A bran muffin starts to sound a lot more delicious when you introduce Nutella into it. Don’t get me wrong – I have had some very good bran muffins, but I see many people turned off of them after eating dense, heavy, flavorless, overly oily or overly dry muffins. There is no cause for that and a good dose of Nutella is exactly what you need to turn anyone into a bran muffin fan. These Banana Nutella Bran Muffins are full of bananas and Nutella and are just waiting to win over a few new fans.
These muffins are moist, fluffy and light, but with a great combination of banana and chocolate flavors. The muffins themselves are fairly low in fat (only a small amount of oil in these), so they get a lot of richness and flavor from Nutella that is incorporated into the batter. Even with it in the batter, the Nutella flavor was fairly subtle in the finished product and took a back seat to the banana. I added a little cocoa powder to bring out the chocolate notes of the spread, then added about 2 tsp of Nutella to every muffin before baking and swirled it into the batter with a toothpick. It would have been nice to turn it into a topping, but the batter isn’t quite thick enough to provide a base for something like my Nutella Self-Frosting Cupcakes. I highly recommend serving these muffins with more Nutella. It might make them look a bit like frosted cupcakes from a distance, but a smear of Nutella on top of the muffins is the absolute perfect way to finish these off.
These muffins work well with both oat bran and with quick cooking oatmeal as the “bran” part of the muffins. Oatmeal adds a little more of a chewy texture than the bran does, and I have it on hand much more often than bran, so I tend to use it. Wheat bran will work, as well, but I find that oat has a slightly nicer flavor. The muffins will keep well and stay moist for several days when stored in an airtight container and you can freeze them and defrost them for a quick breakfast, too. Don’t forget the extra Nutella when you are ready to eat!
Banana Nutella Bran Muffins
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup oat bran or quick-cooking oatmeal
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 med.)
6 tbsp Nutella
1 cup buttermilk
additional Nutella for topping
Preheat oven to 375F. Line 16 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, bran (or oatmeal), cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, brown sugar, eggs, mashed banana, Nutella and buttermilk until very smooth, making sure all egg has been well-incorporated. Pour into flour mixture and stir just until no streaks of flour remain.
Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin tin, filling each just about up to the top. If desired, add 1-2 tsp Nutella to each muffin cup and swirl in with a toothpick.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed.
Remove muffins from tin and cool on a wire rack before serving. Store in an airtight container when cool.
Serve with additional Nutella.