These easy banana muffins need just ONE ripe banana! Perfect for small groups, baking for two, or when you just need to use up that single old banana on the counter. Ready in 35 minutes; Makes 6 muffins.
We've all been there: You buy a bunch of bright, beautiful bananas with the very best intentions. You'll make healthy smoothies! You'll eat balanced breakfasts! You'll be unstoppable!
But suddenly, it's two weeks later, and you find yourself haunted by that one little leftover, dark, wrinkly, scraggly banana. It sits on your kitchen counter: Staring at you. Taunting you. Singing a sad violin rendition of "this is why we can't have nice things" at you in its little imaginary-banana-voice.
Enter: These small batch banana muffins!
This recipe uses just one overripe banana and makes six muffins. It's a riff on our fan-favorite banana chocolate chip muffins: We scaled down that original recipe and made a few tweaks to adapt it for small batch baking.
Scroll to the recipe card below for a full ingredients list with exact quantities.
This recipe is pretty straightforward, but we want to highlight a few things before you jump in:
- One very ripe banana. You just need ONE banana for this recipe! Make sure it's very ripe (look for lots of browning along the peel). Bananas get sweeter as they ripen, which gives us more naturally sweet flavor and keeps the muffins moist. An overripe banana is also extra soft, which means it mashes smoothly and incorporates more evenly into the batter.
- A dash of cinnamon lends depth here, but it isn't overpowering (if you want a stronger cinnamon flavor, you can add extra!)
- If you can, let the egg yolk and milk come to room temperature on the counter for 30 minutes to an hour before mixing the batter. Because room temperature ingredients incorporate more smoothly into baked goods, you'll get a slightly taller muffin with a more even interior crumb. Tip: Save the leftover egg white for small batch chocolate chip cookies!
- Vanilla extract adds balance and depth to these muffins. Don't skip it!
- Chocolate chips. We used our favorite Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips; you can also use mini chocolate chips or a roughly chopped bar of baking chocolate. We like chocolate with a slightly bitter note here (like semi-sweet, bittersweet, or dark chocolate) for a bit of contrast against the sweetness of the banana and sugar.
Please Use a Kitchen Scale!
Measuring ingredients like flour by volume (with a measuring cup) is notoriously unreliable: Because each person measures a cup of flour a little bit differently, it's easy to accidentally use too much and end up with dry, dense muffins.
But when you measure by weight with a kitchen scale - using the gram measurements we provide - you get a perfect measurement every single time. So if you have a kitchen scale, please use it! (No kitchen scale? Measure your flour with the scoop and level method for best results!)
Variations and Substitutions
- Add mix-ins in place of (or in addition to) the chocolate chips in this recipe! A handful of chopped, toasted walnuts, almonds, or pecans gives a nice "banana nut muffin" vibe. Poppyseeds are also tasty here!
- Swap the melted butter for melted coconut oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil.
- Use brown sugar in place of some or all of the white granulated sugar. Note: Muffins made with brown sugar have a bit more depth of flavor, but they'll be slightly denser and won't rise quite as much.
- Add toppings! We kept these muffins simple, but they're excellent with a pinch of demerara or turbinado sugar for some extra texture on top. You can also add a sprinkle of oats or a quick crumble on top (our favorite cinnamon crumb topping is included in our Apple Butter Muffins and Coffee Cake recipes).
Add your banana to a medium bowl and use a fork to mash it (Image 1, above) until it's quite smooth (Image 2).
Add the sugar, egg yolk, melted butter, milk, and vanilla extract to the bowl with your mashed banana (Image 3, above). Whisk until you have a smooth mixture (4).
Pro Tip: We use a fork to mix this muffin batter together, but you can use a rubber spatula or a hand mixer if you prefer! We don't recommend making these muffins in a stand mixer: There isn't really enough batter for a paddle attachment to "grab", so it misses a lot of spots and you end up mixing most of it by hand anyway.
Add the rest of your dry ingredients - all purpose flour, baking soda, kosher salt, and cinnamon - to the bowl (Image 5). Stir until the mixture is just about combined (6).
Add the chocolate chips (7) and fold them into the batter. Continue mixing until you have a fairly smooth mixture with no lingering bits of dry flour (8).
At this point, you should have a fairly thick, mostly smooth batter. You may notice a few small pieces of banana still floating throughout the mixture: That's ok!
Use a cookie scoop to portion the batter out into a cupcake tin lined with paper liners (Image 9, above). Press a few extra chocolate chips into the top of each muffin (10): this helps them look full and photo-worthy when they come out of the oven!
Tip: Fill your muffin cups about ¾ of the way (a little more than you would for ideal cupcake baking). Fuller liners give you taller, more muffin-y looking muffins (<-- fancy technical term). This recipe was designed to make 6 single-serving muffins; For larger muffins with more dramatically domed muffin tops, divide the batter between just 4-5 prepared muffin cups so that each cup is fuller.
Pop the prepared muffins (Image 11) into a preheated oven; bake until they're lightly browned and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean (12). Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then enjoy!
Store cooled muffins in an airtight container on the counter for up to 4 days, or freeze them for up to 3 months. Defrost frozen muffins on the counter for a few hours.
To help day-old muffins feel fresh, pop them in a toaster oven or a hot oven for 3-4 minutes until they're just warmed through.
Note: Countertop storage works best when the bananas have incorporated very smoothly into the batter; if you have large chunks of banana still in your muffins, you may want to store them in the fridge instead. Just note that these muffins will dry out more quickly in the fridge.
A Few FAQs
Yes! These small batch chocolate chip muffins freeze pretty well. Let the muffins cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you're ready to eat them, let frozen muffins defrost for a few hours on the counter. You can also reheat leftover muffins by popping them into a hot oven or toaster oven (we usually heat to 350° F) for a few minutes until they're warmed through!
Yes - you can swap up to half of the all purpose flour in this recipe for whole wheat flour if you like (we don't recommend using 100% whole wheat flour as it can alter the texture and result in a denser muffin).
We made a few key tweaks to make this a successful small batch recipe as compared to our regular chocolate chip banana muffins. The biggest change you might notice is that we simplified the leavening agents: Our full muffins use both baking soda and baking powder, but because we're working with so few ingredients here - and because our egg yolk ALSO works as a leavening agent - we can get away with just baking powder in this recipe. We also streamlined the spices in this small batch version, and tested with a few different banana sizes to ensure there's a small margin of error (so these muffins will work even if your banana is a few grams lighter or heavier than the recipe calls for).
We used a regular cupcake pan in these photos, but you can also use a specialty jumbo muffin tin for larger muffins. (Keep in mind that if you make large banana muffins, you'll get fewer muffins in total).
If you use a standard cupcake pan, you can line it with with regular paper liners; if you use a jumbo muffin pan, use a few pieces of parchment paper to line the pan. (You can also skip the liners entirely: just grease and flour the inside of each cup instead!)
Note: If you prefer to use reusable silicone liners, you may need to extend the baking time by 2-3 minutes.
For taller, more dome-like muffin tops, fill your liners extra full before baking. As written, this recipe makes 6 cupcake-sized banana bread muffins: While they're domed on top, the muffin tops don't explode out of the pan like you might see at a grocery store or bakery. If you want that super domed effect, spoon batter all the way to the top of the muffin liners before baking (just remember that you'll get fewer total muffins this way!)
More Cozy Breakfast Recipes
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This easy banana muffin recipe uses just one overripe banana! Makes 6.
- 1 overripe banana (about 100 grams)
- 25 grams sugar (2 Tablespoons)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (28 grams)
- 35 grams milk (2-3 Tablespoons)
- 2 grams vanilla extract (½ teaspoon)
- 100 grams all purpose flour (about ¾ cup + 2 teaspoons)
- 2 gram ground cinnamon (¾ teaspoon)
- 2 grams kosher salt (⅓ teaspoon)
- 5 grams baking powder (1 teaspoon)
- ½ cup bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Heat the oven to 325° Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with 6 paper liners.
- Peel the banana and add it to a mixing bowl. Use a fork to mash it until it's fairly smooth.
- Add the sugar, egg yolk, melted butter, milk, and vanilla to the bowl with the mashed banana; whisk everything together.
- Add the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Stir until just barely combined, then add the chocolate chips. Continue stirring until you have a fairly smooth batter and no dry flour remains.
- Divide the batter evenly between the 6 prepared muffin liners. (We like to use a 3-Tablespoon cookie scoop for this!)
- Bake in a preheated 325°F oven for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Please use a kitchen scale! Measuring flour by volume (with cups) is notoriously unreliable: For best results, use a scale to measure by weight with the gram measurements provided! We use and recommend Escali kitchen scales. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, measure ingredients (especially flour, which is the most finicky) with the scoop and level method for best results.
Additions and Substitutions. Use any kind of chocolate chips you like here (we love semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips). Add toasted, chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans) or a spoonful of poppyseeds to this batter if you like. Use melted coconut oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil in place of the melted butter if you prefer.
Add toppings. Dress these muffins up by adding a bit of turbinado or demerara sugar on top before baking, or make a quick cinnamon crumble to put on top (find our favorite version in our Apple Butter Muffin Recipe).
Storing Muffins. Store cooled muffins in an airtight container on the counter for up to 4 days, or in the freezer up to 3 months (we love freezing these muffins in a reusable silicone Stasher Bag!)
We tested this recipe with several different sizes of banana. If your banana isn't exactly 100 grams, that's ok - this recipe works well with bananas between 95-110 grams.
- Serving Size: 1 muffin
- Calories: 235
- Sugar: 17.6 g
- Sodium: 134.9 mg
- Fat: 10.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 34.5 g
- Protein: 4 g
- Cholesterol: 41 mg
Keywords: breakfast, meal prep, for two