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 though I continued to make these banana muffins. As I gained more gluten free baking experience I wanted to improve them for two reasons:
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.
This updated version for my banana muffins is still a very basic recipe that is ideal for experimentation. I’ve written it with that in mind and I encourage you to experiment. Substitute two tablespoons of any new flour you just bought, or one sitting in the back of your cupboard. As you gain confidence try substituting 1/4 cup or more of different flours. Make notes of what you did and how they turned out.
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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 the knowledge you have today. Pay attention to what you read and hear others saying, but most importantly pay attention to your results. At the end of the day it’s you buying the flour and eating what you bake.
I wrote a year-long blog post series on all the different flours in my kitchen and I learned a lot. Here is a link to the first in the series and all the other links are at the bottom of each blog post.
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 experiment with what I have and have learned a lot in the process.
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). Read this post, a gluten free flour mix, for tips on making, organizing and storing your flour mix. I also made this video demonstrating how I do it.
I also wrote this post, Baking by Weight. This is a great option if you are still struggling to produce excellent baked goods. However, most recipes give cup measurements and I do that too. That is the way I learned to bake and how almost all recipes are written. Even though I bake using cup measurements when I make my homemade flour mix I weigh each flour precisely using a digital kitchen scale. That assures a consistent measurement and it is super easy.
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 are lucky, you will eventually have someone making muffins for you.
I love taking a favourite everyday recipe and making it ‘gourmet’. This banana muffin recipe can be doubled and baked in a bundt pan for a beautiful dessert. Technically a cake is different from a muffin recipe but for my everyday style of cooking, this Banana Bundt Cake with Chocolate Glaze is a winner.
Many people struggle with baking, gluten free or not. Every oven is different, standard baking pans vary and even your kitchen temperature and humidity can affect the outcome of certain recipes. These are just some of the many factors that challenge us everyday home cooks. But when you bake something that turns out, this is the joy of baking.
My advice is to buy quality bakeware, it doesn’t need to be 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:
I’d love to hear if you liked this recipe or how you adjusted it. Let me know in the comments below.
And this Double Chocolate Banana Bread made with chickpea flour that I have not yet tried as muffins.
|1¼ cups GF flour (I use my mix)|
|2 Tbsp any GF flour (flax meal, almond flour, oat flour or any one you are learning about)|
|½ cup sugar|
|¾ tsp baking powder|
|½ tsp baking soda|
|¼ tsp salt|
|¼ tsp xanthan gum (optional but it adds structure)|
|OPTIONAL ADD-IN - ¼ cup chopped nuts or chocolate chips|
|3 ripe bananas|
|¼ cup vegetable oil|
|1 tsp vanilla extract|
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