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Basic Banana Muffins

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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:

  • •They were a little too delicate to stay together in my lunch bag.
  • •They didn’t stand up to freezing as well as muffins made with wheat flour.

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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Beyond The Basics

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.

How To Use Rice Flour in Gluten Free Baking

How to Use Rice Flour in Gluten Free Baking
How to Use Rice Flour in Gluten Free Baking -photo credit Jim Little

Store Bought vs Homemade Gluten Free Flour

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.

The four flour and starch combination for my gluten free flour mix
Gluten Free Flour Mix -photo credit Jim Little

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.

Baking By Weight

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.

Kids in the Kitchen

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.

Everyday to Gourmet – Banana Muffins

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. 

Gluten Free Banana Bundt Cake with Chocolate Glaze
Gluten Free Banana Bundt Cake with Chocolate Glaze -photo credit Jim Little


Get The Tools

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.

More Muffin Recipes

Morning Glory Muffins

A rack of gluten free Morning Glory Muffins fresh from the oven
Morning Glory Muffins -photo credit Jim Little

Cornmeal Raspberry Muffins

A tray of fresh Cornmeal Raspberry Muffins right out of the oven.
Cornmeal Raspberry Muffins -photo credit Jim Little

Pumpkin Ginger Muffins

A basket of Gluten Free Pumpkin Ginger Muffins beside orange mini pumpkins
Pumpkin Ginger Muffins -photo credit Jim Little

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffins with orange wedges and cranberries.
Cranberry Orange Muffins -photo credit Jim Little

Rhubarb Streusel Muffins

A baking rack with gluten free rhubarb streusel muffins
Rhubarb Streusel Muffins -photo credit Jim Little

And this Double Chocolate Banana Bread made with chickpea flour that I have not yet tried as muffins.

Double Chocolate Banana Bread made with chickpea flour.
Double Chocolate Banana Bread -photo credit Jim Little



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
2 eggs
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare muffin tins by spraying with oil or using paper muffin liners.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
In another bowl mash bananas, add remaining wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
Fill muffin cups ¾ full. Bake for 22-24 minutes, always a little longer than the old "until a toothpick inserted comes out clean" rule.
Gluten free baked goods should be allowed to cool a bit before eating them. Cool completely on wire racks before storing in the fridge or freezer.


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