If you want to capture the magic of my Vegan Banana Bread into one easy, grab-and-go snack, then you MUST try these moist and fluffy Vegan Banana Muffins.

A true bakery-style muffin, these vegan banana bread muffins are wildly delicious and incredibly fluffy! You don’t need any fancy ingredients to make them, either. Just simple, everyday baking staples and the ripe spotty bananas on your kitchen counter.

Each muffin is topped with a nutty walnut crumble, yielding a melt-in-your-mouth muffin interior with a sweet crunch on top (ridiculously good!). 

Grab a muffin when you’re heading out the door, bring them to Sunday brunch, or enjoy either as a snack or dessert!

Table of Contents:
1. Why this recipe works
2. Ingredient notes
3. Step-by-step instructions
4. Tips for making this recipe
5. Frequently Asked Questions
6. Recipe card

Side view of baked banana muffins on a cooling rack.Side view of baked banana muffins on a cooling rack.

Why this recipe works

A soft and fluffy dream

These bakery-style muffins have a dreamy texture thanks to the combination of ripe bananas and whipped aquafaba. When these two get together, they create banana muffins that are perfectly moist, fluffy, and bouncy. No dense muffins here!

Meanwhile, the sweet walnut crumble on top of the muffins almost caramelizes in the oven, resulting in a soft crunch with each bite. It’s the best contrast to the soft, pillowy interior.

A mashup of two favorite recipes 

If my Banana Bread and Blueberry Muffin recipes had a baby, it would be this vegan banana muffin recipe. I am not exaggerating when I say these are some of the best muffins you’ll ever try!

Even my partner, Max, said that these were the best muffins he’s ever had, and this is coming from a guy who typically hates fruit in desserts.

The muffins look like they were baked fresh from the bakery, with large, rounded tops and maximum fluffiness. Meanwhile, the warm and sweet flavors and tender crumb will remind you of a loaf of vegan banana bread. Put the two together and you have a real winner!

Simple ingredients; gourmet flavor

These muffins are made with simple and familiar ingredients that should be easy to find at almost any grocery store. Ripe bananas are key but it’s the warm spices that jazz up the sweet banana flavor to make everything better.

Overhead view of baked banana muffins on a cooling rack.Overhead view of baked banana muffins on a cooling rack.

Ingredient notes

Various banana bread ingredients in small ingredient bowls on a tan table.Various banana bread ingredients in small ingredient bowls on a tan table.

Aquafaba

This is simply the liquid from a can of chickpeas. It’s my favorite egg substitute and when lightly whipped, it makes these muffins, as well as other baked goods like Vegan Lemon Cake, supremely light, tender, and fluffy.

Bananas

This is a perfect recipe to turn to when you those bananas you forgot to eat turn spotty and brown. The riper your bananas are, the more flavorful and sweeter the muffins will be. The ripe bananas also add moisture and act as a natural sweetener.

Are your bananas still green but you can’t wait to try these muffins? Skip to the Tips section to learn how to ripen bananas quickly.

Vegan buttermilk

You can make a buttermilk alternative by simply using a mix of oat milk and lemon juice. It’s a game-changer in this recipe, as the acidity shortens the gluten strands in the flour, giving you extra tender and light muffins.

Substitute: While we’ve had the best results with oat milk (the natural sugars help baked goods brown better), most plant milk will work fine here. We also have had the best results using lemon juice but apple cider vinegar can be subbed.

Brown sugar 

Brown sugar has a richer flavor and more moisture than white sugar. Try to buy organic brown sugar to ensure it’s certified vegan (if you live in the U.S.). 

Substitute: Coconut sugar can be used instead with lovely results.

Flour 

All-purpose flour is all you need to give the muffins structure and a tender crumb.

Substitute: We tested these muffins with spelt flour for a more nutritious option, with pretty good results. They weren’t as fluffy as the version made with all-purpose flour but still had nice flavor.

You can also try using half or all whole wheat pastry flour (not 100% whole wheat flour). Unfortunately, our test with gluten-free flour did not work great here. 

Warm spices

Cinnamon and nutmeg add a touch of warmth to each bite. They also complement the sweet flavor of the bananas.

Walnuts

Walnuts are folded into the batter and combined with sugar to create a crumble that’s sprinkled over the top of the muffins. This way, the interior has a warm, nutty flavor and a soft crunch while the top is coated in crunchy caramelized nuts.

Substitute: Pecans work just as well, but slivered almonds or finely chopped hazelnuts would also be nice.

Nut free: Try using shredded or flaked coconut instead or omit the crumble topping entirely.

Step-by-step instructions

Mix the walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl to make the walnut crumble. Set aside.

In a small bowl, beat the aquafaba until it’s foamy.

In a separate large mixing bowl, add the sugar and oil and beat them together until well combined. Then mix the beaten aquafaba into the sugar-oil mixture until well incorporated.

Beat in the vegan buttermilk and vanilla until smooth. Add the mashed bananas and mix again until well incorporated.

Now that the wet mixture is ready, you can add the dry stuff! Add the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the bowl with the wet mix.
Gently stir everything together with a silicone spatula until they’re just barely combined. A few traces of dry flour left behind is ok.

Transfer the batter to a greased muffin tin. Sprinkle the walnut crumble over the top of each one, then bake.

Bake the muffins at 425ºF until they have risen nicely. Afterward, lower the heat to 350ºF and continue baking until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean (or with a few crumbs attached).

Let the muffins cool for a few minutes, then enjoy!

Tips for making this recipe

Don’t overmix

The more you mix and work the muffin batter, the more gluten will form. This, in turn, gives you dense muffins. Do yourself a favor and only mix the batter until the ingredients just barely come together to achieve the perfect fluffy and tender crumb.

Use overripe bananas

Just like banana bread, banana muffins are a great way to use up the spotty and brown bananas on your kitchen counter. Ripe bananas are easier to mash and incorporate into the batter, plus they add a sweeter and more distinct banana-y flavor.

If your bananas are still green or not quite ripe, you can ripen them quickly by placing them on a foil-lined baking sheet and warming them in a 300ºF oven for 15 to 25 minutes. However, the bananas will be more watery, so it’s important to add the bananas to a strainer and let them drain off the excess water. 

Ripe and overripe bananas on a baking sheet.Ripe and overripe bananas on a baking sheet.

Fill the tins to the top

Most muffin recipes will have you fill the muffin tins to only ⅔ or ¾ full. Not this one, though. If you want big, bountiful muffin tops, you gotta fill the tins right to the top.

Grease your muffin tins

In my muffin tests, I’ve found that muffins baked with muffin liners are a bit soggy with ridged edges, so I almost always prefer to use a naked muffin tin. But it’s important to generously grease the muffin tins with nonstick spray or cooking oil. 

If you skip the muffin liners like I do, make sure to cover every inch of the muffin cavities, and leave any residual oil or spray on the top of the pan—that prevents the caramelized crumble topping from sticking to the tops of the pan. 

Use the two-temperature system

The muffins start in a hot oven (425ºF) for a few minutes before the temperature is lowered (350ºF) for the remainder of the bake time. This method helps the muffins rise more right off the bat and gives you tall and bountiful muffins every time. 

You can learn more about the two-temperature system and how it can give you better-quality muffins and quick breads in this guide by The Kitchn.

Don’t open the oven door 

Do not, under any circumstances, open the oven door when the muffins are baking (especially in the beginning and including when you change the temperature!). Even just a few seconds will reduce the temperature and rob you of peak fluffiness

Let the muffins cool (but not for too long) 

Allow the muffins to cool for 20 minutes before removing them from the muffin tin. If they’re a bit stuck, use a small offset spatula or butter knife to loosen them. Just don’t let the muffins sit in the tin for too long or else they can get soggy bottoms.

Baked banana muffins on a serving platter.Baked banana muffins on a serving platter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make these gluten-free?

We tried testing this recipe gluten-free with a mix of gluten-free all-purpose flour and oat flour (which works well in our Blueberry Muffin recipe), but unfortunately the muffins came out too dry and too moist at the same time, so we would not recommend this. 

Can I use this recipe to make a loaf cake?

Although we haven’t tested it, this recipe should be able to be baked in a standard loaf pan instead of a muffin tin since it’s adapted from my Banana Bread recipe. Grease the pan really well before adding the muffin batter and walnut crumble. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center top at a slight angle comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.

What kind of oil is best for these muffins?

We typically use sunflower oil in baking, but avocado oil, safflower oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, or any neutral-flavored oil will work. Refined coconut oil (melted) is also fine.

I’m allergic to nuts. How should I adapt the recipe?

Feel free to omit the walnut topping or use shredded or flaked coconut instead. Even rolled oats may work but you’d want to add a little coconut oil or melted vegan butter so everything mixes together well.

How can I make these muffins more nutritious/wholesome?

There are a few substitutions you can make:

Instead of all-purpose flour: Use spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour, or use a 50-50 mix. You can also substitute up to 1 cup of all-purpose flour with oat flour (but no more than that).

Reduce the sugar: Lower the amount of sugar to ½ cup. Don’t reduce the amount any more or else the muffins will be dry. Also, you can use only half of the amount of sugar called for in the crumble topping.

Instead of brown sugar: Use coconut sugar for a lower GI sweetener (it works quite well, but has a slightly different flavor).

How do I store these muffins? Can I freeze them?

The muffins will stay moist and fluffy for 2 to 3 days when stored in an airtight container or bag on the counter. They also store well in the fridge for 5 to 6 days.

You can also freeze them! Place the baked and cooled muffins in an airtight freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge or at room temperature. We like to double the recipe so we can store the extras in the freezer for quick snacks and breakfasts on the go. 

banana muffin sliced open and slathered with butter on a ceramic plate.banana muffin sliced open and slathered with butter on a ceramic plate.

That’s all you need to know about making these moist and fluffy Vegan Banana Muffins! If you love this recipe, please rate and review it below!

Seriously Good Vegan Banana Muffins

These bakery-style Vegan Banana Muffins are fluffy, moist, and packed with sweet banana flavors. They’re easy to make with simple ingredients and topped with a nutty walnut crumble for a delightfully soft crunch.

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F/220ºC. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven.Option 1: line muffin tins with muffin liners.Option 2 (my preference): Generously grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin on the bottoms and sides with oil or nonstick cooking spray—be generous to avoid sticking. Rub your oiled hands on top of the tin as well to ensure the muffin tops don’t stick to the pan.
  • Stir the lemon juice into the oat milk and set aside for 5 to 10 min. This is the vegan "buttermilk."

  • Add the bananas to a medium bowl and mash with a fork until smooth and no lumps remain. Transfer to a cup or plate so you can wipe out the bowl and use it in step 6.

  • Make the Walnut Crumble: In a small bowl, mix the finely chopped walnuts, brown sugar cinnamon, and pinch of salt until well combined.

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the brown sugar and oil. Mix using the electric mixer or a whisk until well combined. Set aside for a minute.

  • Shake the can of chickpeas to evenly distribute the starches. Measure ½ cup (120 mL) of the aquafaba into the bowl used for the bananas. Using a handheld electric mixer, whip the aquafaba on medium speed for 1 minute until uniformly foamy.

  • Add the whipped aquafaba into the sugar-oil mixture, and mix until well incorporated. Add in the vegan "buttermilk" and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add the mashed bananas and mix until well incorporated.

  • Add the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the wet ingredients. Switch to using a silicone spatula (or a wooden spoon). Gently stir until the ingredients are just barely combined. It’s okay if you can see a few traces of flour.

  • Evenly divide the batter between the muffin tins, filling to the top. Sprinkle the Walnut Crumble evenly over each muffin.

  • Add the muffins to the oven and bake for 6 minutes

  • Bake at 425ºF/220ºC for 6 minutes, or until muffins have risen nicely. Then, without opening the oven door, reduce the heat to 350ºF/175ºC. Bake for another 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs.

  • Transfer to a cooling rack and cool for 20 minutes. Use a small offset spatula or butter knife to slide underneath the muffin tops. Once the tops have been released, you can lift the muffins up and out of the pan with your hands. Store cooled muffins in an airtight container on the counter for 2 to 3 days, or in the fridge for 5 to 6 days, or up to 3 months in the freezer.


Recipe: Sam / Go Vegan Recipes | Photography: Sam