The original recipe for these banana muffins was one of the first successful gluten free muffins I made. At that time I made them with only white rice flour but was surprised and thrilled to finally make a recipe that worked!
I had made many batches of muffins with disappointing results. Some with a gritty texture, an unusual taste and even weird swirling shapes. Finally it was satisfying to have a decent tasting and nice looking muffin that held together when I picked it up.
Over time I continued to make this banana muffin recipe and gained more gluten free baking experience. Then I had the confidence to try and improve it for three reasons:
- While they were pretty good I knew the taste could be improved.
- The muffins were too delicate to stay together if tossed around in my lunch bag.
- They didn’t freeze well and I was used to making muffins every other week and freezing them.
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 learned more about structure. I also tried them with different flours and continue to do that.
Bake And Learn
This updated version for banana muffins is a basic recipe that is ideal for experimenting. I’ve written it with that in mind and encourage you to experiment. Substitute two tablespoons of any flour you have. As you gain confidence try substituting ¼-½ cup of any flour you’ve got. Make notes of what you did and how they turned out.
Beyond The Basics
There’s 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 then try the ones that interest you. In my year-long blog post series I took a year to determine the properties and best uses of the 21 ingredients I had in y pantry. I learned a lot and became more confident making substitutions.
You can find all about this starting with the first post in the series, How To Use Rice Flour in Gluten Free Baking. Each of the 12 blog posts has recipe links as well as links to all 12 posts.
Store Bought vs Homemade Gluten Free Flour Blends
Once you find a gluten free flour blend that you like, life gets easier. Whether you make it yourself or buy one that doesn’t change the need for baking and learning by trial and error.
I make my own. When I first began to cook I noticed the ingredients for even a simple pancake recipe were already in my kitchen so I never bought prepared mixes for anything. When I started gluten free baking there weren’t as many blends available and as I learned I started to blog and share what I was learning.
My encouragement is simply to not give up. There is a blend out there for ‘most‘ of the things you bake. When you start getting into homemade pizza, puff pastry, pasta dough and breads the all purpose-type blends often fall short.
If you’re interested in making your own blend here are two posts for you to look at:
Making My EGFG Flour Blend on YouTube
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 blend. This ensures accurately and it’s super easy to do, it just takes effort on the front end getting organized.
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.
A Basic Recipe with Variations
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 cream cheese icing is definitely a winner.
PIN for later…
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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 cups EGFG gluten free flour blend* (163 g)
- 2 Tbsp any flour you’re learning about (oat flour, almond, coconut, teff, buckwheat etc.)
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp xanthan gum**
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 ripe bananas
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
OPTIONAL ADD INS
- ¼ cup chopped nuts, chocolate chips, coconut, dried pineapple etc.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Prepare muffin pan; paper or silicone liners or lightly brush with oil.
- Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
- In another bowl mash bananas. Add eggs, oil and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir until combined.
- Fill muffin cups ¾ full. Bake for 22-25 minutes.
- Cool in the pan for 2 minutes then transfer to rack and cool completely.
- Store in airtight container. Freeze if not eating within a week.
I love this recipe! I have adapted it to lower the sugars. I add one banana and no sugar. It has been a big hit with my granddaughter who loves bananas and muffins that are not too sweet.
Hi Faye and nice to hear from you! Thanks for letting me know, I’ll try that. Over time I try and use less sugar in most recipes too and this muffin recipe is where I do lots of my experimenting. Please tell your granddaughter that I think your idea was a brilliant substitution!
I just finished baking these muffins-delicious. I added 2tbs of buckwheat flour and will try subbing in more next time.
Thanks for letting me know Phyllis. I just made them and substituted 1/2 cup of almond flour for the total amount of flour. I also recently made them with coconut flour (I think it was 1/2 cup that time too). Both recipes turned out fine but definitely had a different texture and only a subtle change in taste. Keep baking and keep learning!
Not great! Should the recipe include xanthan gum?
Sorry to hear these muffins didn’t turn out for you Karen. I list xanthan gum as an optional ingredient but the results will still vary with different flour blends. I’ve learned by experimenting that when I substitute a portion of the flour with almond flour or coconut flour xanthan gum isn’t necessary. I’ll fix the wording and remove the ‘optional’ behind xanthan gum. Then I’ll move that option into the notes section at the bottom. I make this recipe all the time so thanks for letting me know.
Hi Cinde, just want to say that I love getting your emails, I see you have a cookie receipe using teff flour which I have in the cupboard, I tried to make Ethiopian flat bread , taste so different to other flours. I am keen on trying your choc chip cookies, I am also trying to cut out sugar and using stevia , so a lot of playing in the kitchen
Many thanks again
Thanks Janine, I’m happy to hear you’re having fun. Teff flour goes well with anything chocolate and mocha so try some in these muffins and add chocolate chips or add some to a brownie recipe. I used mine up experimenting making pasta the last several months but I told myself next time I buy it I’m making injera, that Ethiopian flatbread. I haven’t made it in years but a gluten free blog should have all those naturally gluten free breads from around the world…don’t you think? So many recipes, so little time. 🙂 And replacing sugar is another project! I often decrease the sugar in my recipes by 2-4 tablespoons and it usually works (I don’t do that with GF cookies). With so many options to replace sugar now you’ve got a lifetime of tinkering. Enjoy!
Hello I’m new to all this. My son who loves all kind of muffins has just been diagnosed as having a major nickel allergy as well as being gluten free. I’m a loss as to what to bake with. Any suggestions?
Hi Susy, it is always overwhelming to start on a gluten free diet. The good news is that there are lots of people and resources to help you get started. I make my own gluten free flour but it takes time to learn about the options and find what you like. I suggest you try some simple muffin recipes with a store bought gluten free flour blend. Buy small quantities to start as you learn what your son likes and doesn’t like. Also, use recipes that are written for gluten free flour first, you can learn to adjust old favourite recipes later. Use the magnifying glass in the top right hand corner of every page on my website to SEARCH. Here is the link to my MUFFIN RECIPE ROUND UP here. https://everydayglutenfreegourmet.ca/2020/03/27/recipe-round-up-gluten-free-muffins/ The nickel allergy will also take time to learn about so be sure to access all the medical resources available to you. You should also have support from a dietician who specializes in celiac disease to ensure your son is getting proper nutrition as you learn about avoiding foods with gluten and nickel. AllergicLiving.com is also a credible resource for people with allergies and their recipes are free of the top allergens. Best of luck!
Can these be done with honey/agave/maple instead of white sugar? Just curious because if so, these would be PERFECT!!
Hi Joeli, You can definitely substitute, it will just take a few tries to perfect it and these are 4 tips to get there. 1) use less honey than sugar (I’d start with ⅓ cup); 2) reduce the liquid; 3) add more baking soda (could increase to ¾ tsp) and 4) lower oven temperature by 25°C. I recommend starting with one adjustment at a time and making good notes. I also think I’d start with honey first. I can’t wait to hear what you learn so share it here if you remember!
I liked these muffins because they were very soft and fluffy-like. Good tasting.
Thanks for letting me know they worked for you Shelley. I make these all the time and sometimes substitute some amount of a different flour either to use it up or try it out. Happy Baking!