breakfast quick breads

chocolate tahini swirl banana muffins

these chocolate tahini swirl banana muffins are filled with sweetened swirls of homemade chocolate tahini. baked in a 6 count muffin tin, these muffins are bakery style...aka, jumbo muffins! they're refined sugar free, too. cake for breakfast, anyone?!

a couple of years ago I developed several recipes for swirled banana bread. caramel swirled banana bread, cream cheese swirled banana bread and even a chocolate swirled banana bread. they all turned out so lovely. best of all, they were so easy to make! however, I had yet to make a tahini one! with this in mind, I set out to make one. after a few trial loaves, with tops just a little too toasty, the idea of muffins came to me. these chocolate tahini swirl banana muffins are a fresh twist on the classic banana bread. perfect for weekend bakes, cake for breakfast and sweet afternoon snacks!

chocolate tahini swirl banana muffins

these chocolate filled muffins are

  • soft and cake like muffins
  • sweet
  • buttery
  • nutty
  • creamy chocolate swirls
  • sturdy, but not dense
  • bakery style…aka, BIG muffins
  • beautiful!
  • perfect for when you want more than one muffin
  • refined sugar free
  • a good excuse to eat cake for any meal of the day!

to make these muffins you’ll need

  • tahini
  • dutch process cocoa powder
    • you could also use black cocoa powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
    • I like dutch process because it’s a smoother chocolate taste
  • pure maple syrup
  • all purpose flour
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • unsalted butter
  • very ripe bananas
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • whole milk greek yogurt

from these ingredients you will make the homemade chocolate tahini filling and the banana muffins.

tip: for an even stronger chocolate taste, mix in 1 teaspoon espresso powder into the chocolate tahini filling.

chocolate tahini swirl banana muffins

do I need special baking tools?

these chocolate tahini swirl banana muffins are easily adapted to what you have on hand. however, this recipe was created using:

  • one small mixing bowl + one large mixing bowl
    • for mixing the filling and the muffin batter
  • a whisk, spoon and cookie scoop
    • the cookie scoop helps to get the batter into the muffin wells more easily
  • 6 ct. jumbo muffin pan
    • this is the one I have used and LOVE
    • see recipe notes for baking in a 12 ct regular muffin pan
  • cupcake liners, very optional
    • I lightly sprayed a non stick pan and the muffins came out very easily
chocolate tahini swirl banana muffins

what makes these bakery style?

we all know and LOVE bakery style muffins. the jumbo ones with the domed tops. here’s how to get those!

  • change the heat, twice! these bakery style muffins:
    • bake for a short time at high heat, 425 F for 5 minutes
    • then spend another 18-22 minutes baking at gradually reducing oven temperature
  • why? baking at high heat causes the batter to go through a rapid rise. the steam forces the batter to bake higher
    • set a timer to to help you remember to reduce the oven temperature after 5 minutes
    • DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR during this time
  • rest the batter, yes really!
    • pop the muffin batter in the fridge for 20-30 minutes
    • gently stir/fold the batter a couple of times before scooping into the muffin pan
  • why? resting the batter (in the fridge) allows the starches to hydrate, creating a thicker, more tender batter
    • in researching this, I found 1hr – overnight to be the recommended time, BUT
    • I put my batter in the fridge while I let my oven finish preheating and while I clean up!
    • this works out to be about 20-30 minutes in the fridge
  • fill the muffin wells ALMOST to the top
    • leave about 1/8″ space at the top
  • why?
    • paired with the other techniques, this forces the batter to bake UP
    • with less space to fill (from a typically 2/3 – 3/4 filled muffin well) the muffin bakes up
chocolate tahini swirl banana muffins

tips for picture worthy swirly muffins

  • use room temperature ingredients
  • read through the recipe before making the muffins
    • these bake a little differently than regular muffins
  • rest the batter for 20-30 minutes in the fridge
  • swirl the chocolate tahini filling in a downwards motion
    • thinking vertically, this creates the swirl design on the inside
  • for the top, swirl like normal
    • across the top, rather than pushing and swirling down
  • fill the muffins ALMOST to the top
  • set a timer to change the oven temperature
    • 425 for 5 minutes
    • REDUCE the temperature
    • bake at 350 for 18-23 MORE minutes
  • cool the muffin IN the pan for 10 minutes
  • remove to cool on a cooling rack
  • cool muffins completely before slicing
chocolate tahini swirl banana muffins

more banana bread recipes to love

chocolate tahini swirl banana muffins

chocolate tahini swirl banana muffins

these chocolate tahini swirl banana muffins are bakery style, refined sugar free and filled with swirls of homemade chocolate tahini.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 23 mins
Chilling/Resting Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 18 mins
Course Breakfast, brunch, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 6 large muffins


  • 6ct. muffin pan (jumbo muffin size) OR 12 ct. regular muffin pan
  • 3 mixing bowls
  • whisk, spoon and/or spatula
  • cupcake liners are optional, personal preference


homemade chocolate tahini

  • 2/3 c (150g) tahini, well stirred
  • 4 tbsp dutch process cocoa powder sub with unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsp pure maple syrup sub with honey

bakery style banana muffins

  • 2 c (240g) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 c (159ml) pure maple syrup sub with honey, other liquid sweetener of choice or sugar
  • 4 tbsp (57g) unsalted butter, melted sub with canola oil, vegan butter or tahini
  • 4 tbsp (56g) tahini, well stirred sub with melted butter
  • 1 c very ripe mashed bananas, about 2 medium bananas
  • 2 (114g) large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c whole milk greek yogurt sub with milk or sour cream


homemade chocolate tahini

  • Pour all ingredients into a small mixing bowl. Using a spoon, whisk or spatula, mix until smooth and well combined. Taste and adjust as needed. Personally, I like a very small punch of salt! Set aside.

bakery style banana muffins

  • Preheat oven to 425F (218C). Place cupcake liners into each muffin well OR lightly spray with non stick spray.
    Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Place the very ripe bananas in a large mixing bowl. Using a large whisk, work the bananas from mashed into a smooth mixture. Whisk the melted butter, tahini and maple syrup with the mashed bananas until smooth and very well combined. Very few lumps should remain.
    Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract one at a time, whisking well after each one until well combined, about 20 seconds each.  
  • Switch to a large spatula or spoon for the easiest mixing.
    In this order (dry ingredients, yogurt, dry, yogurt, dry), add dry ingredients to the wet alternating with the yogurt. Mix each time until JUST combined. A few flour streaks is okay! 
    Place the muffin batter in the fridge to rest for 20-30 minutes. I like to use this time to finish preheating the oven (425 F) and clean up!

assembling the swirl banana muffins

  • Take the bowl of banana muffin batter out of the fridge.
    Scoop 2 tbsp banana bread batter into each jumbo muffin cup. Scoop 1 tbsp of homemade chocolate tahini. Using a knife or toothpick, gently push down/swirl the chocolate tahini.
    Repeat this layering, swirling two more times ( if the size of the muffin tin allows). Each muffin well should be filled ALMOST to the top.
  • Bake the muffins at 425 F (218C) for 5 minutes. SET A TIMER. After 5 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350F (177C). DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN. Bake an additional 18-23 minutes.
    The muffins are finished when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Keep in mind the chocolate tahini will remain "wet," so look for other signs the muffins are finished. The tops of the muffins will be golden brown and the top of the muffin should bounce back, when lightly pressed down.
  • Cool muffins in the muffin pan for 10- 15 minutes. Once cool to the touch, gently loosen any edges of the muffin still stuck to the pan.
    Remove muffins from the pan to cool on a cooling rack.


If using a standard, 12 count muffin, pan the total baking time will be closer to 18-21 minutes. Bake the muffins at 425 F for 5 minutes, then lower to 350 F for an additional 13-16 minutes. 
homemade chocolate tahini: there are a couple of store bought chocolate tahini products that are delicious. you can use one of those or sub with a chocolate spread like Nutella. I love tahini for this recipe, but you can use any natural (meaning runny) nut butter in place of tahini. 
Keyword bakery style banana muffins, chocolate swirl banana muffins, healthy banana muffins, refinded sugar free muffins
did you make this recipe?tag @olivesnthyme on Instagram

love this recipe?!

let others know by leaving a rating in the recipe + comment below


  1. These were so good!! I used the baking instructions for the smaller 12 count muffin tin. I also added the teaspoon of espresso to the tahini!! I expect these will be gone in a few days they’re so good!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: