Big Banana Muffins (Gluten-Free)

Gluten free banana muffins
Gluten-free banana muffins. Oh yeah.

Sometimes you crave banana bread but not the slice. 

You have a hankering for the whole, not the part. A thing intact. Weighty and complete and an entity all on its own. All yours. Maybe it's the simplicity you want. The curve and weight of it snug in your hand. Hefty but compact. Portable.

You want a muffin.

Maybe even a big muffin. A jumbo muffin tender and sweet and fragrant. Worthy of sinking your teeth into. Worthy of the calories. That kind of muffin. The trouble is, most standard gluten-free muffins turn out so small they resemble snack time for tiny people. I'm not exactly sure why, but I've noticed the shrinkage factor with gluten-free baking in general. You use the same amount of flour as an old school wheat flour recipe, but when all is said and done, when the muffins are baked and cool and ready to wrap- or better yet, nosh- you hold one up to the morning light to inspect it and think, What the Hades happened? Did it shrink- or is it me? Am I imagining this minor disappointment?

Am I getting neurotic about muffin size now?

I don't have the answer for you. I'm a cook not a scientist. But I suspect it is the lack of gluten that makes the difference between yummy-plump and expansive and, well, shrunken and kinda sad. Gluten is a giving protein that lends breads and muffins that lovely je ne sais quoi (French for, I don't know what). That It Factor, that elastic, rising... generosity (even if it is evil for celiacs).

My point? I began to wonder if twelve Lillipution muffins were worth the effort. If I might be better satisfied by going for six. The jumbo set. Less servings, true. But.

Maybe baking these babies larger would produce a more muffiny muffin. You decide.

Gluten free banana muffins
Big gluten-free banana muffins. Hungry?

Big Banana Muffins Recipe

We put mini chocolate chips in our jumbo muffins. For two reasons. First because I like using the word mini and jumbo in the same sentence. Second. I like chocolate with my banana. What can I say?

Preheat your oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease a 6-muffin jumbo muffin pan and dust with a whisker of rice or sorghum flour.

Combine in a large bowl:

1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup light olive or safflower oil
1 cup organic light brown sugar
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract
Ener-G Egg Replacer for 2 eggs mixed with warm water or use 2 organic free-range eggs
1/4 teaspoon mild rice vinegar

Whisk together in a separate bowl:

1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup potato starch (not potato flour!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Add the dry ingredients into the banana mixture and beat or stir until smooth. If the batter looks too thick and dry, add some non-dairy milk such as vanilla hemp or rice milk, a tablespoon at a time, until the batter is smooth- but thicker than cake batter.

Add in options:

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup dried fruit- cherries, cranberries, or blueberries

Mix in your choice of add-in.


Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake in the center of a preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or so (a wooden pick inserted into the center should emerge clean). (If you cheat and use a smaller pan with 12 cups, check sooner- after 15 to 18 minutes.)

Cool the muffins briefly in the pan, on a wire rack; then turn them out of the pan to keep them from getting soggy; continue to cool on a wire rack or serve warm.

Wrap leftover muffins; bag and freeze for easy on-the-go treats. Reheat briefly in a microwave, if you wish. You know, to melt the chocolate just a little.

This recipe is blissfully gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, and rice-free.

 photo Print-Recipe.png

Recipe Source:

All images & content are copyright protected, all rights reserved. Please do not use our images or content without prior permission. Thank you. 

Karina's Notes on gluten-free vegan muffin batter:

Gluten-free vegan muffin batters are a tad different than wheat and white flour batters. They are stiffer at first, then stretch and get sticky as the xanthan gum and egg replacer do their thing.

If the batter "climbs" the beaters, slow down the speed and slightly lift the beaters to encourage the batter to move back down into the bowl. Move your beater around the bowl in figure eights, at a slight angle. Practice your technique- soon you'll be winging around gluten-free vegan baking like a pro.

For substitutions, please see my guide to baking with substitutions here.



Rach said...

yummy! I always overfill my muffin tin - so my muffins don't end up so tiny.

Amy Dumas said...

Ohh, these sound good. Guess what I'm having for breakfast in the morning! I'm gonna have to try them with the cranberry, yum!

Amy said...

That sounds so good. I may have to try it out tomorrow with my yucky bananas. Thanks :)

Lauren Denneson said... I'm really craving banana muffins! You put cinnamon AND chocolate in yours, just like me.

Jenn said...

Ohhh! I tried making some of these myself the other day (didn't have the same flours on hand that you do .. I have sourghum, brown rice flour and tapioca and xanthan gum, do you have any tips on if I could use these to substitute what you used?)

my muffins turned out DISMAL, tiny, puny, and burnt on the bottom *sniffles*

I want to try again but I need to find the right mixture of flours first. said...

I have been waiting for a banana muffin recipe and didn't even know that I was. And your photos are beautiful as well.

alison -- said...

For some reason, my daughter doesn't like banana in her muffins! I keep trying and she keeps saying "too banana-y!" Even with the chocolate chips, she won't eat it. I like them though.

Ghislaine said...

LOL! I came over to your blog this morning thinking to myself, "I have three bananas to use up and I'd like a treat. I could look through the recipes I've collected or I could just go see what a search on Karina's blog will net me."

I never expected the very latest post to fit my wishes!

WheatFreeMeatFree said...

We've been making banana muffins using your banana bread recipe for a while now. Sometimes it is just better to have your own individual portion. :)

moonwatcher said...

These look really good, Karina, but just for the record on "muffin size" lol, I love your "little" muffin gems! I am already longing for when there are pears on my tree again so I can make batches and batches of the pear polenta muffins, and for when the huckleberries come, which I use in your blueberry oat muffin recipe. Large or small, your muffin recipes are scrumptious!


Ali (Whole Life Nutrition) said...

Karnia - Your "big" muffins look great! I love those Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips in banana bread or muffins - chocolate and banana just go together! I make my Teff Banana Bread with them.

Have you tried baking with teff before? It is such a nutritious flour and creates such a lovely texture in baked goods.

I like the addition of the cinnamon and nutmeg, I will have to try that next time!

-Ali :)

milhan said...

I guess size does matter :D

At least when it comes to banana chocolate chip muffins that is....(I love chocolate and banana too - chocolate covered frozen bananas, yum!)

Devorah Wolf said...

Hi Karina!
Have you ever tried letting your gluten free batter sit for half an hour before baking? I find that muffins and cakes rise significantly higher when I do.

Do you have any advice for preventing chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom? I've tried putting them in right before baking and it doesn't seem to make a difference at all.

Thanks for another great looking recipe! I just recommended the blog to a newly gluten-free goddess.

Anonymous said...

Smallishness. Some of the smallness issues may be altitude. As I remember you are at a high altitute as I am. Just one more challenge for your brillant mind.
JLH in Colorado Springs

PurpleStick. said...

I love when you post vegan recipes.
Perfect timing too... I have a few sad looking bananas sitting on my countertop waiting for their muffin transformation.

Steph said...

My husband just reminded me it's been awhile since I made banana bread. That got me thinking about chocolate and banana. I stumbled upon your post at the most inspiring moment! Thanks! We'll be having an amazing compromise for breakfast this weekend...although I don't have any jumbo muffin pans :( I will just have to fill my regular-sized ones a little fuller!

moongypsy said...

Those look so good. I had to visit your blog today to remind myself how good gf food can be. I'm in between houses at the moment and living with my in-laws for a month until we move into the new house. Needless to say, life (and food) isn't quite the same. I'm longing for my own kitchen again. Thanks for the inspiration. I'll have a whole list of your recipes to try by the time I get to Colorado. :)
Sunshine and smiles to you. . .

Carol said...

I made these muffins...Delicious. What I especially liked was that they stayed moist for a few days...maybe longer if there had been any left after that. Thank you for sharing your recipes.

Karina Allrich said...

Hi everyone- thank you for your wonderful comments. Much appreciated.

Specific questions:

I must admit I do think flours matter in a mix; when I use a certain blend of gluten-free flours there's a reason.

Jenn- sorry your sub didn't work. What flour do you need to sub? Gluten-free flours are a mix of grainy and starchy for best results; too much of one without the other makes for a less appetizing result.

Alison- How about making these with canned pumpkin or sweet potato or other fruit puree?

Ali- I have not tried teff; I bought some teff wraps once and they smelled like dirty socks to me, so I've avoided trying the flour. Ha! (PS: I found Thorne Vitamin D at!).

Moonwatcher- Huckleberries! Be still my heart. xox

Milhan- Hehehe. Thanks for the giggle. xox

Hi Devorah- I loved your tip- I actually used to do that (let the batter sit) but forgot about that tip.

I twittered your tip today, actually, because we tried it with a regular sized 12-muffin pan version of this recipe and it was beautiful- muffins got high and dome-topped.

Thank you!

Purplestick- Sad bananas? Make them happy. Make muffins! ;-)

Steph- We just made the 12-muffin size version. Yum. Hope yours is as good.

Carol- Excellent! Thanx for stopping back to share.

Moongypsy- I feel your pain. More than you know. xox

Thanks everyone- you rock. xox


j.cro said...

Thanks so much for adding the "Printer-Friendly" link!
I can't wait to try and make these!
And the bread recipes too!
Can you tell I'm excited?!!!!?!?!

Angela said...

Karina, these look great! An ideal breakfast friend, especially with cranberries!!! Delicious :)

CDM said...

I saw this recipe and instantly walked into my kitchen and made them. They were delicious. I played a little with the sugar (using a mix of sugar, agave, and honey) and added a touch of peanut butter and chocolate chips and they were delicious! Thanks for yet another great recipe!!

jazzcat-321 said...

These were absolutely amazing. I made muffins and muffin tops (my fav), they are so light and airy and out and out fabulous. Thank you for my new favorite muffin!

Michal said...

I really love ur blog!!

I only have a few questions...
1- I just got some millet flour and sorghum flour and i want to start baking with them... BUT i saw that in most of ur recipes you use some sort of starch- like tapioca or potato or sometime gum- xhantan or others...

My question is : Can i just take regular banana bread recipe and substitute the flours without adding gum or starch?


Karina Allrich said...

Michal- Gluten-free flours need a starch added in, not only to lighten the texture but to help the batter/dough stretch, and have a tender "crumb". Xanthan gum helps this as well.

You can bake without the starch or gum but your end result may be dry and crumbly, as well as dense.

Check out my FAQ page for gluten-free baking tips and links to detailed g-free info.


Anonymous said...

Karina, these were delicious and were my first time baking gluten free! I made them this morning and added pecans in the mix, ~3/4 cup frozen blueberries, and topped the muffins with some chopped pecans and sugar to make a nice crunchy topping! Thank you for this recipe!!!

Teresa said...

Made this in my bread maker on quick bread setting an it was perfect!!!! I think the loaf lasted about 2 hours after my kids got to it:)


Karina Allrich said...

Teresa- what a great idea. I'm going to try it (the oven in our temporary sublet doesn't work very well). Thanks for sharing the tip. xox


Sunna said...

I made this recipe last night with some changes. Since I can't get sorghum flour in Iceland, (my in-laws are kind enough to bring it when they visit), I mixed 1/2 cup sorghum with quinoa and millet flour. I omitted choc chips (what?! I know but my 2 years old is still not a chocholate fan) but then split the batter in half and added a heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder to one half (my 4 year old does like chocolate). I also used about 1/4 cup less sugar than called for. I made 12 muffins and we LOVE them. You rock Karina. I tweeted about it and turned some people on to your site.

Paula said...

Tonight I attempted these muffins as my very FIRST ever gluten-free baking experiment for my 8 year old daughter who was just diagnosed. She loves banana chocolate chip muffins. They turned out absolutely perfect! Thank you for making this transition fun and exciting.

P.S. It was the phrase 'dust with a whisker of rice or sorghum flour' that made me choose this recipe vs. other GF banana muffins! Love it.

cvell1 said...


Thank you for this recipe. I used it to make two batches of mini-muffins for my little one's preschool class. Out of a class of 26, 6 of them have food allergies, including 3 children with celiac disease. I just couldn't see making items that couldn't be enjoyed by all the children.

Anyway, baking the mini-muffins for 16 minutes seemed to do the trick. Also, because I forgot to do it for the first batch, I added the brown sugar separately, after my wet and dry ingredients were blended together. Those muffins turned out extra moist and had a lovely sheen.

I hope you find these comments useful. I will be directing many of the school's parents here.

Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

Devorah (& anyone else who cares): if you mix the chocolate chips in with the dry ingredients *before* adding the wet, they'll distribute themselves more evenly throughout the batter and won't sink to the bottom.


Jessica said...

I also changed the sugar content: I added 1/3 cup of agave nectar to make it more diabetic friendly for my momma. Delicious and super moist. I'm also going to give it a go with plain Greek yogurt instead of the oil (obviously, not vegan at that point).
Yet again, a flawless gluten-free recipe. Thank you so much!

Muggle said...

These are scrumptious! However, I would like to up the protein count in them...any recommendations? Could I add an egg or two, or exchange it for part of the oil? Thanks.

Karina Allrich said...

Thanks, everyone! xox

Muggle- Yes, you can use two beaten eggs instead of the egg replacer. I wouldn't lessen the oil- it's only 1/4 cup.


Dale and Ashley said...

This recipe has been up awhile, so I don't know if you'll get this in time, but I'm attempting to make these as my daughter's first birthday cake. I will be exchanging pumpkin for the banana (she doesn't like it?) and will omit the choc chips (she hasn't had that yet). Anyways, my big question is, I'm trying to make it less sweet and would prefer to cut back on the sugar, but I don't know how that affects the rest of the mix. Any suggestions? I do plan on adding icing so she can get messy, but found a sugar-free one using cream cheese, apple juice concentrate and gelatin.

Dale and Ashley said...

um, I'm lame an realize you just got out of the hospital. Please forgive me asking a question at such a time (I commented this morning). I pray you feel better quickly. Thanks for your blog.

Karina Allrich said...

As for subs- using less sugar will not only be less sweet (pumpkin needs "sweet" to taste like pumpkin, btw- it's not a sweet squash, so I'd reconsider) it will have less structure. And it may get gummy.

My best advice? It's a birthday cake- make it a treat. One cup of sugar for an entire cake is not outrageous for 8-10 servings.

Karina Allrich said...

PS:: I have several fabulous pumpkin cake recipes- why not go with one of those? :-)

Chelsea said...

I had been craving muffins for so long. These were so delicious! My husband, who has no diet restrictions, loved them! And so did his family! Thank you so much for a fabulous recipe!

Rachel said...

Dear all knowing goddess,

I was wondering, you know how with regular gluten muffins you are not supposed to overmix or you get tunnels in them and are tough? And you are supposed to just mix till the dry ingredients get wet? Is it the same with gluten free?

Karina Allrich said...

Chelsea- Yay! I'm glad. Thanks for stopping back to let me know. xox

Rachel- I don't think it's as critical -- but I wouldn't beat a gluten-free muffin batter to death, either. What helps more is once mixed, allowing the batter to sit for a bit. Gluten-free flours like that extra time to get happy. xox


Anonymous said...

I tried adding some coconut flour to the mix (1/4 c coconut flour, 3/4 c sorghum, 1/12 c tapioca starch). Is this the ratio you would recommend? Also, would you recommend reducing or eliminating the xantham gum entirely if using coconut flour? Moist is never bad, but these are pretty heavy w/ the coconut flour.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that was 1/2* c tapioca starch. Basically, I just subbed coconut flour for 1/4 cup of the sorghum flour. I am on a coconut kick lately.
I was also wondering if you prefer potato starch to tapioca starch for some reason? I have read most of your blogs and don't remember mention of a preference, but you do seem to favor it.
Thanks so much for guiding the experimentation!

Pretty Pony Inc said...

I made these last weekend and they turned out amazing. I had to make a few substitutions because I started making them before I realized I was almost out of sorghum and completely out of potato starch. But I really wanted these muffins. So, I ended up using 1/2 cup of sorghum flour, 3/4 cup of Bobs Red Mill AP mix, and 1/4 cup of tapioca starch. I also used demerara instead of brown sugar, because its all I had. I did let the mixture sit for 30 minutes before baking and I think that made a HUGE difference.

Turned out great. I bought extra banana's at the store just hoping we don't eat them all and they go bad so that I can make MORE muffins! Light, fluffy, I don't think ANYONE could tell they were GF. Serious.

Anonymous said...

I did make another batch of these with 1/4 c coconut flour, 3/4 c sorghum, 1/2 c tapioca starch, and I halved the xantham gum. They turned out beautifully! My non-celiac other half (who is rather discriminating) left me a note that said, "Banana muffins= perfect!"
I'd still welcome recommendations for making the final product even more perfect, if that is possible :-)

tweal said...

I have noticed that gluten free baking often shrinks as well - I thought it was me doing something wrong, but now I feel better knowing it happens to other folks too. I love banana muffins and banana bread and I plan to try this recipe soon. Thanks for sharing :)

Jules said...

I am "Anonymous," aka Jules, who used 1/4c coconut flour (sorry didn't see where to put my name). I loved these and thought I'd make them again with cocoa. I used 1/4c amaranth, 3/4 sorghum, and 1/2 tapioca and halved xantham gum again. I also added 3 TBSP cocoa powder. The result? AWESOME rise... but REALLY chewy, not the way a muffin should be. Any ideas? I used the same amount of starch and xantham gum, so I don't understand this....

Jules said...

Also, the amaranth taste is pretty overpowering (even though only 1/4 c). It tastes.... grassy... dirty grassy ;-) Anyone else have experience with amaranth? What about teff?

Jules said...

Update on cocoa powder version: I didn't realize Dutch processed (alkalized) vs Natural cocoa powder was chemically different. i.e. Natural- the kind I used- reacts with baking soda (hence the nicer rise). But it also dries and imparts a strengthening effect (probably why my product was too chewy). Au revoir, back to the kitchen (soon) to try Dutch cocoa or natural cocoa with Smart Balance instead of oil.

Shaina said...

I made these yesterday and they turned out so yummy! I got a huge thumbs up from my gluten loving hubby :) I did have to make some substitutions, we don't seem to do well with sorghum or potatoes around here :( I subbed brown rice flour for the sorghum and used tapioca starch instead of the potato starch. I also wasn't sure about the GF status of my brown sugar so I did 1 1/2 tbls mollases with 1/2 cup sugar and also left out the spices and just added extra vanilla. Yum!!
Could you do this with other mashed fruits? Maybe blueberries, or strawberries, or even applesauce? May have to try it! :)

Anonymous said...

I added Lentils for fibre and protein, Not so much brown sugar cause I added an extra banana, a few dark chocolate chips.. So Good!! they turned out big, fluffy and perfect light brown color :)

Anonymous said...

I cut the sugar to 1/3 cup and these were still wonderful!

Would someone let me know if you've had success with freezing these? I had four nearly gone bananas and made two batches.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe. Just made these and they are wonderful. Just started a gluten-free diet (not out of need), and these are almost as good as the recipe I usually make. I did add some walnuts to the mix.

Anonymous said...

Hello Karina, My 21/2 year girl loves these banana choc chip muffins and she has been asking me to make it for the last few days. Finally, the bananas were ripe and I made a batch. They always turn out great, but not today. They collapsed after taking them out of the oven. I have to add that we are visiting grandparents in WI, so I am using a different brand of flour I am usually using. I made one subKstitution on the recipe, I used apple cider vinegar instead of rice vinegar. Is that a problem? Could the baking powder or soda have been too old? Any input would be highly appreciated. Evelyn

Anonymous said...

Just made these and they were fantastic!!!! used 1/4 cup coconut oil, 2 eggs, and half cup regular sized dark chocolate chips. made 12 muffins in convection oven for about 14 minutes...this one will be a regular in our house!

Anonymous said...

oh, the other thing i used was raw coconut vinegar

Gluten-Free Goddess eBook on iTunes