Banana Pecan Muffins Recipe

Banana Pecan Muffins

[Banana Pecan Muffins]

Brunch. What a fabulously promising word, evocative of lazy Sunday mornings, meeting with your friends at a sunny terrace, all of you a little sleepy and deliciously carefree, to share the kind of simple and comforting food that makes you feel like a kid again. Runny eggs on toast. Bacon and potatoes. Blueberry pancakes. Puffy French toast.

I adored our brunches in the US — each occasion was cause for elation and excitement — and making the transition to Parisian brunches has been a cruel disappointment. Over the past few years, the concept has evolved from completely foreign to ubiquitous, but very few places get it right (by that I mean getting a little more creative than just eggs, cheap smoked salmon, average bread and industrial jam). And when they do, chances are it will cost you a small fortune and/or the place will be packed and you’ll have to wake up at dawn, or stand in line for a table because none of those places take reservations. Too much stress for a Sunday morning in my book.

So what Maxence and I like to do is invite our friends over. Since a brunch is supposed to be a lazy thing, we rely on our neighborhood shops to provide ready-to-eat scrumpadillies — fresh bread and croissants from the boulangerie, different kinds of hams and terrines from the charcuterie and an assortment of cheese from the fromagerie. We round that out with freshly squeezed orange juice, your choice of tea or coffee (free refills!) and a selection from my ever-flourishing collection of jams and spreads. Needless to say, we usually have leftover stuff to eat for about a week afterwards, but that’s a clear benefit.

And since this is all so easily put together — apart from the bread and croissants everything can be bought in advance — I will usually bake a little something, to add a nice homemade touch to the brunch feast.

When my sister Céline came over for brunch last Sunday, I had plans to make the recipe Molly gave for her friend Glenn’s Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips and Candied Ginger. Maxence wasn’t too keen on chocolate chips and ginger in his banana bread so I opted for the classic pecan companion, and I baked muffins instead of a loaf, just because muffins are small and single-serving and cute, and because it was a good occasion to finally use the silicon muffin tins I bought last October.

They turned out delightfully moist and flavorful, and the banana and pecan pairing is just perfect — generations of bakers can’t be wrong. I like them best fresh out of the oven (after the necessary cooling down), before their inimitable crusty hat turns soft. But you can refresh them the next day by returning them into the warm oven for a couple of minutes.

Banana Pecan Muffins

– 1 C (220g) sugar
– 1 egg
– 1/2 C (112g) salted butter
– 2 ripe bananas
– 1/4 C (60 ml) milk
– 2 C (240g) all-purpose flour
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1 C pecans, toasted and chopped

(Yields 18 small muffins.)

Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F), and grease medium muffin tins (1.5” or 4 cm in diameter) or line them with paper.

In a large mixing-bowl or in a food processor, cream together the sugar, the egg and the butter. In a separate bowl, mash together the bananas and milk. In another separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three parts, alternating with banana-milk mixture in two parts, stirring by hand until just combined (don’t overmix or your muffins will be a little dense). Stir in the pecans.

Pour the batter into the muffin tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the muffins are nice and golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes then remove from the tins and transfer to a rack to cool.

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  • Jenny

    Hi Clotilde – these sound delicious! Where can you buy pecans in Paris?

  • That sounds yummy. So yummy, in fact, that I’m going to bake my own banana bread this morning. :) I like to put some cranberries in mine though – it gives the sweetness of the banana a nice surprise from time to time with a burst of a cranberry!

  • corey

    What a wonderful coincidence that my fiance and I were able to enjoy sunday brunch yesterday as well. There is a wonderfull bistro down the road from us, and we each had eggs benedict, only with crabcakes instead of ham.

    I have confirmed my love for all things hollandaise.

    Oooh and they also had wonderfull crispy potato’s that were darker than I can ever seem to get my own….

  • corey

    also, your main page dosnt seem to be working for me, when I try to go to it, I am sent to a blank page with a couple of links…

  • Hi Clotilde,

    They look amazing. I completely agree with you : Having a brunch in Paris is quite expensive, usually disappointing and most of the time fully packed. Some people say that brunch in hotels are nice but I”ve never tried.

  • christoph

    Salut Clotilde,
    we recently visited a very nice shop/ resto in the 13th were they have a fantastic brunch on sundays. On their card they have even a german brunch!! The place is called “Hansel et Gretel” rue du cinq diaments.

  • Clotilde, those muffins look beautiful! Glenn will be thrilled to hear that his recipe has made it across the Atlantic! I’ve been giving it quite a workout here in Seattle too. I like to make it in mini-loaf pans (3×6 inches) and keep it in the freezer for “emergencies.” I have to admit, though, that it gets dangerous: it’s delicious when still frozen hard, thinly sliced. Next time, I’ll try it with pecans, Clotilde-style.

  • Ken-ichi

    I agree, brunch is awesome, but I had no idea it was an American thing. I’ve recently been stalking the South Bay Area on weekends, and I was wondering if you remember any particularly good brunch places from your time there. I used to go to Tangerine, Chow, or Tita’s hale ‘aina in San Francisco, but I’m just never there on weekend mornings these days.

    Also, great site. Found it via the NPR story.

  • Annie

    This sounds wonderfully simple for brunch. Since I just bought my first house and will be having a small gathering for the housewarming I will serving this and I know it will be a crowd pleaser. Thank you for the recipe.

  • kim

    mmmm. I don’t make muffins too often (being that we only have the microwave oven to cook in, and cooking six muffins at a time makes for a very long day), but I have made banana bread a few times, and it seems that most french people are a bit weirded out by it. I dunno, maybe the people I know just aren’t that brave or something. Just like while our friends all appreciate my chocolate chip cookies, the others are far less interesting to them. Hmmph.

  • “a brunch is supposed to be a lazy thing”

    Hmm. That’s what I always get wrong.

  • Greta

    I am an American living in Oslo and also miss American brunch! However, we have found a great place to go – Bølgen & Moi. They serve fresh bread right out of a stone oven, and the scrambled eggs are fluffy and buttery. Yum!

  • Lori

    Your muffins look wonderful. I made a triple batch of Cream Cheese Banana Bread (recipe from Southern Living magazine) this weekend which was also very good and very moist. You also might try Chocolate Chips in your Banana Bread some time as it is very tasty! My family prefers it that way now.

  • PJ

    These look absolutely divine and I cannot wait to make them! I’m leaving right now for the market to buy bananas. They should be plenty ripe enough to make a batch of muffins for brunch this coming Sunday. (The word “ripe” is so much kinder and gentler than “rotten-looking.”)

  • Meg

    Clotilde, I know exactly what you mean about missing brunch in Paris (although Coffee Parisian does a very nice Egg Benedict and hash browns I must say). We also tend to have people over instead and an Irish friend came up with a really nice refinement on the concept: each couple who is invited brings a Sunday newspapaer for reading and passing around. It means the group is slighty less sociable but a lot more homey with people murmuring “did you see the piece about…?” and “Mmmm…” in addition to “could you pass the coffee?”!

  • David

    I followed an npr link to your site and found it quite interesting.

    The recipie you posted is quite similar to my mother’s, but she has a topping that works quite well for those who enjoy an even richer treat:

    Melt a bit of butter and brown sugar together with a generous pinch of cinnamon and pour it over the top of the loaf/muffin while still warm. My teen-aged siblings like the topping with the chocolate chips inside, but that’s a bit much.



  • Alisa

    I made these today, they are so so good, just the right amount of sweetness, and came out looking identical to yours; so I am guessing that you used your flexipan mini muffin mold too!? Two things of note
    1)purely by accident I used salted butter, and after I realized my mistake, I then realized that your recipe does not call for salt at all. That surprised me.
    2) I keep an oven thermometer in my oven to be sure of temperatures, and my muffins cooked in almost half the time, about 20 minutes. So anyone else trying this should really keep an eye on the oven!
    My little muffins are resting quietly, waiting for sunday brunch. Merci encore.

  • VM

    hi clotilde, love your website btw…i had this huge craving for banana bread (i dont even like banana!!)…looked here and there for the perfect and simplest recipe. didnt want to try other versions coz could not depend as such…quickly searched your website for a similar recipe and chanced upon this! had to bake cos it was tried, tested and approved by you! thanks!! it was the most tender, moist and yummy banana, walnut, chocolate chunk bread/cake i’ve ever had in my life! i made a loaf and i used walnuts and chocolate chunks! it turned out absolutely divine! it tasted even better the next day!! thank you! will try more of your recipes!

  • I discovered your website yesterday thanks to and was pleased to find this recipe as I had some ripe bananas to use up. The proportions of ingredients were just right – they turned out beautifully. I don’t have a silicone muffin pan but I think I will buy one now as I’m sure they’ll turn out even better that way. Merci and I look forward to trying many more of your lovely recettes.

  • Cynthia

    I just made these muffins and they were wonderful. I substituted macadamia nuts for pecans and it worked great. Thanks for the wonderful recipes.

  • Cris

    I made these a few days ago and they are great! Thank you very much for the recipe!
    Greeting from Brazil

  • Latha

    Dear Clotilde,

    I think i have finally got the best banana muffin recipe:) It rose perfectly, tasted excellent. I replaced the nuts with chocolate chips (to please my toddler). Thanks!

  • Zoe Chan

    I just wanted to say there does seem to be a problem with the baking time…20 minutes is sufficient. Merci !

    • Thanks for letting me know, Zoe.

  • Hi Clotilde,

    I reinterpreted these muffins so I could leave out the butter. I also changed the amount of sugar (which I substituted with chocolate chunks) and left out the pecans to account for the children’s taste ;-)

    As some earlier comment said, the proportions are just right. The kids and I loved them. Thanks !

    Here’s a link to my post if you’d like.

    • Great to hear, Anne-Liesse, thanks for sharing your version!

  • MarcyLuna Carlyn

    I have made these twice, but as banana bread, not muffins. I use Einkorn flour, made from an heirloom wheat from a mill on Vancouver Island near my home. The flour is interesting to work with, requiring more liquid than other flours. I also use Kefir instead of milk, and it works beautifully. I bake it in a lovely French charlotte mold. Nice – and delicious.

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