We are big banana eaters. My toddler can easily put away half a dozen bananas during the course of one day, if I let him. On occasion, I end up buying more than we can eat before they start to become overly ripe. Believe it or not, this is my favorite part of the banana ripening process because it means I can take this wonderful, sweet, mush and turn it into something that fills my house with the most wonderful aroma as it bakes. You guessed it, banana bread!
But banana bread can get boring quickly. Enter these moist, chewy, sweet, tangy, crunchy banana cheesecake swirl muffins with a crumb topping. Now this, has too much going on to be boring. Lately, I have been baking with coconut oil. I love the way it flavors the muffins with the subtly, sweet undertones of coconut. Mixed with bananas, it makes for a very moist and chewy muffins.
Another way I perked up this recipe is by spicing the dry ingredients so you get the warm bursts of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice running through the muffins. I LOVE cinnamon, so much that I doubled it in this recipe, which gives them the lovely darker brown color.
I often hear complaints about muffins that are too dense or rubbery. Chances are, it’s because you’re over-mixing the batter. This is why it is very important to start by mixing the wet and dry ingredients separately and incorporating the dry into the wet only until moistened. The best way to do this is by gently folding in the flour into the banana mixture, scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula, picking up the wet and dry ingredients in the bowl and “fold” it over, back into the bowl. Continue doing this until the mixture is just moist and mixed together.
The cheesecake mixture, adds a slight tang to cut the sweetness of the muffin. I vary in how I incorporate it into the muffin, sometimes running a knife and “cutting in” the cream cheese into the muffin and other times, I like to sandwich a thin layer in the middle.
The crumb topping adds a slightly crunchy texture to the muffin. Butter, flour and sugar, mixed with my favorite, cinnamon, are cut together (I used a pastry cutter but a fork works just as well), until it resembles cookie crumbs.
- For the muffins:
- 4-5 medium bananas, mashed
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted (or vegetable oil)
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- for cheesecake mixture:
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- for crumb topping:
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp cold butter, cut into pieces
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Line two muffin pans with cupcake liners or lightly grease the cups.
- Make the cream cheese filling:with an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth and no lumps remain. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Set aside
- In a separate, large bowl, combine bananas, oil, white and brown sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients, until just moistened.
- Make crumb topping: In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Using a fork or a pastry cutter, "cut" in butter into the flour mixture, until it resembles a crumbly texture or coarse pebbles.
- Fill the muffin pans with the batter, filling halfway. Add 1 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture and top with the remaining batter to each muffin. Alternatively, before adding the remaining batter, use the tip if a knife to swirl the cream cheese mixture into the muffin batter in each cup.
- Top each muffin with 2 heaping teaspoons of the crumb topping.
- Bake for 20-25 or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool on wire rack.