Whole Wheat Banana Bread Muffins

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I posted this recipe approximately eight million years ago, or in 2011. At the time, I wasn’t 100% happy with it, but I didn’t know why.

Last year, I started tinkering again, and found that lowering the oven temperature to let the muffins rise slightly slower and using whole-milk buttermilk did wonders. Now these are fluffy and luscious and one of my favorite muffin recipes. And they are all whole wheat, using the magic of white whole wheat flour. (Which they’ve stopped carrying at my Food City AND Walmart. GRUMP! This bag I found at Target.)

Next time you have some very ripe bananas, make these! In fact, make a double batch. Because they’re going to get gobbled up, especially if you have many small and hungry children as I do.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12-16 muffins

Whole Wheat Banana Bread Muffins


  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/3 c. coconut oil or melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 c. whole buttermilk
  • 2 c. whole wheat flour (preferably white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 T flaxseed meal
  • 12 walnut or pecan halves


Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 12 muffins cups or use paper liners.

Cream bananas, oil or butter, egg, honey, sugar, and vanilla with a mixer or a wooden spoon. Add buttermilk, then dry ingredients (all remaining except nuts). Stir until combined.

Spoon into muffin tins, filling about two-thirds full. Press a walnut or pecan half into the middle of each muffin.

Bake 20-23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.


These muffins are definitely not commercial-bakery-muffin-sugarfest. Using the ripest bananas will help contribute a good sweetness.


The 2011 Jessie would have never believed she could take a picture that good with a phone. Kind of amazing! After holding out on getting a smartphone for a long time, we caved two years ago. And about two weeks ago, I upgraded to the iPhone 7 plus. It takes pretty pictures. And you know I need those of my babies.

(Four. Have I mentioned I have four kids now? It’s been almost 10 months and it still feels surreal.)

Apple Cider Braided Bread

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These mini-braided breads make perfect gifts or a lovely addition to brunch.

Braided Apple Cider Bread

I know it’s late in the season for an apple cider recipe, but my ALDI is still carrying it. I am not a big fan of apple juice, but I love apple cider and cider-flavored goods. I combined a few recipes to come up with this beautiful bread that makes a fantastic gift.

I doubled this recipe and had little loaves to give out to my daughter’s supplemental class teachers last week. Homemade bread doesn’t take that much effort, but seems extra special when it is such an anomaly in our culture.



Apple Cider Braided Bread

Yield: Two small or one large loaf


  • 1/2 c. warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp. bread machine or instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 T. honey
  • 1/2 c. apple cider
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. turbinado or white sugar
  • 3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced finely (optional)
  • for baking
  • milk
  • turbinado sugar


In the bowl for your mixer, stir together warm water, yeast, and honey. Let sit for 10 minutes to proof and become bubbly.

Add apple cider, salt, and sugar and stir.

With mixer on knead setting and using a dough hook, gradually add flour about 1/2-cup at a time. When all is incorporated, also add apple pieces if using. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic; it may still be somewhat sticky, which is fine.

Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise for an hour in a warm place.

(You can also make dough in your bread machine on a dough setting.)

After this first rise, divide dough in half. Separate the half into three balls, then roll each ball out into a "snake" about 14 inches long. The strands will shrink; that is fine. Press the strands together at one end, then braid just as if you were braiding hair. Press together and fold under on the other end, then transfer braid to a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Repeat process with second half of dough.

Cover with towels again and let rise for a half-hour.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Remove towels. Brush loaves with milk and then sprinkle with turbanado (raw) sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the loaves sound hollow when tapped.


You can also make this as one larger loaf. Adjust cooking time as necessary.


Gingerbread Muffins with White Chocolate Chips

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These muffins are a tasty treat to add to your holiday repertoire! All the goodness of gingerbread without having to cut out little men and decorate them. Enjoy!

Gingerbread Muffins with White Chocolate Chips

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

These tasty muffins feel like Christmas, a cross between gingerbread and molasses cookies with a sprinkling of white chocolate chips.

Adapted from Simple Girl.


  • 2 c. white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. cooking oil (coconut, olive blend) or melted butter
  • 1/2 c. molasses
  • 1/3 c. milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. white chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, ginger, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, molasses, milk, and eggs, until uniform (this may take some arm work with the molasses!).

Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until just incorporated. Fold in white chocolate chips.

Line muffin tins with baking cups or spray with cooking spray. (I actually recommend using muffin papers, because these are pretty moist and may fall apart if you don't.) Divide batter into 12 muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Creamy Lemon Scones {Secret Recipe Club}

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lemon scones

Let me tell you a story. One time I thought to myself, “Self, you are a great cook! You can totally make pumpkin scones just like Starbucks.”

I’ll confess that up until this point, those Starbucks scones were about my entire exposure to the scone world. And those homemade pumpkin scones were one of my worst kitchen disasters. They didn’t rise at all. They tasted funny. They got dumped in the trash. And I resolved to leave scone-baking to the experts.

But time’s gone by, and I’ve found it’s really not that hard to make a beautiful, fluffy scone. They look and sound impressive, even though mine are basically made in a food processor and dumped out; patted into a circle; cut into wedges; and baked. And there are tons of possibilities. I’ve made some very tasty Cranberry and Chocolate Scones for Secret Recipe Club before. And way on the other side of the spectrum, I’ve made these savory Bacon and Cheddar Scones several times. (They are to die for.)

Lemon Scones

So when I was perusing my assigned blog for the Secret Recipe Club this month, Kitchen Trial and Error, Orange Creamsicle Scones jumped out at me. {Although I also pinned Citrus Herb Marinated Roast Chicken and Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Artichoke Soup, both of which I fully intend to try out.}

[The blog author, Kate, is a lovely photographer, wife, mother, and worker bee. I love the idea of her blog, “Isn’t everything in the kitchen trial and error?” So true! Now back to scones.]

Because I gravitate toward lemon more than orange, I decided to sub fresh lemon. I think you could use any citrus fruit and be quite happy with the results. The actual lemon flavor in the scones is nice and light, but tangy in the glaze. For once, everyone in my family, from age 2 to age 31, loved this recipe and we scarfed down all eight scones. Guess I should have doubled the recipe!

Creamy Lemon Scones

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 scones

Creamy Lemon Scones


  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. white whole wheat flour (or more AP)
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 1/2 T baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • for the glaze:
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice


Cut butter into cubes and freeze for about 10 minutes prior to adding them to your batter.

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

Add flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest to a food processor. Pulse to combine. Drop butter cubes in through the chute as you pulse. Continue until the mixture is crumbly.

Add milk, lemon juice, and vanilla and process just until the batter comes together.

{Alternately, you can cut butter into the dry mixture with a pastry cutter, then stir in liquids.}

Dump batter onto a floured cutting board and use hands to press lightly into an 8-inch circle. Use a sharp knife to cut into wedges. Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet.

Bake about 15 minutes; then transfer to wire rack to cool before adding glaze.

For the glaze, mix powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla together in a small bowl or measuring cup. Drizzle over cooled scones.


Note: I used homemade vanilla, which is why my scones are so flecked with actual vanilla bean. You can taste the vanilla, so use the best you can find/afford! Homemade is wonderful and easy to make, it just takes time.


Bread Machine Monkey Bread (Secret Recipe Club)

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bread machine monkey bread

For a lot of this pregnancy, I didn’t want sweet things at all. Ice cream didn’t even sound good. I ate fruit. I craved Very Veggie salad and some days could eat a whole bag of it. Yep, pretty much crazy, although it made my midwife happy.

Perhaps that, and my on-and-off-until-22-weeks sickness can account for the fact that I’ve gained a total of 4 pounds this whole pregnancy.

But in the last four or five weeks? Oh, I want the sweet things. Specifically, sweet breakfast breads. See: Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls, Graham Cracker Banana Bread … and my dreams are of Boston Cream doughnuts. (In my opinion, the only doughnut really worth eating.)

So I used this month’s Secret Recipe Club as an excuse to make yet another sweet breakfast bread.

My assigned blog this month was The Cookin’ Chemist. The author is Tessa, a young bride and pharmacist who uses her skills as a former chemistry major in the kitchen! I’ve bookmarked many recipes from her site to try later, like the Balsamic Chicken Noodle Bowl, Crazy Feta Dip, and Smoked Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs.

But for today, I decided on Monkey Bread. Because I’ve been craving it for weeks.

Despite what we told our daughter, Monkey Bread doesn’t involve actual monkeys. (Libbie thought it might have bananas in it – also not true, although an idea …) I loved that Tessa’s version features a yeasted dough in the bread machine. It’s a little different from your traditional canned biscuit dough (which I generally cannot bring myself to buy, anyway).

I would have – of course – added pecans to this if my children were not so picky. But even without them, it was darn good. Enjoy!

Bread Machine Monkey Bread


  • 1 c. warm milk (I microwave for about 45 seconds)
  • 1/3 c. warm water
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 3 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp. (1 package) instant or bread machine yeast
  • Coating
  • 4 T butter, melted
  • 1 to 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 T cinnamon


In order listed (or according to bread machine instructions), place dough ingredients in bread machine. Set to "dough" setting and let it go! (Cookin' Chemist has instructions for doing this by hand or with a mixer, if you like.)

Generously grease a Bundt pan and set aside.

When dough is done, turn it out onto a floured surface. Roll into an 8x8" square. With a pizza cutter or knife, cut into about 64 pieces. (I have this awesome pizza cutter from my Flatout Bread Pizza Party.)

With a fork, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. In another bowl, melt butter. Dip dough pieces into the butter, then coat with the sugar/cinnamon. Arrange in Bundt pan, staggering seams as you layer the pieces.

When you're done, cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise for another hour or so, until the dough is 1-2 inches from the top of the pan.

Heat oven to 350. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes, then turn upside-down onto a platter.

Eat and enjoy!


Graham Cracker Banana Bread {Secret Recipe Club}

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Graham Cracker Banana Bread

I always get sad when I see someone has been “orphaned” in the Secret Recipe Club. My group’s reveal isn’t until next Monday, but I saw today someone in group D was orphaned—the person who was supposed to make a recipe from their site didn’t.

I hopped over to the site, Colie’s Kitchen, and determined immediately I could make something from there. Because there were SO MANY good-looking and simple dishes!

Nicole is a married full-time college student, stepmom to a tween, and still wants to get dinner on the table each night. She hates to clean, so we have that in common. If she DOES clean, we might not share that …

Anyway, I saw this recipe for Nilla Wafer Banana Bread and was entranced. But alas, Nilla wafers aren’t something I keep in the house and I just went to the grocery store. I did, however, just pick up a box of graham crackers. Close enough! I just subbed in the graham crackers and added a little vanilla extract for good measure.

baking banana bread

This bread is phenomenal. And you know how they tell you to make chocolate chip cookies when you have a house showing? They are wrong. Make this bread instead. It infused our whole apartment with amazing banana bread scent. I wasn’t even hungry but I couldn’t resist cutting off a slice from the popping-hot loaf and it did not disappoint. The graham crackers add an interesting flavor that’s not usually in banana bread.

Thank you, Nicole, for this awesome recipe! It’s one I will make often.

Graham Cracker Banana Bread

Adapted from Colie's Kitchen


  • 1 1/2 c. flour (I use all-purpose, unbleached)
  • 1 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs (about one sleeve, crushed, minus half a cracker or so)
  • 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. walnut pieces (optional)


Preheat oven to 350F.

In a small bowl, mix together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

With a mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating until fluffy. On low speed, mix in bananas and vanilla.

Alternate adding milk and dry ingredients, mixing well after each addition. Stir in all but a handful of walnuts, if using.

Pour batter into a greased 9x5 loaf pan. Sprinkle with remaining walnuts.

Baking for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.