No Fail Banana Muffins

Hop down to the recipe

My mom taught me this recipe when I was in high school involved in a group that had a lot of bake sales. There are so many good things about these muffins, it is hard to know where to start.

First, they are simple little treats. Banana really comes through as the main flavor, with a subtle sweetness and a moist texture somewhere between fresh bread and great cake. They were always a huge hit at the bake sales, and pretty much everyone I’ve ever fed them to came back for seconds.

You can make them in any size or shape and they still come out great (provided you adjust the cooking time – longer for shapes like breads or large muffins, shorter for mini’s).

My favorite part about these muffins, however, is how they are truly “no fail”. Forget the eggs? No problem. Forget the sugar? No problem. Forget the baking soda or powder? They’ll be a little dense but still delicious. You can even make them with the very minimum of bananas and they still come out tasty (the muffins shown only had 2 very ripe bananas in them). I’ve found that as long as you only miss 1 ingredient at a time, the muffins find a way to compensate. Try them and feel free to “forget” any one ingredient and see how easy and satisfying these little babies are. 

Recipe: Banana Muffins

Makes 2-3 dozen mini muffins depending on how many bananas are used.

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, margarine other non-dairy shortening (softened not melted)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Add 3-5 mashed ripe bananas (overripe is even easier to mash)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Optional – 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped nuts of your choice
  1. Preheat the oven 350° F.
  2. Cream butter and sugar.
  3. Add bananas. Mash together with a fork or potato masher.

    Mashed bananas, sugar and butter have a runny consistency.

  4. Add vanilla and eggs. Mix well.
  5. Add all dry ingredients together. Thoroughly mix batter, being careful not to over-stir.

    Oops. I over-stirred. No big deal.

  6. Add chocolate chips or nuts at this point, if you so choose. Give the batter one last gently stir.
  7. Pour into greased muffin pans or a loaf pan.
  8. Bake until golden brown at the edges and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. 15-25 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven once baked and allow to rest for about 5 minutes before removing from pan. When they can be removed from the pans, allow to cool further on a cooling rack. Mini muffins can be frozen in an airtight container or bag once completely cooled. Otherwise, store in an airtight container to retain moisture and they will last about a week outside of the refrigerator.


About this author:  I'm a New Yorker who would rather cook than go out to restaurants. Sometimes I think I may be in the wrong city for that. Then I remember the exotic ingredients I'd be hard-pressed to find if I lived somewhere else. My cooking style is an eclectic range of everyday-American, Italian, middle-eastern, with extensive forays into Japanese cuisine, and some pit-stops into Indian and African cuisines. I love to try my hand at recreating dishes I taste. While I enjoy most anything with a flavor, from high cuisine to instant junk food, I have a soft spot in my belly for home-style cooking no matter the geographic or ethnic origin. Read more from this author...


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8 Responses to “No Fail Banana Muffins”

  1. MariaNo Gravatar

    How did you know I was JUST LOOKING for a banana muffin recipe? Our grocery store in Brooklyn doesn’t believe in selling bananas in quantities small enough for two people to consume before becoming perfect banana muffin bananas. So I end up making banana muffins at least once a week.

    I’m excited about the “no fail” part, because I’m going to try to adapt them for a low carb friend of mine. I’ll let you know how the almond/walnut flour substitution goes.

    Reply
    • SarahNo Gravatar

      Oh, please do let me know. Something tells me the gluten is what keeps these things from failing. Is there such a thing as glutenous low-carb flour?

      Also, we have the opposite problem. No matter how many bananas we get, they are all gone before we have enough left over for muffins. If I want to make them, I have to buy brown bananas, or hide them.

      Reply
  2. MariaNo Gravatar

    Success! They’re don’t have a traditional “banana muffin” mouth feel, but they’re nonetheless delectable! I didn’t add any sweetener, so they’re very nutty, almost savory. I baked them a bit longer–until the tops began to brown nicely (which surprised me, considering the only sugar was from the bananas).

    Instead of the flour, I ground up 1.5c of almonds in the food processor, and to give them lift, I whipped the heck out of the egg whites and folded them in last. They didn’t rise much, not that I expected them to–I made sure to overfill the cups a touch.

    Re: glutenous low-carb flour. I don’t know if one exists, but I suppose it’s possible as gluten is actually a protein. I know they make low-carb flours and soy flour is one of these. Soy flour has a strong flavor I’m not fond of. Also, I like to know exactly what’s in what I bake, and when I make my own almond flour, I know it’s only made with almonds.

    Reply
    • SarahNo Gravatar

      Thanks for letting me know how it turned out! That sounds delicious in it’s own right. Almonds are one of my favorite nuts and I’m only just now realizing how they can be used in other forms. Baking is totally not my niche.

      I wondered about the glutenous low-carb flour since they would be made out of other powdery things that wouldn’t necessarily also be sticky. I know very little about flours. I just might be tempted to fool around with this recipe some more.

      Reply
  3. MariaNo Gravatar

    I just made these again. I’m loving this recipe! I used 6 bananas, 1/2c splenda and 1.5c whole wheat flour and they turned out deliciously! I got 24 mini muffins, and 9 regular ones. And I’ve already eaten an obscene amount.

    I sprinkled the tops with sea salt and coarse sugar, and you really must try it! The sugar melts into a crunchy top, and the salt adds just a little zing.

    Thanks again!

    Reply
  4. MariaNo Gravatar

    Hi. I know, I leave a comment every time I make these muffins, but seriously, I’m obsessed with the recipe.

    Raisins, walnuts, and apricots this time. Also, banana extract. Delicious.

    Reply

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