Here we are, day 10,486 of quarantine. I think. Who knows anymore? Even with the numbers in my home state on the decline, keeping safe at home is still the order of the day for most of us. Without an office from which to work or a schedule to keep, I’m losing it. Things I love now feel like drudgery, and this includes baking. The last thing I want to do is wake up wake up and worry about breakfast. So what have I come up with instead? These banana coconut muffins.
I bake these banana coconut muffins in large batches and leave them in a container on my counter. One is a snack. Two is breakfast. Or any other meal that I cannot bring myself to cook. How many times is it okay to order Chipotle for contactless delivery over the course of a single week?
Oh, you know you do it, too. Don’t judge (or even if you don’t do it, still don’t judge.)
Even my sourdough starter is getting significantly less love than usual. At the beginning of all of this (what my mother has taken to calling the Weird Times,) I was keen to feed Alton daily and always had a fresh boule on hand to make savory toast for breakfast. But now? I don’t even put these muffins in the microwave. I just shove them in my face. I’m losing it, people. Losing it. Most of my friends seem to have routines that keep the from cracking- something I sorely lack.
In all seriousness, I wish I had more to offer you this week! Maybe this week will be the week that I can fall asleep, wake up the next morning and buckle down and work. If you have to force yourself to focus early in the morning, these muffins make a mighty fine consolation prize, I must say.
I never used to bake a lot of muffins. No matter what I did, they always came out of the oven looking nice, but then the tops would flatten out while cooling. Though the muffins would always taste good, there is something far less enjoyable about a flat muffin top. If I have to get up and work my behind off all day, I want a domed, bakery muffin top to console my night owl spirit!
After much research, I finally found a baking method that not only ensures that my muffins are cooked all the way through, but that the tops stay domed and glorious after baking and cooling. The Kitchen Whisperer has got the technique down pat, and I tried it several times with this muffin recipe: IT WORKS! I have included my version of the method in the recipe below, though it heavily relies on Lori’s instructions. Thank you, Lori the Kitchen Whisperer, for helping me to achieve my bakery style muffin dreams.
Read the recipe below carefully, paying particular mind to the order in which in the ingredients are mixed. This recipe uses a different kind of vegan egg (no aquafaba here, unlike my chocolate chip cookie recipe) – a mix of tap water, baking powder and canola oil. This makes for a super light and fluffy muffin, but it needs to be mixed separately from the rest of the ingredients before it is added.
Banana Coconut Muffins
- 12-cup muffin tin
- large mixing bowl
- medium mixing bowl
- small mixing bowl
- medium-sized whisk
- parchment or paper cupcake liners
- 90 grams shredded coconut (~¾ cup) unsweetened
- 2 tablespoons tap water
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 2 medium bananas lightly mashed
- 5 tablespoons vegan butter melted
- 150 grams cane sugar (~¾ cup)
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon strong black coffee
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- OPTIONAL: To toast the shredded coconut, preheat the oven to 325°.
- Spread the coconut evenly on a parchment lined baking sheed and bake for 3 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven, and stir the coconut to ensure even baking. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes, until the coconut is golden brown.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk baking soda, flour, and salt until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
- In a separate, larger mixing bowl, combine the mashed bananas, melted vegan butter, cane sugar, vanilla extract, and coffee.
- To prepare the egg replacement: Mix tap water, baking powder, and canola oil together in a small bowl and whisk with a fork. Let stand for just under minute– the mixture may froth slightly.
- Add the egg replacement to the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
- In small batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until the batter is just combined- DON'T overmix! Gently stir in the coconut.
- Cover the batter and refrigerate for at least one hour, but up to overnight. This is a great way to plan ahead if you want fresh muffins for breakfast!
- When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425°
- Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper lines and fill each muffin cup completely with batter, leaving no more than ⅛" of space at the top of each cup. If you do not have enough batter to fill all 12 cups (though you should), add a ½ cup of water to the empty cups to ensure that the heat from the oven remains evenly distributed.
- Bake for 8-9 minutes, until the muffins crest the pan by about ½ an inch. At this time, turn the oven temperature down to 350 (WITHOUT opening the oven- this is KEY) and continue to bake for 6-10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. When touched, the tops of the muffins should be slightly springy and bounce back.
- Quickly transfer the baked muffins to a cooling rack and let cool before eating.
What are some of your favorite quick, no-thinking-required breakfast ideas? Let me know in the comments below! And please, share the best ways you’ve found for staying same during these Weird Times.