These 1960’s inspired Vintage Banana Nut Muffins are tender, moist and loaded with bananas, warm spices and nutty texture. My vintage inspiration came from one of my favorite cookbooks, “America Cooks, The General Federation of Women’s Clubs” from 1967. It is an eclectic collection of recipes from women’s service organizations around the United States. The General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC), founded in 1890, seeks to better the community through volunteer efforts and is still active today.
Vintage Inspiration: A recipe for “Banana Muffins from “America Cooks.”
I’ve taken this late 1960’s recipe and baked it modern:
- Added warm spice with cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla
- Used partial amount of whole wheat flour to boost fiber
- Used a combination of brown and white sugar
- Used butter and oil instead of shortening
- Added nuts to enhance taste and texture
Bakers tips for Vintage Banana Nut Muffins:
use brown-speckled bananas:
When making banana baked goods, be sure to use brown-speckled bananas instead of green, unripe ones. Bananas develop more natural sugar as they ripe and making them sweeter. Soft brown bananas also keep your bake moist. If your bananas are not ready to use, simply slow roast them in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes until they are black outside and soft inside.
use butter and oil instead of shortening:
I’ve modified the original recipe by using a combination of butter and oil instead of shortening, which has a waxy texture and lack of flavor. Shortening was used in many recipes of the early 20th century because it was readily available, cheaper and shelf-stable. Butter provides flavor while using oil makes make for a tender, moist crumb. Remember when baking, to always use a mild oil such as canola or ‘extra light’ extra virgin olive oil so that it doesn’t overpower your baked good.
use buttermilk for a tender crumb:
For a light tender crumb, use buttermilk or heavy cream. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, make it yourself by adding 1 T. of white vinegar into a liquid measuring cup and then fill it with milk or cream to the 1 c. line (whole milk is best). Dry buttermilk is also really nice to have stocked in your pantry to mix up as needed.
choosing nuts for baked goods:
You have several choices for nuts when it comes to baked goods. I prefer to use a combination like pecans and walnuts mixed together. You can of course just use one. For a fast, easy way to chop nuts, I use a Cuisinart Mini-Food Chopper.
Aluminum muffin pans are best since they conduct even heat. I prefer to use vintage muffin pans or modern NordicWare. You can choose to spray the pan or use natural muffin liners. I always lightly spray the muffin pan before I put the muffin liners in, to prevent the muffins from sticking in case they spill over the liners.
For more of my muffin recipes try:
Vintage Banana Nut Muffin
- 1 c. unbleached flour
- 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
- 1/3 c. brown sugar
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 c. unsalted butter melted
- 2 T. oil
- 1 egg
- 1/3 c. buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda dissolve in buttermilk
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 c. mashed banana
- 1/3 c. diced banana
- 1/2 c. nuts (pecans or walnuts) chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare 12 muffin liners.
- Whisk together dry ingredients in bowl.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Pour batter 3/4 full into the liners and sprinkle with chopped nuts.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn down oven to 350 degrees and bake for additional 13-15 minutes until toothpick in center comes out clean.