Simple Sundays | Banana & Candied Walnut Muffins

There’s always a frenzy leading to the week before Christmas, and this year is no different. I know I was not alone in thinking, I just need to get through this week. Friday alone was packed with all things kids and holidays: between performances and…

Simple Sundays | Banana & Candied Walnut Muffins

There’s always a frenzy leading to the week before Christmas, and this year is no different. I know I was not alone in thinking, I just need to get through this week. Friday alone was packed with all things kids and holidays: between performances and class parties for each of my children, I was personally relieved when it was time to say our final holiday greetings and hear See you next year! ringing through the halls.


Two weeks of no rushing, of lazy mornings, of having the time to make delicious things to eat.

Deliciously slow mornings, coffee in a real mug, leisurely sipped while wrapped in my plush robe. With ample time to use some of the wonderful holiday treats we receive from good friends. Like these beautiful candied walnuts.

I was in serious danger of singlehandedly eating a whole jar of homemade candied walnuts. Oh yes, all by myself. So I had to use them in some baking.

It’s my way of sharing.

Wouldn’t it be nice if every morning started this way?

Banana & Candied Walnut Muffins

18 muffins

Recipe slightly adapted from Cooks Illustrated's Banana Walnut Muffins. The original recipe calls for plain walnuts, as well as plain yogurt. I personally love the extra flavors that the candied walnuts and vanilla yogurt add to the muffins. When selecting a vanilla yogurt, be sure to pick one that still has that notable tang - I like Straus Vanilla NonFat Yogurt.


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups vanilla nonfat yogurt
2 cups diced bananas
3/4 cup chopped candied walnuts
melted butter and cinnamon sugar for topping (optional)


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly butter or use cooking spray to lightly coat muffin tins.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the melted butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until it is fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture and yogurt in two additions, alternating and making sure the batter is fully mixed before each addition. Take care not to overmix the batter. Fold in the bananas and candied walnuts. Use an ice cream scoop to distribute the batter into the muffin tins. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted is clean when removed. Let the muffins sit on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan.

To garnish with cinnamon sugar, lightly brush the melted butter on the top of the muffins and dip into a shallow bowl of cinnamon sugar.

Best served whilst warm.


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  1. Kita

    I’ve had a serious craving for some down home banana bread lately. This is by no means down home – but it would totally curve that craving! Adding bananas to the shopping list now. ;)

  2. Betty Ann @Mango_Queen

    What a terrific recipe, Liren! I’ve been looking for a good banana muffin recipe for ages. Must try this one. Have yourself a wonderful Christmas & may the New Year bring you and your family many blessings! Here’s to more good food in 2012!

  3. Gina

    Lucky you being off already, we have school till Thurs. Lucky you Top 9 too, well not lucky but deserving. I love that top photo and that peeling paint on the boards. Wishing you and your family the Merriest Christmas. Looking forward to seeing you in the New Year.

  4. Maggie @ Kitchie Coo

    Oh, how I love lazy mornings in my pjs with my hands wrapped around a mug. You hit that one perfectly in my heart. I can’t wait for Friday morning when I have four delicious mornings in a row to do this. These muffins look like a perfect lazy morning eat. Thank you and congrats on your Top 9!

  5. Sudha

    Lovely muffins,Liren!Congrats on making it to the Top9!You have a wonderful blog here with such delectable recipe and fantastic clicks to go with that.I’m so glad that I dropped in:) Hope you have a rush-free vacation and enjoy to the fullest during the Holidays – Merry Christmas!

  6. Kim - Liv Life

    Oh how I love those walnuts! I frequently make a version for salads, and find myself snacking on the nuts as I’m making the salad. The are seriously addicting. LOVE the muffins, with Liv’s banana obsession she would devour these guys!!

  7. Kathryn O

    Yes, I WOULD love to start every morning this way! :) I lovvvve candied nuts and I think they really make a big difference in baked goods. Also love your inclusion of vanilla yogurt. Definitely need to make these soon!

  8. Anna

    I love warm muffins for breakfast. These look so flavor-packed and delicious! I wouldn’t skip on the butter and cinnamon on top. Arggh! I am getting hungry. Thanks for sharing…

    • Liren

      Thank you, Brian :) I’m hoping for many leisurely breakfasts ahead! Keeping fingers crossed. If only the kids would sleep in past 6:30 am, then I’d be all set.

  9. Jacqueline - The Dusty Baker

    These are STUNNING photos and I want to be in a plush robe with children running around eating muffins and drinking coffee! Going on the to-do list tomorrow: buy robe, find children, make muffins, brew coffee! :) Happy Holidays. This is buzzed, saved and ready to be made :)

    • Liren

      Thank you, Jacqueline! And, I would happily lend my children to you so you can complete the scene :) They’re quite good at the running around bit. :)

  10. Janet@FCTC

    Had to check this one out. The title had the word candied in and anyone who reads my blog know that that is a sure way to reel me in hehe. These sound delicious and a wonderful way to start the day… or for lunch… or dinner…or dessert… or…well, you get my point :-D

    • Liren

      LOL, I do get your point, a little too well, I’m afraid! It’s hard to stop “snacking” on them :)

  11. Beth Michelle

    I would love to start my mornings like this! These muffins look amazing. I dont know how you were able to put aside some candied walnuts to make them. I think I may have eaten them all before they went into the batter!

    • Liren

      Believe me, it took a lot of willpower to not eat the whole jar! :)

  12. Norma

    There is nothing simple about these muffins. They are beautiful and if i could just reach out and grab one.

    Wishing you all the best for a Happy Christmas!

    • Liren

      Wish I could transport a warm muffin to you, Norma! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, too! I imagine yours will be full of your wonderful family :)

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