Small Batch One Banana Muffins

Use up that one lone ripe banana that has been languishing on your counter with these simple small batch one banana muffins. In this straightforward recipe, 1 brown banana makes 6 tall banana muffins in the style of a bakery. If you want to take them over the top, add chocolate chips.


When people ask me what recipe I bake the most, I always say my easiest banana bread since it’s the simplest of them all. The truth is that banana bread is simple, comforting, and endlessly adaptable, even if I recognise it may not be the most thrilling response (looking at you, double chocolate banana bread).

A recipe using just one banana!

However, occasionally I don’t have enough time to create a whole loaf OR I only have one lonely, spotty brown banana. Enter these banana muffins made in small batches! With just 1 banana, we can make 6 wonderful muffins, which, I must say, is fairly fulfilling.

These muffins have a soft texture, a little sweetness, and a comforting banana taste. They bake up tall. I adore adding a light dusting of turbinado sugar on top just before baking to get that muffin top that is reminiscent of a bakery. Chocolate chips are always welcome additions! You will get 6 muffins whether you use the recipe with or without chocolate chips, as shown in the photographs.


  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter, melted (4 Tbsp; can substitute with a neutral oil)
  • 1 overripe banana (will equal about 1/2 cup mashed banana)
  • 1/3 cup (66g) brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (85g) dark or semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon (12g) turbinado or granulated sugar (optional, for sprinkling on top)


  • Set the oven’s temperature to 425°F (218°C). A 12-cup muffin tray should have every other cup lined or greased (recipe makes 6 muffins; using every other cup creates better air flow and taller muffins).
  • Mix the dry ingredients—flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt—in a medium bowl. Place aside.
  • Melt the butter in a sizable microwave-safe bowl. Add the banana and thoroughly mash with a fork or whisk. Brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract should all be thoroughly combined.
  • As you combine the ingredients to produce a batter, add the dry ingredients to the basin containing the wet ones. Never overmix; just stir until fully blended. If using, fold in the chocolate chips or other additions.
  • Optional: Before scooping batter for the highest muffins, let it rest at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the 6 muffin tins. Add more chocolate chips, if desired, then generously sprinkle turbinado or granulated sugar on top of each.
  • Without opening the oven door, bake for an additional 12 to 15 minutes until the top is domed and firm. Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C). A toothpick put in the middle ought to emerge clean or with a few crumbs still attached.
  • After a brief cooling period, enjoy!

Tips for baking tall muffins

If you’re anything like me, you’ve experienced the disappointment of muffins that puff up excessively tall in the oven only to collapse as soon as you remove them. I know, it’s the worst. This is typically brought on by the shock of removing the muffins from the hot oven and placing them in the cooler environment outside before their structure has had time to solidify.

Here are my top recommendations after much trial and error and study on how to make tall muffins that retain their shape and don’t sink:

  • Before scooping and baking, allow the mixture to rest for 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature. The mixture becomes thicker as a result, which enables the baking powder to work. (I’ve even left batter out for up to an hour before baking, and the finished product was the same.)
  • To make 6 muffins, you would need a 12-cup muffin pan because you should only use every other muffin cup (see the photo below). The muffins can rise higher as a result of the improved airflow that is made possible.
  • After 5 minutes of baking at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, lower the oven’s temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit WITHOUT opening the door, and bake for an additional 12 to 15 minutes. The muffins’ super-tall rise is caused by a chemical reaction that is started by a sudden burst of high heat; the structure of the muffins is then allowed to set by a gradual decline in heat before they are taken out of the oven.

I guarantee that using these suggestions in any muffin recipe will work. I’ve successfully used these techniques with a variety of dishes, including gluten-free ones. Just be careful not to open the oven door until they are cooked or they can deflate on you!

Additions and Substitutions

  • Use an equal volume (1 cup) or weight (125g) of a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend that contains xanthan gum in place of the all-purpose flour. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Flour is good, according to my testing.
  • A half-cup of nuts, dried fruit, or even fresh blueberries can be substituted for the chocolate chips, or you can omit the additions altogether. The recipe is valid either way.
  • To make 12 muffins instead of 6, double the recipe! The high-to-low-heat method can be used to bake them all at once in a 12-cup muffin pan if you don’t want to bake them in two batches.
  • This will still result in muffins that are pretty tall. 12 mini muffins will be produced; bake for 5 minutes at 425°F and another 5 at 350°F (check often for doneness).

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