Gluten-Free Banana Corn Muffins Recipe

Tender and sweet corn muffins infused with the scent of banana

Gypsy Souls

Apartment hunting is more than a little fun, right? It's big fun. You get to tour unfamiliar lobbies and prowl rooms old and new. You get to peek into kitchen cupboards and step onto balconies, turning your face toward the sun to imagine greeting the day in that one particular spot on Earth (mug of fresh brewed coffee and a crisp LA Times in hand).

You wade eagerly into conversations about whether you'd prefer looking out at a roof top or a wall or a neighbor's patio ringed with bamboo. Hunting is fun. But finding the right apartment is not as simple as you might think.

While you think it would be beyond groovy to live opposite the Santa Monica Library with a ficus canopy crowning your street level view, your Honey Baby Sugarness states said library proximity holds absolutely no charm for him and he urges you to reconsider your enthusiasm, siting 1. street level noise and 2. the stop-and-go energy (and air-brakes) at the bus stop.

He favors a bright and airy but characterless spot on 6th Street opening to a quiet common courtyard. But you can't get past 1. the spongy beige wall-to-wall and 2. the cross-alley neighbor's clear view of your living room (hence, My Lovely, your sure-to-happen morning-brained half naked sprint to fetch the ringing cell phone forgotten in your purse the night before--- not a pretty sight).

So you brew a cup of coffee, open a bag of potato chips and hash out priorities- what is mutually essential and what might not be. What you can live with and what you cannot. And vice versa. This is a marriage, after all. Two gypsy souls.

You make lists (yes, I make lists). I'm visual. I need visual aids. Diagrams are good. Multiple colors (I'm a Sharpie lover). Arrows for emphasis. Stars. Circles. Big decisions require maps. Direction. Emphasis.

Le smack down-

Meh wall-to-wall carpet vs street noise
New kitchen! vs Ahhh, soaking tub!
Sky roof view vs neighbor dancing in his underwear (or vice versa- see above)
Walking to beach vs walking to library
Privacy vs proximity
Location, location, location (is that like, Practice, practice, practice?)

You hone and define your hopes and needs on a lined piece of yellow paper. You sip more wine. You tinker. Smile. Find agreement.

Hardwood floors win. Roof top view and new kitchen- win. Big windows- no brainer. Proximity to beach- double no-brainer.


And here's a muffin to go with it.

Gluten-free banana corn muffins
Tender corn muffin goodness scented with banana.

Banana Corn Muffin Recipe

I love using mashed banana  in vegan baking. The mashed sweet fruit gives egg-free muffins a pull-apart tenderness. Not to mention- the combo of cornmeal and banana? Delicious.


Whisk in a mixing bowl:

1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Cornmeal
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup potato starch or tapioca starch
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup packed organic light brown sugar
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
Pinch of nutmeg

Make a well in the center and add in:

1/2 cup light olive oil
1 cup banana puree
1/3 cup coconut milk or other non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 1/4 cup warm water
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice or light tasting vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or organic raw agave nectar


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line twelve muffin cups with paper liners.

Beat to combine. The batter should be smooth and medium thick. If it feels too stiff add a spoonful of coconut milk to thin. If, by chance, the batter is very thin, add a sprinkle of potato starch to thicken it.

Spoon the batter into the twelve muffin cups. Use wet fingers to smooth tops, if necessary. Bake in the center of a preheated oven till domed and firm to the touch. This might be anywhere from 18 to 25 minutes (a wooden pick inserted into the center should emerge clean) depending upon your oven, and humidity.

Cool the pan on a wire rack for a few minutes; then turn out the muffins to continue cooling on the rack (this prevents the bottoms from steaming).

Serve warm. Wrap extra muffins individually in foil; bag and freeze for best taste. These beauties make an easy, not-too-sweet on-the-go treat.

Makes twelve muffins.

Recipe Source:

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Karina's Notes:

  • For those of you who cannot bake with cornmeal, I'm wondering if a combo flour mix of almond meal and buckwheat wouldn't be to die for?
  • For those of you using eggs, use two free-range organic eggs, beaten.
  • Gluten-free vegan batter really is different from traditional wheat flour based batter. It's not just a rumor. Gluten-free egg-free muffins won't puff and rise as much as their wheat based cousins. So fill your muffin cups a bit higher than you used to.
  • This is a gum-free recipe, but if you prefer, add a teaspoon of xanthan gum or guar gum. The honey or agave helps add stickiness.

Also Try:

More gluten-free corn muffins from food bloggers:

Gluten-Free Cornbread Muffins at Baking Beauties
The Gluten-Free Homemaker's Ham and Cheese Corn Muffins

xox Karina


Rach said...

Progress is good! You sound happy :)

Ali said...


The muffins look fantastic, and no gums, amazing! You sound like you are having fun in CA! Enjoy the sun! -Ali :)

Kalyn said...

Hooray for new apartments, and I think you made a good choice. (I was holding my breath hoping you would pick the new kitchen.) Cannot wait to see it in person!

Linda said...

The combination of corn meal and sorghum sounds really good. Thanks for the recipe, and the link too!

Lauren said...

Yum! I recently made "Surprise" corn muffins with a slice of banana and a pat of peanut butter in the centre, but this sounds like a fabulous way to incorporate the banana throughout =D.

Anonymous said...

This recipe is another winner, Karina!!!

I had my world turned upside down in the best way possible a few weeks ago. when a good friend directed me to your blog. Once I saw how many delicious recipes you have to offer, as well as your thoughtful and insightful, and well, just damn funny commentary, I was able to climb out of the depths of despair I'd been in since finding out about my son's and my food restrictions (gluten, dairy, eggs, peanuts, almonds, mustard, and soy). The alleviation of our symptoms since the suspect foods were pinpointed has been aces, of course, but bland food or okay-tasting food prepared from ingredients that I need to order online or drive all over town to find was leaving me feeling a tad overwhelmed about our future prospects. I felt hopeless, and like a failure as a mom. And then I tried your buckwheat chocolate chip cookie recipe. Perfection! I cried. It had been 2 years since I'd eaten a cookie. Then we had the banana chocolate chip muffins. Inspired! More tears of the best kind! The pumpkin bundt cake? Pumpkiny goodness and smiles all around. Chicken apple curry stir fry? One of our new favorites. Mediterranean Chicken Soup? Soulful by the bowlful. I've made a ton of your recipes, we have loved them all, and have even purchased a rice cooker so we can have perfectly cooked rice and quinoa on hand for stir frys and salads.

You've changed our lives for the better, and we are so very, very grateful. I love making dinner now, instead of dreading coming home to steamed veggies, plain meat, and plain rice, potatoes, pasta, or quinoa.

This recipe is another big win. My son balked at using cornmeal, and we try to keep the fiber up and carbs as low as possible anyway, so in place of cornmeal I used 1/2 cup of Italian chestnut flour and 1/2 cup of buckwheat flour. I used hemp milk as well, which was perfect. Hemp milk: that's another thing i learned from you that has made my life better. I can't have almond, soy, or hazelnut milk, and rice milk is too "bad" carb heavy and causes my insulin to misbehave. Before I knew about hemp milk, I was pretty well stuck. Now I can have my flax seed/protein powder/banana/vanilla smoothies every morning again!

So THANK YOU once again from my son, husband, and me. We like the new normal, which beats the taste of the old normal hands down.

All the best to you and yours. I wish for you to get back all of the happiness and love you've given to my family and so many others to come back to you a thousandfold.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, I was a little tired and hasty in writing that last bit, and I'm a professional editor, so I can't just let it lie.

So now that the child is in bed and no longer standing over my shoulder distracting me, here's what I *wanted* to say: I wish for you to get back a thousandfold all of the happiness, good health, and love you've given to my family and so many others.

Ahhhhhh, much better. Thanks.


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I hope you find all of the things you dream of, in one apartment. And if it has a bit of floor or a sofa for guests from the chilly East Coast... well, that's the only thing I'd add to your list.

Carol said...

These look wonderful....These might be the nice change from the banana p-nut butter cake and banana blueberry muffing cake my daughter and I love.

Is anyone else having trouble finding buckwheat in the stores? I'm almost out and Whole Foods can't get it from their warehouse right now.

I'd go with proximity to the beach any time with easy traveling to the library, but I have never lived by the beach or closer than 6hrs to the beach.

suz said...

Congrats on your decision making progress! I'm moving this weekend and am wondering if these muffins wouldn't make a fantastic opening recipe to reward my decision making with :)

I Am Gluten Free said...

Ooh, I like the idea of the almond meal/buckwheat combo to replace the corn. And then I'd add chocolate chips. Yum. Can't wait to try it! Thank you Karina!


Warm n Wonderful said...

Wow, thats a lot of sugar for 12 muffins!

Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free said...

I love not-to-sweet muffins, and cornmeal is so good with so many things. It's amazing that you just keep baking no matter what.

I know you'll find just the right place. It's wonderful that you sold the house and are out of the desert. Can't wait to hear more...

Anonymous said...

I have been enjoying reading your website for the past few days and now discovered that we could soon be neighbors! You can't go wrong with the library or beach. We used to live a block from the library and now are on 7th north of Wilshire. Have you ever considered hosting cooking classes in your new kitchen? You have so many great recipies!
Thanks for sharing!
-your SM neighbor

Katharine Beutner said...

I just made these with eggs rather than egg replacer, and they are AMAZING. Thank you so much for this recipe!

Nora Q said...

Now that you're in my hood, I'm going to hope and pray that one day you decide to make a big batch of vegan anything and that I can buy it off of you. I'm a darned lazy cook with a tiny kitchen, but your meals are too delicious-looking and forever stuck in my mind. Welcome to LA!

tastyeatsathome said...

Made these today. Love the banana flavor, and I threw in a few chocolate chips, just because I had them. Yummy. My only suggestion for improvement? They were way crumbly. I used only 1 egg (instead of egg replacer), maybe I needed 2? Also, I could try throwing in a bit of xanthan gum or something to help hold it together. Will definitely make again though - I love the combo of corn and banana (and the touch of coconut!)

Karina Allrich said...

Thank you everyone for your lovely, lively comments. Those of you in my neighborhood- hope to see you sometime... and if you see me wandering around Whole Foods? Say Hello! xox

Tastyeatsathome- My apologies for not specifying that the egg replacer is actually equal to 2 eggs. Also, I forgot to add the tablespoon of honey/agave to the ingredient list. This helps with adding stickiness. My bad. Fixed now.


blwilkey said...

Sorghum and tapioca flours are my favorite to bake with. The crunch of the cornmeal is a great combination with the smoothness and sweetness of the banana puree. I never would have thought of combining the two. My twins love cornmeal muffins. This will be a nice twist on my traditional recipe!

Shuku said...

Dear Karina,

I've been lurking around your blog for some time, but I couldn't let the day go by without telling you that I could have cried for joy when I saw those pear cornmeal polenta muffins you so graciously posted. I can't find sorghum flour anywhere (I live in Southeast Asia. How -stupid- is that? It's used in Indian cooking and I can't find anywhere that sells it!) so it was a joy to see something that didn't -require- it, or xanthan gum either (another something I can't find for the life of me.)

Thank you so much. Living gluten-free has been much easier with the advent of so many health food stores here, and more people are becoming aware of these health issues, but it is -still- a right pain sometimes. Just as a question, what -would- you use to substitute sorghum in some of the recipes such as the Dark Chocolate Chunk cookies? I can find buckwheat flour, millet, even quinoa and rice flours, but sorghum continues to elude me. (I am finally getting an oven, after 5 years of living in this tiny room that I rent - my landlady allows me to cook, thank God, or I'd be so sunk. And I want to do baking because I miss it so much, hence the questions.)

Apartment hunting, oh how I do not love thee - at least you have made wonderful progress and gorgeous muffins!

Anonymous said...

These were very good. I use a combo of medium grind cornmeal and corn flour and a combo of sorghum and brown rice flour. My batter was too thin - almost like pancake/waffle batter. I added 2 tbsp potato starch and finally 1 tbsp of coconut flour - that did the trick.
I wound up with 16 muffins and they were delicious. The cornmeal does crunch a bit - next time I think I'll use just corn flour. The chocolate chip idea also sounds great!

Vidya said...

Dear Karina,
I live in India and came across your blog some months ago during a search for gluten-free recipes for my children. My kids love you and I've explained to them that you are like a scientist who conducts fabulous experiments in the kitchen and then passes on your observations to us!
I made these muffins for them for breakfast on Saturday morning. I knew I had cornmeal but didn't realised that I didn't have some of the other stuff. I just replaced ingredients. I used white rice flour instead of sorghum. I don't like the gritty feel of white rice flour either, but in this recipe somehow the grittiness did not come through. I used three eggs. I used clove powder instead of nutmeg and I didn't have vanilla. I tossed in a handful of chocolate chips. They were amazing!!
Thank you for all the time and trouble you take. I've started baking for my kids again, which I hadn't done since we discovered their allergies. I didn't know how to make anything without wheat or white flour. But thanks to your detailed explanations, I've come to understand the properties of gluten-free flours and the vagaries of gluten-free baking. Thank you!!

Andrea K. said...

Dear Karina,

I made these muffins on Saturday and they were stellar! My dad used to make banana muffins on weekends but my discovery of gluten, dairy, egg, soy, and peanut allergies/intolerances two years ago meant most of my favourite foods, including my dad's muffins, were out of the question.

These banana muffins were incredible--really great with some margarine while they were still warm. And the lovely smell reminded me of weekends when I was at home and my dad was busy baking.

Thank you so much for all the amazing recipes. You've become my primary source for good food and good stories.

angelika said...

These sound terrific! I love every recipe of yours that I have made.

Could I substitute agave nectar or maple syrup for the sugar? Would I need to adjust other ingredients, too? Can you give me a little direction.

Thank you so much!

Karina Allrich said...

Angelika, Thank you. If you switch out sugar for agave or any liquid sweetener you will have to play around with the wet and dry ratio- because you are removing structure and adding liquid. Because this recipe also has banana puree- you'll need to be careful it doesn't become gummy from too much sticky liquid. See my Baking Substitutions and Help, and Sugar Blues posts for some more info. Kariina

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