How to Make Banana Muffins
Ingredients for Banana Muffins:
- Bread flour
- Leavening: both baking powder and baking soda are used in this recipe.
- Spices: salt, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg.
- Mashed bananas
- Sugars: granulated sugar and light brown sugar.
- Oil: vegetable or canola oil will work.
- Vanilla extract
How ripe should bananas be for muffins?
Be sure to use overripe bananas for this recipe. The best bananas for baking should be very well speckled or even nearly black. This is important when baking Banana Bread, muffins, cake, or cupcakes!
Why use overripe bananas? Besides the fact that they’re not good for much else in the kitchen, overripe bananas are actually significantly sweeter and will contribute more banana flavor AND more moisture to the recipe.
If you use underripe bananas (and when I say ‘underripe,’ I mean for baking specifically), your muffins will be bland and dry.
How to mash bananas for banana bread or muffins:
- Place bananas in a bowl and use a fork to mash them up.
- OR, place bananas in a bowl and use an electric mixer to beat the bananas until they’re mashed.
Instructions for baking TALL banana muffins:
Tall muffin tip #1: Use bread flour!
Bread flour has a higher level of protein content than all-purpose flour. That extra protein will allow the flour to absorb more moisture and add more structure. The result? Extra tall muffins that are still super moist and tender!
What if I don’t have bread flour?
Although bread flour does work best, you can use all-purpose flour if you must. If you’ve got it, opt for King Arthur AP flour which has a higher protein content. I haven’t tested these muffins with whole wheat flour.
Tall muffin tip #2: Bake at a high temperature!
In this recipe, we bake at a high temperature for 425°F the entire time to get tall beautiful muffins.
You may have seen techniques that call for an initial burst of heat and then require you to drop the temperature down. I personally don’t love this method because all it takes is one time when you forget to lower the temperature, resulting in a batch of scorched muffins.
Tall muffin tip #3: Fill your muffin cavities 3/4 full with batter!
For tall muffins that have a bit of a muffin top, you must fill your pan pretty full. For this recipe, I find that filling each cavity 3/4 full using a standard 12-cup muffin tin works beautifully.
However, if you want slightly smaller muffins or have a muffin pan with smaller cavities (each brand is different!), then feel free to fill the cavities 2/3 full. You’ll just need to fill 15 cavities across two pans.
How long to bake banana muffins:
This recipe was designed to bake at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time, just 14 to 15 minutes. Those overripe bananas help to keep the muffins moist instead of drying out in the hot oven.
How to avoid overbaking muffins:
Don’t use a dark colored nonstick pan when baking muffins. It simply conducts heat too aggressively and can lead to burnt bottoms or dry edges. My favorite pan for muffin baking is either this Wilton or this USA Pan.
Does an overnight rest of the batter work for this recipe?
If you’ve followed me for a little while, you may have seen my overnight muffin batter trick. Basically, for muffin recipes that use baking powder, if you cover the batter and allow it to rest overnight in the fridge, then the muffins will bake up extra tall and tender the next day. Check out my full article on How to Bake Tall Bakery Style Muffins here.
However, this recipe is a little different. These muffins call for both baking powder and baking soda. Baking powder is double acting so it activates upon being mixed with liquid and when it hits the heat of the oven. Baking soda only acts upon being mixed with something acidic (like brown sugar). The baking soda in the batter will lose strength the longer it sits before being baked.
For this reason, I don’t particularly recommend the overnight chill for this recipe. You can do it if it’ll make your life easier, but you’ll lose a little browning on the muffins while they bake. If you’re curious about learning more about baking soda vs. baking powder, click here!
How to make MOIST banana muffins:
- Use a combination of oil AND butter! Use some oil for the sensation of moisture on the palate. This happens because oil is liquid at room temperature. It’s also my preference to use some melted butter so you get that beautiful distinct taste that only butter provides. This way, you get moistness and flavor!
- Avoid overmixing your wet ingredients with the flour mixture as this will result in more dry, dense muffins instead of muffins with a moist crumb.
- Follow the other tips above for using overripe bananas for the best guarantee of moist muffins!
Can I add nuts or chocolate chips to these banana muffins?
Yes! Feel free to add 3/4 cup (75 grams) of walnut halves or pecans that you chop after measuring. For best results, toast them first too! You can also add 1 cup (170 grams) chocolate chips. Regular size or mini chocolate chips will work.
How to store muffins:
Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Can you freeze muffins?
Place cooled muffins on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Remove them to an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. You can reheat in the microwave directly from the freezer (about 15 to 20 seconds) or thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in the oven.