My twin toddlers refer to these sweet yet surprisingly wholesome muffins as “cupcakes.” Made with whole wheat flour and olive oil, filled with toasted pecans, packed with moisture from ripe bananas and maple syrup, and jazzed up with maple glaze, these easy, one-bowl muffin/cupcakes are equal parts breakfast and dessert. I served them at my sons’ second birthday celebration in place of cake, and the kids (and grown ups) couldn’t have been happier.
Glazed Banana Maple Muffins
½ cup olive oil
1 cup maple syrup
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 1⁄2 cups whole wheat flour
½ cup finely chopped, toasted pecans, plus whole or coarsely chopped pecans for decorating, optional
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
6 tablespoons maple syrup
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using two muffin pans, fill 16 cups with paper liners. (If you only have one pan, bake in two batches.)
- Prepare the batter: in a large bowl, combine olive oil, maple syrup, eggs, mashed banana, and vanilla. With a spoon or whisk, mix until smooth. Add baking soda and salt. Stir in flour with a spoon until just combined, then add finely chopped pecans.
- Pour into prepared muffin pan, filling cups almost to the top. Bake for around 25 minutes, until muffins are set, golden brown, and spring back when touched. Be careful not to over-bake. Let cool in the pan(s.)
- Prepare the glaze: combine butter and maple syrup in a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, and heat on the stove or microwave until melted. Whisk in vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar.
- When muffins have cooled (it’s okay if they are still slightly warm,) coat with glaze using a butter knife or offset spatula. Decorate with whole or coarsely chopped pecans, if desired.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container for several days.
Yields 16 muffins