Banana Walnut Muffins

I may be the only person who buys bananas with the intention of letting them turn brown and squishy.  To me, a banana is nothing more than the jumping off point for moist, nutty loaves of banana bread.  Heaping piles of banana muffins.  Sweet roasted banana cakes.  This whole wheat banana muffin is a portable, travel-sized companion that packs all the punch of it’s larger banana bread alter-ego.

Banana Walnut Muffins

Whole wheat flour works perfectly with banana breads and muffins.  It basically acts like a shot in the arm to the already nutty flavor.  This recipe is especially moist thanks to the use of yogurt in the place of milk.  The toasted walnuts create a sweet level of depth to this unbelievably simple recipe.  These muffins are so easy to make that you’ll probably end up trying to speed up the ripening process so that your bananas go bad faster (Hint: Put them in a paper bag with an apple. Does the trick every time.).

Banana Walnut Muffins in pan

Muffins, in general, are ridiculously easy to make.  Two bowls.  No mixers.  Bake.  Eat.  Pretty simple, right?  A word of caution … in order to achieve a light, fluffy muffin (rather than a dense, brick-like object more suitable for throwing than eating) you want to avoid over-mixing the batter.  Just stir the wet ingredients into the dry.  That’s it.  No more.  You will likely still see some streaks of flour in the batter.  This is ok!  You want your muffins to rise, don’t you?  Ok, so stop mixing!

Banana Walnut Muffins

If you want to keep this recipe as low-sugar as possible, feel free to substitute Splenda for the sugar and use agave nectar instead of the maple syrup.  The yogurt is the key to keeping the muffins moist.  I used lowfat plain yogurt because that’s what I keep around the house, but you could try it with regular or low fat, if you are so inclined.  This is a recipe that is begging for experimentation!

Banana Walnut Muffins


Banana Walnut Muffins

Yield: 24 muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20-30 minutes


4 cups white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup sugar*
1 tsp salt
6 tsp baking powder
1 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
2 cups (approx. 2 medium) bananas, very ripe and smashed
1/2 cup plain yogurt
6 TBL unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract


- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a standard muffin tin or use cupcake/muffin liners.
- In a large bowl, mix together 1 cup of the walnuts and the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt and baking powder). Reserve the remaining 1/3 cup walnuts for the tops of the muffins.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, yogurt, vanilla, maple syrup/agave nectar and melted butter. Mix in the bananas.
- In the bowl of dry ingredients, use a spatula or wooden spoon to create a large hole or well in the center. Pour the wet ingredients into the hole.
- Stir and fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Stop mixing as soon as the dry ingredients are completely moistened. Be careful not to overmix. It is ok to have some streaks of flour running through the batter. The batter will be thick and a bit lumpy.
- Using two spoons or a large ice cream scoop, fill the muffin tins with the batter. Fill up to the top if you want large, coffee shop-style muffins, otherwise fill the tins only 3/4 full. Top with the reserved walnuts.
- Bake 20-30 minutes or until the tops are nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let rest on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before removing from tin.
- Serve immediately or store for up to 3-4 days. Serve warmed or at room temperature.

Loosely adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything

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14 Responses to “Banana Walnut Muffins”

  1. 1
    pontch — June 29, 2009 4:21 pm

    I love Banana muffins, yours looks amazing good!!

  2. 2

    Looks gorgeous. I see photos on a diagonal are still happening here :) .
    I just made a banana nut bread a few days ago. Great recipe too. It looks like your muffins only bread shaped.
    Well, great minds think alike, don’t they?!

  3. 3
    Heli — July 2, 2009 1:27 am

    These were really yummy. Thanks for the recipe. I halved it, left out the egg and added a bit more oil and yogurt instead.

  4. 4
    The Purple Foodie — July 15, 2009 12:10 am

    I have a soft spot with cake and muffin recipes with yoghurt. They always turn out so much better and more moist!

  5. 5
    Aerin — July 21, 2009 12:07 am

    Oh yum! Those muffins are gorgeous! With my family, I’d have to buy a crate of bananas to have some left for banana bread. I will be trying this recipe, so it’s time to find a good hiding spot!

  6. 6
    Giddy — July 24, 2009 7:44 pm

    We like bananas too, but they often turn too brown for my liking. I just throw them into the freezer (peel and all) and when I’m ready to bake the muffins or bread, just thaw them out and pop them into the batter (sans peel, of course).

  7. 7
    jenn — June 6, 2010 7:45 pm

    Great recipe. I used brown sugar, added a touch of nutmeg, cinnamon and topped with turbinado sugar. Delicious!

    • kate replied: — June 6th, 2010 9:19 pm

      Jenn — Nutmeg and cinnamon sound delicious! I’ll have to remember that next time around.

  8. 8
    Josie — June 9, 2010 6:08 pm

    I don’t know what I did wrong with this recipe but they came out tasteless, dry and unappetizing. I substituded Splenda for the sugar and they really tasted awful! Very disappointing!

    • kate replied: — June 9th, 2010 8:29 pm

      Josie — I’m sorry that the recipe didn’t turn out right for you. I couldn’t tell you what happened in your kitchen, but I know that I always use the most ripe bananas I can get my hands on (even black ones!) for maximum flavor and texture.

  9. 9
    Jo — September 24, 2010 3:18 pm

    Made these today. They’re good, but was wondering, is the batter supposed to be more like a dough?? Mine was very thick and dough-like. The only change I made was to 1/2 the recipe, and I used some coconut oil w/ some butter in place of all butter. I’m lovin your recipes-thanks so much!

  10. 10
    Deirdre — July 19, 2011 12:48 pm

    I have made muffins before and I made these today. Usually a muffin mixture is more batter than dough, but this felt like dough and folding in the dry ingredients was the first challenge. The muffins look beautiful but are dry and disappointing in flavour. I think there should be lots more fluids added to this to make it more of a batter and less of a dough, Anyone else?

  11. 11
    Amanda — August 26, 2013 1:35 am

    Would it be OK to replace the yogurt with sour cream?

  12. 12
    Lindsey — September 18, 2013 4:57 am

    Mine turned out like Jo’s. Super thick dough and cooked up like biscuits. after 20 min they were super dry and crunchy :-( have been craving these all day and so disappointed. I am guessing it was from the 6 teaspoons of baking powder (i have no idea why it would call for that much) or 4 cups of flour. bummer

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