These whole wheat banana walnut muffins are easy, wholesome, and satisfying. They’re just as moist and flavorful as classic banana muffins, but they’re made with whole wheat flour, pure maple syrup, coconut oil, and whole oats.
Recipe updated & improved in August 2021.
I originally published this recipe in 2018 and have made them dozens of times since. I began adjusting the leaveners so the muffins rise a little taller, taste a little fluffier, and no longer have a chemical aftertaste from excess baking soda. I also slightly increased the milk so the muffins don’t taste as dense. The written printable recipe below includes these slight changes. I know you’ll love the muffins even more now!
Why You’ll Love These Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Muffins
- Wholesome, healthy, and satisfying
- 100% whole wheat
- Moist and delicious
- Not overly sweet so the banana flavor shines
- Oats add a delicious whole grain and chewy texture
- Flavored with cinnamon
- No refined sugar– just pure maple syrup and bananas
- Dairy free if using a dairy free milk
Big sugar-filled muffins are great (looking at you, double chocolate muffins!) but a healthy muffin that’s also an easy and delicious muffin is wonderfully useful. Just like whole wheat banana bread, today’s muffins are moist, hearty, and flavorful. They’re also kid-friendly. In fact, whenever a reader asks me for kid-friendly recipes that are also a little healthy, I always suggest muffins. Muffins are quick, manageable, portable, acceptable for breakfast and snack time, and usually require very little clean-up. Today’s whole wheat banana walnut muffins are no exception!
Simple and healthful ingredients can produce delicious-tasting baked goods if we use them right. I used my morning glory muffins as the starting point for this whole wheat banana muffins recipe. I added some oats and mashed banana, as well as a few other small changes. If you’re not into banana, you’ll love these similar applesauce muffins instead.
Overview: Ingredients in Whole Wheat Banana Muffins
Here’s a run-down of the ingredients you need and why they’re important:
- Whole Wheat Flour: We use 2 cups of whole wheat flour as the base of these muffins. You can switch out with all-purpose or white whole wheat flour if needed. I have not tested this recipe with any gluten free flour alternatives.
- Oats: Oats are an add-in and leave a wonderful texture. I wouldn’t compare these to blueberry oatmeal muffins, though. In that recipe, oats are more like the base of the recipe as opposed to a small add-in.
- Cinnamon, Salt, & Vanilla Extract: All add flavor.
- Baking Powder + Soda: Help the muffins rise.
- Bananas: Use 1 and 1/3 cups of mashed banana, which is about 3 medium size bananas. If you’re ever looking for an easy way to mash bananas, just use your mixer. It’s what I do whenever I make regular banana bread. Peel and break up the bananas, place in a large bowl, then use your mixer to blend them. You could also use a blender. If your bananas are soft enough, you could easily mash them with a fork.
- Eggs: Eggs add structure and help bind everything together.
- Oil: Oil replaces butter and adds moisture. I love using melted coconut oil, but vegetable oil works if that’s all you have.
- Pure Maple Syrup: Maple syrup replaces refined sugar in this muffin recipe and pairs wonderfully with the sweet bananas! You can use honey instead of the maple syrup, but the flavor will be different.
- Milk: I typically use unsweetened vanilla almond milk in this recipe. The whole wheat banana muffins will be dairy free if you use dairy free milk.
- Nuts: Use any kind of chopped nuts in this recipe or leave them plain. I usually use chopped walnuts, but we also love them with chocolate chips if we’re craving a sweeter treat.
Toppings for Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Muffins
For some flair, top the muffins with oats and/or a sprinkle of coconut sugar. Both are optional, but I think you’ll enjoy the extra caramelized crunch from the coconut sugar on top. Instead of oats and coconut sugar, add some sprinkles on top of each before baking. Boom! A healthy muffin that seems *almost* like a sprinkle cupcake!Print
These whole wheat banana walnut muffins are easy, wholesome, and satisfying. They’re made with whole wheat flour, pure maple syrup, coconut oil, and whole oats.
- 2 cups (245g) whole wheat flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/2 cup (40g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/3 cups mashed banana (about 3 medium bananas)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup (80ml) melted coconut oil (or use vegetable oil)
- 1/3 cup (80ml) pure maple syrup*
- 1/3 cup (80ml) milk (any kind)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped nuts (any kind– I use 120g walnuts)
- optional: 3 Tablespoons oats and/or coconut sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or use cupcake liners.
- Whisk the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl until combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer, mash the bananas. Then whisk in the eggs, oil, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stir a few times, then add the nuts. Fold everything together gently just until combined and no flour pockets remain.
- Spoon the batter into liners, filling them all the way to the top. Top with oats and a light sprinkle of coconut sugar, if desired. Bake for 5 minutes at 425 then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 15-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 20-21 minutes, give or take. (For mini muffins, bake 11-13 minutes at 350°F (177°C) the whole time.) Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the muffin pan, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.
- Muffins stay fresh covered at room temperature for a few days, then transfer to the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead Instructions: For longer storage, freeze muffins for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature or warm up in the microwave if desired.
- Oats: This recipe uses whole rolled oats, but you can use the same amount of quick oats if needed. You can also skip the oats if desired, but I recommend adding a little more flour to help soak up some liquid, such as 3 Tablespoons (about 24g).
- Maple Syrup: You can use honey for the maple syrup, but the flavor will be different.
- Initial High Temperature: The hot burst of air will spring up the top of the muffin quickly, then the inside of the muffin can bake for the remainder of the time. This helps the muffins rise nice and tall.
- Nutrition Information: Using VeryWellFit calculator and calculated using coconut oil, skim milk, and walnuts, these muffins come out to 190 calories, 8.5g fat, 25g carbs, 2g fiber, 5g sugar, and 4g protein each.
Keywords: whole wheat banana walnut muffins