How to Make Banana Nut Muffins
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? 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 not for snacking!), your muffins will be bland and dry.
How to toast nuts:
Toasting the pecans or 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.
Can I leave out the nuts?
Check out my Plain Bakery Style Banana Muffins recipe if you prefer your muffins without walnuts or pecans.
Do I need to adjust this recipe for high-altitude baking?
Reduce baking powder to 2 teaspoons if at high altitude. This was tested by our photographer who baked these muffins in Denver, CO. 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 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.