Need a quick afternoon bite that is sweet, yet healthy, and ready in 30 minutes? Then you HAVE to make this banana muffin for one! All you need is a banana (even a half of a banana will work!), one bowl, and a few pantry staple ingredients.
Why this Muffin is Awesome
I'm a huge fan of banana muffins. No, not banana nut muffins (looking at you Mom), banana muffins preferably with chocolate chips. No matter what the mix-ins, a great muffin is marked by a tall dome, a crisp, slightly sweet exterior, and a moist and fluffy texture. And this banana muffin for one recipe is exactly that and a little more!
- Pantry staples: This recipe doesn't require any specialty ingredients. It doesn’t even require you to split an egg in half! If you have peanut butter (or any nut butter), then I’m willing to bet you have everything else for this recipe!
- One bowl: No one likes dirty dishes, especially if you have piles of kids' plates to clean already. That is why this recipe is so fantastic! One bowl and no fussing with specifically mixing wet ingredients in a large bowl and dry ingredients in another.
- Energy-giving ingredients: I've decided to use the term energy-giving to the ingredients that will fuel you through adventures, as kooky as it may sound. For this recipe, that is nut butter for protein, banana for carbs, and maple syrup so you won’t crash halfway through your adventure like you might with other sugary treats.
- Scalable: If you'd rather make four muffins, no problem! Simply double the recipe and use the half of the banana that would be used to top the muffins in the batter instead! Or, you can use two bananas, one for the batter and one for topping if you have two overripe bananas.
Need more snacks to fuel your adventures or just your afternoon? Try our Spinach and Oat Smoothie, Protein Biscuits, or our nut butter snickerdoodle.
Ingredients and Substitutions
All substitutions are a 1:1 substitutes unless otherwise noted.
Banana: For this recipe, we wanted to make sure you can make it whether you have a leftover half of a banana or a single banana going brown. For this reason, we use half of a banana in the muffin mixture and half to top the muffins (if you have a whole banana).
Substitutions: Your banana doesn't have to be super brown, but the more color it has, the sweeter the muffin will be. But, other than the status of the banana there are no substitutes for banana in this banana muffin for one.
Milk: We use unsweetened oat milk in our muffins because that is what is in the fridge.
Substitutions: Any unsweetened milk will work. This can be cow’s milk, almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, or other plant-based milk.
Nut Butter: I love love love using nut butter in baked goods. It can replace butter in most recipes and gives you added protein and carbs to fuel your day.
Substitutions: We prefer cashew butter because of its mild flavor, but peanut butter or almond butter will work great too! I just recommend sticking to one that doesn’t have sugar added or has very little sugar.
Vanilla: Vanilla is another trick to mimic buttery flavor without actually using butter.
Substitutions: Imitation or pure vanilla extract is fine.
Maple Syrup: Not only does maple go really well with banana, it's also easier for the body to digest than white sugar and doesn't cause your blood sugar to spike in the same way white sugar does.
Substitutions: Honey or agave will work in place of maple syrup. Because agave is approximately twice as sweet as other sweeteners, use half of the called-for quantity.
Cinnamon: Who doesn't love a little warm cinnamon flavor?
Substitutions: You can leave this out if you don't have cinnamon. But if you do or you are going to buy cinnamon, I highly recommend Vietnamese cinnamon because it has a sweeter, more pronounced flavor.
Flour: We use this 1:1 gluten-free flour blend from Namaste (available at Costco) for our muffins.
Substitutions: You can use regular all-purpose flour or bread flour in place of gluten-free flour.
Baking Soda: Bananas have a tendency to weigh down recipes, so we need a little baking soda to help them rise.
Substitutions: Sorry, no substitute for this.
Mix-ins: My favorite mix-in is a chopped dark chocolate bar, but chocolate chips, nuts, a Nutella swirl, or dried fruit would all be tasty!
Recipe Testing Notes
Throughout our testing of this banana muffin for one, we learned some key things that worked and didn't work. Here are the key takeaways!
- Baking soda versus baking powder: During the first run-through of this recipe, I tested it with both baking soda and baking powder. With both of these, there was not enough rise and the resulting muffin was dense. Using only baking soda and more of it was the way to go for the final recipe.
- Trying a whole banana: The other thing I tested initially was using a whole banana in this small-batch banana muffin recipe. This made the muffins WAY too heavy and wet to the point that the muffins didn’t bake on the inside. Using half of a banana in the batter and the other half to top the muffins before baking made for the perfect, bakery-style muffin.
- Types of nut butters: I've tested this recipe with both cashew butter and peanut butter. Both were delicious but the peanut butter made the muffins taste like peanut butter (just a note if you do like peanut butter) and resulted in a slightly darker exterior color. Cashew butter did not add any nutty flavor (our preference) and resulted in a lighter-colored muffin.
- Flour preferences: I also tested the muffins with gluten-free flour and all-purpose flour. The all-purpose flour muffin was slightly fluffier and drier, leading me to believe it can be baked for maybe a minute or two less in the oven. The gluten-free flour muffin was more moist and still quite fluffy. Both are delicious muffins, so what you use can be purely based on preference.
How to Make This - Step by Step
Be sure to scroll to the bottom for the full muffin recipe card!
Step one: Mash and mix
You will mash half of a banana in a bowl with a fork and mix the mashed banana with the nut butter and maple syrup. If your nut butter is not creamy or spreadable, pop it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds to soften it and make it easier to mix. While you do this, preheat the oven and prepare muffin tins.
Step two: Add the rest
Mix everything else, except your mix-ins (chocolate chips or nuts or other) into the bowl until just combined. We don’t want to over-mix the batter.
Step three: Mix-ins and baking
Gently fold in any mix-ins (chocolate chips, duh!) and pour half the muffin batter into each muffin tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean (your baking time will vary a bit depending on the size of your muffin tin - mini, regular, or jumbo). Then enjoy these delicious banana muffins!
Watch How to Make This - Step by Step
To ensure you have a flawless experience making these muffins, here are a few crucial tips.
- Mix the nut butter in well: In order for a muffin to bake properly, the fat must be fully incorporated. So, when mixing in the nut butter, it’s important to mix it thoroughly. This is easier if the nut butter is smooth and creamy or if you heat it up a bit to make it more creamy before mixing.
- Avoid over-mixing: When using all-purpose flour, there is a risk of over-mixing the batter and developing too much gluten. This will result in a chewy texture.
- A note about muffin cups: When I bake muffins, I usually use a silicon muffin tin because I never have to worry about things sticking and it has slightly larger muffin slots. If you're using a metal muffin tin, be sure to spray it with nonstick spray or line it with liners. Also, you may have enough small-batch banana muffin batter to make 3 muffins if your muffin tin has smaller openings.
1 banana is equivalent to ⅔ cups chopped or ½ of a cup mashed.
Make this banana muffin for one that only needs half of a banana! If you're intent on making banana bread, however, you can replace up to half of the banana amount with unsweetened applesauce. Using a half cup of applesauce in place of 1 banana.
If they smell strange or are moldy, throw them away. A banana with a brown peel is still a perfect banana for banana bread, but you always want to be cautious that it's not rancid.
This is a great basic recipe that can be customized in fun ways. Here are some of our favorite ways to mix it up!
- The Elvis: This take on the banana muffin is SO good! To make it, use peanut butter for the nut butter and add mini chocolate chips.
- Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice: This variation is great for holidays. To make it, mix cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle on top before baking.
- Keep it Crunchy: For this one, you will make a basic brown sugar streusel topping to put on top before baking. I like to even add some banana chips to my streusel topping to really bring home the banana flavor!
- Nuttier than a Squirrel: This is my take on a banana nut muffin that incorporates a variety of nuts. For it, add chopped pistachios, walnuts, and pecans to the batter.
Want to Save It For Later? Here's How!
While the intent is for one person to eat both muffins that this recipe produces, it's conceivable that you may want to save one for later. If that is the case, simply follow these instructions.
Fridge: These muffins can be left out at room temperature in an airtight container for 3 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezer: These will keep in a sealed container for 2 months in the freezer. I like to keep a plastic bag of baked goods in the freezer that I add to. I simply wrap the individual muffin in plastic wrap and then add it to my freezer bag of baked goods.
Reheating: If reheating from the fridge, simply place it in the microwave for 15 seconds. If reheating from frozen, place in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Did you know that bananas float in water? I know, I didn’t believe it either! And, they grow on plants that are actually considered an herb - who knew?? (source)
More Banana Recipes!
We may have gone a little bananas with all our banana recipes, but we sure do love bananas! If you do too then check these out:
- Overnight Oats with Protein: With five variations on this classic recipe, it's hard to pick a favorite. But, if we had to it would be the banana and chocolate chip!
- Banana Pudding without Condensed Milk: Everything you love about the classic summer dessert in an adorable little single-serve jar!
- Crispy Bananas: For the fried food lover. These bananas are coated in a delicious crispy breading and best dipped in fresh coconut whip cream!
Did you try this and love it? Leave us a review, we would love to hear from you!
Banana Muffin for One
- 1 banana*
- ¼ cup milk we use oat milk!
- 1.5 tablespoon nut butter we love cashew butter
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ cup pure maple syrup or honey
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup flour we use a 1:1 gluten free flour blend
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup chocolate chips or other mix-in like nuts or dried fruit
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray or line two muffin tins.
- Mash half of the banana and the nut butter in a bowl with a fork until combined. Add the milk, vanilla, and maple syrup and mix well.1 banana*, ¼ cup milk, 1.5 tablespoon nut butter, ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, ⅛ cup pure maple syrup
- Add the cinnamon, salt, flour, and baking soda to the batter and mix until combined. If using regular flour, be cautious to not over mix - mix until just combined.¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ cup flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Gently fold the chocolate chips into the batter. Spoon half of the batter into each cup. Top with slices of banana from the other half.¼ cup chocolate chips
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
These muffins look so simple to make, looking forward to eating them!
These muffins were very easy to make. I used peanut butter and regular flour and they turned out great!