September 11, 2012

Mini Banana Bread Muffins for School {Powernap}

Mini Banana Muffins via The Naptime Chef

This is the latest installment of my Powernap column. The series where I share quick, easy food that can be made for all kinds of situations. Powernaps are short and sweet, and so are these recipes. These are the things I make in a jiffy when I need a quick snack, am in the mood for a recipe experiment, or simply need to clean out the pantry.

One of the challenges of the school year is packing healthy, fun snacks for kids. I don’t want my daughter to turn into a serial snacker, of course, I never want snacks to replace her actual meal. But she has to take snack to school every day and really needs a mid-afternoon munchie to hold her over until dinner. Since I do my best to make all of her food from scratch I often make an easy kid-friendly snack bread on Sunday to last the week. Zucchini Applesauce Bread or Rhubarb Orange Snack Bread are two favorites and a slice of either makes a satisfying, healthy snacks for her preschool palate.

When I was in Cooperstown my mother reminded me of another snack my brother and I used to love: mini banana bread muffins. Sometimes she would make them for us with chocolate chips, other times without, but either way we adored them. She also reminded me she used to adapt them for the adults by stirring in chopped walnuts instead of chocolate chips. It made me think that they also might taste great with tiny bits of chopped ginger or even dried cranberries. Oh, the possibilities!

Mini Banana Muffins via The Naptime Chef

I made them over the weekend, sans chocolate chips or walnuts, with my daughter and she was as completely besotted as I remember being. They were moist and chewy and the cool mini size totally captivated her attention. She begged for two to be packed for her snack yesterday. Thankfully the batch makes a generous amount so I anticipate there will be plenty of muffins to get us through the week and I might even freeze some too. To round out her snack I packed two slices of some early MacIntosh apples just arriving in stores. After I school I opened her backpack the whole container was empty.


Mini Banana Bread Muffins

an old recipe from Mom, makes 24 mini muffins


1 stick unsalted butter (a.k.a. ½ cup butter OR 4 ounces butter), room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
3 small bananas, mashed with a fork
1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 Tablespoon hot water
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup mini chocolate chips (optional) or walnuts (for adults)


1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a mini-muffin tin with paper liners or rub each muffin cup with butter and set aside. In a small bowl mix the flour, nutmeg, and salt, and set side.

2. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the egg and bananas and mix well. Then add the dissolved baking soda and mix again.

3. With the mixer on low slowly add in the flour and mix until it is no longer visible. If you are using chocolate chips or walnuts (or both) stir them in with a wooden spoon.

4. Scoop the mixture into the muffin cups until each one is half full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown and spring back lightly with when touched. Allow to cool before serving.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

This sweet muffins are perfect to pack alone or in pairs in snack boxes for kids. OR, the “dressed up” walnut version is fantastic for serving to the adults at brunch parties!

Naptime Stopwatch

10 minutes batter preparation, 20 minutes bake time

Naptime Reviews

Even the teacher commented on her snack – I think I know what my first baking project with the kids will be this fall!