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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.

whole wheat healthy banana muffins on yellow cake stand

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!

healthy whole wheat banana muffins with oats on top

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.
whole wheat banana muffins batter
whole wheat banana muffins batter in muffin pan

whole wheat healthy banana muffins

inside of a healthy banana muffin

Optional Toppings

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
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whole wheat healthy banana muffins on yellow cake stand

Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Muffins

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x
  • Category: Muffins
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups (255g) 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or use cupcake liners.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Muffins stay fresh covered at room temperature for a few days, then transfer to the fridge for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Maple Syrup: You can use honey for the maple syrup, but the flavor will be different.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

Reader Questions and Reviews

    1. Whole wheat flour has the tendency to dry baked goods out which the oil really helps with. I use coconut oil to keep it on the healthier side. If you use applesauce I’m afraid they won’t be as moist but let me know if you try it!

  1. Sally, I made them this morning for our small group. Made two batches, one with nuts and the other without. And both tasted sooo good!
    Thank you Sally for another great recipe!

  2. I made these this evening and I was very hesitant as I have a sweet tooth that I’m trying to curb.  These were perfect!  Just sweet enough with the maple syrup.  I did omit the walnuts (allergic), but instead I sprinkled slivered almonds on top.  This is the first recipe I’ve made of yours – I look forward to baking several more in the future.  

  3. Oh my word, these are delicious! I just made a batch tonight for breakfast in the morning, and two are already gone
    I have a gluten intolerance, so instead of the whole wheat flour, I ground up oats, and I used pecans instead of walnuts. They turned out so good (with some butter on top, of course!). Thanks for sharing this recipe, Sally!

  4. These were great muffins Sally. I made them as instructed- no substitutions. I have another batch of bananas ripening specifically for these muffins. I will be making them again very soon! Thanks!

  5. These are delicious. Froze mine for when someone needs a quick snack. Thank you!

  6. Made these tonight! They are delicious. Not sweet at all I noticed, may increase the maple syrup a touch next time. It wasn’t a bad thing though, I still loved them. I replaced the chopped walnuts with chopped toasted pecans. Delicious. I did add the oats and coconut sugar to the top and I’m sure glad I did. That tiny bit of sweet from the coconut sugar in every couple bites was perfect ❤️ Thanks for another keeper Sally!

  7. Hi Sally I love your website and all the recipes in it. Tried quire a few and today tried these muffins and I must say till date in baking muffins today I baked them perfectly and they smelled good and tasted delicious. Made some substitutions adding honey and oat bran and almond flour along with whole wheat flour and really wanted to make the muffins healthy. Garnished the top with sliced almonds Thanks for this sugarfree yum recipe.

  8. Hey Sally! Wondering if you’ve made this recipe in loaf form. I know that a lot of muffins can be made as a quick bread but wasn’t sure if that would work given the “healthyish” nature of this recipe and the changes in cooking temps.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Chrissy! This muffin batter can be baked in a loaf pan, yes. I’m unsure of the exact bake time, but I would bake it at 350°F (177°C).

  9. I’m all out of pure maple syrup, but I do have pancake syrup. Do you think this would work? Or should I just stick to honey?

  10. Hello! I’m from Spain and I have a problem measuring the amount of bananas as I don’t know how many grams is 1 cup and 1/4 of mashed banana… you say it’s about 3 medium bananas but I couldn’t find medium so I bought small and now I don’t know how to make the conversion. I also tried to look for the conversion cup to grams of mashed banana in internet and I see different opinions, ones say 1 cup is 300g, other say 1 cup is 225g… and of course there is a difference and I don’t know what to do… help!!!!

    1. Hi Cristina! I’m happy to help. If using small bananas, I’d mash up about 3-4 of them. (Maybe 3.5?) 1 cup mashed banana is approximately 290g.

  11. These were wonderful! Thank you for another great recipe (we love your whole wheat pizza dough, too). My sugar-addicted teen even agreed we could cut a little of the maple syrup in the future. Great recipe.

  12. Sally I’m wondering if I can use frozen bananas (thawed) in place of freshly mashed

  13. Hi Sally. In the blueberry recipe you soaked the oats 20 minutes in milk. Have you tried this in this recipe ? Do you think it would change something ?

  14. These muffins are so good! I just moved to Norway from Canada so I accidentally mixed up the ingredients a bit and added a cup of oats instead of a half cup, but I slightly increased the amount of wet ingredients and the end result was still super moist and so good.

    Every single recipe I’ve tried by Sally has turned out to be a massive success and these were no different! Thank you Sally for such amazing recipes!!

  15. Delicious and easy! I only had one ripe banana, so I used that plus a little less than a cup of pumpkin. Very tasty!

  16. I love this recipe but I want a bit more banana for a more moist muffin, and a bit more sweetness, so next time I’ll add more banana and maybe double the maple syrup – hopefully that won’t make them too moist!

    1. Oh my God! these muffins are Insane! Thank you so much Sally for introducing this to us! My child cannot eat a lot of stuff because of his allergies and I have been struggling to bake something that is healthy for his breakfast, these muffins were of great help! Am going to try more recipes from your website! God bless!

  17. Hi Sally,
    Just finished baking. Absolutely best muffins, so soft and moist. House was filled with the aroma of cinnamon n vanilla . I had only two eggs in hand so I added a tablespoon of plain yoghurt. Thanks for the recipe.

  18. I have an innate fear of baking muffins – they never dome nicely or are a very rough texture no matter how much I try to not over mix. This recipe made made me face my fear lol. Followed the recipe to a T, and they are perfect. Domed beautifully, nice texture and just sweet enough. Thank you for yet another absolutely wonderful recipe!

  19. Sally, you are just the BEST! I have never been able to make muffins like these before! They came out amazing! I didn’t have maple syrup so I used half agave & half honey and they are just yummy! And the muffin tops! Your trick works wonders!

  20. I was extremely skeptical about baking with all whole wheat flour (I’ve made many recipes that are “stick in your throat” dry); however, these are PERFECT! Moist, sweet enough, healthy, and delicious! Thank you Sally!!!

  21. Just made these yummy muffins! Delish. I used half olive oil and half plain yogurt to reduce the fat content, plus no honey or syrup as I’m diabetic – no need in any case as the bananas add enough sweetness. Will defo add to my fave banana recipes!

  22. These are SO good. Thank you Sally for another amazing recipe. And a healthy option too. My fussy 2.5yr old loves them too, bonus!

  23. Thank you so much! Just made these but subbed chocolate chips for walnuts! She loved them right out of the oven so hopefully she will have them at daycare as well! Emailing you a picture now!!!

  24. Sally – can I alter the recipe to use self-raising whole wheat flour or would you recommend sticking to plain? I’m a big fan of using up overripe bananas in cake and it would definitely help having a healthier version to try

    1. Hi Sian! I recommend sticking with plain. That way you won’t have to alter the recipe at all.

  25. Don’t even realize you’re eating whole wheat flour. These are delicious muffins! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  26. Hey Sally – tried this recipe yesterday and it’s a keeper! The texture and flavours are amazing, and it’s sweet enough for a healthy snack, but was thinking on trying it with 1/2 cup maple syrup next time for when I need a sweet treat (but keeping it healthy). Would you recommend any replacements to the recipe, in order to compensate the extra maple syrup, or should be fine? Thank you in advance, and keep up the awesome work. 🙂

    1. Hi Catarina! You can use 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup with no other changes to the recipe, however 2-3 extra Tbsp of whole wheat flour wouldn’t hurt!

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