Almond flour banana muffins are naturally gluten free and grain free, and even Paleo, but taste just like “regular” banana muffins. The perfect hearty, grab and go breakfast!
A crowd-pleasing breakfast muffin
Listen, not everyone (in my house, even) loves the taste of almond flour. And when I bake, I like to keep my ideal reader (that's you!) and my ideal eater (that's my youngest) in mind.
She doesn't like the taste of almond flour—but she really likes these muffins. That is a win. 🙇🏻♀️
If you add a few diced ripe bananas to the tops of them, like you see in the background of the photo above, they will spread a bit more on top. Try adding them to some, but not all.
They have everything I look for in a muffin: tasty, hearty, satisfying, and they freeze well. That means that I can make a batch, and let it cool, then freeze the muffins.
They defrost quickly at room temperature, but you can speed up the process in your microwave. Don't defrost them in the toaster oven, or they'll burn.
How to bake with almond flour without burning it
Almond flour has a ton of (healthy) fats. If you're not careful, the outside of your almond flour baked goods will burn before the inside has fully cooked.
In our recipe for classic almond flour muffins, we bake them at 325°F. It's low enough to give the muffins time to bake and high enough to let them brown a bit.
These almond flour banana muffins have nearly a pound of peeled, ripe bananas in them. That means they have quite a lot more natural sugar in them.
To bake these moist and naturally sweet muffins all the way through without burning anything, I bake them at 300°F for 20 minutes. Then, rotate the muffin tin, and continue to bake at 275°F for another 5 minutes.
The oven temperature won't have fallen 25°F within those 5 minutes, but it will have started to fall, and that makes all the difference. The muffins will go from soft in the very center to set in that time.
Are these almond flour banana muffins Paleo?
They're Paleo—if you use a Paleo baking powder. Baking powder is a combination of a starch, cream of tartar, and baking soda.
If you use a traditional baking powder, it will almost certainly not have a Paleo-friendly starch. Instead, it probably has cornstarch.
There is so little starch in baking powder, though. I don't know how strict your adherence to the Paleo diet is.
Speaking of strict adherence, if you're Paleo and quite precise about it, you will have to contend with the pure vanilla extract. You should either leave it out, replace it with another liquid flavoring/extract, or just be sure that yours is made with a Paleo-legal alcohol.
Ingredients and substitutions
Blanched almond (almonds with their skins removed) flour, ground finely, is at the heart of these banana muffins. If you can't have nuts, please have a look at our classic gluten free banana muffins recipe or our recipe for gluten free banana bread made with an all purpose gluten free flour blend.
If you simply can't have almonds, but you can have hazelnuts, try using hazelnut flour in this recipe. I find that it's often a good substitute—but no promises since I haven't tried it.
Be sure you're actually using blanched almond flour in this recipe, though. Almond meal is coarsely ground, and the almonds haven't had their skins removed. It's too coarse and won't work as described in this recipe.
I really like the superfine almond flour from Nuts.com. Honeyville also makes great almond flour. I store mine in the refrigerator, since nuts go rancid quite quickly otherwise.
There are simply too many eggs in this recipe for me to recommend an egg replacer of any kind. Remember that almond flour is relatively heavy, and has a lot of fat, so it needs a lot of lifting. The eggs work hard in this recipe.
Tapioca starch/flour (same thing, names used interchangeably) is a unique gluten free/grain free baking flour. It creates lightness and crispness, but also stretch and chew.
If you'd like to try replacing it in this recipe, you might have success with arrowroot in place of tapioca starch. Arrowroot isn't as stretchy, but we don't need as much stretch here as we might in a recipe like our soft tapioca wraps.
Pure maple syrup
I really like the maple syrup in this recipe since the taste is more subtle, and really complements the banana flavor. But if you can't or don't have maple syrup, you can use honey in its place.
Honey has a bit less moisture, and a stronger flavor. Try using 3 tablespoons (63 g) honey, and adding another 25 grams of mashed bananas.
Virgin coconut oil
I use triple-filtered virgin coconut oil from my local Trader Joe's. The triple-filtering removes any trace of coconut flavor from the solid-at-room-temperature oil.
If you'd like to replace the coconut oil, and you can have unsalted butter, use that. You can also use shortening.
Almond Flour Banana Muffins | Grain Free
2 cups (240 g) finely ground blanched almond flour
1 cup (128 g) tapioca starch/flour
1 teaspoon (Paleo) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup (84 g) pure maple syrup (See Recipe Notes)
3 tablespoons (42 g) virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled
3 eggs (150 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups (400 g) peeled and mashed ripe bananas (from about 4 medium-large bananas)
Optional diced bananas for sprinkling on top
About the maple syrup
In place of maple syrup, you can try using honey. But since honey has less moisture and stronger flavor, try using 3 tablespoons (63 g) honey and an extra 25 grams mashed banana in place of the maple syrup.
Preheat your oven to 300°F (not a typo). Grease and/or line a standard 12-cup muffin tin and set it aside.
In a large bowl, place the almond flour, tapioca starch/flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the maple syrup, melted coconut oil, beaten eggs, vanilla, and mashed ripe bananas. Mix to combine. The batter should be smooth and medium-thick (a bit runny).
Fill the wells of the prepared muffin tin about 3/4 of the way full with the batter. Shake the tin back and forth to ensure an even layer of batter in each well. Sprinkle some (optional) diced bananas on the top of some or all of the batter in the wells.
Place the tin in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the tin in the oven one half turn (180°). Reduce the oven temperature to 275°F.
Continue to bake until each muffin springs back when pressed gently in the center, about another 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately lift the muffins out of the wells of the muffin tin and place them on a wire rack to cool completely. Serve.