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The Best Vegan Banana Muffins

May 6, 2024

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One bowl and 30 minutes are all you need to make the best vegan banana muffins! Fluffy and moist, these muffins have a naturally sweet flavor thanks to ripe bananas, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Take them to the next level with an optional crunchy crumble topping and chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, or blueberries! Perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast, lunchbox treat, or anytime snack.

Vegan banana muffins on a cooling rack.

Vegan muffins are definitely having a moment in my house. Quick and easy to make, delicious, and perfect for breakfast or an afternoon pick-me-up, muffins are the new thing around here.

After my vegan blueberry muffin recipe turned out more light, moist, and delicious than even I expected, I knew banana muffins would be next on my list.

Not as dense as banana bread, but not as light as banana cake, banana muffins are the perfect in-between. They're both moist and fluffy at the same time!

To complement the banana flavor, I used brown sugar and cinnamon and added a crumble topping. After testing different ratios, crumble toppings, oven temperatures, and baking times, the banana muffins recipe is finally here! It's tough deciding which muffin recipe I like more, because they're both so delicious!

The ingredients for vegan banana muffins, labeled.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

All-purpose flour: In my tests, all-purpose flour was the best at creating the perfect muffin texture. You could try another type of flour, but it will affect the texture.

Vegan brown sugar: In the US, look for organic brown sugar to ensure that it's vegan. (Some sugar is processed using animal bone char, but organic sugar cannot use bone char for processing.) You could substitute coconut sugar, turbinado sugar, or white sugar if you prefer, but it may not have as rich of a flavor.

Ground cinnamon: For a warm, sweet, earthy flavor that complements the bananas.

Salt: Balances the sweetness of the sugar and bananas and enhances the flavors.

Baking powder: Ensures the muffins rise and form tall muffin tops.

Mashed bananas: The more ripe and spotty they are, the sweeter they'll be. Frozen bananas are fine as long as you defrost them first. I always keep some banana chunks in the freezer for smoothies, and they work great in these muffins!

Unsweetened almond milk: I like using almond milk in baking recipes, but any non-dairy milk will work. Soy is a good option for those with nut allergies, and for those with soy allergies, try coconut or oat milk.

Sunflower oil: I like sunflower oil for baking, but you can use canola, soybean, vegetable, or avocado oil. Really any oil will work but I prefer oil with a neutral flavor so it doesn't compete with the flavors of the muffin.

Apple cider vinegar: Creates a vegan "buttermilk" together with the non-dairy milk. If you don't have apple cider vinegar, white vinegar or lemon juice are both fine.

Vanilla extract: I always recommend real vanilla for the best flavor. Vanilla bean paste should also work.

Add-ins: I recommend using chocolate chips (make sure they're vegan) or chopped walnuts, but you can also add in blueberries, or any other nuts you like!

Vegan butter: For the crumble topping. I used my homemade vegan butter, but any stick butter will work, like Earth Balance or Miyoko's.

A vegan banana muffin torn in half on a plate surrounded by walnuts.

Tips for Perfect, Fluffy Banana Muffins

Don't overmix: When you're mixing your batter, mix only until you can't see any dry flour. There should be lumps in the batter. Then add your add-ins (if using), and use a rubber spatula to just fold the batter over a few times. Overmixing the batter is the fastest way to get dense, rubbery muffins. Check the photos in the recipe card to see the perfect texture.

Measure your flour correctly: The easiest way to measure flour correctly is by weighing it. You can switch the recipe to metric measurements to get the weights. But if you don't have a kitchen scale and you need to use cups, make sure you don't use the cup to scoop up the flour. This will pack the flour into the cup and you'll end up with too much flour. Instead, use a spoon to add flour to the cup, then level off the top with the flat edge of a butter knife.

Fill the muffin liners almost to the top: I like to use a kitchen scale for equal-sized muffins (I added about 70-75 grams of batter to each liner). The easiest way to measure is to place the mixing bowl on the scale and hit "Tare" before scooping out the batter. If you're eyeballing it, leave about 1/4 inch (1/2 centimeter) of space between the top of the batter and the top of the liner.

Don't open the oven door during baking: Use the oven light to check on your muffins instead. Only open the door when you're ready to test your muffins with a toothpick.

Three vegan banana muffins stacked.

Storage and Freezing

These muffins are best fresh, but they can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

For longer storage, freezing is a great option. Place them in a freezer-safe container or storage bag for up to 3 months. To serve, just defrost them at room temperature for 2-3 hours.

Frozen banana muffins are perfect for putting in a lunchbox in the morning, as they'll be defrosted by lunchtime. (If your lunchbox is really good at maintaining temperatures, you might want to put frozen muffins in a zip-top or paper bag outside of the lunchbox.)

A close-up view of a vegan banana muffin on a serving platter.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I mash bananas? Place the bananas in a small bowl (or the mixing bowl to avoid washing extra dishes), then mash with either a large fork or a potato masher.

My muffins don't have tall tops, what went wrong? There are a few things you can check to troubleshoot this issue. First, make sure that your baking powder is still good. To test it, add a bit of baking powder to boiling water and look for it to foam or bubble. If there's no reaction, you'll need new baking powder.

If your baking powder is good, you may want to use an oven thermometer to check that your oven is getting hot enough. Also, not filling the muffin liners with enough batter will result in shorter muffins.

Would this recipe work better if I start with a higher oven temperature and reduce the temperature later? I've tested this recipe using that method, but I got better results using a consistent temperature throughout baking. Follow the instructions in the recipe and you'll have delicious golden muffins with high muffin tops.

Vegan banana muffins, with some walnuts around them.

More Sweet Vegan Breakfast Recipes

The Best Vegan Banana Muffins

Yield12 muffins

Prep Time10 minutes

Cook Time20 minutes

Total Time30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cup all-purpose flour* (see measuring note)
  • 2/3 cup vegan light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed (225 g.)
  • 2/3 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts (or vegan chocolate chips)

Crumble Topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven, then heat your oven to 400°F (200°C)

  2. Line a muffin tray (or trays) with 12 liners.

    Liners in a muffin tray.
  3. Add flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder to a medium mixing bowl and mix.

  4. Then add your mashed bananas, almond milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla and mix until just combined. Don’t overmix; there should be some lumps, but no dry flour (as shown in the photo).

    Vegan banana muffins batter, mixed.
  5. (Optional) Gently fold in your walnuts or chocolate chips, if using.

    Vegan banana muffin batter with walnuts folded in.
  6. Fill your prepared muffin liners up to about 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) from the top with batter. (If you have a scale, you can measure 70-75 grams of batter per muffin).

    Muffin tray filled with batter.
  7. (Optional) In the same mixing bowl (cleaned), or in another small bowl, add the ingredients for the crumble topping. Use a fork to mash the ingredients together to form a crumbly dough. All the dry ingredients should be incorporated into the butter, but don’t overmix.

    Crumble topping, mixed.
  8. (Optional) Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over each unbaked muffin.

    Crumble topping, sprinkled over unbaked muffins.
  9. Bake at 400°F (200°C) for 19-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean.

  10. Remove the tray from the oven and place it on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then remove the muffins from the tray and place them directly on the wire rack to cool completely.

Notes & Hints

I recommend weighing your flour if possible (switch the measurements to metric), or spoon measuring if using cups (see the blog post for instructions).

If you don't add walnuts or chocolate chips, this recipe will make fewer muffins.

Nutrition Data

Serving Size: 1/12 of recipe; Calories: 270Fat: 12 g.; Saturated Fat: 2 g.; Cholesterol: 0 mg.; Sodium: 256 mg.; Carbohydrates: 37 g.; Fiber: 1 g.; Sugar: 17 g.; Protein: 3 g.; Vitamin A: 6 mcg. RAE; Vitamin B12: 0 mcg.; Vitamin C: 2 mg.; Vitamin D: 0 mcg.; Calcium: 70 mg.; Iron: 0 mg.; Potassium: 99 mg.; Zinc: 0 mg.

Note: This data should be used only as an estimate. Please see the nutrition section of my terms and conditions for more information on how this data is calculated.

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A side view of vegan banana muffins on a serving tray.
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