These Banana Applesauce Muffins are so easy to make with lots of wonderful flavor and low added sugar! Olive oil provides healthy fat and antioxidants, while bananas and applesauce provide the bulk of the sweetness. They're healthy without sacrificing texture or flavor, and perfect for adults and kids.
Why You'll Love These Banana Applesauce Muffins
This recipe came out of baby banana muffins I was making for my son. With his, I completely left out the sugar, but I really wanted to make a version adults would like just as much as kids. Enter this perfect combination that's just the right balance.
A lot of recipes out there will go too far, sacrificing flavor and texture, but this one does neither. It has become a friend and family favorite so much that I recipe tested this 8 times before even posting - everyone called wanting more!
You'll love these muffins because:
- Bananas are high in vitamin C and potassium, as well as beneficial for gut health.
- Applesauce provides moisture and is a natural sweetener. These are just sweet enough without being overly sweet.
- Olive oil provides a great flavor and lots of health benefits, and combined with butter it creates the perfect flavor and texture. Butter adds that savory flavor, and cutting with the oil makes the texture light and fluffy. Both of these were also included in a study that showed a reduction of migraine days in patients.
- These are wonderful for meal prep! They freeze well and can be defrosted as needed.
- Perfect for breakfast or as a snack.
Reintroduction Series - This recipe is a part of a new series that encourages those on a migraine diet to reintroduce eliminated foods when they are ready. Brown bananas, like the ones used in this recipe, are naturally high in tyramine, which increases as they age. While they can be a migraine trigger for some, a good way to start testing them is by baking them into muffins! For the first test, choose bananas that aren't fully brown, but spotty brown.
The ingredients in these banana applesauce muffins are very simple and most should already be in your pantry!
- All purpose flour - I use Gold Medal or Bob's Red Mill Organic. This could also be substituted with gluten free 1:1 baking flour.
- Bananas - Because these are low sugar, it's important that the bananas are on the sweeter side. Use bananas that are beginning to brown, or fully browned.
- Applesauce - I like to use no sugar added applesauce and it can be used in other muffin recipes as well.
- Butter and olive oil - Butter can be substituted with your favorite butter substitute for dairy free, but I still recommend using both for the best flavor and texture.
- Baking soda and baking powder - Both are used in this recipe to create a large domed top, which I personally love! Using both provides balance to the flavor and appearance of the muffins.
- Cinnamon and nutmeg - Warming spices that compliment bananas and apples well, I believe ginger would work in place of cinnamon too.
Oatmeal is completely optional, but I love to sprinkle some on top for decoration and texture.
Step by Step Instructions
I love to make these muffins in one bowl to use less dishes so here's how I do it. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 C).
Step 1 and 2: In a large bowl, begin by mashing the peeled bananas with a fork. Some small chunks can remain, but try to get it into an even texture.
Step 3: Stir in melted butter, olive oil, applesauce, spices, sugar, and vanilla until fully combined. Then mix in one egg.
Step 4: On top of the wet ingredients, add flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Then gently stir that into the wet ingredients. A dough mixer can make this very easy too!
Step 5: Fill a muffin tin with liners and spoon the banana applesauce muffin mixture into each, filling about ¾ full. This should create 11-12 muffins.
Step 6: Bake for 15-17 minutes, till just light brown on top and set. The muffins may appear a little underdone, but will continue cooking after you remove them from the oven. This will retain a moist texture.
Allow the muffins to cool at least 5 minutes before removing them from the pan and serving.
If the muffins are dry and crumbly - They are most likely over-baked. Try decreasing the baking time, as different ovens can vary with cooking time. It also doesn't hurt to have your oven calibrated every so often!
If the muffins don't rise well - Check the expiration on the baking powder and baking soda. These do go bad and won't give you the same lift.
If the muffins are dense - The batter probably got over-mixed or you substituted the butter with something else. A dough whisk can help with this, or just stirring till everything is combined. Don't worry about the lumps from the banana! They offer a great texture element in baked muffins.
Frequently Asked Questions
I recommend substituting in 1 cup of pumpkin puree in place of the mashed bananas for a similar recipe, or making one of my other recipes like these delicious cinnamon oatmeal muffins.
I did all the hard parts for you with recipe testing! The secret is to combine butter and oil, don't over-mix the batter, stirring till JUST combined, and don't over-bake them. The muffins should never bake longer than 20 minutes. Even just a few minutes over can dry them out.
These are best to store when cooled completely at room temperature. From there, transfer to a ziplock freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months. If you intend to consume them all at once, I recommend storing them in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days.
Favorite Muffin Recipes
For more of my favorite recipes like these banana applesauce muffins, check out these posts.
Banana Applesauce Muffins
- 3 medium bananas (speckled or brown)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 large egg
- 1½ cups all purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Rolled oats for garnish, if desired.
- Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 C). In a large bowl, begin by mashing the peeled bananas with a fork. Some small chunks can remain, but try to mash it enough for an even texture. Stir in melted butter, olive oil, applesauce, spices, sugar, and vanilla until fully combined. Then mix in one egg.
- On top of the wet ingredients, add flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Then gently stir that into the wet ingredients. A dough mixer can make this very easy!
- Fill a muffin tin with liners and spoon the muffin mixture into each, filling about ¾ full. This should create 11-12 muffins. Sprinkle a small pinch of oats on top, if desired.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes, till just light brown on top and set. The muffins may appear a little underdone, but will continue cooking after you remove them from the oven. This will retain a moist texture. Allow the muffins to cool at least 5 minutes before removing them from the pan and serving.
- For an accurate flour measurement, scoop the flour into a measuring cup with a spoon, then level with a knife. Do not directly scoop the measuring cup into the flour.
- Because of the low sugar added to this recipe, make sure the bananas have browned at least enough to be speckled and are not a green color.
- This is part of my reintroduction series, and bananas are not a part of the elimination period. To replace, use 1 cup pumpkin puree or try my Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins.