Mornings taste better when they involve these bakery-style gluten-free banana chocolate chip muffins! A sweet, crunchy streusel topping and an icing drizzle make them extra irresistible.
The number of banana muffin recipes I have on this blog continues to grow, but can you ever really have too many? You've got the healthier, just-need-a-light-snack kinda muffins and the more indulgent, ganache-glazed muffins, and then you have these muffins. These are what I call "bakery-style" muffins. They've got those classic domed tops, lots of big streusel crumbs, and an icing drizzle that's not 100% necessary, but definitely makes you feel like you just walked into a coffeeshop. And lemme tell you, I love a good bakery-style muffin. There's a few tricks to making them perfectly-domed and sky-high, and I'm gonna share them with you!
Tips for making bakery-style muffins
When it comes to making big muffins with extra-tall tops, there are a couple tricks that you can always employ:
Use baking powder in the batter. And use enough of it! Baking powder is typically used in place of baking soda in recipes that don't have an acidic ingredient, since it can create rise without it. It also tends to create more puff in a baked good, whereas baking soda creates more spread, so baking powder is perfect for getting those tall muffins tops. To really get the full rising effect, I typically aim for about 1 teaspoon of baking powder per cup of flour (and sometimes even a little more).
Use a thick batter. The thicker the batter, the more you can fill each muffin cup while ensuring that the muffins rise up (and not out) in the oven. Which brings me to my next point...
Fill your muffin tin! Don't worry about each muffin cup being only ½ full or ⅔ full or whatever it is many recipes will suggest. If you have a thick batter with the right proportion of ingredients, you can safely fill your muffins cups pretty much entirely full, and that'll help you get those big, domed tops. (I mean really, how can you expect to have a giant muffin when you don't even have enough batter to fill the muffin cup?!)
Bake at an initial high temperature. In this case we're actually not going too high (these muffins bake at 375ºF the entire time), but with some recipes I'll go as high as 400ºF for the first 5 minutes or so. The initial burst of heat gives the muffins immediate rise, which sets you up for a bigger, taller muffin.
How ripe should the bananas be?
If you're anything like me, you buy bananas and somehow always have a few stragglers that are left on the counter til they're super soft, completely brown-speckled, and no longer appealing to eat on their own. This is when they're officially perfect to use for banana muffins. The softer and browner, the better. As long as they're not going bad, they're pretty much fair game.
Using frozen bananas for banana muffins
Speaking of those browning bananas on your counter... once they're starting to look like they absolutely need to be used or dumped, if you can't use them immediately, freeze them! In my experience, frozen bananas work for pretty much any banana bread/muffin recipe. Just let them defrost on the counter to room temperature, and then peel, mash, and use in your recipe as usual.
Streusel vs crumb topping
This is a topic I never really thought to question until recently; is there a difference between a streusel topping and a crumb topping? The two are pretty much used interchangeably, but according to The Spruce Eats, a traditional streusel has big, crunchy crumbs, while a crumb topping has more of a sandy texture, like fine crumbs. I'm a big fan of those big streusel crumbs - they're also used in my pear muffins and coffeecake muffins - so that's what you'll get with this recipe.
How to make a good streusel topping
When making a streusel topping, a few standard guidelines will help you make sure you wind up with giant, crunchy crumbles:
Ingredient proportions matter. Using more flour in proportion to sugar and butter gives the streusel better structure to maintain those big crumbs.
Use a mixture of granulated sugar and brown sugar. All granulated sugar makes streusel taste a little flat and overly sweet, but excess brown sugar can add too much moisture to the streusel. Using a mixture of both makes for the best flavor and texture/crunch.
Use melted butter. Another trick I have for a perfect streusel is to combine all the dry ingredients first, and then stir in melted butter. The melted butter will allow you to clump the dough together into a ball, which you'll then chill until it's solid. When your muffins are ready to bake, you can break the streusel dough up with your hands into big crumbles.
Storing these muffins
These muffins are best served at room temperature, and will keep for a couple days if stored in an airtight bag or container. That being said, they taste better the first day or two that they're baked, and the streusel will be at its optimal level of crunchiness on day one.
More banana muffin recipes
I may have mentioned I have a few other banana muffin recipes... Here are some of my favorites!
Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins - These muffins are on the healthier side (but still a treat thanks to those chocolate chips!). They're gluten-free, dairy-free, and sweetened only with honey.
Chocolate-Glazed Espresso and Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins - If you love coffee as much as I do, these are your muffins. They have espresso in the batter AND in the ganache glaze on top.
Healthy Banana Coconut Chocolate Chunk Muffins - This is for all my coconut lovers. The recipe calls for roasting the bananas for extra flavor, and coconut flakes add texture. They're also gluten-free, free of added sugar, and (optionally) dairy-free.Print
Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Mornings taste better when they involve these bakery-style banana chocolate chip muffins! A sweet, crunchy streusel topping and an icing drizzle make them extra irresistible.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes (up to 25)
- Total Time: 45 minutes (up to 50)
- Yield: 12 muffins 1x
- Category: muffins
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
- ⅔ cup (2 ¾ ounces) gluten-free all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (1 ¾ ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons (2 ½ ounces) unsalted butter, melted
- 3 cups (12 ¾ ounces) gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (3 ½ ounces) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (1 ⅞ ounces) brown sugar
- ½ cup (4 ounces) refined coconut oil, melted
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup (2 ⅛ ounces) milk (I used whole milk)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups (10 ⅝ ounces) mashed banana*
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, plus extra for sprinkling on top
Icing Drizzle: (optional)
- 1 cup (4 ounces) confectioner's sugar
- 4 teaspoons milk or cream
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make the streusel: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Use a spatula to stir in the melted butter until fully incorporated, and then work the mixture into a single clump of dough. Transfer to the freezer to solidify while making the muffins.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF and light grease a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray. Use a paper towel to wipe off any spray that may have settled on the top surface of the pan.
- Whisk dry ingredients: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Mix wet ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and melted coconut oil until well-combined.Add the eggs and beat in until well-incorporated; the mixture should get more pale in color as you whisk. Add the milk and vanilla and whisk in until fully incorporated. Stir in the mashed banana just to combine.
- Combine: Fold the dry ingredients into the wet just until mostly incorporated. The batter will be thick. Add the chocolate chips and fold in just until evenly dispersed, with no streaks of flour remaining in the batter. Be careful not to overmix.
- Transfer to muffin pan: Divide the muffin batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle a few extra chocolate chips onto the top of each. Remove the streusel mixture from the freezer and use your hands to crumble into pieces somewhere between the size of a pea and a small blueberry. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the muffins.
- Bake and cool: Bake muffins in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the crumb topping is just starting to turn golden in spots and a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely (be cautious to avoid breaking off the streusel crumbs). Cool to room temperature before adding the icing drizzle.
- Make the icing: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioner's sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add more milk if needed to achieve desired consistency - you're looking for a thick icing that will hold its shape when drizzled.
- Drizzle over muffins: Use a piping bag fitted with a small round tip, a parchment piping bag with a narrow opening, or a spoon to drizzle the icing over the muffins. Let set.
*Mash the bananas by hand with a fork; aim for a lumpy mixture, not a purée.
Storage and shelf life: Muffins can be stored in an airtight container or zip-top bag at room temperature (up to a couple days for optimum freshness).
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