Banana Walnut Muffins, Mayakirana Style

If you read this blog, you know I like to bake easy cakes and simple muffins. I don’t fancy long hours in the kitchen, toiling over a hot meal nor do I like spending the whole afternoon making a cake I can eat in a day. There’s just so much of time I could spend on cooking but I’d rather read, you know?
Breakfast can be a bore sometimes with the same-old stuff.
And I like my breakfast to be fast and simple. The best solution to my breakfast woe is to have muffins. I can make them the day before or even many days before (chuck them in the freezer and they last a long time), thaw then warm them up in a toaster oven, eat them plain or with butter and wash them down with a mug of Milo or tea.

banana walnut muffins - healthy breakfast in a jiffy
banana walnut muffins - healthy breakfast in a jiffy

The other criteria is that the muffins must be totally healthy. I can be quite a health freak so if I am making muffins (or cake or whatever) I need my food to be tasty and super-nutritious. My style is to take a basic muffin recipe and modify it to suit my healthy inclinations.
This muffin recipe is a modification from Betty Yew’s banana walnut muffin recipe from an old recipe book I’d xeroxed from my mum a few years ago.
Her recipe calls for 165 gm of sugar but I don’t like too much sweetness in my muffins so I reduce it by 40 gm or so. Plus I add other ingredients such as ground flaxseed, cranberries/blackcurrants/raisins and (very) ripe bananas so they add natural sweetness to the muffins. (You must use ground flaxseed if you want optimum goodness from your flaxseed. If you don’t, you don’t get the omega goodness they supply as their hard outer shells pass through your body and prevent your body from absorbing anything!)
Another reason why I love this muffin recipe is that it is easy! (I know, please don’t get sick of this word. It’s crucial to me. LOL.)
I don’t need to use anything except a whisk. No electric mixer. Muffins are basically putting dry ingredients and wet ingredients together which you then put into muffin cups and bake.
But I’ve tried other previous recipes and most of them turned out hard and dry and crumbly. I want a muffin to taste a bit like cake with a moist crumb. Thankfully I found it in this banana walnut muffin recipe. Eating these muffins make me feel great too as it is chockfull of great, nutritious stuff. Nothing like starting your day with a healthy muffin. None of that supermarket stuff, thank you!
Since everyone who came here loved Nigella’s cupcake recipe as it’s such a tried-and-tested success, here’s Betty Yew’s slightly modified banana walnut muffin recipe.
(Or take a look at my best banana cake recipe if you like. As you can see, I’m a big fan of bananas!. How about a chocolate raisin cake recipe since you’re here?)
Banana Walnut Muffins
Makes 18 muffins
60 ml corn oil
125 gm castor sugar
3 eggs, beaten
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
Sift these ingredients:
125 gm self raising flour
125 gm wholemeal flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
(As you sift, there’ll be lots of brown bits from the wholemeal flour. I usually put them back into the flour once I’ve sifted them. Mix in 3 tbsp ground flaxseed after sifting if you like. This is optional and leaving it out will not affect the taste of your muffins.)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
60 gm chopped walnuts
60 gm raisins/dried cranberries/blackcurrants
2/3 cup fresh UHT milk
Method:
1. Preheat oven to 190 Centigrade.
2. With a whisk, beat corn oil and sugar for approx. 5 minutes.
3. Add eggs and beat again until well-combined.
4. Add mashed bananas and mix well.
5. Add sifted dry ingredients and stir in vanilla essence, walnuts and whatever dried fruit you are using.
6. Slowly add in milk and combine.
7. Fill muffin cup (or greased muffin tray) until two-thirds full. Bake for 25 minutes until done.
Try this and let me know how it turns out!

Nigella's Easy Cup cake Recipe

These days, I’ve come to the point where I have quit buying recipe books. Not because of the economy (hell, good or bad economy, I must have my books). Not because I am running out of shelf space for all my recipe books, Flavours magazines and crochet/knit books.
I got fed-up coz sometimes recipes from books don’t turn out that great.
That’s why I always scout about for recipes especially tried-and-tested ones.
Last week, I was channel-surfing and chanced upon a repeat of Nigella Lawson’s show. Besides her incredibly sexy (buxomy) look, this woman can cook. And she makes it so easy that everyone wants to don an apron and be the domestic goddess.

Nigella Lawson's super simple cup cake recipe
Nigella Lawson's super simple cup cake recipe

She shared a cupcake recipe during that show and I jotted down the ingredients. This is a food processor recipe which means if you have one, it’s faster to make. I don’t so I have to go the usual way – use the electric mixer but even so, this cupcake recipe takes less than 20 minutes to mix up. (I know, I usually preheat my oven for 20 minutes and when the beeper rings, I’m usually done with my batter.)
This recipe makes 12 cup cakes.
Batter mixing time: 10 mins
Baking time per tray of 6 cup cakes: 15-20 mins at 160 degree Centigrade
Nigella Lawson’s Cup Cake Recipe
125 gm butter (I use Anchor)
125 gm sugar
125 gm plain flour (mixed with 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp milk (I use powdered milk mixed with some water)
12 cup cake casings
Optional – raisins, choc chips
First, cream butter and sugar. Make sure butter is soft so you spend less time creaming it. Once this mixture becomes fluffy and pale yellow, add in eggs, one at a time. Mix well (I use the electric mixer throughout). Then add vanilla essence. Add in half the flour. Then add some milk. Put in remaining flour and milk and mix on medium speed till all combined.
You can now add raisins or choc chips if you want or you can leave it plain (and make your own butter cream or frosting for the cup cakes).
Fill cup cake casings about 3/4 with batter each. The batter will be enough for 12 casings.
Bake in a 160 degree Centigrade oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until a skewer poked into the cake comes out clean. (Pre-heat oven for 20 minutes before you start mixing your cake batter)
That’s it! And I’ve baked these twice already and both times turned out well. They’re moist, not too sweet and with a rich buttery taste.
I am a cup cake monster…like Cookie Monster
If you want to make more, just double up the ingredients. Say if you want to make 24 cup cakes, then you need twice as much of everything (4 eggs, 250 gm butter, 250 flour, etc).
If you have a food processor, the method is the same. Put butter and sugar and whiz, then eggs, then vanilla then flour then milk and flour again.
More helpful recipe posts:
Best banana cake ever
Making bread tips
Or how to take the easy way out and order from a good baker