Breakfast Muffins + Scones

Banana Espresso Muffins

banana muffin cut in half
Banana Espresso Muffins on wire rack

Sometimes, if I close my eyes very tight, I can recall a short period of my life where Saturday mornings were a leisurely affair. There was no alarm that sounded: not from bedside clock, or dated cellphone, or upstairs crib. I would dreamily drift into the morning, allowing myself to wake up in my own.good.time. Aimlessly I would reach for my nightstand, grabbing the book I had left open the night before, and would proceed to lose myself in someone else’s adventure, pausing only to steal sleepy kisses with my Adam.

The morning hours would then slip by and we would talk of breakfast, and coffee. Wandering down the street to a crowded cafe, we would indulge in something to fill our hungry bellies, something as simple and sweet as a muffin to take us to the afternoon. There, nestled together near a window, our respite seemed to stretch on for hours; our day seemed to be made just for young lovers to squander away.
But now it is getting late, and I must close this book of faded memories.

My eyes will open tomorrow before the sun rises high; I will awaken to little voices that run from sleep and warm cozy covers, that resist hours spent quietly engaged. You will find me, then, shuffling to the kitchen with eyes half shut, quickly gulping leftover coffee and stumbling to the counter for this little treat, a simple muffin, to take me to the afternoon.

banana coffee muffin on white plate

More Muffin Recipes:

Banana Espresso Muffins on wire rack

Espresso Banana Muffins

Servings: 12 muffins
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Sarah Kieffer
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate


  • 4 tablespoons [57 g] unsalted butter melted
  • 1 cup [227 g] banana mashed
  • 3/4 cup [150 g] granulated sugar plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup [112 g] vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup [120 g] sour cream at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup [60 g] buttermilk at room temperature
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground espresso
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups [355 g] all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup [227 g] banana diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup [90 g] mini chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs chopped (optional)


  • Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375F [190C]. Grease two standard twelve-cup muffin tins.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, banana, sugar, oil, sour cream, buttermilk, egg, espresso, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Add the flour and gently mix until almost combined. Fold in the diced bananas, chocolate chips, and cacao nibs if using. Be careful not to overmix the batter. It should not be completely smooth; there should be some visible lumps and bumps.
  • Scoop a scant 1/3 cup of the batter into every other muffin cup. The batter should fill the cup and mound slightly (using a scoop helps the tops mound). Sprinkle 1 to 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar evenly over each muffin.
  • Bake until the muffins are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a hint of crumb, rotating the pans halfway through baking, 18 to 24 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the tin for about 5 minutes, then gently remove them and transfer to a wire rack to cool for a few more minutes before serving. Muffins are best eaten the day they are made, but they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


I like to use a combinations of granulated sugar and coarse sugar for sprinkling on the tops; I use half of each and whisk them to combine.
Standard muffin pans are surprisingly varied. I use Nordic Ware Naturals 12-cup aluminum commercial pans, with a 2 oz Vollrath scoop. If you are using different pans/scoops, you can always bake a test muffin to see how it performs in your pan.
If you are not using muffin liners, make sure to grease your pans! Pan spray works well on both the cavities of the pan and the top of the pan for ease of release.
*This recipe has been updated from when it was first posted in 2012. If you would like the original recipe, you can email me at [email protected] and I will send it to you! 

  • Reply
    Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at 1:42 pm

    5 stars
    I suspect a lot of comments here are prior to the recipe update, but none the less, I wanted to leave a review on the updated version. As I pull together this review, I also realize I made many more modifications than I typically do with a recipe. That aside, this is a great banana muffin recipe and people shouldn’t be afraid to substitute in a pinch. I came to find out I was two bananas short (so didn’t add the banana chunks) and my canola oil was rancid – yuck!(so I substituted coconut oil). The muffins still came out delicious. I think the coconut oil did overtake the coffee flavor, but not a big deal. If you use coconut oil, the espresso powder likely isn’t necessary. I will make these again, knowing I need four, not two large bananas, and a more bland oil. Probably could have gotten away with more butter instead, but I still love these. Thank you! I will also be reaching out for the original recipe as mentioned above in the blog out of curiosity.

  • Reply
    Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 7:55 am

    I know this post is years old, but I wanted to let you know I’ve been making these muffins for probably 6 years, 7 maybe? And I love them dearly. Made them with my 3 yr old this morning! I love your recipe collection, too.

  • Reply
    Friday, December 16, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    I want to say that I made these vegan and they turned out great–moist and well risen and true to a muffin that I would know!
    I replaced the egg with a flax egg (1 T flax, 2.5 T water); the buttermilk with 3/4 c. almond milk + 1 t. apple cider vinegar. (though I think soy would work better, but only had almond on hand)
    I also think it would taste good to replace 1/4 -1/2 c. of flour with almond meal for texture, but I didn’t think of it until afterwards.
    Anyways just wanted to let you know they work as a vegan muffin as well with simple replacements!

  • Reply
    Monday, August 22, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    can i substitute the coffee with something else? perhaps milk?

    • Reply
      Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 9:11 am

      Hi Loretta – Yes, use 1 1/4 cup buttermilk total and omit the coffee. Let me know how they turn out for you!

  • Reply
    Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 12:51 am

    Do you think you can subsitute coconut flour? and just add an extra egg? has anyone tried this? and ill be subbing coconut oil for the olive oil which i saw another did yay cant wait to make these thanks!

    • Reply
      Thursday, July 14, 2016 at 9:49 pm

      Hi Lydia – I have never tried coconut flour here, so I’m honestly not sure how it will do. If you try it, please let me know how it goes! -Sarah

  • Reply
    Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Should these be refrigerated??

  • Reply
    Sunday, November 29, 2015 at 11:02 am

    I loved this recipe! Baked it as a cake with wholewheat flour and it was just incredible. Super moist! Thanks so much 🙂

  • Reply
    Diana Abreu
    Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Hey there! I tried your recipe last night! Follow the quantities as described.
    Its important to say im from Brazil! Maybe our banana is smaller than yours – more bananas in the recipe would be nice!
    Matbe our coffee is stronger, so i believe the taste was a little to coffee-ee and the sugar could be doubled! As the nibs arent sweet either!

    I hope my experience can help others! 😀


  • Reply
    Heather (Delicious Not Gorgeous)
    Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    I made these today- subbed cinnamon for nutmeg, chocolate chips for cacao nibs- and they were so yummy and moist! I thought the banana chunks and coffee might not work out, but they definitely did. One of my new favorite banana muffin recipes for sure.

  • Reply
    Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    I’m allergic to cacao…any substitues in mind?

    • Reply
      Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      Are you allergic to nuts? Pecans or walnuts chopped small would work here, too, and also give a nice crunch. 🙂

  • Reply
    Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Love these! I used whole meal flour and added some chia seeds to make a tad healthier, also swapped the olive oil for coconut oil. Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Reply
    Monday, January 7, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    My brother gave to me a bottle of cacao nibs and I started thing what I suppose to do with that? Then, I start searching and saw your proposal, what can I tell, this is a perfect recipe. I used nutmeg because I found it comes perfect with coffee, and it came with a perfect touch.
    What I like so much is that the muffins are not too sweet, so it can be eaten with a cup of tea or coffee. Also very moist and soft.
    If you don’t mind I want to share it.

  • Reply
    Sunday, September 9, 2012 at 5:01 am

    I’ve just made the muffins and they are delicious, and something just a little different and special in the crowded muffin universe. Also love that I can make your recipe when I’m on the other side of the world – thanks for sharing and for your fabulous blog 🙂

  • Reply
    Monday, June 25, 2012 at 10:37 am

    These are just amazing!! This recipe was just what I was looking for. I just bought cacao nibs to try and didn’t much care for the flavour by themselves. But they taste great in this recipe. I added in walnuts and fresh raspberries to this too and the flavour was fantastic! Thanks for a great recipe 🙂

  • Reply
    Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 2:38 am

    These are in the oven, the batter itself tastes just so delicious! I can’t wait 16 minutes!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    I’m new to your blog. I made these just as directed and I was skeptical because the batter is a little thinner than usual muffin batter but they are amazing. So good with coffee, a latte actually, and not overly sweet like most bakery muffins. A great recipe. Thanks!

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 3:37 am

      Barbara! This comment made my day. Thank you so much for stopping by and letting me know you liked them. Have a lovely day!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Wow, these looks so sweet and hearty – a perfect breakfast if I do say so. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog – it’s amazing and delicious!

  • Reply
    Ladies Holiday
    Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 2:12 am

    mmm…the picture you painted is a beautiful (if not wistful) accompaniment to such sweet little muffins.

  • Reply
    Monday, February 27, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    You can still steal those sleepy kisses…

  • Reply
    Monday, February 27, 2012 at 9:12 am

    I love those lazy Saturday mornings…and am lucky enough to still have them fairly often! I’m sure it will all change when we decide to have children 🙂 These muffins look beautiful and I love the crunch of cacao nibs – so dark and delicious and the perfect contrast to the sweet banana.

  • Reply
    my little celebration
    Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    OH my word. I WILL be trying these! They’re too beautiful not to! Your photos are lovely as always. You’re just a gem.

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 4:40 am

      You are so kind. And thank you, friend. I hope you like them.

  • Reply
    Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I was just thinking about the banana-coffee combination when I saw a banana layer cake with coffee buttercream the other day. I think I would like these muffins even more, especially with the crunch of the cocoa nibs!

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 4:39 am

      Thanks Sacha! I really like banana and coffee together. I might have to experiment some more with it.

  • Reply
    london bakes
    Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Not to make you too jealous but I’ve had just such a leisurely Saturday morning today 😉 What wonderful muffins though, I love the addition of cocoa nibs and that oatmeal that makes me feel like I’m eating something just that bit healthier than a normal muffin.

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 4:37 am

      I was trying to make them a ‘little’ healthy. So I didn’t feel guilty eating them, ha. And I’m very jealous. But happy for you. 🙂

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