Banana Streusel Muffins Recipe

A super-moist banana muffin, sweetened with very ripe bananas and much-reduced sugar, capped with a crispy crumb topping called "streusel," a mix of brown sugar, toasted nuts and cinnamon. A real treat for breakfast or an afternoon snack – or maybe on a Mother's Day menu?

Banana Streusel Muffins ♥, a super-moist muffin made with very ripe bananas and reduced sugar, topped with nuts and cinnamon.

Warm Muffins, Made from Scratch with Everyday Ingredients. Fresh & Family-Tested. Big on Flavor, Lower in Sugar. Budget Friendly. Potluck & Party Friendly. Rave Reviews.

  • "I've made your banana muffins 3 times already and love them ..." ~ Joan
  • "This is my new favorite, not only for banana muffins but I will [use the] streusel topping on other recipes ..." ~ Anonymous
  • "They were a huge hit at home and at my office." ~ Elizabeth

How to Break Our Addiction to Sugar

Who’s noticed how food companies put sugar in everything nowadays? No wonder nutrition experts say our country has developed a severe sugar addiction!

Before Christmas, I experimented with draconian cuts in the sugar portions in cakes and cookies, muffins and scones.

My friends call these sugar cuts "Alanna-Sizing" a recipe: a fifty-percent reduction in sugar is a reliable start though as you’ll see from these Banana Streusel Muffins, more can work as well. (For the record, there's more to Alanna-Sizing than cutting sugar, see "Alanna-sized".)

Yes, there is a taste difference. But a positive one!

Without overwhelming sweetness, banana muffins taste like banana and pumpkin coffeecake tastes like, well, pumpkin.

So adjust your own favorite recipes and let me know how it goes over in your family. If yours is amazed as mine, we’ll break the addiction, family by family, town by town.

Banana Streusel Muffins ♥, a super-moist muffin made with very ripe bananas and reduced sugar, topped with nuts and cinnamon.

Banana Sweet (Not "Sugar" Sweet)

This is such a great little muffin recipe. I love how the banana flavor really comes through, that's one result of using less sugar.

And I promise, you won't miss all the sugar. Even with less sugar, the muffins are still surprisingly sweet.

But the sweetness is largely plant-based and unprocessed, thanks to the natural sugars that emerge in very ripe bananas. My goodness, how over-the-top sweet the original muffins must have been.

Still, these are definitely "muffins" and not "cupcakes".

And Moist!

And talk about moist! Even once (accidentally) left uncovered on the counter for 24 hours, they were still as moist and delicious as straight out of the oven.

What is Streusel?

Such a good question! "Streusel" is a German word, it's pronounced [STROO-sel].

Streusel is a crumb topping for muffins, coffeecakes and the like, giving them a sweet finish to contrast with the cake-ish food below.

Some people say that the streusel is the best part of a muffin!

A streusel usually starts with butter and sugar. Some times flour or nuts or spices are added too.

Streusel is usually mixed by hand to form a crumbly, some times messy mixture that gets spread kinda-sorta evenly atop the unbaked muffins or cake. In the oven, the batter and streusel will meld together but also remain distinctly separate.

Banana Streusel Muffins ♥, a super-moist muffin made with very ripe bananas and reduced sugar, topped with nuts and cinnamon.

For Best Results

For my weekly column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, I interviewed chefs and translated their recipes. The most iluminating question? "How can a home cook ensure the same results?" So now I ask that question of myself, too, for my own recipes. Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

RIPE BANANAS We can reduce the sugar in these muffins to just 1/4 cup in part because bananas, of course, can be so sweet.

But it's important to know, the riper the banana, the sweeter the banana. That's why I've long coached readers who bake with bananas to let their bananas ripen a really long time, please see Ripe Bananas for Baking: How Ripe Should Bananas Be?.

"Black" bananas are amazing!

WEIGH YOUR INGREDIENTS Measuring baking ingredients by weight not volume ensures the same results, batch after batch. It's especially important for sugar, flour and for this recipe, the bananas!

WHOLE WHEAT FLOURS Since my muffin recipes veer to "rustic" vs "cupcake," up to a third of the all-purpose flour can be substituted with whole-wheat flour.

I think (but haven't tested) this recipe would also work well substituting all the all-purpose flour with the 100% whole wheat flour called "white" whole wheat; it's ground more finely especially for baking.

SWITCHING FROM ELECTRIC MIXER TO MIXING BY HAND In this recipe, mix the wet ingredients thoroughly with a mixer, this will help avoid little pockets of butter or banana in the batter. But switch to a wooden spoon or something similar when mixing in the dry ingredients, that prevents over-mixing.

"DO NOT OVER-MIX" Why do some recipes instruct us to avoid "over mixing" batter? What do they mean?

In muffins, pancakes and other rustic cakes which are "leavened" with baking powder and/or baking soda not yeast, over-mixing the batter will cause little tunnels to form during baking. The tunnels don't change the taste, just the appearance so really, they're not the end of the world. But if you ever spy these little tunnels in baked goods, you'll know the batter was likely over-mixed when combining the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients.

To avoid tunnels caused by over-mixing, mix in the dry ingredients by hand and stop stirring once the wet and dry are just barely mixed together, it's even okay for there to be some small floury spots on the side of the bowl and even in the batter.

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If a good muffin recipe hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Banana Streusel Muffins ♥, a super-moist muffin made with very ripe bananas and reduced sugar, topped with nuts and cinnamon.


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Makes 12 regular-size muffins
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 114g) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar (reduced from 3/4 cup)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-1/2 cups (375g) mashed banana (from about 4 very ripe bananas or "black" bananas)
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 125g
  • 1/2 cup (62g) whole wheat flour or another 1/2 cup all-purpose flour)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar (reduced from 2/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup (50g) toasted pecans or walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon (yes, tablespoon) cinnamon

Heat oven to 350F/175C. Lightly butter or spray the cups in a muffin tray.

MUFFINS Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until well mixed. Add the egg and combine well. Add the mashed banana and buttermilk and combine well.

Separately, stir together the dry ingredients. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture, just until combined, this is to avoid over-mixing (see TIPS).

Using two spoons, one to scoop and one to scrape, spoon the batter evenly into 12 regular size lightly buttered muffin tins. Use the back of a spoon to slightly flatten the muffin tops.

STREUSEL Run the streusel ingredients through a mini food processor until the nuts are quite fine. Use a spoon to spread the streusel evenly over muffins.

Bake for about 25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then carefully remove from the muffin tin.

ALANNA's TIPS Use the leftover butter wrapper to grease the muffin tins. Over-mixing the batter for a quick bread like muffins will create small tunnels. If you've had trouble with holes in muffins or quick breads before, switch to a wooden spoon to incorporate the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. A little flour on the side of the bowl won't hurt. If you'd like to cut a few more calories, use only half or two-thirds of the streusel ingredients, there's plenty for as many as 18 muffins. Or skip the streusel entirely! Instead, for a nice, crisp finish on the muffins, sprinkle the tops with a bit of raw sugar, those large brown sugar crystals. You could even stir some cinnamon into the raw sugar before sprinkling over top.
WEIGHT MANAGEMENT TIP For weight management, use discreet individual servings whenever possible. This avoids portion-size "creep”, that is, scooping out or slicing off just a little bit more. Muffin portions work well in baking. For casseroles or side dishes, use a quiche dish or pie pan easily portioned into a certain number of servings.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Muffin: 228 Calories; 11g Tot Fat; 5g Sat Fat; 38mg Cholesterol; 222mg Sodium; 28g Carb; 2g Fiber; 13g Sugar; 4g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 5 & PointsPlus 6 & SmartPoints 10 & Freestyle 8 & myWW green 10 & blue 8 & purple 8 This recipe has been "Alanna-sized" with reductions in sugar.

More Ways to Use Very Ripe Bananas

~ banana recipes ~
Shhh Banana Bread ♥, healthy low-fat banana bread, just 1 tablespoon oil and whole wheat flour. Weight Watchers Friendly!

Banana Oatmeal Cookies ♥, oatmeal cookies with a banana twist.

Banana Nut Cake with Caramel Frosting ♥, my mom's famous recipe, a great special-occasion cake yet simple enough to make often. Plus, a new banana technique: no more waiting for bananas to ripen! Recipe, tips, nutrition & WW points included.

Homemade Muffins, Anyone?

~ muffin recipes ~
Sunshine Orange Muffins ♥, barely sweet, sweetened mostly with a whole orange and one of my favorite pantry ingredients for a flavor boost, frozen orange juice concentrate.

Make-Ahead Bran Muffin Batter ♥, mix now, bake in small batches later, including a single microwave bran muffin in a mug.

Rhubarb Muffins ♥, less sweet, all whole-wheat, moist and fruity.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ bananas ~
~ buttermilk ~
~ nuts ~
~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2004, 2010 (online), 2015 & 2021

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I love banana muffins of all kind. These sound fabulous!

  2. Joan B5/07/2010

    Thanks for telling me about the 'black bananas'. I've made your banana muffins 3 times already and love them but I now know they will taste better if I allow my bananas to be black.

    What would I do without your recipes and tips???

  3. Anonymous1/15/2011

    These look really moist and yummy! But I'm not a big fan of nuts...
    What would the nutritional information be without the streusel topping?

  4. Anonymous10/07/2011

    This is my new favorite, not only for banana muffins, but I will be using this as a streusel topping on other recipes as well.

  5. Ohhhh finally I found such an interesting banana muffin recipe as yours!!! I created my own too, using the very ripe bananas and reducing sugar. But instead of butter milk I add milk and plain yogurt and I always end up with very very moist and delicious muffins. For topping I put dried fruits as cranberries, raisins, mango, or my favourite are pistachio and fresh plum/peach. Yummyyyyyy! I'll read your instruction well, thank you anyway for sharing it here! Have a nice day!

  6. I've made these twice now and made some healthy substitutions. They were a huge hit at home and at my office. I'm going to take my modified version to a professional baker friend of mine to have them made on a large scale for a company event; this is how delicious they are! The only two changes in procedure I made were aerating the flour after measuring and in the streusel - I pulsed the ingredients in the food processor so they would stretch further. I also made 24 muffins instead of 12, just filling the cups about 1/3 of the way. Thank you so much for you recipe SO INSPIRING, if you're interested in my substitutions, see below:
    •6 oz plain greek yogurt + 1 tbls EEVO
    •4 oz unsweetened applesauce + 1 tbls splenda
    •1 tbls flax seed + 3 tbls water
    •1-1/2 cups mashed banana (from about 4 very ripe bananas or 'black' bananas)
    •3 tbls sugar free vanilla greek yogurt
    •1-1/2 cups Wheat flour, fluffed to aerate after measuring
    •3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    •3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    •1/4 teaspoon sea salt

    •1/4 cup brown sugar
    •1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
    •1/4 cup candied hibiscus flowers
    •1 tablespoon cinnamon
    •1 pinch nutmeg

  7. Elizabeth ~ So cool, your changes, I’m especially enchanted by the prospect of a little pink color from the candied hibiscus flowers. (And I’m struggling with the temptation to put some flowers in sugar water, right now, asap! Thanks so much for sharing your changes, truly! I am always happy when readers find my recipes so inspiring that they not only make them but make them their OWN.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna