Banana-Pear Muffins


This morning W woke up smiling, sat up and gave me a hug and asked for eggs on toast and to go to the beach. And I had to say actually no, we’re packing up and leaving now, like right now, because Grandad wants to make the noon ferry. And we’re out of eggs.

So the plan was to leave Tofino this morning (which we did) and take the ferry over to Vancouver (check) and drive to Kelowna, where my Dad has a conference, and where my Mom and Dad were going to stay and golf for the weekend while W and I went to visit my very excellent friend Sue, who lives on the top of Silver Star Mountain, above Vernon. There we were going to drink wine, and she would have unoubtedly fed me (very well), and we would have gone down the moutain on Saturday morning to the Vernon farmers’ market, where after Americanos and non-crap scones (hard to find, but available) we would have strolled back and forth, selecting enough interesting things to head back up hill and keep us occupied in her lovely open kitchen while W placated himself with Disney/Pixar movies and peanut butter spoons and a yellow lab named Lola. And we would have discussed important culinary issues like what to do with twenty pounds of cherries, home-dried to the point of being concentrated and chewy, but not yet raisiny. Sue is one of the very best cooks I know (and I am aquainted with a few professionals) and a brilliant writer – although she doesn’t do it for a living, she should. I was going to ask if she might do a guest post here. She should totally have a food blog.

But. Our plans were kyboshed by the swine flu, namely that her daughter goes to the school in Vernon where one of the students contracted the virus and the entire school was shut down for a week. So perhaps not the very best idea.

Instead, W and I are tagging along to Kelowna, crashing my parents’ hotel room for the weekend. Not the worst way to spend a weekend, but it will involve me killing 6 or so hours with W tomorrow afternoon after checking out of the hotel and before my folks finish their golf game. There is a lake outside – perhaps he won’t notice that it’s not actually an ocean, considering he kept calling the ocean “the pond” (as in, “I’ll throw the shell in that pond!”). When my Dad told him, with that educational slant that Grandads tend to take, that the body of water we were visiting was actually called the Pacific ocean, W started calling it “the Specific Really Big Pond“. When my Mom explained that their new house was overlooking Clayoquot Sound (pronounced Cla-kwhat Sound) he repeated “quack quack.. what’s that sound?” which of course received an awww, how adorable laugh, which he has been receiving in spades this week. When we get home, he’s going to go into serious Grandma withdrawl.

As for how we nourished ourselves on the road today, there wasn’t much junk, as far as days spent eating in the car go. (We left Tofino at 8am and arrived in Kelowna just after 7; it was a day-long drive-ferry-drive. Amazing that you can travel all day and still be in the same province.) I packed up the last of the broccoli-slaw my Mom bought but we never got around to eating (note to self: make Asian sesame-orange vinaigrette for next bag) and ate it in the car at the ferry terminal instead of going in for pizza. We had some surprisingly delicious curried chick pea soup on the ferry. And last night I made muffins with the overripe bananas and pears that had been bashed around in our beach bag but not eaten. I made a couple batches this week, actually, enjoying the novelty of working in a sparse kitchen with limited ingredients – a Kinder-size bag of all-purpose flour, baking soda, sugar, eggs, vanilla and oil, mashed together with a wooden spoon and baked in the only baking tin up there – a jumbo-sized 6 cup muffin tin. When I went into town for espresso I would grab a packet of coarse turbinado sugar (hey, I wasn’t putting any in my coffee; at $4 I figured I was entitled to a packet of sugar) to sprinkle over their tops before they baked.

We ate lots of muffins out of small paper bags this week; hard to resist when you stop for coffee, and it’s something W has taken comfort in. Just so you know, Jupiter has by far the best muffins in Tofino. It’s in the bottom half of a house sort of behind the ice cream shop. They also sell them out at Beaches grocery on your way into town.

Banana-Pear Muffins

Tofino Banana-Pear Muffins


Yields1 Serving

2-3 large very ripe bananas
1/2-3/4 cup sugar, white or brown
2 large eggs
2-4 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
1 tsp vanilla (if you have it)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, or half all-purpose and half whole wheat
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1 ripe pear, roughly chopped (don't bother peeling it)
½ cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 375F.


In a medium bowl, mash together the bananas, sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla with a potato masher or spatula until blended and the bananas are well mashed - don't worry about getting all the lumps out. Add the flour, baking soda and salt, and stir just until the batter starts coming together; add the pear and walnuts, or whatever additions you are using, and stir just until combined. Don't overmix, or your muffins could be tough.


Spoon the batter into muffin tins that are lined with paper liners or sprayed with nonstick spray, filling them about 3/4 full. If you like, sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar. Bake for20-30 minutes, depending on the size of your muffins, until golden and the tops are springy to the touch.



 2-3 large very ripe bananas
 1/2-3/4 cup sugar, white or brown
 2 large eggs
 2-4 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
 1 tsp vanilla (if you have it)
 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, or half all-purpose and half whole wheat
 1 tsp baking soda
 pinch salt
 1 ripe pear, roughly chopped (don't bother peeling it)
 ½ cup chopped walnuts



Preheat oven to 375F.


In a medium bowl, mash together the bananas, sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla with a potato masher or spatula until blended and the bananas are well mashed - don't worry about getting all the lumps out. Add the flour, baking soda and salt, and stir just until the batter starts coming together; add the pear and walnuts, or whatever additions you are using, and stir just until combined. Don't overmix, or your muffins could be tough.


Spoon the batter into muffin tins that are lined with paper liners or sprayed with nonstick spray, filling them about 3/4 full. If you like, sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar. Bake for20-30 minutes, depending on the size of your muffins, until golden and the tops are springy to the touch.

Tofino Banana-Pear Muffins

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45 comments on “Banana-Pear Muffins

  1. Vivian
    May 1, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Not at all enough time. A couple of days more for W would have been great. Hope you got enough rest and family connecton/love. I think you should just move to the west coast. I would if I could. Let’s ALL just move to the west coast!!!!! 5+ months of snow is the limit!!

  2. Christina
    May 2, 2009 at 4:51 am

    Hey Julie, just wanted to tell you (yet again) how much I enjoy your blog. Your trip to Tofino just sounded awesome. I’ve never been but would love to take a trip out there one day! At least you won’t be coming back to crummy weather here in Calgary, the forcast is looking good … FINALLY! YAY!
    By the way, about the non-crap scones, I don’t like crap in my scones either … he he he! Sorry, couldn’t resist!

  3. Cheryl
    May 2, 2009 at 6:15 am

    Head down to Peachland today and go to Bliss Bakery. The lake is right there where W can throw rocks, or you can go a little further down Beach Ave and hit the playground. It would be a fantastic way to kill time. Bliss makes incredible bread, sandwiches, and to-swoon-for lemon tarts. Morgan says their coffee is really good too.

  4. thepinkpeppercorn
    May 2, 2009 at 8:08 am

    hmmm! How coincidental! I have the EXACT same ingredients (pears and bananas), and will have to bake these today. Beautiful photo!

  5. jenn (in niagara)
    May 2, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    oh those muffins sound awesome! never thought of putting other fruit with banana! always some chocolate though! neat to hear of your adventures in tofino! thanks for sharing your life!

  6. Avery
    May 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Anytime I make muffins, they never seem to rise; I end up with muffins in the exact shape (and density) of a hockey puck. Perhaps I’ve been over-mixing? I only ever make muffins for the tops, anyways, so I’m always disappointed. You’ve inspired me to try, try again…

  7. Manon from Ontario
    May 2, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Wow Julie, thanks for sharing your trip, what an experience. I feel as if I was there with you, really.

    Had another busy, productive day, I kinda managed to be at two places at once today, I set up a kiosk in town this morning, with our apple and maple products, and my daughter and niece stayed there to sell all day, while my husband and I went to the apple orchard supplier 1 1/2 hour drive away, in order to pick up our order of products and equipment.

    Successful day, at both places, so pleased, but I now need lots of rest.

    Enjoy your last vacation moments with your folks, those are memories my friend, that you will cherish forever…


  8. JulieVR
    May 3, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Avery – how’s your baking powder or soda? Could it be dead?

  9. Barb
    May 3, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Holidays go by so fast. sniff.

    How awful for Sue’s daughter and her school.

  10. Sophie
    May 4, 2009 at 4:09 am

    MMMMMM…I love your muffins! Could you substitute the sugar for Agave?

  11. JulieVR
    May 4, 2009 at 7:16 am

    You could certainly try- liquid sweeteners such as honey are better suited to baked goods with a cakelike consistency. I’m not sold on agave though – it has slightly more calories than sugar (it’s said that because it’s sweeter you use less, but I’ve heard of people needing to use more than twice the amount than they would of sugar to achieve the same sweetness) and it’s very high in fructose. Here’s an interesting recent article from NBC news: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/30432188/

  12. Sophie
    May 7, 2009 at 5:41 am

    Thanks for that Julie! I thought agave was better with a lower Glycemix index then normal sugar?!?

  13. JulieVR
    May 7, 2009 at 6:21 am

    Plus it just sounds healthier – it’s a common train of thought, I think. You can’t go simply by the glycemic index – baked potatoes and parsnips have a higher GI than JELLY BEANS, and you’re certainly better off eating them than a bowlful of jelly beans! Likewise, healthy (super) foods like pumpkin, sweet potato and green peas, which have tons of fiber, have a higher GI than a Snickers Bar.

  14. jenn (in niagara)
    May 7, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    i never knew all this about the agave, thanks!
    what do you know about stevia? it is a sweet herb and is much stronger then sugar and doesnt effect your blood sugar levels. have you ever done any baking with it?
    thanks jenn

  15. thepinkpeppercorn
    May 8, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Julie, thanks for the banana/pear recommendation – turned out fabulously!!! You are amazing.

  16. Sarah
    November 5, 2009 at 9:44 am

    I was looking for a recipe to use some overly ripe bananas yesterday and stumbled across this! I used apples for the pears and they were wonderful! Thank you for the recipe. This blog is FABULOUS!!

  17. cinnamon/Dea
    November 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Oh my Julie, these muffins are sooo good. This recipe works really well! I had a bunch of ripened pears. And found your recipe. I added dark choc chips and 1 kiwi. I am not much of a baker, so I usually mess up whatever I am trying to bake. But it worked for me! Thanks so much.

  18. Matt
    January 11, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Good call on pear-banano! I tried these and added a pecan/b.sugar/butter topping. Delicious!

  19. Abby
    September 27, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Made these tonight and they turned out fabulously. I used brown sugar, organic Bartlett pears and baked for about 25 mins because my oven runs on the hot side. Soooo delicious, and I can see this working with crab apples. Can’t wait to share them, thanks for the yummy recipe!

  20. hockey puck mouse
    November 29, 2012 at 3:05 am

    Simply desire to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clarity in your post is simply nice and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.

  21. Bonnie
    March 22, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Just making these. Whether they work or not is immaterial, my toddler is loving mashing bananas and making “cakes”. They smell lovely though and solved the overripe pear and banana problem. Thanks for a lovely blog and a lovely recipe.

  22. Katie
    November 15, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Just made these tofino muffins with my two girls today. A chorus of `yum, yum in my tum`s the whole time they were eating the first ones out of the oven. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Julie
      November 23, 2014 at 11:01 pm

      Awesome to hear Katie!

  23. Nia
    December 8, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    I was looking for a way to use up some ripe pears in a muffin and came across your recipe. These were delicious and so easy to mix up.
    Not only was the recipe wonderful, so is your storytelling. I love your blog.
    I’ve lost track how many of your recipes I’ve tried and there hasn’t been one that wasn’t delicious.
    Thank you, thank you!

  24. Sophie Wright
    February 20, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Great way to use up some slightly overripe pears and bananas. Worked out great. And love the approximate amounts.

  25. Mary Lou Sampson
    April 25, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Just took these muffins from the oven. They look and smell great. Waiting for them to cool. Yummy

  26. Anonymous
    June 10, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Muffins were the worst muffins I’ve ever made, very dry

  27. Jen
    February 8, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    These were super easy to whip up! Used three bananas and two pears with organic coconut oil and they smell and taste amazing. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  28. Katherine
    February 27, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    This recipe worked perfectly and was delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  29. Deborah Harrison
    May 3, 2017 at 8:56 am

    My hubby LOVED these. I used coconut sugar and made mini muffins. Baked about 15 minutes at 350. Yum!

    • Julie
      May 4, 2017 at 6:17 pm

      So great to hear it!

  30. Carolyn
    August 9, 2017 at 11:34 am

    I had 3 pears and 1 banana on hand so I did the opposite. I used the 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of
    oil and a bit of cinnamon. I didn’t use liners but I’ve never had such perfectly formed muffins. Delicious.

  31. RachH
    August 15, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    These muffins are a staple in my house. I’ve swapped the pear for apple, used less banana than called for and supplemented with chopped nectarine, added chocolate chips and/or dried cranberries, and just this weekend, I used them to modify a granola muffin recipe that was good in theory but needed some help on the basics (leavening/temp/number of eggs, etc.). This is officially my favorite muffin recipe. Thank you for a winner!

    • Julie
      August 16, 2017 at 9:58 am

      Amazing – so glad to hear it!

  32. Katie
    March 16, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Needed to add potassium to diet and not a big fan of bananas….but I have to! Found your recipe and made them tonight. I added about 1/2 cup of some frozen sweet cherries leftover and about 1/8 cup flaxseed. Made them in Texas size muffin pan and baked the full 30 min. O…M…G!!! The pear takes away the overly-banana taste. I will make these again and again and again! These will be great for breakfast instead of a bagel or something. Thank you!

    • Julie
      March 19, 2018 at 2:22 pm

      So great to hear it! these are some of my favourite muffins!

  33. Bessie
    March 25, 2018 at 3:11 am

    Stubbled across this recipe today, hoping to use up some ripe pears and bananas. Absolutely delicious! I used coconut oil and half brown sugar half honey. Will make again and again. Thank you

    • Julie
      March 26, 2018 at 11:25 pm

      So glad to hear it!

  34. Lucy
    April 14, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    Hi Julie,
    I made these yesterday and they were delicious. I used coconut oil and made a nut sugar crumble topping. Thank you 🙂

    • Julie
      April 15, 2019 at 10:32 am

      So great to hear it!

  35. Kimi
    May 22, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    I was so excited….Mom used to make the best banana pear w nut muffins for which I never thought to ask her recipe (?!)
    Encouraged by the positive comments, I made this one exactly as posted. Sadly, this recipe turned out somewhat bland results.
    Can anyone offer thoughts as to might have gone wrong?
    ….back to the drawing board! :-*

  36. Tamera
    April 29, 2020 at 7:34 pm

    I doubled the recipe, Using 4 bananas, 2 pears, 1 cup sugar and coconut oil. Turned out great, cooked for 25 minutes … could have cooked a couple minutes less. Very impressed! This is a keeper! Hubby downed 3 on first go round! Thank you!

    • Julie
      May 3, 2020 at 9:16 pm

      So glad to hear it!

  37. Anonymous
    June 4, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    Could you please repost recipe for banana and pear muffins!

  38. Marilyn
    September 10, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Can you make a loaf cake and not muffins?

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