This is a variation of our whole wheat muffins base recipe. These delicious banana buttermilk muffins are made with whole wheat flour and are lower in sugar than traditional muffin mixes or store bought muffins. They’re moist, delicious, and hard to mess up!
Three Must-Know Cooking Skills
For recipe success, learn how to:
Culinary Tips for the Best Banana Muffin Recipe
Measure the flour properly to prevent dense muffins. Fluff, spoon, and level; don’t scoop and pack!
Whisking the dry ingredients together mimics sifting, so don’t substitute another utensil.
If your bananas aren’t quite ripe enough, roast them! This skill takes only a few minutes and will seriously improve the taste and texture of the banana muffins.
When measuring brown sugar, pack it in the cup. If you are trying to reduce your sugar consumption or prefer less sweet muffins, reduce the sugar to ⅓ cup; the recipe will still come out great!
Use a spatula to mix and fold the batter, but be careful not to overmix! Watch our muffin method culinary technique video to learn how to mix the muffin batter just enough so that you end up with light and fluffy muffins.
We used a dark non-stick muffin pan to bake these muffins. If you use a light colored pan, the cooking time will increase. You can also use a mini muffin tin for fun-sized muffins, but keep in mind that cooking time will decrease to ~10-12 minutes.
Use a portion scoop to distribute the batter into the muffin tins. This handy tool can help make perfect muffins, cupcakes, pancakes, and more. It also makes the work easier; just squeeze the handle, and the batter slides right out!
- White Whole Wheat Flour: substitute whole wheat pastry flour or spelt flour for a similar taste, color, and texture. You can also substitute 1 cup whole wheat flour and ½ cup all-purpose flour. We don’t recommend subbing all regular whole wheat flour, as the bread will come out dense and grainy. To make gluten-free banana buttermilk muffins, use a gluten-free flour mix. We have had good success with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour.
- Cinnamon: substitute pumpkin or apple pie spice.
- Buttermilk: substitute plain yogurt, Greek yogurt, kefir, or sour cream. You can also make your own buttermilk by mixing ½ cup milk or soy milk with ½ Tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice.
- Brown Sugar: substitute cane sugar, but note that the flavor will be slightly different.
- Canola Oil: substitute avocado oil. Do not substitute olive oil, as this has a strong flavor. Do not substitute vegetable oil, as this is not a heart-healthy oil.
- Egg: substitute the egg with a flax egg to make vegan banana muffins. To make one flax egg, mix 1 Tablespoon of ground flaxseeds with 3 Tablespoons of water and let it rest for 10 minutes. The egg helps leaven the muffins, so vegan muffins might not be quite as fluffy.
- Vanilla Extract: substitute ½ teaspoon almond extract for banana almond muffins.
We love buying our spices from The Spice House. Click on the picture below to view & try out hundreds of flavorful spices and herbs!
Turn these into high fiber banana buttermilk muffins by adding 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed (flax meal) to the dry ingredients or topping the muffins with pumpkin seeds before baking.
Make banana chocolate chip buttermilk muffins by folding ½ cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips into the batter. This increases the sweetness of the recipe, so we recommend reducing the sugar to ⅓ cup (instead of ½ cup). If you’re a chocoholic, you’ll love this variation!
Mix ½ cup chopped, toasted walnuts or pecans in with the dry mixture to make banana nut buttermilk muffins.
Note that adding chocolate chips and/or nuts will increase the yield, so bake extra batter in silicone liners.
This batter works for quick bread too! To make whole wheat banana buttermilk bread, prepare a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper or non-stick spray. Cook for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Want some muffin recipe inspiration?
Use our base recipe as a guide to make it your own, or check out some of our favorite whole wheat muffin variations!
You just need a few pieces of equipment for this recipe:
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Nested mixing bowls
- Tovolo scoop spatula
- Portion scoop
- 12-cup muffin pan
- Reusable muffin liners
Are banana muffins healthy?
Well, that depends. Many muffin mixes contain way too much added sugar. Some even contain up to or even more than your daily allowance of sugar – yikes!
The key ingredients that make up this healthy banana buttermilk muffin recipe are whole wheat flour, ripe bananas, and less sugar than leading brands.
Whole Wheat Flour
Whole wheat flour is a good source of fiber, B vitamins, Vitamin E, trace minerals, and phytochemicals. Replacing refined grains (i.e. white flour) with whole grains (i.e. whole wheat flour) may reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. (1)
Bananas contain prebiotic fiber, vitamins, and minerals – important for digestion, steady energy, and metabolism. Greenish bananas are firm and higher in prebiotic fiber. Brownish bananas are soft and higher in natural sugar, making them sweeter. Ripe bananas are preferable for this recipe because they are easier to mash.
Less added sugar than store bought muffins
High sugar consumption is not good for health, and in general, most Americans eat way too much. Men should aim to consume less than 9 teaspoons (~36 grams) of sugar per day, and women should aim to consume less than 6 teaspoons (~24 grams) of sugar per day. (2) Each muffin in this recipe has ~2 teaspoons (8 grams) of added sugar.
We doubt you’ll be able to resist biting into a warm, fluffy muffin when it’s fresh out of the oven! Top buttermilk banana muffins with some almond butter or serve with fruit and yogurt for a balanced breakfast, eat them on their own for a light snack, or enjoy as a tasty treat at lunch.
What to do with Leftover Banana Buttermilk Muffins
Because these are ultra moist banana muffins, they will spoil more quickly at room temperature. Cool completely, then store muffins in a bag or container at room temperature for a few days or in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Got a busy few weeks ahead? Banana bread muffins are great for the freezer! Cool completely, wrap individually or in pairs, then store in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or reheat in the microwave in the morning!
Want more healthy whole grain recipes?
Check out these healthy twists on classic favorites!
Whole Grain Pancake Base Recipe
Baked Oatmeal Cups Base Recipe
Whole Wheat Quick Bread Base Recipe
Banana Buttermilk Muffins
- 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour*
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 small or 2 large very ripe bananas
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray or muffin liners.
- In a large bowl, gently whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate large bowl, peel and mash the bananas. Then add the buttermilk, brown sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla and whisk to combine.
- Add banana mixture to the flour mixture. Using a spatula, fold ingredients together until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Portion ~¼ cup batter into each cup. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Enjoy!
This Post Has 7 Comments
This recipe needs a leavenng agent….baking soda and./or powder
You are absolutely right! I can’t believe that we left that out of the recipe instructions. Thank you for your comment; we have adjusted the recipe and hope that it turns out better the next time you make it!
Beautifully moist muffins that aren’t too sweet! Just the right balance of delicious banana & buttermilk-y flavors. Yum!
Glad you enjoyed them! Moist muffins matter! 🙂
So yummy! I threw in some mini chocolate chips and they were just perfect.
So yummy! I added some mini chocolate chips and they were perfect.
So glad you liked it! We love adding chocolate chips too 🙂