Banana Protein Muffins
Fluffy Banana Protein Muffins are the perfect healthy breakfast or snack that tastes amazing and fills you up! They’re just as moist and flavorful as classic banana muffins, but they’re packed with protein, easy to make and naturally sweetened with ripe bananas and maple syrup. This will be your new favorite banana muffin recipe with options to add chocolate chips or chopped nuts.
I know there’s a jillion banana muffin recipes all over the internet, but I encourage you to give this one a try – it’s bound to be your new favorite! They’re the best, most moist, incredibly delicious banana muffins you will ever find.
We love to pair them with breakfast or enjoy them as a sweet fix for snack or dessert. With just a few ingredient swaps, these muffins are lightened up, but they’re still SO delicious you’d never guess they were healthier.
Everything to LOVE about BANANA protein MUFFINs
Of all my muffin recipes, this one has quickly become my go-to and my kids request them all the time. Here’s why they’re so great:
- Super easy! There’s no need to get out an electric mixer or blender to make these muffins. All you need is a couple of bowls and about 10 minutes to prepare them and less than 20 minutes to bake. So, in less than 30 minutes you can have freshly baked banana muffins. Winning!
- Healthier ingredients. These muffins are made with simple, wholesome ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Plus, I love that they’re a great way to make use of overripe bananas! Mashed bananas and pure maple syrup naturally sweeten these muffins and make them perfectly moist without the use of butter or loads of oil.
- Tender, moist, delicious. These muffins bake up nice and fluffy with tons of flavor, thanks to the bananas! Because these are made with simple ingredients, the banana flavor really shines through.
- Kid-approved! My kids inhale muffins and they REALLY love these banana protein muffins, especially when I load them up with chocolate chips! Whatever I can do to make mornings easier at my house!
- Make ahead and freezer friendly. Mix these up and bake them the night before, and wake up to wonderfully satisfying muffins. They last 1 to 2 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature or up to 5 days stored in the fridge. They also freeze really well. Sometimes I meal prep these on Sunday and enjoy them during the week. Makes for an easy grab-n-go breakfast or snack!
Some of my favorite recipes to experiment with and make healthier are muffins and quick breads. They are so adaptable and it’s easier than you might think to make them lower in calories and fat. This banana protein muffin recipe is made with plenty of pantry staples for ease and they’re seriously some of the fluffiest muffins I’ve ever made. Here’s everything you’ll need to make them:
- Bananas. Over-ripe bananas are key for this recipe. The more ripe they are, the sweeter the muffins will taste.
- Egg. You’ll need just one egg to help with binding, give the muffins structure and ensure they bake up properly. You can also try using a flax egg, but I have not tested it.
- Maple syrup. For an extra boost of natural sweetness. Feel free to swap the maple syrup with honey.
- Oil. A small amount of oil gives these healthy banana muffins the perfect soft and moist texture. You can use any oil you’d like. If you want to use coconut oil, melt it and let it cool. Feel free to sub melted butter.
- Vanilla. A must in most any baked good for delicious flavor!
- Flour. For best results, I recommend using all-purpose flour, however whole wheat pastry flour works great too and adds some nutrients. You can also use a mix of both whole wheat flour and white flour.
- Protein powder. Swapping 1/2 cup of flour for whey protein powder gives these muffins a little boost of protein. However, feel free to just use another 1/2 cup of all-purpose or whole wheat flour instead.
- Baking essentials. This recipe uses a combination of baking powder, baking soda and salt to ensure these muffins bake up with the perfect rise and texture.
- Ground cinnamon + nutmeg. Some warm spices to make these muffins extra flavorful! If you don’t have nutmeg, you can just use more cinnamon.
- Cornstarch. This is my “secret” ingredient to make these muffins soft and tender. Cake flour is essentially regular flour with cornstarch added in, so we’re making a quick imitation cake flour for these muffins by adding in cornstarch.
How to make Banana Protein Muffins
Like most muffin recipes, these protein banana muffins are very easy to whip up! Grab your muffin pan and spray it with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper liners and let’s bake! Here’s the simple process:
For full, printable instructions, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Wet ingredients. In a medium bowl, stir together mashed bananas, egg, maple syrup (or honey), oil and vanilla extract.
- Dry ingredients. In a separate large bowl, whisk the flour, protein powder (if using), baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cornstarch. If adding mix-ins, like chocolate chips, toss them in the flour mixture. Tossing the chocolate chips in the flour ensures they don’t sink to the bottom of the muffin.
- Combine wet mixture and dry ingredients. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Gently stir until just combined. Do NOT over-mix – a few streaks of flour are fine.
- Bake. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling each one completely full and top with a few additional chocolate chips, if desired. Bake muffins for 5 minutes at 425 degrees F, and then with muffins staying in the oven, reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake muffins for 12-15 minutes more. The high heat will cause muffins to rise and then you will lower heat to cook the center of the muffin. I recommend checking muffins with a toothpick inserted in the center after about 12 minutes because mine were completely baked by 13 minutes.
- Cool + serve. Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy warm or at room temperature — they’re even more delicious the next day!
Pro tip: If your bananas aren’t quite ripe enough, you can ripen them quickly by wrapping them in foil and popping them in a 350°F oven for 10-15 mins!
Tips for recipe success
These banana protein muffins are super simple to make, but here are a few tips to make sure they are perfect every time!
- Measure flour correctly. Too much flour can cause muffins to be dry and crumbly. The most precise way to measure ingredients is with a food scale and I’ve listed the ingredients in grams for your convenience. If you don’t have a food scale, whisk the flour first, then spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the top (without shaking the measuring cup).
- Cornstarch. It is not a must to add cornstarch in this recipe, but it will yield the best results. Cornstarch softens the harsh proteins of flour, making a more tender baked good. If you don’t have cornstarch, feel free to omit.
- Do NOT over-mix batter. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together by gently folding them with a large spoon or spatula. Do not use a whisk. Over-mixing the batter can produce tough muffins.
- Big muffin tops. I learned this simple muffin trick from Sally and it’s my favorite for getting those beautiful tall muffin tops. Start the muffins baking at a high temperature of 425 degrees F. That bit of high heat will help the tops of the muffin rise up. Then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and cook the center of the muffin. Such a simple baking hack that makes such a difference to the appearance of these or any muffins.
Customize your MUFFINs
There are so many different ways to add new flavors to these muffins! Here are a few of my favorite ideas:
- Chocolate. Feel free to add different types of chocolate to these muffins from white chocolate to dark chocolate. You can even use different flavored baking chips – butterscotch or peanut butter would be tasty options.
- Fruit. You can add about 1/2 cup diced strawberries or blueberries into the batter for incredible fruity flavor.
- Add-ins. Customize these muffins by stirring in other ingredients such as chopped nuts, toasted coconut, dried fruit, coconut extract or almond extract.
- Streusel topping. Try a delicious streusel topping for your muffins by mixing together 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 cup melted butter. Sprinkle the streusel over the top of your muffins, then bake as directed.
These easy banana muffins are great as a portable snack and I love them for dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of nut butter. However, we most often enjoy these for breakfast and they pair well with a variety of breakfast sides. Below are some favs:
- Fresh fruit or fruit salad. To keep this breakfast on the lighter side, fruit is such a great option.
- Greek yogurt. Serve on the side or crumble your muffin over the yogurt.
- Bacon, sausage, or ham. Adds some extra protein and staying power to your meal.
- Eggs. Gives you a bit of savory to balance out the sweet muffins.
These banana protein muffins taste excellent straight out of the oven, but we love them even more the next day!
- To store. Let the muffins cool completely on a wire rack before placing them in a storage container. Next, line the bottom of an airtight storage container with a paper towel and place the muffins in a single layer on the paper towel. Finally, top your muffins with another paper towel to absorb the excess moisture. Store at room temperature for up one day and then in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Reheat. If you’d like to enjoy your muffins warm, simply pop a muffin in the microwave for about 15 to 20 seconds and they will taste like they were freshly baked.
- To freeze. These muffins, like most, freeze beautifully! Individually wrap them in plastic, then place them in a resealable bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To enjoy, let them thaw at room temperature or rewarm gently in the microwave.
RECOMMENDED TOOLS FOR BAKING MUFFINS
Here’s a few of my muffin-baking essentials:
Mixing bowls – Any mixing bowls will do the trick. I love this stainless steel, nonslip mixing bowl set from Target.
Nonstick muffin pan – This is where quality matters! I was given this muffin pan from Williams Sonoma and LOVE it. I don’t have to use muffin liners and my muffins always come out so easily. As an added plus, there’s never cooked muffin left stuck to the pan, so it’s super easy to clean.
Cooling rack – I wouldn’t say a cooling rack is completely necessary, but it’s definitely nice to have one available. These allow for airflow and even cooling of your baked goods.
If you try this banana protein muffin recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Banana Protein Muffins
- 3 large (about 300g or 1 cup) extra ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup (60ml) maple syrup or honey
- 1 tablespoon oil*
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup protein powder, or use additional 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg , optional
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch , optional
- 1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips or chopped nuts, optional
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare a muffin pan with cooking spray or paper muffin cups and get out of all the necessary ingredients.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine mashed bananas with egg, maple syrup, oil and vanilla. Stir vigorously until the mixture is smooth.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients – flour, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cornstarch. For best results, spoon flour into cup (rather than scooping with cup) and then level using a butter knife. If adding in additional mix-in, such as chocolate chips, toss in the flour mixture.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add wet ingredients. Gently stir until just combined. Don't overmix – some small streaks of flour are fine.
- Spoon batter into the prepared muffin tins filling each one completely full and top with a few additional chocolate chips, if desired. Bake muffins for 5 minutes at 425 degrees F. and then with muffins staying in the oven, reduce heat to 350 degrees F. and bake muffins for 12-15 minutes more. The high heat will cause muffins to rise and then you will lower heat to cook the center of the muffin. I recommend checking muffins after about 12 minutes because mine were completely baked by 13 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. You might need to run a butter knife along the outer edge of the muffins to loosen them from the pan.