Banana Coconut Muffins

It’s been awhile since I made a good batch of muffins, and I thought Mother’s Day would be the perfect occasion. Especially for a Mother’s Day brunch picnic! We had a great day on Sunday together as a fam in the city – starting off with a picnic in Central Park, a broadway show (highly recommend Something Rotten!) and dinner at one of our favorite UWS spots. It felt good to spoil my Mom, and since I know how much she loves coconut, these double coconut muffins from Smitten Kitchen seemed perfect for her special day. In the original recipe post Deb mentions subbing the yogurt for banana, and I was all for that to give these muffins more flavor and lots of moistness. The whole day was a big hit, and so were these muffins!

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Usually bananas tend to overwhelm other flavors in baked goods, but thanks to the double dose of coconut here – in shredded form and as coconut oil – you still get a lot of coconut flavor too. If you’re up to date with all the cooking trends, you probably have some coconut oil hanging around your kitchen, and turns out it makes a great fat substitute for muffins (and cookies too!). My goal with making muffins or quick breads is always to maintain as much moisture as possible, and using oil is a great way to do that. Usually that means vegetable or canola oil, but subbing coconut oil here still gives the muffins the moisture I’m after, but with some extra nutty flavor. The shredded coconut on top toasts up on its own as it bakes, and makes for a beautiful topping. Just one look at these muffins and you know they’re going to be good!

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Have you figured out the trick to quickly ripen bananas that you want to use for baking? I’ve never really had the problem of not having brown bananas around, but for this past weekend I could only find greenish bananas and really, really wanted to make these muffins! So, turns out if you throw your bananas on a baking sheet and put them in a 300 degree oven for 40 minutes, they’ll come out completely black, but perfectly ripened too! It felt like a science experiment, but I was so excited to get all the sweetness from the bananas I had in under an hour. With the honey, sweetened coconut, and ripe bananas – these muffins have a good dose of sweetness, without being overwhelming. I took a tip from Cookie and Kate to use honey instead of granulated sugar with these, and I loved the result. Sweet, nutty, moist – this recipe is definitely a winner!

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Banana and coconut are both summery, tropical flavors and with the temps really starting to rise this week, it’s the perfect time to share them. I was SO tempted to added a handful or two of chocolate chips to the batter, since I tend to discriminate against chocolate-less muffins, but I’m so glad I exercised a bit of restraint with these. The fruity and nutty flavors are so great on their own – this is just one of the few occasions chocolate should be left out! Mother’s Day may be over, but I have a feeling if you made these muffins for any random occasion, you’d make anyone feel like it was their special day.

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Banana Coconut Muffins

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Cookie and Kate

Yield: 10 muffins


1-1/2 all purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 large bananas)
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut, divided


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a muffin tin with 10 liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Stir in 1/2 cup of shredded coconut and set aside.

In another bowl, stir together the coconut oil, mashed banana, honey, egg, and vanilla until smooth (although there will inevitably be some chunks from the banana, no big deal).

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir by hand with a rubber spatula until just combined. Divide batter equally among the liners and sprinkle the muffin tops with the remaining shredded coconut. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Muffins will stay good in an airtight container for several days, or in the freezer for several months.

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4 Responses to “Banana Coconut Muffins”

  1. #
    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — May 13, 2015 @ 8:27 am

    I love that you used coconut oil and honey in these!

  2. #
    Lisa — May 13, 2015 @ 12:21 pm

    these look amazing!! I live in the UWS too and actually don’t have a favorite restaurant. Okay, maybe Bodrum. What are your picks?

    • Erica — May 13th, 2015 @ 5:19 pm

      We LOVE Jacob’s Pickles. That’s where we went on Sunday because we’re obsessed :)

  3. #
    Kate Stamm — March 19, 2016 @ 9:32 pm

    I would like to try these as mini muffins. Does anyone have a suggestion for baking time? They sound sooo yummy!

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