Brown Butter Banana Crumb Muffins Recipe

Muffins are an often-overlooked treat that make an excellent option as a breakfast or snack, especially when you're on the go. To be fair, they fall into a bit of a gray zone between a sweet treat and a more nutritious choice. After all, if you really want to indulge, you probably pick up a cookie, donut, or cupcake, or if you want to choose an energy-boosting snack, you probably whip up a homemade green juice or grab a piece of fruit. But this unique recipe for brown butter banana crumb muffins gets you a two-for-one: the pleasure of something sweet, plus the benefits of a few nutritious ingredients, including bananas and walnuts

"I personally love that two small changes to a basic recipe elevate these muffins into something truly delicious," says recipe developer Tanika Douglas. "The rich, caramelized brown butter and the crispy, golden walnut crumb work in tandem to create the ultimate banana muffin." Not to mention, you can make a batch in under an hour, and they're a good choice almost any time of day. "They can be served for breakfast with a banana smoothie," Douglas says, adding, "I personally love enjoying these muffins as my mid-morning snack along with a hot cup of English breakfast tea."

Gather the ingredients for brown butter banana crumb muffins

First, you'll need to gather your ingredients, keeping in mind that you're making both the muffin batter and the crumb topping. You'll need salted butter, self-rising flour, baking powder, baking soda, extra-ripe bananas, brown sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, and milk to make the muffin batter. Then, for the topping, you'll need more brown sugar, all-purpose flour, ground cinnamon, a little more butter, and chopped walnuts. 

Make the brown butter

Before getting into the mixing, mashing, and baking, you need to get your prep work out of the way. Go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 F and line 2 large, 6-hole muffin pans with liners. If you don't have liners, grease them with butter or oil to prevent the muffins from sticking. 

When that's done, make the brown butter. Place your butter in a saucepan over medium heat and wait for the butter to melt. Then, stir the butter regularly (this will keep it from burning) until it turns a deep golden brown and gives off a nutty aroma. When it's prepped, pour it into a bowl and leave it to cool to room temperature. 

"The special ingredient in this recipe is most certainly the brown butter," shares Douglas. "It adds a rich, nutty, caramelized complexity to the muffins that I absolutely adore."

Mix the dry ingredients

With the brown butter cooling, it's time to mix together the dry ingredients for the batter. This is pretty standard practice; simply add the self-rising flour, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl until they're well combined. 

It's important to use self-rising flour for this recipe, so don't sub it out for all-purpose. Just make sure you check the expiration date before you use it, as self-rising flour is usually only good for 6 months. 

Mash the bananas and add the wet ingredients

In a separate bowl, mash the bananas and add in the wet ingredients — the browned butter, vanilla extract, eggs, and milk — and brown sugar. If you're not sure what qualifies as an appropriately ripe banana, know that dark spots are nothing to shy away from.

"This is the perfect recipe to use up old bananas. In fact, the older the better! Brown bananas work incredibly well in baked goods as they are generally much sweeter and more moist. I like to freeze any spotty or black bananas, then defrost them when I feel like baking," says Douglas. "Normal yellow bananas can absolutely be used if necessary, but using old or very ripe bananas in muffins is a fantastic way to fight food waste."

Combine the wet and dry ingredients

With the wet and dry ingredients prepped, you just need to finish mixing the batter. Gradually pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, whisking as you go. Once everything is just combined, stop whisking — you never want to overmix muffin batter, as the bake could turn out overly chewy.

Make the crumb topping

With the batter ready to go, you just need to make the crumb topping. Add all of the crumb ingredients together in a bowl. Use your hands and fingers to combine them well, breaking the butter into the mixture until rough crumbs form. Per Douglas, this is the other element that sets this recipe apart from the rest: "The crumble topping also contains walnuts, which add a hearty, nutty flavor and texture to the muffins," she explains. 

Add the batter and topping to the muffin pans

All that's left to do before baking is to pour the batter into the prepared tins, filling each muffin hole until it's about ¾ full. Then, sprinkle the crumb topping on top. Don't be shy about adding plenty — it's a delicious, sweet, and crunchy treat, so be sure to use it all!

Bake, cool, and serve

Pop the muffin pans into the oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes. You'll know they're done when you insert a toothpick or fork into the center of a muffin and it comes out clean. 

Take the finished muffins out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes in the pan before removing them and setting them on a wire rack to finish cooling. When they're cool, they're ready to enjoy. 

Fortunately, these keep well, so you don't have to eat them all at once. "Leftover muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or placed into a freezer bag and frozen for up to a month. When ready to serve, simply defrost and enjoy," Douglas explains. 

Brown Butter Banana Crumb Muffins Recipe
4.9 from 24 ratings
Have some overripe bananas on hand? Skip the banana bread and make these unique brown butter muffins instead.
Prep Time
Cook Time
banana crumb muffins
Total time: 55 minutes
  • For the muffin batter
  • 5 ½ ounces salted butter
  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
  • ⅓ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large extra-ripe bananas (brown spots are fine)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • For the crumb topping
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 ounces walnuts, roughly chopped
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F and line 2 large, 6-hole muffin tins with paper liners (or grease the holes with butter or oil).
  2. To make the brown butter, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to cook, stirring occasionally, until it turns a deep golden brown and gives off a nutty aroma. Be careful not to burn it. Pour the brown butter into a bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the self-rising flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, use a fork to thoroughly mash the bananas, then whisk in the cooled browned butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, and milk until well combined.
  5. Gradually add the banana mixture to the flour mixture, whisking until just combined. (Be careful not to overmix.)
  6. In a separate bowl, prepare the crumb topping by combining the brown sugar, flour, ground cinnamon, butter and walnuts. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the mixture until a rough crumb forms.
  7. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each muffin-hole about ¾ full. Sprinkle the crumb topping generously over each muffin.
  8. Place the muffins into the preheated oven and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  9. Once baked, remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool in the tin for a few minutes until easier to handle.
  10. Transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.
Calories per Serving 466
Total Fat 22.1 g
Saturated Fat 9.3 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 74.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 61.6 g
Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
Total Sugars 31.5 g
Sodium 573.8 mg
Protein 7.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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