How to Make Banana Nut Muffins
How ripe should bananas be for muffins?
Be sure to mash 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!
Overripe bananas are actually significantly sweeter and will contribute more banana flavor AND more moisture to the recipe.
If you use underripe bananas in baking, your muffins will be bland and dry.
How to mash bananas:
- Place bananas in a bowl and use a fork to mash them into a banana mixture.
- OR, place bananas in a bowl and use an electric mixer to beat the bananas until they’re mashed.
How to toast nuts for banana bread or muffins:
Toasting the chopped pecans or chopped walnuts for this recipe really and truly brings out their flavor and improves their texture.
To toast nuts on the stove, place nuts in a single layer on a dry skillet. Turn heat to medium, and toast for 4 to 7 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Nuts can go from toasted to burnt quickly, so don’t leave the stove. Remove nuts to a different container to prevent them from scorching.
To toast nuts in the oven, preheat to 350°F. Place nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden and fragrant, about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove nuts to a different container to prevent them from scorching.
What nuts go well with banana?
- Macadamia nuts
Can I leave out the nuts?
Check out my Plain Bakery Style Banana Muffins recipe if you prefer your muffins without walnuts or pecans. You can also use chocolate chips instead, if you prefer.
Do I need to adjust this recipe for high-altitude baking?
Reduce baking powder to 2 teaspoons if at high altitude. You may need to adjust more or less depending on your altitude.
How do I bake TALL banana nut 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’ve got it, opt for King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, which has a higher protein content.
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 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, it’s essential to fill each cavity of your muffin pan pretty full with batter. 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 bakeware 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?
I wouldn’t particularly recommend an overnight batter rest for this recipe.
If you’ve followed me for a little while, you may have seen my overnight muffin batter fridge 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 banana nut muffin recipe is a little different. It uses 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.
You can chill this batter in the fridge if you’d like to get a jump start on breakfast or brunch the night before. You’ll likely 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 do I make moist banana nut muffins?
Follow the tips above for using overripe bananas for the best guarantee of moist muffins!
Use a combination of oil AND butter!
This is the second best bet. 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!
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 bags 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.
Just made these – so delicious! Tender and fluffy! Used the bread flour which I don’t have much experience with. Really like the finer texture of the crumb. Used coconut oil, and added 1 c. pumpkin puree since I only had 2 bananas. I did add the walnuts to the flour mixture first as I find that keeps the nuts from sinking during baking. Love your tip of folding wet/dry with rubber spatula. These muffins are so light and not overly sweet – perfect! Thanks
These muffins are particularly great served with any leftover cranberry sauce or turkey. However, I know with some families those might not last long enough for leftovers!
These muffins are delicious. I followed the recipe exactly plus added some dried cranberries for a little tartness. Would love to have nutrition info.
So happy you enjoyed these muffins, Camille! We don’t have nutritional information for our recipes, but you should be able to find a nutritional calculator online to assist with this, if you wish! 🙂
I’m going to make this recipe tonight. I was wondering if I can substitute the vegetable/canola oil with coconut oil?
I haven’t tested that myself, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Hope you enjoy these muffins, let us know how they turn out!
Can you substitute bread flour for all purpose flour?
Hi Helga! You can use all-purpose flour if you don’t have bread flour, but if you can, opt for King Arthur AP, which has a higher protein content. Tessa explains the importance of bread flour in the tip box above the recipe. I hope that helps! Let us know what you think of this recipe when you give it a try 🙂
I’ve tried this recipe and it is amazing. Just wondering whether I can bake using a loaf pan instead of muffin tray with this recipe?
Hi Pei! We haven’t tried that, but feel free to give it a try! Just know that you’ll need to bake it longer, one of our readers baked for approximately 45 minutes (depends on the size of your loaf pan). Please let us know how it goes!
These are amazing! What I love is that these arn’t too sweet. My husband puts butter on them. Finally a dessert without chocolate!
So happy you both loved them!
I made this today, and considering after I pulled them out of the oven I looked over and saw the butter still on the bench, they turned out pretty good
Keen to give them a go with the butter next time though lol
Oh no haha! Glad they turned out ok, but definitely try again with the butter. It not only adds delicious flavor but adds to the texture as well 🙂
baking for jumbo muffins? temp and length? I make large/jumbo muffins for a shelter and not sure the baking time and temp.
Hi Sylvie! Feel free to follow our muffin customization options included in the text above our Ultimate Muffins recipe. For jumbo muffins, you’ll want to bake at 450°F for 5 minutes, then reduce to 400°F and continue baking for about 16 minutes. Makes about 6 jumbo muffins. I hope that helps!
How many calories do the muffins have?
Hi Patti! We don’t count calories here at Handle the Heat, so I can’t say for sure!
These were so delicious! Instead of using paper liners, I just sprayed my muffin tins with a canola spray. They came out perfect. Ate a few and then wrapped the rest individually in Saran Wrap and then into a ziplock bag and into the freezer.
Wonderful, so glad you enjoyed them, Lainie! They definitely make for perfect easy treats throughout the week if you freeze them! Thanks for the comment!