Salted caramel is heaven for those of us who love the whole sweet and salty flavor profile. These banana muffins are the best recipe all by themselves but I took them to a whole new level with the streusel crumb topping and the generous drizzle of homemade salted caramel sauce. Don’t you dare make another batch of banana bread when you can whip up these gems of perfection instead!
This recipe was created for my son late one night. He needed to bring a treat to an early morning religious education class. I had brown bananas, so knew it was going to be some type of banana muffin but I really wanted it to be extra special for these kids. They deserve something over the top for being so dedicated to their religious beliefs that they attend this class every morning before school starts.
How could I up the wow factor of a basic banana muffin? Crumb topping…..put streusel on anything and I will begin drooling. Am I alone in this obsession? Once I had this idea, I knew my banana muffins were now banana crumb muffins. But still, I wasn’t quite satisfied yet. I could do better!
I knew it was time for the finishing touch. My first thought was a powdered sugar glaze, but I overuse that stuff on most of my baked goods. Strike one. Hmmm, how about a chocolate drizzle? Some people have some very strong feelings about combining chocolate and fruit. Strike two.
Finally, the heavens opened, the light appeared and I found my muffin drizzle salvation….homemade salted caramel sauce. A legendary, bakery style muffin was born. Before you make them however, these come with a heartfelt warning. If you don’t want to eat the whole dozen in one sitting, invite friends over to eat them with you, or take them to work, or send them to practice with your kid. You will not be able to limit yourself to one muffin.
- For the Muffins
- 1/2 C butter, room temperature
- 1 C sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 C sour cream
- 3 large overripe bananas, mashed
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 C flour
- For the Crumb Topping
- 5 Tb butter, melted
- 2/3 C flour
- 2/3 C powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- For the Salted Caramel
- 1 C sugar
- 1/4 C cold water
- 1/2 C heavy cream
- 2 Tb butter
- 3/4 - 1 tsp kosher salt
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar together until smooth then add the eggs, again beating until smooth. Add the sour cream, mashed bananas and vanilla. Mix together. Add all the dry ingredients and gently fold them into the wet ingredients, just until barely mixed. It is ok to have some streaks of flour in your finished batter. Do not over mix or you will have tough muffins. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners and fill them to the top with the batter.
- For the crumb topping, mix together the flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a small bowl and then add the melted butter. Using your fingertips, gently toss the dry ingredients into the butter. Do not use a spoon or you will end up with a big glob of dough instead of crumbly streusel 🙂 Evenly divide the crumb topping over the 12 muffins and gently press it into the batter so it sticks to the top.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until the middle of each muffin is set and no longer doughy when you touch them. Remove them from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
- While the muffins cool, prepare the salted caramel drizzle by combining the sugar and cold water in a saucepan. Place the pan over medium high heat and do NOT stir it again. Allow the sugar mixture to come to a boil. Watch it very closely from this time on! You want the sugar to begin to caramelize and become a rich amber color. If one part of your sugar is getting to brown before the other parts, gently swirl the pan around but don't mix it with a spoon.
- While the sugar mixture is boiling, heat the cream in the microwave for 1 minute. You want it fairly hot. Once the sugar has reached the correct color, immediately remove it from the heat and add the hot cream, whisking to combine. Be careful because it is extremely hot and bubbly! Add the butter and whisk until it melts, and finally add the kosher salt. The amount depends on how salty you like your salted caramel.
- Remove the caramel sauce to a jar or heat proof cup and let it cool so it will thicken up. Drizzle the cooled sauce over the top of each muffin. Leftover caramel sauce can be stored in the fridge and warmed in the microwave to use again.