Recipes > Breakfast > Banana Buttermilk Muffins

Banana Buttermilk Muffins

These banana buttermilk muffins are made with whole wheat flour and have less sugar than store bought muffins. They are fluffy and delicious!
banana buttermilk muffins with ripe banana

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 sugarpack 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!

To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into a muffin in the middle of the pan. If it comes out clean, it’s done! 

Ingredient Substitutions

  • 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.
  • Kosher Salt: We use Morton kosher salt. If using Diamond Crystal kosher salt, use ¾  teaspoon. If you use table salt, use slightly less than ½ teaspoon. 
  • 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 two flax eggs, mix 2 Tablespoons of ground flaxseeds with 6 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.

Recipe Variations

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 may 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 more muffin recipe inspiration?

Use our base recipe as a guide to make it your own, or try these tasty variations!

Equipment Recommendations

Use these kitchen tools for recipe success:

Find all of our favorite kitchen tools here!

Are banana muffins healthy?

Most pre-made muffins or store bought mixes contain way too much added sugar. Some even contain more than your daily allowance of sugar – yikes! The key ingredients that make up this a 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 phytonutrients. 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.


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

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. Each muffin in this recipe has ~2 teaspoons (8 grams) of added sugar. 

Learn more about health benefits of different foods and ingredients in our book, To Your Taste!

Serving Suggestions 

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 in a bag or airtight 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

Overnight Oats Base Recipe

Homemade Granola Base Recipe

Baked Oatmeal Cups Base Recipe

Whole Wheat Quick Bread Base Recipe

banana buttermilk muffins with ripe banana

Banana Buttermilk Muffins

This is a variation of our whole wheat muffins base recipe. Banana buttermilk muffins are a perfect breakfast or snack. The whole wheat flour and banana give these muffins more fiber than a traditional muffin recipe which can help you stay energized and satisfied for longer!
4.34 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12 muffins


  • 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour*
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 small or 2 large very ripe bananas (~1 cup mashed)
  • 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 powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a separate large bowl, peel and mash the bananas. Add the buttermilk, brown sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla and whisk to combine.
  • Add liquid ingredients to the flour mixture. Using a spatula, fold ingredients until just moistened. Do not overmix.
  • Use a ¼ cup portion scoop to divide out the batter. Cook for 18-20 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Enjoy!


*Substitute 1 cup whole wheat flour + ½ cup all purpose flour or 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour.
Keyword Banana Buttermilk Muffins

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Catherine

    This recipe needs a leavenng agent….baking soda and./or powder

    1. Lexi Endicott, RD, LD, CCMS

      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!

  2. Sierra Cole

    Beautifully moist muffins that aren’t too sweet! Just the right balance of delicious banana & buttermilk-y flavors. Yum!

  3. Heather

    So yummy! I threw in some mini chocolate chips and they were just perfect.

  4. Heather

    So yummy! I added some mini chocolate chips and they were perfect.

  5. Linda

    When substituting all wheat flour, do you mean a 1-1 substitution?

  6. Linda

    When substituting all wheat flour, do you mean a 1-1 substitution for AP flour?

    1. If you want to use regular whole wheat flour (vs the white whole wheat), we recommend 1 cup whole wheat flour + 1/2 cup all purpose flour.

      If you want to use AP flour, you can substitute it 1:1, so you would use 1 1/2 cups. You will miss out on some good fiber and nutrients though 😉

      Does that answer your question?

  7. Kristen

    Moist & not too sweet! Perfect for breakfast

  8. Mike

    The recipe is nice as far as I’m concerned, but my wife detected the salt and baking soda right away and did not enjoy those aspects. I can cut back (or out) the salt easily enough. But would the leavening still work OK if I, say, reversed the proportions of b.soda to b.powder (i.e. 1tsp b.powder and 1/2tsp b.soda)?

    1. Lexi Cole, RD, CCMS

      Hi Mike! Thank you for trying this recipe and sending your feedback. I would start by cutting the salt in half and seeing what result that produces before switching the baking soda and powder. We haven’t tried reversing those proportions, but it sounds like a fun food science experiment! Let us know how the muffins come out if you do!

      1. Mike

        Thanks Lexi. So here’s what I settled on: I reversed the proportions of b.soda to b.powder and replaced the salt with 1/2tsp of apple cider vinegar. The thinking here is that the vinegar boosts the reaction with the smaller amount of b.soda, and also serves as a flavor enhancer in place of salt. The rise was just the same as before. I think you’re right, though, that a small amount of salt would make it tastier — perhaps 1/4tsp, or even a pinch or two.

        1. Lexi Cole, RD, CCMS

          Wow, I love the commitment to the food science! That’s awesome. We made the recipe under the logic that the buttermilk has enough acidity to activate the baking soda, but I still appreciate you testing out those different variables for both flavor and texture!

  9. DBB

    Love your website and your recipes! I have made the pumpkin muffins and they were fantastic!
    Please let me know how to substitute white sugar for the brown sugar. I’d rather cook with white sugar – approx. 1/2 cup per loaf?

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