Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bar & Cocoa. All opinions are 100% mine.

An easy recipe for heavenly double chocolate banana muffins that are fragrant, super tender, moist & loaded with rich cocoa and melty chocolate chunks in every bite. These are hands down the BEST banana bread muffins I've ever eaten! Taking a few bites makes me want to close my eyes & sigh with satisfaction. You can make a batch in about 30 minutes using simple, ethical ingredients. They're perfect to share with all the chocolate lovers in your life. (gluten-free option)

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins (Easy, Moist & Comforting)

These banana muffins are so dang good they made me fall in love with chocolate again.

I used to be the person who'd tiptoe into the kitchen late at night to nibble on a bar of chocolate or pop handfuls of chocolate chips in my mouth. Can you relate?

These days, my snack of choice is salty: crunchy chips, cheesy crackers, or a blended snack mix. And my chocolate stash that used to disappear quickly? It's safe for months on end, mostly used for hot chocolatepeanut butter cookies, ice cream sandwiches, and chocolate covered strawberries.

Not anymore. My chocolate cravings are back. But not in the addicted-to-sugar kind of way that happens when you eat something ridiculously sweet and then the next several nights you're scavenging for anything sugary to fill the void.

This is the positive kind of craving that happens after you consume food so deeply satisfying that you want to relive the experience (and, of course, taste).

Practically every time I take a bite of one of these muffins, I involuntarily whisper to myself: "oh my god, this is soooo good".

My beau had a similar reaction then followed that up with: "Elaina, you need to give these away so I don't eat them all". Given that he's such a picky eater, I consider that a huge win.

Part of the reason they're a success? The base recipe for these chocolate banana muffins is solid.

There is a higher percentage of wet ingredients than dry ingredients, which yields a moist & tender muffin that is almost cupcake-like in texture, even though there's no cake flour involved.

But the main reason they're over-the-top amazing? The chocolate I used is incredible!

This is some of the best chocolate I've ever tasted in my LIFE.

And I'm making a positive impact by consuming it, which is another big win.

For these two reasons and several others, it's shot straight to the top of my list of unique & high-quality things to give for holiday food gifts or include in a care package.

Direct Trade Chocolate From Bar & Cocoa (For Double Chocolate Banana Muffins)Direct Trade Craft Chocolate: The Best of the Best For Chocolate Lovers

All of the chocolate used in this recipe is from Bar & Cocoa, which is an online store with the largest selection of craft chocolate anywhere.

They source the best chocolate from all over the world (often award-winning & always highly rated) and hand-pack each order in Denver, Colorado.

Bar & Cocoa also offers a monthly subscription service, which is perfect for folks who want amazing chocolate delivered right to their door on a regular basis.

What makes their chocolate better than what you'd find at the grocery or health food stores? It's all ethically made with direct trade cocoa. 

Direct trade is superior to fair-trade (you've likely seen this third-party certification on chocolate labels) and a million times better than the cocoa used for mass-produced industrialized chocolate that's popular for holidays like Halloween & Easter.

I promise I'm not saying that because I'm a pretentious chocolate snob. Far from it.

Think of your favorite chocolate candy bar. Picture it in your mind. Make sure it's one that's available at any grocery store or gas station (usually by the registers). It only costs you 1-2 bucks, right?

There's a reason it's so cheap. 

That chocolate is likely made with cocoa harvested by child slave laborers in West Africa (open the link in an incognito tab so you can read the whole article without a subscription).

Does it blow your mind that this exists in 2020? These companies promised decades ago to stop purchasing from farms that allow these practices. Yet it's still happening.

This is why it's vital for us to share this information with others and vote with our dollars by supporting ethical companies that are transparent about sourcing.

Direct Trade Chocolate & Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (For Double Chocolate Banana Muffins)

Thankfully, Bar & Cocoa makes it super easy to do that without even leaving your house. They feature 70+ chocolate makers from 40+ countries, on their website.

All of their chocolate makers either engage in or source their cacao through direct trade. This means that high-quality cocoa (with unique flavors differing by region) is at the forefront of all the chocolate, not fillers like sugar. And you can feel good knowing the cocoa farmers were paid a decent wage & not forced into labor.

Since they have so many brands & regions to choose from, I decided to pick 4 different varieties of bar chocolates and one unsweetened cocoa powder. It was tough to narrow down, but reading all the descriptions helped me choose based on my taste preferences.

Here's what I ordered from Bar & Cocoa (all pictured above):

Ingredients For Making The Best Ever Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

I could have used only 1 or 2 chocolates in the recipe to keep it simple, but...I thought it would be fun to incorporate them all. What can I say...I like the variety!

I used the cocoa powder in the banana muffin batter to give it a double chocolate flavor and chopped up the dark milk chocolate bar to use inside the batter as "chocolate chunks". Then I chopped up a small amount of the other three chocolates (milk chocolate, dark chocolate & white chocolate) and used them each as toppings for a 1/3 of the muffins (3 muffins for each flavor).

Although I loved all the chocolates, my favorite of the bunch (hands down) was the Castronovo Sierra Nevada Dark Milk Chocolate. It's ridiculously good with a complex flavor that leaves you wanting more! That's why I put it into the batter (see pic below) so I could get a taste of it in every bite. I'm not surprised it's won so many awards.

How to Make Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

Ingredients For Making These Chocolate Banana Muffins:

  • Ripe Banana: For maximum banana flavor, at a bare minimum make sure your bananas have lots of spots on the peel before using them. If you're patient, wait until the top of the peel is blackened & there are large dark patches all over the peels (see my pic above for reference). At this point, they're too ripe to eat individually but perfect for banana bread or muffins!
  • Eggs: I recommend large eggs if you can find them. This adds extra moisture (something we very much want in a muffin) and also acts as a binder + adds some much-needed fat & protein. 
  • Coconut Sugar, Brown Sugar, or Maple Sugar: If you use brown sugar, it doesn't have to be packed or pressed tightly into the measuring cup. However, you can do it that way if you want the muffins to taste a bit sweeter. Coconut sugar has a molasses flavor similar to brown sugar but it's slightly less sweet, lower on the glycemic scale, and not quite as moist. It's my preferred sweetener for almost any baking recipe.
  • Avocado Oil: This is a neutral cooking oil that's full of healthy fats (it also has a high smoke point) and it's my preferred oil for baking & cooking most things. If you have access to a Costco, that's the best place to buy large jugs of it for a low price point! Melted unsalted butter or coconut oil are also good options if you already have that on hand.
  • Vanilla Extract: Use the real stuff, even if it's only a teaspoon! To save money down the line, buy some vanilla beans in bulk and make several jars of homemade vanilla extract (it's super easy) so 3-6 months from now you'll have plenty on hand for baking.
  • Unbleached All-Purpose Flour: For general baking, I almost always use King Arthur Flour these days which has an 11.7 protein count. Any all-purpose flour will work for this recipe, just know that they each vary in weight & protein amount, which is why having a cheap digital scale helps for dry ingredients. It's easy to overmeasure flour, so definitely use the "scoop & level" method (described below) to help avoid this. 
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder or Cacao Powder (not Dutch-process a.k.a. alkalized cocoa): This is just unsweetened natural cocoa powder. It's bittersweet and smells wonderful. I always have some on hand for baking, chocolate sauce, or making chocolate drinks. We're adding it to these muffins to give the batter a double chocolate flavor. If you only have Dutch-process cocoa on hand, see my notes in the recipe card for decreasing the baking soda & increasing the baking powder.
  • Baking Powder: This helps to give the batter some lift so the muffins rise in the oven. 
  • Baking Soda: This reacts with the acidic elements in the batter (coconut sugar/brown sugar + cocoa powder) to help the muffins rise. Only add it right before baking. If you swap out either of those acidic ingredients, you'll need to adjust this and/or use baking powder instead. See the recipe card notes for more info on this.
  • Sea Salt: It adds a little extra "something" to heighten the sweet & chocolatey flavors. 
  • High-Quality Chopped Bar Chocolate: This is what makes these muffins special! Putting chunks of good quality chocolate (with lots of deep, complex cocoa flavor) in the batter itself and also on top of the muffins ensures you get a piece in each bite. I like to chop mine into pieces slightly bigger than a regular chocolate chip. It doesn't have to be perfect - some can be a mix of sizes! Using high-quality chocolate (like the direct trade bar chocolate I've linked to in this post) takes your chocolate banana muffins from "oh, that's pretty good" to "OMG that's amazing". It makes a huge difference! 
How to Make The Best Ever Easy Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

Tips & Tricks For Making The Best Double Chocolate Banana Muffins:

  • MEASURING: I recommend using the "scoop & level" method for measuring the flour & cocoa powder to ensure that you're not adding extra dry ingredients (which will cause the muffins to be denser & less moist). To do this, scoop big spoonfuls of the flour and/or cocoa powder directly from the bag into a measuring cup until it's overly full & has a dome on top. Don't shake the measuring cup or pack anything down. When it's full, use a butter knife to level off the top of the measuring cup so it's even across the top.
  • BANANAS: Make sure you're using the full 1 1/2 cups of mashed banana, not just whatever the 2-3 bananas sitting on your counter happen to yield. If you use less than the recommended amount, the muffins will be less moist & have less banana flavor. We don't want that! So, buy a bundle with 4-5 medium or large bananas, then if you end up having extra, cut them into halves and flash freeze them for smoothies. If you're absolutely set on making these today and don't have enough bananas on hand, substitute unsweetened applesauce until you reach the 1 1/2 cups needed. It won't have as strong of a banana flavor, but this will help keep the muffins moist. 
  • OVERCOOKING: These muffins go from slightly gooey in the middle to completely cooked in a matter of 1-2 minutes. So, I recommend pulling them out at 15 minutes to check them with a toothpick. If they're not quite finished, pop them back in for only 1 more minute, then check again. Keep doing this until the toothpick comes out clean (there might be a bit of melted chocolate & that's okay). 

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins (Easy & Super Moist)

As you can see from the picture below, the inside of each muffin has small chunks of banana (a perk of not mashing them 100%) and several melty dark milk chocolate chunks. And the mixture of cocoa powder & banana made my kitchen & all nearby rooms smell super duper cozy.

If you need a boost of feel-good endorphins, bake a batch of these muffins and all will be right in the world. At least for a little bit. And make sure to eat at least two in a row while they're still warm since they won't last long around any chocolate lovers. :)

The Best Double Chocolate Banana Muffins Recipe

Looking for more muffin recipes? Try these next:

chocolate banana muffins, double, cacao, cocoa, chocolate chip, best ever
baked goods
Yield: 12 muffins
Author: Elaina - The Rising Spoon
Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

Prep time: 15 MCook time: 15 MTotal time: 30 M
Heavenly double chocolate banana muffins that are fragrant, super tender, moist & loaded with rich cocoa and melty chocolate chunks in every bite. These are hands down the BEST banana bread muffins I've ever eaten! Taking a few bites makes me want to close my eyes & sigh with satisfaction. Make a batch in about 30 minutes and share some with all the chocolate lovers in your life.


For The Muffins:
  • 1 1/2 cups of mashed ripe banana (make sure the peels have lots of spots)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup of coconut sugar, brown sugar, or maple sugar
  • 1/2 cup of avocado oil (or your favorite neutral cooking oil)
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (4.51 oz) of unbleached all-purpose flour OR Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
  • 1/2 cup (1.62 oz) of sifted unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Pralus Cocoa Powder 100%)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 cup (5.86 oz) of high-quality chopped bar chocolate (I used Castronovo Sierra Nevada Dark Milk 63%)
Topping (optional):


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a standard 12-count muffin tin with paper or foil liners and grease the liners with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the mashed banana, eggs, sugar, avocado oil, & vanilla extract, and stir well to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, measure in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir everything with a fork then add the chopped bar chocolate. Toss the chocolate lightly with the flour mixture until just coated (this helps to prevent sinking).
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and gently mix the two together until everything is combined and there are no floury clumps left clinging to the chopped chocolate (avoid over-mixing). 
  5. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins until they're completely full (right to the top of the liners) or until the batter is all used up.
  6. Optional: Gently press 1/4 cup of chopped bar chocolate across the tops of the muffins.
  7. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the middle of the muffin comes out clean.
  8. Let the muffins sit for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack or plate to cool completely. Store on the counter in an airtight container and consume within 2-3 days for the best texture.


COCOA POWDER & SUGAR SWAPS: If you want to use Dutch-process cocoa powder and/or regular cane sugar instead, you'll need to use increase the baking powder and reduce the baking soda. Both of those ingredients are not acidic (they are alkaline) and won't react to the baking soda. If you swap out both the regular cocoa powder & brown/coconut sugar for the alkaline versions, eliminate the baking soda altogether and just use baking powder. CHOCOLATE CHIPS: If you don't have any bar chocolate on hand, chocolate chips work fine. However, I highly recommend using good-quality bar chocolate if you can. It only takes a few minutes to chop into chunks & makes a huge difference in the final flavor! MAKE-AHEAD: Within an hour or so of baking the muffins (once they've cooled completely), store them in an airtight container in the freezer (they keep for 1-2 months). When you're ready to eat, pull out however many you need and let them thaw at room temperature (it only takes 20-30 minutes). These are great for packing in lunch boxes.
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Adapted from my Strawberry Banana Muffins recipe

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An easy recipe for heavenly double chocolate banana muffins that are fragrant, super tender, moist & loaded with rich cocoa and melty chocolate chunks in every bite. These are hands down the BEST banana bread muffins I've ever eaten! Taking a few bites makes me want to close my eyes & sigh with satisfaction. Make a batch in about 30 minutes with simple ingredients and share some with all the chocolate lovers in your life. (gluten-free option)

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I ONLY recommend helpful products that I myself would use.

MEDICAL DISCLOSURE: The information included on this website is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions expressed here are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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