Chunky Monkey Muffins

Kevin comes home tonight and as of this morning, I have three nanaimo bars saved in the freezer with his name on them. Now, the trick is going to be to keep it that way for the remainder of the day.

Given my track record, I thought it would be in my best interest to come up with a backup plan just in case I find myself hit with an unexpected craving come late afternoon. And what better a backup plan than one filled with chocolate?

Kevin’s allergic to dairy and has a pretty healthy sweet tooth but, as I’m sure many of you have experienced, traveling with a dairy allergy and trying to locate healthy treats is next to impossible at times. Because of this he usually comes home after long trips like this with a raging sweet tooth and a craving for anything chocolate.

I was trying to come up with a fun recipe I could make for him for tonight and my head instantly went to the chunky monkey vegan ice-cream I made for us last summer.

He went gaga for this ice cream.

And I have to admit, I did too. So gaga in fact that it was our go to recipe all summer long.

As much as we love our chunky monkey ice-cream, I wanted to come up with a recipe that I could bring along with me to the airport and have in my hand when I met him at the gate. There’s nothing quite like coming home from a long trip and being greeted by the one you love and surprised with a little taste of home all in the same moment.

I’m pretty sure his eyes will light up with excitement!

inspired by my chunky monkey vegan ice-cream

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Chunky Monkey Muffins
Recipe type: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 medium muffins, 6 servings
Gluten-free muffins loaded with banana chunks, chocolate bits and walnut pieces surrounded in a creamy (dairy-free) muffin.
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
  • ⅓ cup xylitol
  • ¼ cup mashed banana (about 1 banana)
  • ¼ teaspoon Himalayan rock salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Add-ins *see note
  1. Preheat oven to 400F and place muffin liners in 6 muffin cups. Set aside.
  2. Combine wet ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Sift dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Mix in chocolate chunks, walnuts and banana chunks (be sure to save a couple of pieces of each for the topping for each muffin).
  5. Divide mixture into the 6 muffin liners and top with bits of extra add-ins.
  6. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tray before removing and placing on a cooling rack.
    Reserve a couple pieces of chocolate, walnuts and banana for the topping of each muffin. I’ve never had much success in making coconut flour based recipes, vegan/egg-free. That’s not to say it wont work, I just can’t seem to master it… yet.

    I tested out the recipe on Monday night just to make sure the concept worked and was super pleased with the results. They really do taste just like the ice cream!

    Lexy and I hung out on the couch while I snacked on my muffins (do not feed these muffins to dogs as they have xylitol) and she… watched me do it.

    Ah! I love her to bits.

    Do you like to surprise friends/family with baked treats?

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    Comments | Leave Your Comment

    1. Oh wow, I think he’s going to LOVE you for this!!! Even though I don’t really eat a lot of sweet things, I really enjoy baking treats for family and friends – when I don’t screw anything up of course!

      • Oh screw ups… they’re the best, aren’t they? My neighbor asked if I’d help her make gluten-free, nut-free (including coconut), dairy-free cupcakes for a boy in her sons class. I’ve been at the recipe for 2 days now. So much chocolate, so many raw results. It makes life interesting, that’s for sure.

    2. These look incredible Leanne! I am sure he will love them. Such a lucky and spoiled guy :) I love baking and making treats for friends and family! Sometimes I bring treats to yoga for one of the teachers that reads my blog. Nothing makes me happier! Enjoy your time with Kevin!

      • Thanks, Beth! We are both spoiled in our own ways. I can’t wait for him to come home so I don’t have to keep mowing the lawn, watering the garden and picking up dog ‘business’ in the yard haha. I’ll make a billion muffins if it means I don’t have to do it!
        I bet your yoga teacher loves your treats!

    3. What a lucky guy! I don’t bake much so when I cook for others I like to do meals or appetizers. It might be strange to show up at an arrival gate with a bowl of soup though, I thnk baked goods are a better option.

      • I bet you could probably get away with a thermos! I’ve done it before with chili… although I did get some odd looks, I’d like to think people were just jealous.

    4. These look fantastic!! I haven’t used xylitol in recipes..does it make an upset tummy? I’ve used coconut flour before and I can handle a bit but it also makes my stomach bloaty…not a good feeling! Is there another flour you would recommend?

      • Coconut flour is very hard to replace in a recipe – it needs so much more liquid than any other flour out there. You could try to replicate this with an all purpose gluten-free flour and multiply the quantity by 3 or 4… but I’m not sure it would work out. As for the xylitol, I use it to help my digestion. Studies have shown that it’s far better on digestion than stevia, and I’ve seen similar results to this in my practice and personal life, too. If you don’t have it handy though, demerara or palm sugar should do the trick! Hope that helps ;)

    5. I’ve been meaning to make your chunky monkey “ice cream” for a while now, thanks for the reminder!! And these muffins look and sound delicious, OF COURSE you had to test out the recipe first, gotta make sure they’re good ;) I love suprising people with baked goods!

    6. These look so good!! I want to reach out and grab a couple! Good idea to double-line your baked cups for the pics with extra liners (mine always get faded and that’s a great tip…Ive seen others do that, too)…the things I notice, right? :)

      • Doesn’t surprise me in the least that you would see it. Attention to detail is key! I just hate the look of 1 muffin cup. You can see through the paper slightly and it doesn’t look all that appetizing!

    7. kevin is such a lucky guy! nothing like stepping off the plane and being greeted by two sweet treats :)
      now, if i could just find a way to veganize these they’d be perfect!

      • Ah, I know! If I could only document how many coconut flour vegan recipes I’ve tried… heck, I should do that.

    8. Hey, these look great! I definitely want to try the icecream too. However, when I click on Recipe or on the link to this recipe, nothing comes up. I am not sure if this is an issue with my browser or the website, but I thought I would let you know. I tried to look at your recipe index the other day and the same thing happen. Just thought I would let you know :)


        • Hi! Yes, this linked worked. Thank you! I understand issues and just wanted to make sure I wasn’t clicking a wrong button :)
          Thank you for all the tasty treats!

    9. I remember well that ice cream from last summer…

      these are fantastic, and sure to welcome Kevin home! I love the look on Lexy’s face – come on, mom, that last bite is mine, right? such a cutie.

      • That’s totally what those eyes are saying, without a doubt!

    10. These muffins and that ice cream look AMAZING! And I love your new logo and site design! Very colorful and catchy! :)

      • Kevin’s been home for a couple of hours now and snacking on his muffin treats. First thing he said about the muffins was “I wonder what it would be like if you crushed up the muffin and put it IN the ice cream”… I sense another batch of these muffins are in my no so distant future!
        Thanks for your comments about the redesign, Sonnet!

      • It’s so great that you asked me this, Stella. I just picked up a digital food scale today and was chomping at the bit trying to figure out what I was going to measure with it first! Just measured it for you. 1/4 cup coconut flour works out to be 35 grams.

        • Haha, thank you!! I think scales are wayyy more accurate than cups when it comes to measuring, esp. flours – but I’m from Europe, so I guess I have to be a fan of the metric system ;-)

      • Thank you, Jen :) Same goes for you and your blog, I just checked it out! I’ve had dried lavender in my pantry for ages too. I had every intention of using it all up on lavender ice-cream but only did it once. I love the idea of adding it to simple shortbread cookies!

    11. If’n I wasn’t doing this elimination diet right now, I’d be all over making these. So freakin’ delicious-sounding.


      • They’ll be here when you’re done, I promise!

    12. The muffins and the ice cream both look so good! I love the combination of banana, walnuts, and chocolate! I’ve been looking for recipes to use up some of my coconut flour, and these muffins look perfect!

    13. You know, it’s so obvious, but I never thought of doing this myself for a muffin or even cupcake. But it makes perfect sense!

      Also, I have gotten so many people hooked on that chunky monkey “ice cream” – it’s ridiculous.

    14. I love you for these! They look and sound delicious. Pinned them for future muffin making. :)

    15. I saw these on Twitter the other day and favored them based on the name alone!! Ha ha .. I guess there is something really appealing to me in “Chunky Monkey” :) I just got a chance to look at the recipe now and it did NOT disappoint! I stand by my original assumption… all things chunky monkey in life = good… very very good.
      Thanks! Can’t wait to make! : )

    16. Hi Leanne,

      Just a quick question:

      Have you had success using homemade chocolate chips in baked goods?

      I tried homemade chocolate chips (basically same as your recipe for them) in a cookie the other day, and they didn’t seem to hold together too well….kind of melted all over the place…
      Just wondering if you’ve had success with them!



      • Hi Sophie, I’ve had a bit of success baking with them. I started adding liquid lecithin to the batch which has helped it all stay together quite nicely. Also, the more cacao powder you use, the better. It will melt quite a bit, though. Cacao butter works better than coconut oil, too!

    17. I made these with a combination of palm sugar and sucanat and they turned out very well. I am just wondering if there is a way to use a different flour, or at least reduce the coconut flour. Could I use ground flax seed or almond flour to replace some of the coconut flour? I think I’d like these muffins even better if the flour was a bit heartier. Let me know what you think might work. Thanks!

      • Hi Alexis – glad you liked them! Coconut flour is a rare breed. I’m not sure the muffins would work if you subbed it out for different flours. If you’re going to, you’ll probably have to reduce the amount of eggs. Hope that helps :)

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