cocoa almond meal banana muffins

You know how you have that one friend who is always sending you yummy-looking recipes, but then she makes it herself and substitutes out stuff like butter? Then when you make your own recipes with butter (because dear Lord, why wouldn’t you?!) you feel guilty and unhealthy? I’m the opposite of that. I take recipes that are supposed to be uber-diet-y and make them less healthy, I do not feel guilty about it, and I can make you feel guilt-free, too. Turns out you just need a dose of my supreme confidence (your way is the right way, honey).

Waaait a minute… is that a good thing?! Never mind. Behold: a recipe that is still pretty healthy but which I totally made less healthful by using REAL SUGAR. And more of it than is called for. Because I love you. And me. And my tastebuds, especially.

Cocoa Almond Meal Banana Muffins (modified from this recipe by FitnessLovingMom)


2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 1/3 cup almond meal (if you can’t get your hands on almond meal, it’s just finely ground almonds – you can make it yourself in a coffee grinder or food processor)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 bananas (I used overripe bananas that I had been keeping in my fridge for banana bread)
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
non-stick cooking spray


Preheat oven to 300˚F. Prep muffin pan by lightly spraying with non-stick cooking spray, and set aside.

In medium bowl, mix almond meal with baking powder and set aside. Combine eggs, sugar, bananas and cinnamon with electric mixer for 5 minutes on medium setting. Pour in almond meal mixture slowly and stir thoroughly. Divide one third of batter and return to medium bowl – mix the cocoa powder into this portion to create the batter for the muffin cocoa center.

Fill muffin cups partway with the normal batter, then layer on a tablespoon or two of the cocoa filling. Cover cocoa filling with more normal batter, making sure not to overfill the muffin cups. Sprinkle tops of muffins with chopped almonds.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Yields 9-12 muffins.

So I’m not going to lie to you: I liked this recipe, but I did not love it. However. The roommate LOVED IT. Like, wanted-to-take-it-to-bed-at-night loved it (okay, so that was hyperbole, but whatever). And several days after the fact the muffins are still flavorful and have good texture, which is a sign of a good recipe. I dub this baking experiment a guilt-free success.

Recommended for: a tasty morning treat or dessert that is perfect to share with your health-nut friends (or your gluten-free eater), or just that time when you have a lot of overripe bananas and don’t want to make banana bread for the umpteenth time. Enjoy!

Interested in other food-related posts? Check out Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking.


Carol @ Always Thyme to Cook said...

They look so good, especially with cocoa in the middle!

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

What a unique recipe, and your photos are great.

Libby said...

OK - I love this and I think that you have found a niche to be a Foodnetwork Super Chef. You take healthy recipes and make them less healthy - yes! ;)

These do look great! And I loved the post!

Anonymous said...

These look so good! I love any type of banana muffin, and adding cocoa is just awesome. I'd have to play around with this to see if I can substitute something for the almonds and still have it look/taste good =)

Tales of Whimsy said...

I like anything with a pocket inside.

Joy Weese Moll said...

This sounds totally worth the calories! I'm really impressed that you can get a texture like that from almond meal. Beautiful muffins!

Uniflame said...

I need to try these! Thanks for the inspiration. They sound lovely.

jama said...

Looks interesting. I like that it's gluten free. And it's always good to find a new way to use up those ripe bananas.

Carole said...

Coconut and banana ... can't go wrong with that combo! Have a great week.

caite said...

I love anything with one can tell from my post last saturday. this good very, very good.

Beth F said...

Almonds? Real sugar? Count me in. I have no guilt.

Ryan said...

I am pretending I'm on a diet...... Not working very well right now, but I must pretend.

Denise Z said...

Oh My Goodness! These look incredible, have to copy it down. Thank you for sharing :)

carol said...

These look good. And I do have a couple of super ripe bananas just waiting in the fridge.

lizzy said...

just made them, they're in the oven and smelling delicious!! only thing is i think the 2 TBSPNs of cocoa is way too much for 1/3 of the batter, had to add most of the mix to dilute the cocoa powder, maybe 2 teaspoons would work better? taste is still great, just mostly chocolate mixture now! yummo!

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