Okay, so I did a thing. A really, really good thing. I took a whole jarful of that luscious homemade dulce de leche and swirled it into bakery-style banana muffins. Eeeeeeeeeee!! How awesome does that sound?! Banana pairs so well with the milky caramel flavor of the dulce de leche. It’s a new take on an amazing flavor pairing. And, perfectly okay to eat for breakfast!
Bakery-Style Banana Muffins at Home
Not only have I been on a dulce de leche kick lately, adding it to everything in sight, but I’ve also been on a bakery-style muffin kick lately. When I was pondering yet another way to infuse my homemade dulce de leche into more recipes, banana muffins immediately came to mind. Bananas and milk caramel flavor pair really well together. Plus, I wanted to provide a really good alternative recipe for banana bread that uses up all those overripe bananas we all have from time to time. I mean, banana bread is amazing, let’s be honest. Buuuuuut, I am one of those people who tends to buy a bunch of bananas every week and every week they sit on my counter without being eaten. Sooooo, I practically have no choice but to bake something new and different with them every now and then!
Muffin or Cupcake? You decide
This banana muffins recipe is a riff on my Bakery-Style Double Chocolate Chip Muffins. In that post, I talk about the difference between a muffin and cupcake. If you haven’t read it, I’ll give you a big hint – there’s not much of a difference. With a fair amount of dulce de leche swirled in, I think it’s fair to say these banana muffins sit squarely on the border between muffin and cupcake!
Ingredients that make these banana muffins magical
Just like my other bakery-style muffins, these babies are large and in charge. They have beautifully domed muffin tops (no, not THAT kind of muffin top). And, they are moist and sufficiently banana-y and caramel-y from the dulce de leche. I use oil and milk and sour cream all of which help these muffins turn out the perfect texture and height, just like you’d find in your corner bakery.
Tips for Making This Recipe
- Be sure your bananas are sufficiently overripe. They should be heavily mottled brown and black, but not so much so that they’re mushy inside. You can see in the photos the bananas I used. They should be bright yellow, certainly not green at all, and the top of the banana should bend off very easily when you peel it. Overripe bananas provide sweetness and deep banana flavor to these muffins
- Layer in the dulce de leche by scooping a small amount of batter into each muffin cup then adding in a dollop of dulce de leche. Swirl it into the batter gently using a toothpick. Repeat these two layers one more time. Top with a sprinkling of sparkling sugar for added texture
- If your dulce de leche is too cold or too thick, warm it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds and stir to loosen it up a bit. You can also add in a splash of milk to loosen it up once it’s been warmed up. This will make it easier to swirl in to the batter. Also, if the dulce de leche is too thick or cold, it may sink straight to the bottom of the muffin batter
- Starting with a hotter than normal baking temperature helps achieve the nice, rounded, dome look on your muffins. The recipe calls for baking the muffins for 5 minutes at 425 degrees F then lowering the temperature to 350 degrees F for the remainder of the baking time
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Banana Muffins Swirled with Dulce de Leche
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 12 muffins 1x
- Category: Bakery-Style Banana Muffins
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 cup mashed overripe banana (about 2 large bananas)
- ½ cup dulce de leche, homemade or store-bought
- Sparkling sugar for sprinkling on top
- Prepare: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside
- Make Muffin Batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In a separate large bowl, mix together with a wooden spoon the vegetable oil, brown sugar, eggs, milk and sour cream until well incorporated. Add in the mashed banana until well combined. Gently fold in the dry ingredient mixture until no dry spots of flour are left. Fill each cup of muffin tin about ¼ of the way with muffin batter. Place a teaspoon of dulce de leche on top of the batter. With a toothpick, gently swirl the dulce de leche into the muffin batter. Add more muffin batter on top until the muffins cups are ½ full. Place another teaspoon of dulce de leche on top and swirl around with a toothpick gently. Sprinkle tops with sparkling sugar
- Bake: Bake for 5 minutes, then lower the oven temperature down to 350 degrees F for another 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the center muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool in muffin tins for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
- Store in airtight container or ziptop bag at room temperature for up to one week
- To freeze, wrap each muffin tightly in plastic wrap and store in a freezer-safe ziptop bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight or warm gently in the microwave for 1 minute on 50% power or until muffin is defrosted and warmed through
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