This banana muffin recipe is not just any banana muffin recipe. It’s the recipe that started me baking.
Christmas of 1988, I got a cookbook. I was almost six. It was a gift from our family friends Mike and Trixie. They’re from South Africa and Mike was really Dr. Mike. Many of rural Saskatchewan’s doctors came from South Africa. I remember three who came through Indian Head in the years that I lived there. Anyway, they brought back for me The Great Cooking Adventure: South Africa’s very own children’s recipe book by Sue Long and Heidi Campbell. Yeah, that’s right. A cooking book from South Africa pre-abolition-of-apartheid. A little piece of history.
It features stories of four South African kids (two black, two white) and recipes. I don’t think any of them are particularly South African, featuring things like Picnic Meat Loaf and cheesy baked potatoes, but when I was almost-six, it didn’t matter. I made a beeline for the banana recipes. I don’t remember if it was the banana cake or the banana muffins that I made first, but its these two recipes that got me baking.
Today, the page that features the recipes for banana muffins and banana cake is crusted with splats of batter and there are crumbs permanently embedded in the crease. It’s still my go-to recipe for banana-flavoured baked goods.
Banana Muffins (from the above book)
2 cups cake flour (500 ml)
1 tsp baking powder (5 ml)
1 tsp salt (5 ml)
1 good shake ground nutmeg (1 ml)
1 good shake cinnamon (1 ml)
1/2 cup sugar (125 ml)
1/3 cup butter milk (80 ml)
1/3 cup cooking oil (80 ml) — I use vegetable or canola, really, whatever is around
2 mashed bananas — very ripe
While the recipe tells you to mix the dry ingredients, then beat the wet ones then mix them together and then mix them together and then add the banana mush.
I usually just toss it all in a bowl and take a mixer to it. It’s never gone wrong.
Scoop into lined or greased muffin tin and bake at 350 F (180 C) for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Sometimes I toss in some chocolate. Sometimes some nuts. Sometimes both. As I intended to let Luisa rip into these ones (I cut the sugar in half for this batch), I put neither and gave them walnut hats instead.