Sugar-Free Banana Nut Muffins

Sunday 6 September 2020

Sugar-Free Banana Nut Muffins

Usually at the weekend I like to bake us something that we can enjoy for breakfast or with a hot drink.  I do bake sweet things too.

I am not sure why I always bake at the weekend. I suppose it is a habit that started when I was working full time. I did not really have much time during the week to bake us anything special. We were lucky I managed to get dinner done!

Sugar-Free Banana Nut Muffins

The recipe I am sharing with you today for Sugar-Free Banana Nut Muffins has been adapted  from a cookbook of mine entitled Bread for Breakfast by Beth Hensperger.

It is filled with lots of baked Breakfast options, including muffins, loaves (both sweet and savoury, quick and yeasted), Scones, Biscuits, cornbreads, etc.

There are also a sections on coffee cakes and holiday bakes, pancakes and waffles, as well as butters, jams and fruit and cheese spreads.

Its not an overly large book, but it is filled with quite a few goodies. Old fashioned as well as the new.  Its one of my favourite breakfast baking books.

I was intrigued by this Banana Muffin recipe because it was sugar free. These days we have all been brainwashed by popular coffee spots and warehouse stores into think that a muffin is supposed to a small cake.  Similar to a cupcake but without frosting!

As a consequence, our tastebuds have come to expect that every muffin we eat should be stogged full of sugar in one form or another.  Ultra sweet, containing candy like chocolate chips and the like.

Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a chocolate chip muffin. I adore them myself.  But a muffin should be a muffin and not a little cake. Know what I mean.

This muffin recipe boasts no sugar at all. Nada. Zip. Zero sugar. Instead it relies upon the sweetness of the fruit to bring sweet into the mix. In this case bananas.

Sugar-Free Banana Nut Muffins

Bananas are quite  sweet fruit and the longer you allow them to ripen the sweeter they get. The best bananas for baking are ones which are heavily speckled with brown, maybe even to the point where you think they are past it.

But they are not past it.  They are perfect and sweet and ready to be baked into muffins and loaves, cookies, cakes, etc.

Sugar-Free Banana Nut Muffins

These are lovely and moist.  There is buttermilk in the batter.  I love bakes with buttermilk. Buttermilk adds a special lightness and tenderness to bakes such as this.

It is an acid as well, so it helps to create a nice lift.  You always need to add bicarbonate of soda to a bake using something acidic like buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, etc.

When baking soda is combined with the lactic acids of buttermilk, the acid neutralizes the metallic taste of sodium carbonate, and the batter will bubble and expand.

Sugar-Free Banana Nut Muffins

This is why when you are baking something with buttermilk and soda in it you need to get your bake into the oven as quickly as possible. This is to help take advantage of that chemical reaction. 

The heat of the oven will immediately increase the effects of that action giving you a nice tall and light bake. If you wait too long to put your bakes into the oven you will risk losing that effect, and in fact you will decrease the action of the buttermilk and the soda as well.

Sugar-Free Banana Nut Muffins

So speed is the key factor here.  Make sure you have your pan greased and everything ready to go as soon as you mix the wet and dry ingredients together!

So, no sugar.  These muffins have no sugar whatsoever.  I didn't mind.  The end result was not sweet at all actually. It was just right.  Just what I would expect a true muffin to taste like.

If you want sweet, you will have to add a bit of sugar into the mix.  I wouldn't think you would need a lot actually, maybe only 1 or 2 TBS of either caster sugar or soft light brown sugar.

Sugar-Free Banana Nut Muffins

We enjoyed them just as they were, served warm with some butter for spreading on top.  Look at the texture of these beauties.  I call that perfection.

The recipe only makes 9 muffins. That's another thing I liked about the recipe.  Nine muffins is a perfectly reasonable amount.  They also freeze really well according to the recipe.  Up to three months in an airtight container.

Sugar-Free Banana Nut Muffins

Baking things like this at the weekend means I also get to use my roll cover. My good friend Monique sent this sweet embroidered roll cover to me last year, or possibly even the year before, for my Birthday.

Every time I use it I cannot help but think of her, and her many kindnesses to me through the years.  Meeting good and kind people is one of the blessings you gain from being a member of the blogging community. 

Like is attracted to like. These sweet friendships are one of the things I love most about blogging. That sense of community. Oh sure there is the odd nasty person, or troll as they are called, but the good ones far outweigh them.

Sugar-Free Banana Nut Muffins

There are some pecans in these muffins.  Chopped pecans. I always like to toast my nuts before baking with them.  It doesn't take much of an effort.  It only takes a few minutes on a dry baking sheet in a hot oven.

They are done when they start to smell all nice and nutty. Do watch them however, as they can go from toasty to burnt in milliseconds.  Five to eight minutes at 200*C/400*F will do the trick.

Sugar-Free Banana Nut Muffins

You could also use walnuts if you prefer, or even leave the nuts out all together if you cannot abide nuts or are allergic.

You could add chocolate chips. Just saying.  I like semi-sweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips.  Both are quite nice in banana muffins. You could even add some berries.  Blueberries would be nice.

If you rely on the sweetness of your muffin to come from the sweetness of the banana you really don't have to feel guilty about spreading them with butter while hot, and maybe even drizzling them with a bit of honey if you can tolerate honey.

As a diabetic, honey sends my sugar levels sky-rocketing.  Even just a little bit on the tip of my tongue. Its a shame really because I have always loved honey.   

Anyways, if you are looking for a nice, moist and not overly sweet muffin, with plenty of toasty nut crunch, then you have come to the right place! These fit the bill on all counts!

Sugar-Free Banana Nut Muffins

Sugar-Free Banana Nut Muffins
Yield: Makes 9 Muffins
Author: Marie Rayner
prep time: 10 Mincook time: 25 Mininactive time: 5 Mintotal time: 40 Min
This is an interesting muffin adapted from a cookery book by Beth Henshberger entitled Bread for Breakfast. This is a lovely moist muffin that truly is not too sweet, relying only on the sweetness of the banana. I think this is what muffins were originally intended to be.  Breads and not Cake.


  • 1 1/2 cups (210g)  plain flour
  • 1/2 cup  (70g)whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (60g) chopped toasted pecan nuts
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) canola oil
  • 2 medium sized ripe  bananas
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  Butter a muffin tin really well, or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and cinnamon. Stir in the salt. Stir in the toasted pecans.
  3. Beat the oil, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla together with a wire wisk to combine well.  Stir in the mashed banana. Pour this mixture into the dry ingrdients and fold everything together with a plastic spatula just to combine.
  4. Immediately spoon into the prepared muffin tin, filling each hole to the rim.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.  The muffins should be well risen and a toothpick inserted in the centre of one should come out clean.
  6. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before tipping out onto a wire rack to cool.


Do not allow these to overbake. I would definitely check them at 20 minutes.  If you must you can add 2 TBS of brown sugar to the wet ingredients to add a bit more sweetness. Any leftovers can be stored in an air tight container, or frozen for up to 3 months.
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Sugar-Free Banana Nut Muffins

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  1. Hi Marie,
    These look so delicious!!
    I have bananas ripening now- will be ready for baking soon. What is the cup measurement for the bananas? Is 2 bananas equal to 1 cup mashed? Want to make sure I add the right amount!
    Thank you! I am looking forward to making these.

    1. 1 1/4 cups is the cup measurement Terri! I really hope you like them. Let me know how you get on! xoxo

  2. Thank you for letting me know!!

  3. I have been looking for a muffin using no sugar or substitutes. I couldn’t believe I found this recipe. These were a surprise how good they tasted and I loved the simple ingredients and instructions.

    1. I am so pleased you made this recipe and enjoyed the results. Thank you so very much for taking the time to return and share your results! You made my day!! Thanks!!

  4. I have been looking for a no sugar banana muffin for a week , It was a surprise how good these were, this one is a keeper!

  5. Made these and really enjoyed! Do you happen to know the nutritional values for this recipe?

  6. So many adverts on this page, I can't even see the recipe. It's just annoying.

    1. The printable recipe is right there at the bottom of the post. Took less than 10 seconds to scroll down. FYI, I pay so that you can have free printable recipes. I pay for my domain. I pay for the food, etc. The time it takes to curate everything, photograph, write, etc. (In excess of 8 hours a day.) All so that you can have lots of free recipes. I guess some people are never happy.

    2. I have never had a problem with ads on your site. Maybe because I use an ad blocker but even if I didn't I doubt it would be a problem on your site. I have been to some sites that are so obnoxious with ads. They are repeatedly popping up, flashing, covering text, completely terrible. I feel you are not the type of person to do that and thank you for the time you take to share your recipes. I have been following you for a long time. Your American friend Dianne


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