February 20, 2013

Coffee Banana Muffins

On a snowy, chilly day like today, nothing sounds better than sitting down with a warm mug of coffee and a freshly baked treat like banana bread. And with these muffins, you can have both coffee and banana bread combined into one!

I discovered my love for the combination of coffee + bananas a few years ago when I got into making my own smoothies. In the summertime when it was just too hot to fathom drinking a hot coffee in the morning, I started making cold coffee smoothies by blending up a frozen banana with milk and instant coffee.

I've been wanting to try this combination in baked form for a while, and now I can say that it lived up to my expectations!

I thought both the banana and coffee flavours came through pretty strongly in these muffins, and in perfect balance with each other. 

Besides those two ingredients, these muffins have a couple of other special additions that take them beyond regular banana bread. First, instead of using chocolate chips, I added raw cacao nibs for a bit of crunch and a hint of chocolate flavour, while still keeping them healthy enough to eat for breakfast.

Second, I replaced half of the flour with ground up cinnamon cereal.  This idea came from a muffin recipe I had seen on Diet, Dessert & Dogs, and I was curious to try it out for myself. I was a bit worried that the cereal would make the muffins too dry, but it seemed to do just the opposite - the muffins had such a nice texture and were super moist. 

I have to say, these are some of my favourite muffins that I've made lately - they're vegan and pretty healthy overall, but without tasting too healthy. I also think the recipe would work well turned into a loaf instead of muffins, so I'll have to give that a try the next time I have a bunch of ripe bananas to use up!

Vegan Coffee Banana Muffins
Inspired by Flavor in Spades and Diet, Dessert & Dogs

1/2 tbsp ground flax
3 tbsp water
2/3-1 cup flake cereal* 
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 tbsp instant coffee mixed with 3 tbsp soy milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
2 tbsp cacao nibs

*Note: A cinnamon flavoured cereal works well in this recipe. I would also recommend choosing a brand with low sugar, so that your muffins don’t end up too sweet. I used a homemade cinnamon flavoured cereal with very low sugar. 
Update: If you don't have cereal, I made this recipe again with 1/2 cup oat flour (from rolled oats that I ground myself) instead of the ground cereal and it worked well too!

Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a muffin pan by spraying the muffin cups with cooking spray or lining with paper liners.

Mix the flax with the water and set aside to thicken for at least 5 minutes.

To make the ground cereal, start with about 2/3 cup to 1 cup of cereal (the amount you will need depends on the size of the flakes – use more with larger flakes and less with smaller flakes). Place the cereal in a blender or food processor and grind until it resembles a flour.

Place 1/2 cup of the ground cereal, along with the whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk to mix thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, mix the mashed bananas, coffee-milk mixture, maple syrup and vanilla. Add this wet mixture to the dry ingredients and give it a stir. Add the flax mixture and the melted coconut oil. Use a spatula or a wooden spoon to mix all the ingredients gently, just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Fold in the cacao nibs.

Divide batter evenly into six prepared muffin cups. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (mine took about 28 minutes).

Remove muffins from pan and let cool on a wire rack.

Makes 6 muffins.

This was submitted to Wellness Weekend at Diet, Dessert & Dogs.


  1. I felt a burst of energy right after reading the name of your post- these sound so good!

  2. I'm so excited about these muffins! I love that they are vegan and they involve coffee!!! This is definitely a recipe I'll be trying :)



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