The original recipe for these banana muffins was one of the first successful gluten free muffins I made and at that time I made it with just white rice flour. I had made many batches of muffins with disappointing results; a gritty texture, an unusual taste and even weird shapes. Finally it was satisfying to have a reliable, nice tasting and nice looking muffin.
Over time I continued to make these banana muffins. As I gained more gluten free baking experience I wanted to improve them for two reasons:
- They were a little too delicate to stay together in my lunch bag.
- They didn’t stand up to freezing as well as muffins made with wheat flour.
As I learned more about the properties of different flours and starches I experimented. I tried them with and without xanthan gum (a binder) and I accidentally baked them at 350°F (the default setting for my oven). I still make that mistake but I know they brown nicest at 375°F.
Experiment To Learn
This updated version for my banana muffins is a basic recipe that is ideal for experimenting. I’ve written it with that in mind and I encourage you to experiment. Substitute two tablespoons of any flour you have. As you gain confidence try substituting ¼ cup or more of different flours. Make notes of what you did and how they turned out.
Beyond The Basics
There is so much to learn about gluten free baking and especially all the gluten free flour options available. My advice is don’t worry about it, just bake with what you know today. Pay attention to what you read and hear but most importantly, pay attention to your results. At the end of the day it’s you eating most of what you bake.
If you’re keen to know more about all the gluten free flours this is how I learned. I wrote a yearlong blog post series using all the different flours in my kitchen. Over the year I learned a lot and as a result I’m more confident substituting as needed.
The first post in my yearlong blog series is titled, How To Use Rice Flour in Gluten Free Baking. At the bottom of each of the 12 blog posts you’ll find links to all the rest of them. So if you’re ready to learn more chose a flour each month and do some experibaking!
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Store Bought vs Homemade Gluten Free Flour
Store bought gluten free flour mixes are a lifesaver to many so don’t shy away from them. I decided to stick with the basics so I don’t buy flour blends. My cupboard is full of different flours and starches so I cook and experiment with what I have.
My gluten free flour mix is a combination of 40% whole grain flour (sorghum and millet) and 60% starch (sweet rice flour and potato starch). My recipe post, a gluten free flour mix, has tips on making, organizing and storing a flour mix. This video shows you how I do it.
Baking By Weight
In my blog post titled Baking by Weight, I talk about the accuracy of using a scale and weighing your flour. This is a great option if you are still struggling to produce excellent baked goods. The problem is, most recipes give cup measurements. I learned to bake using cups so that’s how I write my recipes but I do use a digital kitchen scale to make my flour mix. This ensures accurately so the mix is consistently the same. This step is super easy yet getting set up is the key and takes work. You can see how I do all that in the video above.
Kids in the Kitchen
If your kids love eating these banana muffins be sure to let them help. Young children love to put paper liners in muffin tins, measure flour and chocolate chips, crack eggs and mash bananas. This is a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning and you will be sure to create some lasting childhood memories. If you’re lucky, you will eventually have someone making muffins for you.
Everyday to Gourmet – Banana Muffins
I love to transform an everyday recipe into something ‘gourmet’. When doubled and baked in a bundt pan this muffin recipe makes a beautiful dessert. Technically cake is different from muffins but for my everyday style of cooking, this Banana Bundt Cake with Chocolate Glaze or with cream cheese icing is definitely a winner.
PIN for later…
Get The Tools
Many people struggle with baking. Every oven is different, standard baking pans vary and even your kitchen temperature and humidity can affect the outcome of baked goods. These are just some of the factors that challenge us everyday home cooks. But when you bake something that turns out, you know the joy of baking.
My advice is to buy quality bakeware, not the most expensive but not the cheapest either. Many baking pans and tools will last decades. Then it’s up to you to get in the kitchen, bake up a storm, make a few notes and keep your favourite recipes. Here are a few tools for baking muffins:
- regular size muffin pan in 6 or 12 cups, my choice for everyday snacks
- mini size muffin tin for a change from the ordinary
- silicone muffin baking pan, 6 or 12
- ceramic coated muffin tin
- a regular 10-inch Bundt pan, or even the mini Bundt pans
- regular round silicone muffin liners or a set of different shaped muffin liners
I’d love to hear if you liked this recipe or how you adjusted it. Let me know in the comments below.
More Muffin Recipes
|1¼ cup GF flour mix (I used mine)|
|2 Tbsp oat flour, almond flour or any flour you are learning about|
|½ cup sugar|
|¾ tsp baking powder|
|½ tsp baking soda|
|¼ tsp xanthan gum|
|¼ tsp salt|
|¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)|
|3 ripe bananas|
|¼ cup vegetable oil|
|1 tsp vanilla extract|
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare muffin tins with paper liners or brush with oil.
- Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
- In another bowl mash bananas, add other wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Do not over mix.
- Fill muffin cups ¾ full. Bake for 22-24 minutes, a bit longer than “until a toothpick inserted comes out clean”. Cool slightly before eating. Cool completely on wire rack before storing. They freeze well.