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We use the exact same recipe for banana muffins at two different locations (1 1/2 hours apart). One turns out with flecks, and one does not. Every part of the mixing and cooking process is exactly the same and we can not explain why this is happening. They otherwise taste the same.

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Addressing the questions in the comments:

Two different ovens at two different locations. Two different mixes but the same ingredients, made at different times. Fleck refers to the dark specks of a banana. Flour, sugar, two eggs, margarine, milk, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda. Water is NOT an ingredient. One batch has the black specks of old bananas and is moist and the other has no specks and is drier.

And:

The flex we are referring to is the black specs of bananas that show up when you are finished cooking. We even took the mixture from site 1 and baked it at site 2 and still no “flecks”. Believe me we have tried everything. Muffins taste ok just not the same finish. Guess it could be the oven but they were baked at the same temp and for the same time. I think we have flogged this long enough and I am just going to give up on figuring it out. Thanks everyone for your input and suggestions.

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    Did you use the same oven? Were the mixes made at the same time & split in two, or did you have 2 mixes?
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 14:56
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    Please define "flex." Any chance to post pictures as well? Complete list of ingredients?
    – moscafj
    Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 15:11
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    Unless you are transporting your oven, there is at least one obvious variable. Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 16:12
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    I can drive 1.5 hours and end up several thousand feet of elevation higher. Just because two spots are some travel time apart doesn't mean much if they have significantly different climates, etc. Commented Nov 28, 2022 at 18:14
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    Where do bananas enter into this? You didn't list them as an ingredient. If that was an accidental omission, the obvious thing to check is, how ripe are the bananas you are using? Brown spots are a symptom of ripeness, not an artifact of a particular recipe or cooking process. Using unripe bananas in a recipe that calls for (over-) ripe bananas would, indeed, result in drier muffins.
    – Marti
    Commented Nov 29, 2022 at 20:00

1 Answer 1

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Assuming everything else is the same, it's almost certainly the oven. You say that "they were baked at the same temp and for the same time," but this is not as accurate of an indicator as you may think that it is.

As far as I know, the majority of ovens are slightly inaccurate. If these ovens are each slightly inaccurate in opposite directions, it's completely possible that the difference in temperature could be as much as 50 degrees.

I would test the ovens using an accurate thermometer to determine how much of a delta you're working with here.

Good luck.

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  • I've experienced a some differences in cooking and boiling time in places closer to the sea (lower altitude) than in cities 300-600km away. Can this also affect the baking process?
    – M.K
    Commented Dec 1, 2022 at 13:23

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