These small batch banana muffins are moist, fluffy, and flavorful! They make the perfect light breakfast or snack. This recipe makes 6 bakery-style muffins and is a great way to use that one lone brown banana sitting on your counter.
Who needs to go to the bakery when you can make the same quality muffins in your kitchen? Think it's impossible? Wait until you try these small batch banana muffins.
These bakery-style banana muffins are made with just one ripe banana and have a fluffy texture with a soft, moist crumb similar to banana bread. They're delicious with sky high muffin tops everyone loves!
This recipe makes just 6 muffins, which is perfect if you live with one other person or a couple of roommates. But the best part about this recipe is how easy they are to make. Like my small batch blueberry muffins and mini blueberry muffins, all you have to do is mix the wet ingredients and dry ingredients together and bake. There's no special instructions or frills here- my favorite kind of recipe.
Here are some notes about the ingredients used. For quantities and full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- All purpose flour- This gives the muffins structure and heartiness but keeps the crumb tender and moist.
- Baking powder- This leavener helps the muffins rise by adding air bubbles to the batter. Make sure your baking powder is less than 6 months old since it loses rising power over time. Don't use baking soda as it's too strong.
- Ground cinnamon- Cinnamon adds a warm, deep and cozy flavor.
- Sea salt- Muffins need salt or they'll be sickly sweet. You can use fine table salt, kosher salt, or pink Himalayan sea salt. If your salt isn't finely ground, add another ¼ teaspoon.
- Unsalted butter- Butter adds fat for tenderness and flavor. You can use salted butter if you want, just omit the additional salt.
- Vegetable oil- Using both oil and butter makes muffins light and fluffy with a rich flavor.
- Granulated sugar- This sweetens the muffins and locks in moisture. Caster sugar and cane sugar work as substitutes.
- Brown sugar- This adds sweetness, moisture, and depth of flavor. Light or dark brown sugar work, just make sure it's fresh and moist, not dried out.
- Egg- One large whole egg binds the ingredients together. Make sure it's room temperature so it mixes in evenly; pull it out an hour before baking.
- Vanilla extract- Pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste enhances all the flavors and rounds out the flavor profile.
- Mashed banana- A single banana adds sweetness and flavor. Use a banana that is ripe and soft with brown speckles for the sweetest flavor. Avoid green or hard bananas.
- Buttermilk- Buttermilk adds tang and moisture and tenderizes the gluten. This makes the muffins ultra fluffy and soft! Pull it out of the refrigerator with the egg.
- Vegetable oil: Use any mild oil you have on hand, like avocado oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil. Even olive oil can work, which I used in this no butter banana bread.
- Egg: Use a flax egg or chia egg as a substitute. Mix 1 tablespoon ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons water and let it sit for 5 minutes in the refrigerator for the flax egg. To make a chia egg, combine 1 tablespoon chia seeds with 2.5 tablespoons water and let it rest for 5 minutes to thicken.
- Buttermilk: If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can make your own with whole milk and vinegar! Combine ¼ cup whole milk with ¾ teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Mix, let it sit for 10 minutes to curdle, and you're good to go! Plain kefir, sour cream, and Greek yogurt also make good substitutes.
Helpful Equipment & Tools
- You need a 12-well muffin tin sprayed with cooking spray or lined with cupcake liners. I don't recommend using a glass pan since it conducts heat differently than metal, which I used to test this recipe. Don't use a silicone pan because your muffins will burn.
- Large mixing bowls
- Balloon whisk and rubber spatula- I use one of each in almost all my recipes! Use the whisk for the wet ingredients and the rubber spatula for incorporating the dry ingredients.
How to Make small Batch Banana Muffins
Here are step by step instructions to make a small batch of muffins from scratch! Before you start, preheat the oven to 425°F/218°C. Place 6 paper muffin liners in your muffin tin, leaving a space between each (this allows each muffin to bake evenly and rise more), and set aside.
STEP 1: First, whisk the all purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl for about 10 seconds and set aside.
STEP 2: Add the melted butter, oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla to a separate large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. After that, whisk in the mashed banana and buttermilk until everything is smooth with very few lumps.
STEP 3: Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Use a silicone flat spatula to gently fold together, scraping around the sides of the bowl and pulling through the center. Do this until no dry streaks of flour are left. It's ok if there are some lumps!
STEP 4: Use a large cookie scoop or spoon to scoop the banana muffin batter into each muffin liner. Fill each liner only ¾ full or they might overflow in the oven. Sprinkle a little coarse sugar on top if desired.
STEP 5: Bake at 425°F/218°C for 5 minutes, reduce the heat to 400°F/204°C, and bake for 10-15 more minutes. The muffins are done when the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
STEP 6: Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool on the counter for about 10 minutes. Take the muffins out of the pan and transfer them to a wire cooling rack so condensation doesn't form inside the liners and make the bottoms soggy.
Let the banana muffins cool for 30 more minutes or until they reach room temperature. Serve them with a warm cup of coffee or tea and enjoy.
Expert Baking Tips
- Use a brown banana. Make sure your banana has lots of brown spots with no hints of green. The riper the banana, the sweeter the muffins! If your banana isn't ripe enough, place it in a brown paper bag. As the banana ripens, it lets off ethylene gas which causes it to brown. The paper bag traps the gas, causing the banana to ripen faster.
- Don't overmix. Overmixing muffins deflates air bubbles and overdevelops the gluten. This results in tough and gummy muffins. To make them light and fluffy, gently fold the wet and dry ingredients until there are no dry streaks of flour.
- Don't overfill the muffin liners. Fill them ¾ of the way full or they could overflow and make a giant mess in the oven.
- Bake at a high temperature. Baking muffins at an initial high temperature of 425°F for a few minutes causes them to rise quickly, creating tall, domed muffin tops.
Additions & Variations
There are so many fun ingredients you can to this recipe! Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Fold ⅓ cup white, dark, or milk chocolate chips into the batter and sprinkle some on top before baking.
- Fold chopped nuts into the batter, like pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts, or almonds.
- Add some dried fruit, like raisins, craisins, or chopped dried apricots.
- Swirl some cream cheese or Nutella into the batter in the muffin cups before baking.
Storage & Freezing
Even though this is a small batch recipe, you might have some muffins left over. The best ways to store them are in the freezer or at room temperature.
Banana muffins will stay fresh for 3-4 days in an airtight container at room temperature. I don't recommend storing them in the refrigerator since a low-humidity environment can dry them out.
To freeze, first let the muffins cool to room temperature before transferring to a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze them for up to 3 months.
When you're ready to enjoy, let the muffins thaw on the counter or in the fridge for a few hours. You can also reheat them in the microwave for about 20 seconds or in the oven for 5 minutes at 350°F/180°C.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are several reasons this could happen. First, make sure your baking powder isn't expired. Overmeasuring the flour also makes the batter stiff and prevents the muffins from rising. Use a kitchen scale to weigh the flour in grams or use the spoon and sweep method. Overmixing or undermixing the batter can also cause the muffins not to rise or sink in the middle.
Yes! Double the recipe to make a dozen muffins. You can bake them all in the same pan without leaving spaces in between if you want. Baking them at a high heat for 5 minutes will still make them fairly tall.
Yes! This recipe will make 12 mini muffins. Bake them for 5 minutes at 425°F and 5 more minutes at 350°F, checking often for doneness. You can also use mini loaf pans or a regular loaf pan. Mini loaf pans will take 20-30 minutes to bake at 350°F, and full loaves will take 35-55 minutes. Wait for the tops of the muffins or loaves to puff up and look set before testing for doneness.
Yes, you can! You can make muffins gluten free by using Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour instead of all purpose flour.
More Small Batch Recipes to Try
Small Batch Banana Muffins
- 1 muffin tin 12-well
- 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar packed
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 mashed banana extra ripe
- ¼ cup buttermilk room temperature
- Preheat oven to 425°F/218°C. Line a 12-well muffin tin with 6 liners with one space between each and set aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.1 ¼ cup all purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Add the melted butter, oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla to a separate large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.2 tablespoon unsalted butter, 2 tablespoon vegetable oil, ½ cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 large egg, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whisk in the mashed banana and buttermilk until everything is smooth with few lumps.1 mashed banana, ¼ cup buttermilk
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using a rubber spatula until no dry streaks of flour remain. It's ok if there are some lumps.
- Scoop the batter into each muffin liner. Fill each liner ¾ full and sprinkle coarse sugar on top if desired.
- Bake at 425°F/218°C for 5 minutes, reduce the heat to 400°F/204°C, and bake for 10-15 more minutes. The muffins are done when the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on the counter for 10 minutes. Take the banana muffins out of the pan and transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool for 30 more minutes and enjoy.