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Caramel Stuffed Paleo Banana Bread Muffins

You will NEVER know these caramel stuffed paleo banana bread muffins are only 210 calories and grain and gluten free! They're a healthy, portable breakfast or snack with a surprise center!

PLEASE READ NOTES! Prep time does not include chilling the caramel.

Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword gluten free muffins, healthy breakfasts, paleo banana bread, paleo muffins
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 Muffins

Ingredients

For the caramel: * (read notes!)

  • 1/2 Cup Coconut sugar packed
  • 1/4 Cup Full-fat coconut milk NOT LIGHT
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Grass-fed butter

For the muffins:

  • 1/2 Cup Coconut flour sifted (44g) ** (read notes!)
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 Tbsp Natural creamy almond butter
  • 3 Large, very ripe bananas, mashed (heaping 1 1/2 cups)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 36 cup Whole almonds just under 1/4
  • 3 Tbsp Slivered almonds

Instructions

  1. In a SMALL pot ***, combine the all of the caramel ingredients and whisk together on medium heat. Whisk frequently so the butter melts quickly.
  2. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and boil until the caramel turns very thick, darkens in color, and reduced by about half, this takes about 8 minutes. Stir frequently so the caramel does not burn.
  3. Transfer the caramel into a small Tupperware dish, with a lid. and let stand for 30 minutes. Then, cover and transfer to the fridge until the caramel is almost fully hardened, but gives slightly when you poke it, about 1-2 hours.
  4. Once the caramel is hard, scoop it out of the container using a 1 tsp measure, roll into balls and place on a small parchment-paper lined plate. Repeat until you have 12 balls. Place into the freeze for at least 1 hour to firm them up. Note: you will have some caramel left over for drizzling on the finished muffins.
  5. Once firm, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and generously rub a muffin tin with coconut oil.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  7. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the almond butter. Make sure you don't burn it - this only takes 30-40 seconds!
  8. Add the mashed banana into the almond butter and whisk until combined. Add in the eggs, maple syrup and vanilla and whisk. Finally, add in the flour mixture and whisk until well combined. Let the batter stand for 10 minutes so the coconut flour can begin to absorb the mixture.
  9. Fill each muffin cavity about 1/2 of the way with the batter. Then, place 3 almonds in the center of each pile of batter, to form a sort of triangle-shape. Do not press the almonds down.
  10. Place one frozen caramel ball on the center of each almond triangle. Divide the remaining batter on top of each muffin. Do not press the caramel ball down, it should be JUST covered by the batter. ****
  11. Sprinkle the tops with the slivered almonds and bake until lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted just outside of the center (since the center is melty caramel goodness!) comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.
  12. Let cool completely in the pan.
  13. Once cool, microwave the remaining caramel for a FEW seconds, about 15-30 seconds, drizzle over the muffins and DEVOUR!

Recipe Notes

*I like to make, and freeze, the caramel balls the night before as I think this makes prep a whole lot easier.
**PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE weigh your flour. I've found different flours to measure differently. IE: 44g is 1/2 cup of one brand, but slightly less than 1/2 cup of another. If you want muffin success, weigh your flour (which goes for all baking, especially gluten free!)
***Definitely use a small pot. I've tried this with various size pots, which throws off the cooking time for the caramel. If you don't cook it enough, it won't become solid enough to roll into balls.
****I know the almond thing sounds weird, but do NOT skip it. It holds the caramel in place. I tried without...and the caramel just sinks through the whole muffin onto the muffin pan. Sad.