As Easy As Apple Pie

Banana Bread Muffins

Put those overripe bananas to good use with the best recipe for Banana Bread Muffins!

With a hint of warm spices and crunchy walnuts, these simple maple-sweetened banana nut muffins are a perfect make-ahead breakfast or snack — and they’re freezer-friendly, too!

Best of all, they rise high and have tall, puffy domes. Add chocolate chips instead of walnuts, for the ultimate bakery-style treat!

Banana bread muffins in a basket with chopped walnuts in the background.

Why this recipe is so awesome!

A warm banana nut muffin and a hot cup of coffee. Doesn’t this sound like a great start of the day?

These muffins, along with my Cinnamon Apple Crumb Muffins, have everything you love about bakery-style muffins, but with a few tweaks to make them a little healthier:

  • Naturally sweetened – instead of using refined sugar in this recipe, we’re naturally sweetening the muffins with ripe bananas and maple syrup.
  • Sweetness – they are not overly sweet so the banana flavor shines.
  • Dairy-free and butter-free –  olive oil makes these muffins perfectly soft and moist.

Banana muffins are delicious on their own, but you might also enjoy them with a drizzle of honey, or homemade peanut butter. Add a Blueberry Matcha Smoothie and a yogurt on the side for a perfect morning feast!

Ingredients & substitutions

Here’s what you will need to make a moist and tasty banana muffin.

A flat lay of ingredients to make banana nut muffins.
  • Flour – I used spelt flour. You can usually find spelt flour in the organic section of your grocery store. Feel free to replace it with regular all-purpose flour, or with a 1-1 gluten-free flour blend to make these muffins gluten-free!
  • Leaveners – baking powder and baking soda help the muffins rise.
  • Spices – cinnamon and nutmeg give a warm, comforting flavor.
  • Salt – to enhance the flavor.
  • Bananas – for this recipe you’ll need about 2 large or 3 medium bananas to equal 1 cup or 240 grams of mashed banana. You’ll want to use very ripe bananas with plenty of brown spots. They’re easy to mash and have a sweeter taste.
  • Egg – one large egg for structure and lift.
  • Maple syrup – to sweeten. You can try honey, coconut sugar, or brown sugar instead. Replace the whole amount or half and half.
  • Oil – keeps the muffins moist. I love baking with a neutral-tasting oil such as grapeseed oil. Use any type of oil you prefer – avocado oil, olive oil, canola, or safflower. It can be substituted with melted butter or coconut oil.
  • Vanilla extract – for flavor.
  • Walnuts – or any type of nut you love!

See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.

Recipe variations

This recipe is incredibly flexible, feel free to play around with the ingredients and add in whatever you love most. 

  • Nuts – if you’re not a fan of walnuts, replace them with pecans, chopped hazelnuts, or any type of nuts you prefer. You can also add some chocolate chips, chopped dried fruit, or crystallized ginger to the batter for a nut-free muffin.
  • Toppings – top with coarse sugar for a little sparkle and extra crunch, or with shredded coconut.
  • Make it vegan and egg-free – use a flax egg. 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed + 2 tablespoons of warm water replace one egg.
  • Make it gluten-free – swap the spelt flour for a gluten-free 1:1 baking blend.

How to make banana bread muffins

To make this muffins recipe, simply:

  • Whisk the dry ingredients together in one bowl. Combine the wet ingredients in another bowl.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix to combine. Then, gently fold in the walnuts.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, sprinkle with walnuts, and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Enjoy warm — they’re even more delicious the next day!

Tips for success

These banana bread muffins are pretty foolproof to make, but here are some tips that might be helpful for you.

  • Measure your flour accurately – by weighing it or using the spoon and level method. The most common mistake that results in a dense muffin is using too much flour.
  • Use fresh baking soda and baking powder –  this will ensure that the muffins rise properly. If they are more than 3 months old I’d suggest swapping them out.
  • The riper the bananas, the better –  you’ll want to use very ripe bananas with plenty of brown spots. Ripe bananas have a sweeter, more intense banana flavor and they are easy to mash.
  • Don’t overmix! – these muffins turn out best when the wet and dry ingredients are just combined. If you overmix the batter, they will be dense. A few lumps in the batter are fine!
  • Bake quickly! – the leavening agents act quickly, as soon as the liquid and dry ingredients come together. To get fluffy muffins with a nice dome shape on top, get them in the oven as fast as you can after mixing the batter.
  • Don’t over-bake – test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center after 20 minutes and continue baking only if you see wet batter on the toothpick.
A basket of banana nut muffins.

Scaling the recipe

This recipe makes 12 muffins. If you need more, you can easily double or triple the ingredients.

Simply click on the number of servings in the recipe card and slide the toggle that appears to the number of servings you want to make. The ingredient amounts will change accordingly.

How to store and freeze

  • To store – store leftovers in a sealed container on the countertop or in the fridge for 5 days. If you like your muffins slightly warmed, pop them in the oven or in the microwave before eating.
  • To freeze –  these healthy banana muffins freeze perfectly. I like to make a double batch and freeze the extras to have on hand for quick breakfasts and snacks. Let them cool to room temperature, then place them in a freezer bag or airtight container, and freeze them for up to two months. To thaw, pop them in the microwave for about a minute or transfer them to the fridge the night before you plan to eat them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I quickly ripen bananas?

You have 2 options:
1- Place them in a brown paper bag with an apple for 24-48 hours.
2- Place them in their peels on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 10 minutes, or until the skin turns dark and the bananas are soft.


How do I make moist muffins?

The addition of oil in this recipe will help keep the muffins moist and prevent them from drying out.


Can I use frozen bananas?

Yes, you can. Let the frozen bananas thaw at room temperature, drain off any extra liquid, then mash them and use them as directed in the recipe.

A picture showing how soft they are inside these maple-sweetened banana muffins.

More muffin recipes to try

If you make this recipe, please leave a feedback and rating in the comment section below. I always love hearing how it turns out for you! ♡

Close up photo of banana walnut muffins.
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(5 stars) 32 ratings

Banana Bread Muffins

Put those overripe bananas to good use with the best recipe for Banana Bread Muffins!
With a hint of warm spices and crunchy walnuts, these simple maple-sweetened banana nut muffins are a perfect make-ahead breakfast or snack — and they’re freezer-friendly, too!
Best of all, they rise high and have tall, puffy domes. Add chocolate chips instead of walnuts, for the ultimate bakery-style treat!

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups (180 g) spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (240 g) mashed bananas
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup+1 tablespoon (86 ml) oil I used grapeseed oil
  • ½ cup (157 g) maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (57 g) walnuts + plus more for sprinkling on top (optional) chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C). Spray with non-stick cooking spray a 12-cup muffin pan or use cupcake liners.

Dry ingredients

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Wet ingredients

  • Mix the mashed bananas and egg together, then add the oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, and mix until well combined.

Make the batter

  • Mix the dry and wet ingredients together just until everything is incorporated, then fold in the walnuts.

Divide and bake

  • Spoon the mixture into each muffin cup about ¾ of the way full. Sprinkle some chopped walnuts on top if desired.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the muffin pan, then transfer them to a wire rack to continue cooling.

Notes

  • Bananas: One cup of mashed banana is usually equal to about 2 large or 3 medium bananas.
  • Flour: feel free to replace it with regular all-purpose flour.
  • Oil: I used grapeseed oil. You can replace it with avocado oil, olive oil, canola oil, safflower oil, coconut oil, or melted butter.
  • Maple syrup: you can use honey, coconut sugar, or brown sugar instead.
  • Walnuts: if you’re not a fan of walnuts, you can try these muffins with pecans, chopped almonds, or any type of nuts you like. You can also add some chocolate chips or chopped dried fruit to the batter.
  • Make it egg-free or vegan: substitute the regular egg with a flax egg.
  • Make it gluten-free: gluten-free flour blend works well instead of spelt flour.
  • Make it nut-free: replace the walnuts with chocolate chips.
  • Storage: store leftovers in a sealed container on the countertop or in the fridge for 5 days. If you like your muffins slightly warmed, pop them in the oven or in the microwave before eating.
  • To freeze –  let them cool to room temperature, then place them in a freezer bag or airtight container, and freeze them for up to two months. To thaw, pop them in the microwave for about a minute or transfer them to the fridge the night before you plan to eat them.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 muffin, Calories: 193 kcal, Carbohydrates: 23.8 g, Protein: 3.4 g, Fat: 10.3 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 15.5 mg, Sodium: 104.7 mg, Fiber: 1.4 g, Sugar: 10.4 g
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