Crunchy Top Coconut Banana Muffins

by | May 30, 2013 | 42 comments

Crunchy Top Coconut Banana Muffins - Cook Republic


Muffins are not the prettiest to look at. Especially if they are homemade. And especially if they are baked by me. For a very long time, I was disillusioned. I would put the batter in the prettiest paper cases, make sure I filled the cases right and chided myself into thinking they would come out like works of art. But they came out looking like Cinderella’s ugly step sisters. Every single time. Now I don’t bother. At least they taste like Cinderella, if she was a muffin that was. And I can live with that.


Crunchy Top Coconut Banana Muffins - Cook Republic 


Muffins are lumpy and dense when they go in the oven. There the magic happens and they come out dressed for the ball, still rough around the edges but deserving of a glass shoe. Fairy tale references aside, muffins can be frustrating to look at and present. But in my honest opinion, they taste much better than their paper case counterparts except for friands. So for this recipe, I played Dr. Moreau and created muffins that were a cross between cupcakes and friands but with the simplicity of a barely mixed muffin. I then stripped them of all pretenses (read plain brown paper case) and glamourised them with vanilla sugar till they looked almost pretty. I absolutely loved them. You will too! 


Coconut Banana Friand Muffins - Cook Republic 


Food Styling, Photography & Prop Alert – Tea Towel $2 from Ikea. Rustic board stolen (well not really, I think she saw me!) from my neighbour’s garden trash. Wooden Tea Box – $8 from Pioneer Antiques in Barossa. Vintage Strainer – $6 from Pioneer Antiques in Barossa. Enamel Cup – $1 from Pioneer Antiques in Barossa. Sugar shaker – $1 from The Curiosity Shop in Hornsby. Vintage Newspaper from Barossa.


Coconut Flour & Banana Muffins






The simple banana muffin gets a facelift with a generous dose of coconut flour, almond meal and spices. The result is a fudgy, almost friand like golden muffin with a crunchy top.

Makes – 12 to 15 large muffins



1 cup wholemeal spelt flour
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup almond meal
6 over ripe bananas
4 eggs
3/4 cup raw sugar
250 ml rice bran oil
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
raw sugar or cinnamon sugar for sprinkling



Preheat oven to 190C (375F). Line a large 12-hole muffin pan with paper cases (I used the high cafe-style brown paper cases).

Combine eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Beat with an electric beater for approximately a minute. Add the oil and continue beating for another minute until light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl combine the flours, salt, spices and baking powder. Stir with a fork or spoon to mix well. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture alongwith the bananas. Using a wooden spoon and very gently mix the batter, moving in one direction until just mixed and slightly lumpy.

Spoon batter into prepared cases, each two thirds full. Sprinkle some raw sugar or cinnamon sugar on the batter. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 20 to 25 minutes until cooked through and golden on top.

Serve warm with some lovely butter or cool with a dusting of vanilla sugar.


My Notes

This recipe can be made gluten free by substituting the spelt flour with a gluten free flour and regular baking powder with a gluten free version.

You can sprinkle shredded coconut on the batter before baking for added crunch.

If the bananas are very overripe, you can reduce the amount of sugar to 1/2 a cup or even 1/4 cup if you prefer your muffins not very sweet.

The mixture is very wet. Don’t be afraid.





Find More Recipes By CategoryBaking Breakfast Fruit Muffin Vegetarian



I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!


  1. Ai-Ling@blueapocalypse

    These sounds great, I like the fact that it is a cross between a cupcake and muffin as I love the substantial nature of muffins but nothing beats the fluffy texture of cupcakes and friands.

  2. Joanne T Ferguson

    G’day! LOVE banana and coconut flavor combination, TRUE!
    Love the staging of your photos too!
    Cheers! Joanne

  3. Kankana

    I always say that muffins are ugly cupcakes and yet that’s all I love to bake and eat. I am sure, this must taste amazing, cindrella like or not 🙂

  4. Shema George

    Love this recipe, muffins and photos…. What a great post – everything here is lovely

  5. Zohra

    Hi, love your website, the food looks good enough to eat off the screen!
    Quick question, what is coconut flour? i have used coconut powder (the Maggi or Ayam brand), but not flour. And where is it available.

    • Sneh

      Coconut flour is pulverised dry coconut meat that is leftover after the water is extracted. It has the consistency of fine semolina. You can google it and find it in online stores or if you have access to large amounts of dry desiccated coconut, give it a go and make it at home in a powerful blender? Hope that helps!

  6. Daisy@Nevertoosweet

    These look so amazing 🙂 And I agree with you muffins are never pretty but you’ve definitely taken them to the next level! Will need to try this recipe out soon ~

    I also like the foodstyling and prop alert it really helps as I am also trying to learn to style my food better 🙂

  7. milkteaxx

    they dont have to look good, they just have to taste beautiful. inner beauty!

  8. Jennifer @ Delicieux

    I agree Sneh. I always fretted over making my muffins look pretty, but as long as they taste good that’s all that matter 🙂 Gorgeous photos as always.

  9. Reem

    Now that you have compared these to Cinderella I am sure they taste amazing… They really sound very delicious…
    Its the internal beauty that matter most right! So how they look should be our last concern.

  10. Sue/the view from great island

    You made these sound so good, i wouldn’t care what they look like! I love that you call out your props and food styling tips, that’s a lot of fun for us fellow bloggers!

  11. Rosa

    Beautiful muffins and wonderful flavors! That topping is awesome.




    I think I like the rustic beauty of muffin more fascinating than the over top frosted cupcakes. And yours look LOVELY!

  13. Quinn Cooper

    These look like a dream. Although you think your muffins are ugly, I think they look absolutely divine.
    Can’t wait to try these.
    xo Quinn

    Quinn Cooper Style

  14. Lisa the Gourmet Wog

    I think your stunning styling and wonderful photography completely makes up for the ugliness of the muffins. Not that they’re that ugly in the first place!

  15. Pallavi

    Absolutely gorgeous muffins! I love the texture – you have captured that really well. Also, the new layout of your blog is fantastic – love it completely!

  16. la domestique

    My favorite muffin recipe was handed down to me from my grandmother, “Blueberry Sugar Cakes.” Over the years I’ve realized I love a cakey muffin, and these seem to fall into that category. They look delicious to me!

  17. Lisa

    I love the name you gave to these muffins. I never give muffins the time of day but the thought of the crunchy top really got me.
    They look and sound great. My kids are muffin-deprived. I think I’m going to have to surprise them by making these. Thanks for the inspiration. Lisa

  18. thecitygourmand

    Oh delicious! I’d put some walnuts in the mix too 😉

  19. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    I love muffins and I especially love homemade muffins where I know what’s gone into them. I really like the addition of the crunchy topping.

  20. Ashley

    I’ll take these “ugly stepsisters” any day! They look wonderful!

  21. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    These muffins sure look great to me! I’ll take a dozen please.

    Oh and thanks for the food photography tip – I’ll be making a trip to Ikea and my neighbor’s trash soon!

  22. Adri {Food-N-Thought}

    have never baked with spelt flour before, these looks like a very good place to start!

  23. See Bosler

    Looks so delicious, I’ve got to bake this 😀

  24. Sinei

    Hi, I used coconut oil instead of rice bran and my batter is very thick (like cookie dough) but you say here that it is supposed to be very wet. What should I do?

    • Sneh

      Hi Sinei,

      If you feel it is very thick and lumpy, you could thin it with 1/4 cup (or couple of tablespoons) of milk/buttermilk/soy milk till it becomes the consistency of cake batter. Don’t add more than that as the batter will drink up all the liquid (due to the coconut flour). Just a little bit to make it nice and manageable. Hope that helps.


      • Sinei

        Thank you for your quick response! It was still like cookie batter after the 1/4 cup but i baked them anyways and they still came out good and fairly moist. I think maybe the coconut oil slightly hardened when I mixed t with the dry ingredients as my flour was in the freezer. Anywho, thank you again for the quick response and for a good muffin recipe with low gluten!

  25. Victoria T

    These look really good! How much coconut flavour comes out when using the coconut flour? I really love coconut so I am hoping you can taste it!

  26. Mandy

    I love the look of this recipe, could I substitute the almond meal for something?

    • Sneh

      regular flour would work. other options are hazelnut meal, rye flour.

  27. Maria

    These look so goooood! I love coconut flour, I use it mostly in coconut flour pancakes and bread, but I’m always looking for new recipes! Will give this a try 🙂 Also, where can I find spelt flour? I never heard of it before. Thanks! 🙂

  28. Sharyn

    These look divine… would they freeze ok do you think? S:)

    • Sneh

      Sharyn, I think so. You could freeze one and see 🙂

  29. Rachel Brown

    Wow! this muffin is perfect for winter with hot choco. Thanks for sharing the recipe. weeee

  30. Jo Taylor

    Fabulousness! Moist, as you want a muffin to be, and crunchy. I assumed the mashing of the banana, but left it quite chunky, which worked. First time I’ve baked with spelt flour. I like it a lot.




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