One-Bowl Banana Muffins – Great For Baking With Kids – Recipe

Banana Muffins
One-Bowl Banana Muffins

I wasn't planning to write a post about these banana muffins. They were just something me and the kiddos were whipping up on a Saturday morning. Pretty much every food blogger and their Great Aunt Estelle has published a banana muffin recipe, so why would I? Two reasons: (1) they were unusually delicious (B) I worked out a way to make them in a single bowl, which cuts down the mess and makes it easier with munchkins.

The trick to using a single bowl is trivial. I get all the wet ingredients and the salt thoroughly mixed. Then the flour and leavening is combined in a sieve and sifted directly into the wet. By the time you fold them together, the leavening is distributed just fine. That might not be good enough for a layer cake you are hoping to medal with at the state fair, but in these muffins you'll never know the difference.

Here's a good tip for baking with very young kids: get out all the ingredients and tools you need first, before you have them join you. That way you won't be rooting around in the cabinets while they threaten to dump softened butter on the cat.

If we have bananas that have gotten too ripe to eat out of hand, I always freeze them for banana muffins or banana bread. If you are using frozen, just defrost them in the microwave first. Otherwise, if you are using fresh, you'll see that I still microwave them a bit along with the butter, to make them mash more evenly.

We used lots of vanilla and a good amount of salt to bring out the banana flavor. If you want to add chopped and roasted nuts or chocolate chips, you certainly have my blessing! Just fold them in at the end.

One-Bowl Banana Muffins
Vegetarian; not vegan nor gluten-free
Yields 10 good sized muffins

  • 2 large ripe bananas, peeled
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Preheat the oven to 375, convection if you have it. Line 10 spots in a  muffins tin with muffin/cupcake liners.
  2. Put the bananas in a large, microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Add the butter and microwave 20 seconds at a time until the butter is softened but not melted. (It is fine if a little bit of it melts).
  3. Using a potato masher or whatever you have to hand, mash the bananas and butter together until there isn't a lot of lumpiness left.
  4. Thoroughly stir in the sugar, beaten egg, milk, vanilla extract, and salt.
  5. Place a sieve over the bowl and fill it with the flour, baking power and baking soda. Sift the contents into the wet ingredients, trying to stir the sieve as you go to distribute the leaveners.
  6. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Stop when they are just moistened. We'd rather have a couple lumps than risk overbeating it and having tough muffins.
  7. Distribute the batter into the tins. Bake until quite dark brown, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry, rotating once about halfway through baking. Total baking time in my convection oven was about 25 minutes.
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Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, March 15th, 2010 in Baking, Breakfast, Kid Friendly, Recipes.

18 Responses to “One-Bowl Banana Muffins – Great For Baking With Kids – Recipe”

  1. Reply
    March 15, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    I love the one bowl trick! Great for lazy cooks like me who hate washing dishes 😉

    I just gave you an AWARD! Come over & pick it up! link to

  2. Reply
    March 15, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    I bet this one would be great with a wheat flour as well. Will have to give it a shot.

  3. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    March 15, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    @Amy – I agree, I think using 50% whole wheat flour would work well in this recipe (and of course make it a bit more nutritious). Bananas are a good match with the flavor of whole grain wheat, where you aren't looking for a real delicate result.

  4. Reply
    March 15, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    Will definitely try. My toddler’s fingers go straight into the butter every time I turn around, so having a few tricks under my belt will surely help. Thanks!

  5. Reply
    March 15, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    mmmmmmmmmmmm…if only bananas lasted in this house…i must buy loads more. ;o)

  6. Reply
    March 15, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    I am firmly in the camp of “one can never have enough banana baked goods recipes” 🙂

  7. Reply
    March 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    I love baking with bananas! They’re such a great way to ensure a flavorful moist cake without too much fat. Glad you did share these.

  8. Reply
    March 18, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    This looks great, and the fact that it’s made in one bowl is just a huge bonus 😉 thanks for posting!

  9. Reply
    September 26, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    I have never commented on a food blog before, although I am a total blog stalker, but I had to comment on this recipe. My 2 daughters and I made these muffins this morning. I was a little nervous because my butter was a bit clumpy, but when these came out of the oven they were the prettiest muffins I have ever made. Not only were they gorgeous, but the tasted divine. They were delicate & moist; sweet, but not too sweet. We can’t stop eating them…yum yum! Thanks so much for a perfect Sunday morning treat.

  10. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    September 27, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    Thanks for the note, Andrea! I'm glad these were worthy of de-stalking :). And yes, you are so right, the key to tender muffins (and pancakes) is to stop mixing when it is still kinda clumpy. I know it seems scary, like there is going to be terrible bits of dry flour in the finished product, but that isn't what happens.


  11. Reply
    September 27, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    This is my kind of recipe. One bowl sounds like a plan. As much as I love cooking I hate cleaning even more. Easy Recipes like this with a minimal amount of work are the best! I work with Better Recipes so I am always reviewing recipes and I love cooking them as well. It just an added bonus when I can do it without a mess.

  12. Reply
    June 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    When I read this recipe I couldn’t help but try it immediately. I started the Eating Alive Program yesterday and had to make a few substitutions (instead of egg = I extra banana, 1C brown sugar = 1/4C algave nectar, whole wheat flour), and the muffins came out perfectly. The banans add just the right amount of sweetness and they came out of the oven looking fabulous and scrumptious. Thank you very much for posting. I really enjoyed stumbling across your informative and inspiring website this evening! I also made the Thai mango salad for dinner 🙂

    • Reply
      June 16, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

      Oh good, I’m glad the muffins were able to accept your substitutions and still turn out well!

  13. Reply
    September 24, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    Full disclosure: I modified the recipe quite a bit…used buttermilk instead…swapped hemp protein powder and flax meal for some of the flour…a little less sugar and baked it in small loaf pans. But the one-bowl concept and basic recipe were great – I will definitely make this again.

  14. Reply
    February 15, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    Followed your recipe, except I didn’t beat the egg first and I was kind of sloppy with the flour-sifting. Still delicious. Super moist and even a little “fluffy” fresh out of the oven. They rose up nicely, so they look pretty enough to serve my weekend guests. Thanks!

  15. Reply
    July 12, 2014 at 6:22 am #

    This is now my fall to recipe for Banana Muffins. I do reduce the amount of sugar to 2/3 of a cup and they are still sweet enough.

  16. Reply
    July 27, 2014 at 10:39 pm #

    I just made your recipe with my teenagers and less than 5 minutes out of the oven already 4 muffins are gone. I added some raisins and some chia seeds so for some added texture and it was a big hit. Take Care, BAM

  17. Reply
    August 18, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    Made these just now, added only 1/3 cup sugar but 3 small bananas. Should have added sultanas. Sprinkled slivered almonds on top, and did 1/2 almond meal 1/2 flour. Look and taste great!

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