Chocolate Banana Muffins with Cream Cheese Swirl

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Honestly, it’s kind of hard to think about these muffins right now because I am so full – I just went out for Sunday brunch with my friends and ate way too much. We started with an appetizer of cinnamon buns with caramel sauce and then I followed that up with eggs Benedict, probably my favorite brunch dish. Despite the 3 or 4 cups of coffee I had, I definitely see a quick nap in the near future.

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But even though I don’t really want to think about food right now, I am looking forward to breakfast this week because I have a stash of these chocolate banana muffins that I made yesterday afternoon. Plain banana bread is all well and good, especially when you have bananas that are a little too ripe and you just need to use them up, but why stop at that when you can add cocoa powder and get a nice punch of chocolate first thing in the morning?

Not only did I add cocoa because I love chocolate, but I also went for a good amount of cinnamon because there’s almost never enough cinnamon in other recipes for me. 1/4 tsp of cinnamon? What’s the point? Amp that up to atΒ leastΒ 1 tsp. In addition to the 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, I also threw in 1 tsp of cardamom. Cardamom has been one of my favorite spices since I went to Sweden back in September and fell in love with their cinnamon buns – Swedish cinnamon buns are also full of cardamom, which has a slightly spicier punch and is a great complement to cinnamon. Cardamom isn’t the cheapest spice but I promise you that it’s worth it.

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I also had a little bit of cream cheese leftover in the fridge (I can’t remember what it’s actually leftover from, but c’est la vie) so I mixed that with an egg and swirled it into the tops of the muffins. Really, these muffins have it all: chocolate, cinnamon, cardamom, cream cheese… and I just now realized all the c’s haha

Also, not only are these muffins so you can grab-and-go in the morning and not have to slice a loaf and dirty a knife, but they are also two-bowl muffins. If you are really trying not to do dishes, you could just whisk the cream cheese and egg in the bowl you just used to make the muffin batter – the cream cheese will pick up some of the cocoa-banana batter and you might not get your swirls as well-defined as if you had used a clean bowl, but they’ll still taste good and you’ll have one less dish to wash.

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Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a muffin tin with liners.

Melt the butter in a large bowl. Add the bananas to the butter and mash together using a potato masher or a fork. Stir in the sugars. Stir in one egg and the vanilla.

Stir in the baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, cocoa powder, and flour. Pour into the prepared liners.

In a small bowl (or in the already dirtied bowl if you’re wanting to minimize the amount of dishes), whisk together the cream cheese and remaining egg. Divide the cream cheese on top of the muffins and swirl into the muffins using a knife. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until done. Enjoy!

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