My grandmother always makes cardamom heart cookies for Christmas, a thin and delicate, slightly crunchy cookie base with a light pink sweet royal icing glaze on top. She hasn’t always had a lot, but those cookies were almost always even better than the thoughtful homemade gifts she would give us.

Any strong cardamom smell or taste immediately brings me back to those cookies, so I was delighted when I came across the idea of adding cardamom to the banana batter I was planning to make with the bananas I squirreled away into the freezer a few weeks ago. This Cardamom-Almond-Banana muffin recipe is heavily inspired by Nothing But Delicious’s Banana Cardamom Bread.

I think these are delicious, pretty nutritious muffins, and with a little frosting could also make some lovely and fairly unprocessed cupcakes! Easy, fast, delicious, healthy, and portable. There is absolutely nothing else I can think of to ask for!



  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (or blend/process 1/2 cup of almond slivers until fine and floury)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom (less if you prefer a sweet, less strongly flavored loaf)
  • dash each of ginger and cinnamon
  • 4 ripe mashed bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • dash of almond extract (if desired)
  • 1/2 cup almond, cashew, or other nut butter



  1. Blend or process rolled oats until they become fine and floury. Mix the oats and all other dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  2. In a large stand mixer, blender, or processor, combine the wet ingredients until light. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until combined, but do not overmix!
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F and let the batter rest for 20 minutes. Either grease or put liners in a muffin tray, and fill each tin about 3/4 full with batter. I under-filled and got just about 20 small muffins, but you could also make them larger to get a real muffin shape and bake them for a bit longer- you’d probably get about 12 muffins.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, and then turn the temperature down to 350°F for about 5 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out dry.
  5. Enjoy warm!



  • It turns out that a teaspoon of unground cardamom seeds produces more than a teaspoon of ground seeds, so don’t feel the need to grind too much if you’re starting from cardamom pods!
  • If you’re feeling really wild, go ahead and replace the spices, honey, and nut butter with a chocolate spread or nutella… it won’t be cardamom-almond anymore but it will definitely be tasty.
  • If you’re not very excited about muffins and would prefer bread, this should make 3 mini-loaves (grease and line the dish with parchment paper and bake for about 35 minutes), or one large loaf  (grease and line the dish with parchment paper and bake for about 60-65 minutes). It will still be great, and probably even MORE difficult to resist!
  • It turns out that 1. You should cook muffins at about 400°F to get that perfect muffin top, and 2. I regret not doing this when I made the muffins. Please start the oven hot and make the muffins big to get that store-bought perfect muffin shape! Otherwise you’ll just end up eating two at a time like me.
  • Serving suggestion: Warm with a little nut butter, or butter and some light honey!