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. They were a little too delicate to stay together in my lunch bag and they didn’t freeze well. 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 many times. (That is the default setting for my oven and I still make that mistake.)
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 cupboard. When you are more confident try substituting 1/4 cup. Make notes of what you did and how they turned out.
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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 mixes. My cupboard is full of flours and starches so I experiment with what I have and have learned a lot in the process.
I make my own gluten free flour mix. The combination is 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. If you’d rather watch than read here is my video with the same info.
I also wrote a post about Baking by Weight which is a great option if you are still struggling to produce excellent baked goods. Most recipes give measurements in cups and I do too. That is the way I learned to bake and how almost all my recipes are written. Even though I bake by cup I do weigh each flour precisely on a digital kitchen scale when I make my homemade flour mix.
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.
|1¼ cups GF flour (or ½ cup sorghum flour, 6 Tbsp brown rice flour and 6 Tbsp white rice flour)|
|2 Tbsp any GF flour (flax meal, almond flour, oat flour or any flour 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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