Gluten Free Banana Muffins

Gluten Free Banana Muffins

Moist, tender, and fluffy gluten free banana muffins in the classic style, made with plenty of mashed ripe bananas and buttermilk for the perfect texture.

Best of all, these are also easy gluten free muffins. As long as you have basic gf ingredients in the cupboard, and a few ripe bananas, you'll only need one bowl and about 30 minutes to make them!

Single muffin very pale light brown on top and golden brown on sides on small metal plate

What makes these “the best” gluten free banana muffins?

The versatility and ease of this recipe are two of the key elements that make it so good. Their soft, tender texture and beautiful banana flavor make these one of the best gf muffins you'll find.

And the recipe includes buttermilk, which tenderizes your gluten free banana muffins. But don't get excited and try using buttermilk in my already-tender banana bread recipe – that much liquid would make the loaf cave in on itself during baking. For that recipe, stick with the sour cream.

But muffins, being the miniature quick breads that they are, can handle that extra moisture from the buttermilk.

This recipe is really versatile and forgiving. Sometimes when I bake banana muffins, I even place a thin slice of ripe banana right on the top of the batter in each well. Adding that banana slice does add some extra moisture, so plan to bake the muffins for another couple of minutes.

plate topped muffin sitting in peeled liner with front of muffin removed and moist crumbs attached

Tips for baking gluten free banana muffins

When I shared my recipe for easy mix-in gluten free muffins, we talked about how that's the perfect “plain” muffin recipe. It can easily handle mix-ins that don't add extra moisture, like raisins and chocolate chips—or even a crumble topping (the best!).

Recipes like this for banana muffins or a gf blueberry muffin recipe are different, and need their own special recipe. Adding bananas or blueberries just changes the moisture balance a ton.

Follow the recipe!

This recipe is easily made in one bowl. That's part of the reason that it specifies butter that's been melted and cooled, rather than at room temperature.

That allows you to add the wet ingredients one at a time into the dry ingredients. There's no need for you to mix the wet ingredients separately, first. You'll still end up with the best banana muffins you've ever had.

Instead, simply place the dry and granulated ingredients (flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt and granulated sugar) in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.

Take a spoon and create a well in the center so that the wet ingredients don't just sit on top when they're added. Then, add the butter, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and mashed bananas.

You'll add those wet ingredients one on top of the other in the well. Mix the batter until it's just combined. It will be thick, but soft.

Next, peel and mash your 4 medium-size ripe bananas right at the last minute, then mix them into the rest of the muffin batter gently. Transfer the soft, thick batter to the wells of your prepared muffin tins, and you're ready to bake them to perfection!

large round metal mixing bowl with white powder ingredients, same bowl with yellow and white liquid on top, same bowl with very light brown/yellow batter with mashed bananas on top and a black mixing spoon, same mixture with bananas mixed in, then pale batter in 12 cup muffin tin and then baked in tin

Use the right gluten free flour for banana muffins

For my recipe, it's Better Batter classic gluten free flour blend (or my mock Better Batter recipe). I've made these gluten free banana muffins so many times using this blend, and they always come out perfectly!

Can I use a different gluten free flour?

For the best results, I highly recommend sticking with Better Batter gluten free flour classic blend, Cup4Cup, or one of my mock blends. Of course, if you like to experiment, give it a try! There are lots of gluten free flours out there, but I can't promise results if you use an unbalanced blend and/or one with a gritty rice flour.

A word of caution: I don't recommend using straight coconut flour in this recipe as it absorbs tons of moisture; your muffins will turn out dense and crumbly. The same goes for straight almond flour, which requires a different recipe (and luckily we have a recipe for almond flour banana muffins!).

Aim for the same size muffins for an even bake

Making sure that your grain free banana muffins are each the same size is the best way to ensure even cooking — you don't want some to be overcooked and dry while others are still mushy in the middle.

You don't have to weigh your muffin batter, but do try to make sure that you fill each well in your muffin pan to roughly the same level. If you fill the wells to the very top, you'll get 14 muffins instead of 16. That is not a big problem!

Use a greased or lined muffin tin

You can bake these muffins in a tin that is simply greased. I usually prefer to bake muffins in a tin with muffin liners, as you get a slightly higher dome with a muffin liner versus baking them without liners. Just be sure to let the muffins cool completely before you attempt to peel back the liner, or it will stick!

Baking with bananas

As long as you have a freezer, never worry about buying too many bananas. Like avocados, bananas ripen and demand to be eaten, or they'll go bad.

But unlike avocados, bananas can be peeled, sliced, frozen, and stored until you need them. I freeze chopped bananas in a single layer on a lined baking sheet, then pile them into a zip-top bag and return them to the freezer.

Frozen banana chunks are perfect for defrosting to make gluten free banana muffins like these and cinnamon swirl banana bread. Defrost them on the counter, or in the microwave at 50% power. They'll seem to have a lot more liquid than fresh, mashed bananas, but don't drain them! Just bake with them as is.

Frozen banana chunks make lovely n'ice cream. If you don't have bananas on hand that are ripe enough for baking, you can try placing them in a paper bag with an apple to trap the ethylene gas that causes natural ripening.

“Ripening” bananas in the oven won't work. Unfortunately, although the skins of fully unripe bananas will brown in the oven, the bananas inside won't be nearly sweet enough for baking.

Use room temperature ingredients only

Temperature is really important when making this gluten free banana muffin recipe. All the ingredients need to be at room temperature to. make sure they combine properly.

I’ve only specified the temperature of the wet ingredients like butter, eggs, and buttermilk since those are the ingredients that are stored in the refrigerator to prevent spoiling. The butter in this recipe is melted and then cooled to prevent its cooking the eggs.

If you’ve forgotten to leave your eggs out on the counter to warm to room temperature, there’s an easy fix. Just place them in a bowl of warm (not hot) water and allow them to sit for about 15 minutes.

If your buttermilk is cold, try microwaving it in 15-second intervals in the microwave, stirring in between to prevent overheating. If you do overheat the buttermilk, just allow it to cool on the counter for a few minutes until it’s no longer hot to the touch.

image of baking ingredients in small glass bowls and on blond wood table including: granulated sugar, buttermilk, melted butter, 4 very ripe bananas, 3 eggs, a bit of vanilla, powdered flours and baking powder and salt in tiny bowls

How to store gluten free banana muffins

You can store leftover banana muffins for 3 to 5 days, so feel free to make a big batch to enjoy throughout the week. Just wrap each cooled muffin individually or place them all in an airtight container first.

To refresh a muffin that has started to dry out a bit, you can run it under cold water and then place in the toaster oven. Put the temperature to 300°F or lower, and let the muffin warm up. It will be close to good as new!

To store muffins, make sure they're completely cooled first. Baked goods that are still warm give off steam, and will sweat if placed in a container and your muffins will become soggy.

How to freeze gluten free banana muffins

You can freeze muffins for an even longer shelf life; they'll last about 2 months this way. Place them in a single layer on a small rimmed tray or baking sheet, and into the freezer. After a few hours, transfer them to an airtight container, such as a zip-top bag, and return them to the freezer.

When you're ready for muffins, just leave them on the counter for a few hours to thaw out. If you're in a rush, you can also throw them into the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds each.

very pale brown/yellow soft glistening batter in glass mixing bowl with metal spoon peeking out

Substitutions for gluten free banana muffins ingredients

Here are my notes and best guesses to help you bake along if you have these other dietary restrictions.

How to make gluten free dairy free banana muffins

To make this recipe dairy-free, you have to replace both the butter and the buttermilk. For the butter, my favorite substitute in this recipe is virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled.

I like triple-filtered coconut oil (I buy mine at Trader Joe's) because it doesn't have any coconut flavor. I love coconut, but that's not the flavor we're going for in this recipe.

For the buttermilk, my favorite way to substitute it is by mixing 1/2 cup (about 130 grams) dairy-free plain yogurt with 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) nondairy milk. In fact, when I don't have buttermilk on hand, that's the dairy substitute I use, and it works great.

Gluten free egg free banana muffins

Making this recipe egg-free is a tough one, as there are 3 whole eggs in the recipe. Once a recipe has more than 2 eggs in it, my confidence in the likely success of using an egg replacer decreases.

You can try using one “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel) in place of each egg. I'm honestly just not that optimistic that it will work that well.

Vegan gluten free banana muffins

Follow the above suggestions for replacing the dairy and eggs, and you'll end up with vegan and gluten free banana muffins. However, note that with so much substitution, I can't guarantee these will come out close to the way I make them.

You may need to experiment to suit your taste, and be sure that your sugar is made without bone char. Plus, if you're making vegan banana chocolate chip muffins, you'll need dairy-free chocolate chips, too.

How to make gluten free corn free banana muffins

The cornstarch in this recipe is added because it adds tenderness and lightness to the recipe. It helps keep the muffins tender and not heavy, even though there are 4 mashed bananas in the batter.

You can easily replace the cornstarch with an equal amount of arrowroot. I've also made it with potato starch in place of cornstarch, in a pinch, and had no issues.

If you're using a higher starch flour blend like Cup4Cup, replace the cornstarch with more Cup4Cup. Just measure by weight.

closeup image of light yellow/brown raw batter in metal muffin tin well with very light brown muffin tin liner

Gluten free banana muffins recipe variations

As with my easy mix-in gluten free (plain) muffins, these muffins can handle mix-ins with no problem, so long as they don't add extra moisture. Here are some of my favorite variations.

Gluten free banana chocolate chip muffins

Is there anything that chocolate chips can't make better? I'm sure there is, but let's not waste time on that. It's so simple to turn these into gluten free banana chocolate chip muffins.

Add one half of a cup to the batter, but also save some chocolate chips to add to the top of each muffin before popping into the oven, like we did with our plain gluten free chocolate chip muffins.

Gluten free banana nut muffins

You can also turn these very easily into gluten free banana walnut muffins by adding 2 to 3 ounces of chopped, raw walnuts to the batter. Just fold them in right after you add the mashed bananas.

You can also make these with pecans if they're your nut of choice, or maybe raisins, or maybe something else — let me know if you experiment!

Toppings!

I love tons of banana flavor, but when I want classic gluten free banana muffins with just a little something extra, I go for toppings. It's so easy to sprinkle on as much or as little as you'd like, and you can even make plain muffins and topped muffins for a mixed crowd or a little variation throughout the week.

As long as you choose a dry topping, the sky's the limit. Some ideas to consider are: coconut chips (interesting flavor combo with the bananas), chopped nuts (walnuts are my favorite), or coarse sugar (not too much).

Craving a gluten free banana cupcake and don't want to make our gluten free banana cake? Okay, I'll admit these don't have the same consistency as a traditional cupcake, but add just a little bit of vanilla frosting on top, and you can trick yourself. :)

A pile of 7 or 8 light brown topped baked muffins with white muffin liners in a flat bowl lined with light tan cloth

FAQ

Are banana muffins gluten free?

No! If you're following a traditional recipe or buying them premade from the store, the answer is typically no. That's because most recipes use conventional wheat flour. If you're following this recipe for gluten free banana muffins, they're safely gluten free!

How do I make my gluten free muffins light and fluffy?

Follow this recipe to get your gluten free muffins light and fluffy, measuring all dry ingredients by weight to avoid under- or overmeasuring those ingredients. Use the right gluten free flour blend – here I like Better Batter, but you can also use Cup4Cup or make your own from one of my all-purpose gluten free flour blend recipes.

Can I use frozen bananas in this banana muffin recipe?

Absolutely! Just be sure they're completely thawed before adding them into the mix. Also note that your frozen bananas may exude water as they thaw; throw it and the bananas into the mix to maintain the right moisture balance in your muffins.

Can I use some regular milk with lemon juice in place of buttermilk?

No! “Souring” regular milk with a bit of vinegar or lemon juice is not a proper substitute for commercially prepared buttermilk in baking. That does not come closing to mimicking the thickness of actual buttermilk.

So what if I don't have any buttermilk?

Good news! If you don't have buttermilk, you can always replace it successfully in my recipes that call for it with half (by volume) plain yogurt (dairy or nondairy) and half milk (dairy or nondairy, just unsweetened and unflavored).

You can also replace buttermilk with plain kefir. Watch that texture, since it indicates moisture content, and if you add too much moisture, your muffins will be dense and gooey in the center.

How to make gluten free banana muffins, step by step

Print

Gluten Free Banana Muffins

Make these gluten free banana muffins for a healthy breakfast, snack, or dessert. One bowl about 30 minutes, and you can bake these perfect gf banana muffins.
Course Breakfast, Muffins
Cuisine American
Keyword gluten free banana muffins
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 16 muffins
Author Nicole Hunn

Ingredients

  • 2 ⅓ cups all purpose gluten free flour blend (I used Better Batter; please click thru for more info on appropriate blends)
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum omit if your blend already contains it
  • cup cornstarch
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas (from about 4 medium to large bananas)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease or line a standard 12-cup muffin tin and set it aside.
  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well.
  • Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the butter, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and mashed bananas, and mix until just combined. The mixture be lumpy because of the bananas, and thick but soft.
  • Fill each of the wells of the muffin tin, and shake back and forth to evenly distribute the batter in each well.
  • Place the muffin tin in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until the muffins spring back when pressed gently in the center, 20 to 22 minutes.
  • They’ll brown nicely around the edges, but not much on top. Remove the muffins from the oven.
  • Allow them to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining muffin batter.

Video

Notes

Recipe originally published on the blog in 2016. In 2018, the recipe was scaled up for larger muffins. In 2023, text resources added and some images new.

The post Gluten Free Banana Muffins appeared first on Gluten Free on a Shoestring.

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