Banana Coconut Flour Muffins
Inspired by reading recipe after recipe of magical-sounding mug cakes, I bought some coconut flour on a whim from Trader Joe's. Now, for $3 a pound, I'm expecting some awesome flour. Nutritionally, coconut flour is fantastic - a 1/4 cup serving has a whopping 13 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein.
Even though coconut flour is much more expensive per pound, it turns out that banana coconut flour muffins don't actually end up being much more expensive than normal banana muffins.
Since coconut flour absorbs lots of liquid, you end up only using 1/2 cup of coconut flour for the whole batch of muffins. This means that with the pound of coconut flour, you can make 6 batches of muffins, so it's $0.50 per batch (source). A pound of normal flour, which normally costs $0.50-$1.00, makes 2 batches of muffins, so you use $0.25-$0.50 of flour.
Since we've gotten the cost analysis out of the way, we can dive into what coconut flour is and how to use coconut flour. Coconut flour is gluten-free because it isn't actually flour. In fact, it's ground-up, dried, defatted coconut meat.
Baking with coconut flour differs from baking with normal flour in quite a few ways. Most importantly, you need eggs for structure and binding. Many coconut flour recipes use an absurd number of eggs (4-6), but I find that 2 eggs work just fine.
Unfortunately, normal vegan egg substitutions, such as chia and flax eggs, won't work. Omitting eggs altogether certainly doesn't work - I ended up with squishy mush. You can make vegan coconut flour muffins, but you will need more odd ingredients. For a simpler solution, if you are vegan and gluten free, you can try making banana oat bars instead.
Banana coconut flour muffins differ from traditional banana bread in a few ways.
- Coconut flour absorbs a lot more liquid. Small differences from measuring coconut flour drastically affect the finished product, and you may need to adjust the amount of milk.
- Since coconut flour contains fat, you can use less oil for banana coconut flour muffins.
- As stated above, you really need eggs when baking with coconut flour. Vegan egg substitutions, such as chia and flax eggs, work for traditional banana bread, but not for banana bread with coconut flour.
Nutritionally fantastic and reasonably priced, coconut flour makes a wonderful variation on banana bread. Now, let's dive into the recipe!
- ½ cup of coconut flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 2 bananas, mashed
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup of brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ½ cup of milk
- Preheat an oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix the coconut flour and baking powder.
- In a separate medium bowl, mash the bananas. Whisk in 2 eggs. Add the brown sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
- Pour the medium bowl with the wet ingredients into the large bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Add in milk, about ½ a cup, until the batter is smooth and creamy.
- To make muffins, line a muffin tin with liners. Divide the batter equally. Bake for 15-18 minutes.
- Coconut flour: Required for banana coconut flour muffins. For traditional banana bread, see my banana bread guide.
- Baking powder: Makes the muffins fluffy. Substituting 1 teaspoon of baking soda works.
- Bananas: Required for banana coconut flour muffins. Using 3 bananas also works. The sadder the bananas, the sweeter your muffins will be.
- Eggs: Required when baking with coconut flour. Normal vegan egg replacers won't work, and you'll need something weird, like psyllium husks.
- Brown sugar: Sweetens the banana coconut flour muffins. I do not suggest liquid sweeteners because coconut flour is weird. You can omit, or you can use up to 1/2 cup or any sweetener that measures like sugar.
- Coconut oil: Adds richness and coconut flavor. Substituting melted butter works.
- Vanilla extract: Adds flavor.
- Milk: Makes the banana coconut flour muffin batter more wet. Substituting any type of milk (cow, almond, soy) works. I guess water would work in a pinch, but your muffins may be less tasty.
Step by Step Photos
Start by preheating an oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix the coconut flour and baking powder. It's difficult to precisely measure coconut flour, so you may need to adjust the amount of milk you add later.
For the best results, instead of compressing the coconut flour, you should lightly spoon coconut flour into a measuring cup.
In a separate medium bowl, mash the bananas. Whisk in 2 eggs. Add the brown sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
Do not add the milk yet. The amount of milk you need to add to banana coconut flour muffins varies depending on how much coconut flour you added.
Here are all of the mixed wet ingredients besides the milk. Since it's hard to get the texture of banana coconut flour muffins right, you should check the following photos to make sure the consistency is right.
Since coconut flour does not contain any gluten, unlike with regular banana bread or banana pancakes, you can stir the batter all you want.
Pour the medium bowl with the wet ingredients into the large bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir to combine. Make sure to get rid of any dry coconut flour lumps.
Since you have not added any milk yet, the muffin batter is thick and pasty like cookie dough. If you bake this dough, you will get dry muffins.
Add milk until the batter is smooth and creamy, but not runny. The finished batter should look like lumpy pudding.
Honestly, the amount of milk I have to add varies each time. Start by adding 1/4 cup of milk, and stir to combine. For convenience, I use the dry measuring cup I used to measure coconut flour.
After adding 1/4 cup of milk, the batter is still thick and pasty. If this is the case, you should keep adding milk.
After adding another 1/4 cup of milk for a total of 1/2 cup of milk, the banana coconut flour muffin batter reaches the perfect consistency.
The batter now looks like lumpy pudding. If you ended up slightly over-measuring your coconut flour at the beginning, you should slowly add milk, a tablespoon at a time, until your batter looks like this.
To make banana coconut flour muffins, line a muffin tin with liners. Divide the batter equally. For each muffin liner, I add about 2 tablespoons, and I fill it about half full.
Bake for 15-18 minutes. The tops of the muffins will look and feel dry. Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes for the structure to set.
These banana coconut flour muffins are lovely fresh out of the oven. To store, you can put them in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days, or you can freeze the muffins for a few months.
The texture differs from traditional banana bread, but these muffins are just as tender, soft, and fluffy. Have you ever tried coconut flour before? These banana coconut flour muffins are much higher in protein and fiber and lower in sugar than traditional banana bread.
Questions, comments, complaints? Feel free to comment below, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find me on social media.