Recipe Mod: Banana Coconut Muffins

Banana Coconut Crumb Muffins

Bringing food into a college newsroom is an easy way to get your hand bitten off. These starving campus reporters, who have likely spent hours sprinting across campus for a story or hunched over an ancient iMac in a bleak little basement, don’t just salivate when free food is presented to them — they lunge, claw and devour it. And anything in their way.

I should know. I was one of them.

It’s easy to get in the middle of a hot story and completely lose track of your friends, academics and even food (the horror!), until the gnashing snarl of your stomach becomes too fierce to bear.

Thankfully, the one morning I faced such a pain — the university was in the midst of announcing sweeping budget cuts, and rumors abounded that the Africana Studies department could be on the chopping block (it wasn’t) — a friend named Virginia swooped in and changed our lives.


She made these muffins. These delightfully crumbly, lip-smackin’ streudel-topped muffins, with all the flavor of banana bread, yet a sweet crunch on top that only enhanced its sweet, nutty flavor.

I chose to modify the recipe she found online, adding some toasted coconut for a slightly tropical twist.


Banana Coconut Muffins Recipe

Utensils required: mixing bowl, small bowl, measuring cups, electric mixer, spoonula, oven, muffin pan, oven mitts

Ingredients (makes one dozen muffins):


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 bananas
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Coconut Cinnamon Streusel:

  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Time commitment: 15 minutes to prepare, 20 to bake


1. You know the drill: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Next, take out two bowls to make the muffin batter. In the larger one, combine baking soda, baking powder, salt and a cup and a half of flour. In the smaller one, melt the butter in the microwave (about 30 seconds), then mash in the bananas before stirring in the sugar.

3. Crack an egg, beat it thoroughly and add it to the smaller bowl. Now pour everything in the smaller bowl to the larger bowl, but only mix the two enough so that the smaller bowl’s buttery contents have saturated the flour blend.

4. Now, place muffin cups inside the muffin tray, or grease the bottom/sides with butter or cooking spray. Fill each with batter until it’s about 2/3 full.

5. Rinse one of your now-empty bowls, then pour in the 2 tablespoons flour, brown sugar, coconut and cinnamon, stirring it all together. Mash in a tablespoon of butter. Add a little more if necessary until you have a clustered, cornmeal-like texture.

6. Sprinkle the streusel atop each muffin, then toss those babies in the oven for about 20 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when a toothpick — or fork tine — is poked into the center and it comes out clean.

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