Deliciously soft and tender Small Batch Banana Muffins. This simple mix and stir recipe makes just six bakery-style banana muffins. Plus I’ll share my tips for making domed, high top muffins. No electric mixer needed.
Six perfect, bakery-style Banana Muffins 💙
Soft and tender on the inside, these beautiful, high top muffins come together in minutes – no electric mixer needed. Filled with mashed banana and warm spices, they’re moist and sweet, with a crunchy muffin top.
We can’t get enough!
Why you will love this recipe
- They’re quick and easy to make
- You don’t need an electric mixer
- They’re super soft and fluffy inside
- Just look at those bakery-style muffin tops
After receiving so much positive feedback from our Small Batch Chocolate Muffins, I couldn’t wait to share another scaled-down muffin recipe with you.
I absolutely love muffins, but for those of us with smaller households, six muffins is plenty. And unlike other baked goods which can keep well for days, muffins really are at their best on the day they are made.
So I knew Small Batch Banana Muffins would go down a treat. And seeing as I already had my tried and true Banana Nut Muffin recipe, I figured it wouldn’t be too tricky to replicate. But just like my Small Batch Brownies, this recipe was surprisingly hard to get just right.
What I wanted: I was looking for a domed muffin, with a crunchy top and a soft and moist centre bursting with banana flavour.
When recipe testing, the biggest problem I had was ensuring these muffins were soft and moist inside. Just like cake, we have a strict no dry muffin policy around here. After nine attempts (yes nine), I learnt a few important lessons.
First, I discovered just how crucial the ratio of dry ingredients to wet ingredients is when making muffins. Unlike cake, muffins typically have a high ratio of flour to wet ingredients like oil, milk and banana. It’s why muffins have a different structure (think tall, domed tops and a crunchy exterior) and why they can be tough if overmixed.
In my case, I noticed that too little banana, made the muffins dry and bland, and too much milk caused them to be too wet and cake-like – losing that crunchy muffin top. The ripeness of the bananas also really impacted the overall flavour (more on that below).
But once we got the ratio just right, along with the correct baking time and temperature, the results were PERFECT. Six soft and sweet Banana Muffins with crunchy bakery-style tops and tender banana-filled centres.
how do I make high top muffins?
The two muffins above were baked using the SAME muffin batter. They were baked in the same pan for the same amount of time. But the one to the left spilled out to the sides, while the one to the right rose nice and tall. What was the difference?
The oven temperature. The muffin to the right was baked in a hot oven for the first five minutes, the temperature was then reduced. The muffin to the left was baked in a moderate oven for the entire time.
You can see the initial heat helped the muffin on the right to rise quickly, creating that domed top. You can also see it created a crisp, crunchy, golden exterior.
It goes to show the smallest things can make a big impact on the end result in baking.
Why do I need overripe bananas?
Have you ever wondered why many recipes for Banana Bread and Banana Cake call for overripe bananas? It’s because ripe bananas have much more flavour and can add more sweetness and moisture to your baked goods.
As bananas ripen, the starches break down and convert to sugar, causing the banana to be much sweeter and aromatic.
If you’ve ever had a tasteless banana cake or muffin, chances are your bananas weren’t ripe enough.
In short, the more spotty and smelly your bananas, the better!
tips for making perfect banana muffins
- Make sure your bananas are RIPE. Smelly, spotty, even black bananas will add lots of flavour, sweetness and moisture.
- Mash your bananas REALLY well. No one wants big chunks of smooshy banana in their muffins. Mash them very well with a fork.
- Don’t overmix your muffin batter. Use a spatula to gently fold your muffin batter until combined. Overmixing will result in tough, dry muffins.
- Fill your muffin pan right to the top. This will help you create high top, bakery-style muffins.
- Use a hot oven initially. An initial burst of heat will help your muffins quickly rise, creating domed muffin tops.
- Don’t overbake your muffins. Bake your muffins just until they spring back lightly to the touch.
FrEquently asked questions
Yes! These muffins freeze well.
Not at all! You can leave them out completely. Or stir through a handful of pecans or walnuts instead.
I specially designed this recipe to make just six perfect muffins. If you want a full batch of 12, try my regular Banana Muffin recipe.
More small batch recipes
Six soft and tender Banana Muffins.
- 140 grams (1 cup) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 60 grams (1/3 cup) brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) full fat or whole milk
- 180 grams (3/4 cup) mashed banana, (2–3 overripe bananas)
- Demerara sugar or turbinado sugar, to sprinkle, optional
- Chocolate chips, to sprinkle, optional
- Preheat oven to 200 C (390 F) standard / 180 C (350 F) fan-forced. Grease six holes of a 6 or 12-hole muffin pan well with butter or spray lightly with oil.
- In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and whisk gently.
- In a small mixing bowl, add oil, egg, vanilla and milk, and whisk briefly just to break up the egg yolk.
- Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients, along with the mashed banana. Fold until the mixture is just combined – be careful not to overmix or your muffins will be tough.
- Spoon out the mixture into your prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle each muffin with sugar and chocolate chips, if using.
- Bake muffins for 5 minutes before turning down the heat to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced. Bake muffins for a further 13-15 minutes or until golden on top.
Bananas: You’ll need approximately 2 large bananas or 3 small ones. Make sure you have 3/4 cup mashed banana in total (any less and your muffins will be dry). The more overripe your bananas, the more flavour they will add to your muffins. Be sure to mash them really well so there’s no big chunks of banana.
Mix-ins: Feel free to add chocolate chips and/or chopped pecans or walnuts. Gently fold through 1/2 cup of mix-ins before spooning batter into muffin pan.