Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Muffins

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.

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

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
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whole wheat healthy banana muffins on yellow cake stand

Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Muffins

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins
  • 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

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or use cupcake liners. This recipe makes 15 muffins, so prepare a second muffin pan with 3 liners or bake in batches.
  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. Maple Syrup: You can use honey for the maple syrup, but the flavor will be different.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

Whole wheat and healthy without lacking flavor or moisture! These delicious whole wheat banana nut muffins are made without refined sugar. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

110 Comments

  1. 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.

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

  3. 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!

  4. Excellent muffin! Easy to prepare too! Great recipe to use up those over rip bananas!

  5. amazing! used apple sauce instead of oil for extra sweetness and tasted great

  6. Yummy Sally! These are so good! I was looking for a healthier alternative baked good to eat. I am watching the waistline and now that it is Fall, all I want to do is bake and eat delicious food. These were a perfect recipe to enjoy and also take care of that Fall baking fever!
    Thanks again for another lovely recipe

  7. I don’t have any maple syrup or honey in the house. Can I use regular sugar or brown sugar? I know it’s not as healthy, but it’s what I have? Thanks!

    1. You can use brown sugar. Enjoy!

      1. Thanks! They were delicious!

  8. Love this recipe. It’s a family favorite. I do add a little more cinnamon and 1/2 a banana more as well.

  9. These are the first muffins I made that my kids really scarfed down! Thank you! I didn’t have 3 bananas so I used the 2 I had and some pumpkin purée and doubled the honey. It was awesome!

    1. These were great. I liked that they were whole wheat and still were delicious. Maple Syrup gave them a great taste.
      I will be making these often.

  10. These were so perfect! We are going crabbing and like to take muffins on the boat but with Christmas this week we are pretty tired of sweets and candy. These are so lightly sweetened but still nutty and light. Exactly what I was looking for. I had to use pecans because I didn’t have walnuts but it was still great.

  11. Sally, I’d like to make this with regular flour since my family is not a fan of whole wheat. Is the measurement 1:1 for regular flour?

    1. Yes, same amount! Or you can try my regular banana muffins recipe.

  12. I feel like they are missing something. Plus I am tasting the baking soda :/ I didn’t add nuts because I have stomach issues after eating them. I really just need something healthy I can grab in the morning. Any suggestions? Thank you

    1. I made half the batch without dark choco chips, and half with. I too found the half with out the chips to be bland, but half with were delicious!! I didn’t add many, but you might want to try that to improve the taste. I also didn’t use any nuts, and used a bit of applesauce since I didn’t have 3 whole bananas, which could have contributed to the lack of flavour.

      To Sally’s Baking Addiction – I must say, I love your recipes! I really like that you explain each ingredient and the part they play in the recipe. Thx!

  13. Terry Delvecchio says:

    Excellent muffins!Excellent taste and quick and easy to prepare! I used coconut oil and it gave it a real sweet nutty taste…excellent!

  14. If I only had whole wheat bread flour, would that be okay to use for these?!

    1. I haven’t tested this recipe with bread flour (or WW bread flour) before, but it should work just fine.

  15. Subbed brown sugar for the maple syrup and chocolate chips for the nuts. Turned out great!

  16. They turned out great! Moist and tasty. Even my husband loved them and he’s not the biggest fan of whole wheat flour baked goods. I added craisins instead of nuts- added some tartness. 🙂

  17. My muffins turned out super dry! I followed the recipe to the letter ( I did use whole wheat spelt instead of flour – I’ve done this in other recipes of yours though and they’ve turned out fine so I’m not sure it’s that). What did I do wrong??

    1. Hi Megan, It could be the spelt flour. While spelt isn’t gluten free – it is lower in gluten, so it’s best to keep some of the regular flour to get the right texture. If you try again try substituting only half of the whole wheat flour.

  18. Would quick oats work as a substitute for rolled oats?

    1. Absolutely!

  19. I just made them but subbed molasses for the syrup and hempseeds for the oats and added some chocolate chips. They are fantastic I’ll definitely make them again! Maybe even try the oats if I don’t forget to get some at the store

  20. This recipe is a simple and tasty breakfast. The fluffy texture is very good! I look forward to making it again. -Abby (9-year-old taste-tester)

  21. Thnx for healthifying this & other recipes. I added peanut butter & chopped p-nuts & snuck in 1/2 an avocado in place of 1 banana. Also, i added 1/2 C of dark choc. chips & sprinkled coconut sugar on top. Turned out great! I love the crispy top & super moist inside

    1. How much peanut butter did you add?

  22. Very tasty and easy to make! I subbed unsweetened applesauce for one the
    of the eggs and sprinkled Brown sugar on top before baking. They are subtly
    sweet and have a nice crumb. Will definitely make again with another readers suggestion of chocolate chips. Can’t wait to the the Morning Glory muffins.
    Thanks for all of the great recipes – I love your blog!

  23. Hi Sally! Love the blog! I was curious to if substituting half of the oil for unsweetened applesauce is acceptable? Thanks a ton!

  24. Cate Shirk says:

    Hi Sally! I’ve been baking like crazy for me and my hospital coworkers during this madness, and my waistline is showing it…these muffins were a great change up to something a little more healthful but still so tasty! I used bob’s red mill 1:1 gluten free APF, and coconut oil as suggested to make them gluten AND dairy free. I also sprinkled the tips with a little turbinado sugar, rolled oats and unsweetened coconut flakes. Thank you for all your amazing recipes!

  25. Marilyn West says:

    Hi Sally, I figured out what went wrong! My scale was not on a level surface and didn’t weigh the flour correctly! That was why the muffins had too much flour. I made this discovery when baking something else today. When I carefully placed my scale on a level surface, the measure was quite different. However, I would still like clarification. For your whole wheat apple muffins, you use 113 grams whole wheat flour per cup. For this recipe you used 130 grams whole wheat flour per cup. What weight is correct? What weight should I use for this recipe? Thanks!

    1. Hi Marilyn, glad you figured that out! Let me look into that difference. I list grams for how I test the recipe, so let me double check. Thank you so much! Use the grams you see listed for this recipe.

  26. some of the best muffins i’ve ever made! i doubled the recipe and made 12 as written and 12 without cinnamon&nuts but added 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. so yummy and they rose so tall, like bakery muffins!

  27. When making minis, do you still recommend baking the first 5 min @ 425 or just 350 for the whole time how they are smaller?

    1. I don’t– the bake time is so short and the muffins are so small that it doesn’t make a difference. Bake for 11-13 minutes at 350°F (177°C) the whole time.

  28. Made it with 4 sticks of Equal sweetener and added bittersweet baking chocolate and they came out great!

  29. Parul Parikh says:

    Came out very dry. I followed the directions to a T do not sure why.

  30. Like others, I found the muffins to be dry even though I followed the recipe to a T. They are tasty enough, though! I wonder if they were dry due to me using my silicone muffin pan. That said, I love all your recipes, this one just didn’t do it for me, however! Tastes great with melted butter though!

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