These banana chocolate chip streusel muffins are moist, buttery, and cake-like. (And dessert-like!) Fill and top each with a delicious streusel made of brown sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, and chocolate chips. They’re like portioned banana crumb cakes with gooey chocolate chips and cinnamon swirl inside!
Think of regular banana muffins as a pair of cozy, dependable sweatpants and today’s chocolate chip-studded, brown sugar-streuseled version as your over-the-top, sequins- and feathers-bedazzled blazer. (What, you don’t have one of those?!)
Today’s recipe has lived on my website since 2012 and originally came from my dear friend Amy, who makes them for Christmas breakfast. The recipe has certainly stood the test of time, and they taste every bit as indulgent as they look. One reader, Katie, says:
“Not even kidding, never in my life have I commented on a food blog. I’ve made dozens of different banana muffin recipes and they have always been dry and dense. THIS RECIPE… these are the best banana muffins I’ve had in my life! This will be my go-to from now on!“
Banana Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins Are:
- Satisfying, buttery, moist, and soft.
- Like regular banana muffins, but with a texture upgrade from crunchy walnuts and melty-soft chocolate chips.
- Layered and swirled with cinnamon and sugar, just like this cinnamon swirl quick bread.
- A great way to use up over-ripe bananas.
- Pretty easy, including the streusel—you don’t need to cut in butter, just mix a few ingredients together.
- A delicious treat for breakfast, snack, or dessert.
Basic Baking Ingredients Required:
Can I Use Frozen Bananas?
Yes, frozen and thawed bananas work in this recipe and you can read more about How to Freeze & Thaw Bananas for Baking if you’d like. Two important things to remember:
- The riper the banana, the better. When you bake with bananas, you want to use brown, spotty super-ripe ones.
- Strain off excess liquid. As bananas thaw, they let out a lot of liquid, which can throw off the wet ingredients in any baking recipe. I always recommend draining off most or all of that excess liquid before mashing and measuring them for your recipe.
Start by Making the Streusel
The chopped walnuts and chocolate chips aren’t in the muffin batter, they’re actually in the streusel along with the brown sugar and most of the cinnamon. You’ll layer the streusel with the banana batter in your muffin liners, then swirl it all together. Combine the streusel ingredients first, so it’s ready as soon as the banana batter is finished.
(Side note: Feel free to swirl this streusel into zucchini muffins or pumpkin muffins, too!)
Can I leave out the walnuts? You can substitute chopped pecans for the walnuts, or leave the nuts out entirely—you’ll just have a little less streusel, and not as much crunchy texture.
The banana batter is pretty straightforward and uses many of the same ingredients as banana bread. Note that we use creamed butter and sugar in this muffin recipe to produce a cakier-style muffin, vs. melted butter (or oil) in these banana muffins, which are denser and heartier.
You need a mixer for today’s recipe.
Let’s Layer It All Together
Now comes the (somewhat) messy part: layering the batter and the streusel. Grab a standard 12-count muffin pan, either greased or lined with cupcake liners. If you need a recommendation, this muffin pan and this muffin pan have both held up well with very regular use.
Spoon some of the batter into each muffin cup—a scant 1.5 Tablespoons each. Next, sprinkle on a scant Tablespoon of streusel in top. Top that with another large spoonful of batter, and finish by topping with more streusel. Use a toothpick or knife to gently swirl it together.
My #1 Muffin Success Tip:
Bake at an initially high oven temperature. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes in a very hot oven. Then, keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the oven temperature. This initial high oven temperature quickly lifts up the muffin tops. Once the temperature is lowered, the centers of the muffins bake. I do this in all my muffin recipes.
Super-moist and flavorful banana chocolate chip muffins with layers of crunchy cinnamon streusel.
- Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- Make the streusel: Mix all the streusel ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Make the muffins: Whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed in a large bowl until creamed, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the egg and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the mashed bananas and yogurt, and then beat on high speed until combined; mixture will look curdled and that’s ok.
- Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until combined. Batter is thick. Do not overmix.
- Layer a large spoonful (about 1.5 Tablespoons) of batter into each muffin cup. Sprinkle with 1 scant Tablespoon of streusel. Layer another large spoonful of batter over each, using up the remaining batter, then finish by sprinkling remaining streusel on top of each muffin. The 12 muffin cups should be filled all the way to the very top. With a toothpick or knife, gently swirl the streusel topping with the batter.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F, then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 15–16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 20–21 minutes. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the muffin pan, and then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling, or enjoy warm.
- Muffins stay fresh covered at room temperature for a few days, then transfer to the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: For longer storage, freeze the muffins for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then warm up in the microwave if desired.
- Make as a Cake: Use this banana chocolate chip crumb cake recipe.
- Can I leave out the walnuts? You can substitute chopped pecans, or leave out the walnuts entirely. Or try this popular banana muffin recipe instead, adding in some chocolate chips.
- Frozen Bananas: You can use thawed frozen bananas in this muffin recipe. Thawed bananas are extra wet, so drain off as much of the excess liquid as you can before mashing. See How to Freeze & Thaw Bananas for Baking if desired.
- Yogurt or Sour Cream: You can use either regular or Greek plain yogurt in this recipe (any fat content) or sour cream. In a pinch, 1/4 cup (60ml) buttermilk may be substituted.
- Why the initial high oven temperature? Like I do for most muffin recipes, bake the muffins for 5 minutes at a very hot temperature. Then, keeping the muffins in the oven, switch to a lower temperature for the remaining bake time. This initial high temperature will quickly lift the muffin tops so they’re extra high, then the centers will bake during the lower temperature bake time. This trick makes beautiful bakery-style muffins every time.
Keywords: banana chocolate chip cinnamon streusel muffins
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