I wouldn't want to waste perfectly good ingredients or my time in the kitchen on a botched rendition. At least I added whole wheat flour.

Sour Cream Banana Muffins
Adapted from Orangette and Gourmet

1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 oz's) unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, not packed, after all I was making muffins and not cake
1 large egg (place the egg in a bowl of warm water until you are ready to use it)
3/4 cup overripe, very brown bananas, puréed (I puréed mine with an immersion blender)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract (I often up the vanilla extract in recipes, it makes them subtly better)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (I used Kosher)
3/4 cup white whole wheat or whole whet pastry flour
3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour

Place the oven rack in the middle position and preheat to 350° Fahrenheit. Line muffin tins with 12 liners and set aside.

Beat the butter and brown sugar in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on high speed. The mixture should be pale and fluffy, stop and scrape down the bowl as necessary. Add the egg and mix until well combined, then add the banana purée, sour cream and vanilla extract. Mix to combine well and add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix before adding the flours and mixing on low speed. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and mixing one final time, although mix only until combined to prevent overmixing (if you mix to much the flour will form gluten strands and the muffins will be tough).

Divide the batter evenly between 12 muffin cups and bake in the center of the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean (It can be moist from the butter but there should be no batter). Allow to cool in muffin tins, store in an airtight container. These go especially well with a strong cup of coffee, although Julian didn't seem to mind them without coffee. Sebastian didn't like them, but he didn't like the cake from EAT either.


  1. Robin, great photo. I'm sure all of your boys were happy with their breakfast.

  2. Actually Ann Sebastian did not like them he decided after finishing half of a muffin. Thats okay, Julian asked for them at every meal until they were gone, and Lewis loved them as well.


  3. Wow, I know this post is from last year, but I just made these except in mini form, and the recipe turned out great! Thanks!