There was one summer during college when all I ate for breakfast were bananas and banana muffins. I was an intern and to save money chose to live in a motel for $13/night rather than a hotel for $20/night. (The actual price was more than that, but the company I was interning for covered most of the cost and all I had to pay was $13/night.) The motel offered a complimentary breakfast, which basically consisted of cereal, muffins, and bananas. To further save money, that was what I had every morning for three months.


Quickly Ripen Bananas in OvenBananas ripened by baking in oven for 10 minutes


That summer may have been the last time I had banana muffins for breakfast. Not necessarily because I got sick of them, but because muffins seem like a lot of work to make. I had never made muffins from scratch, so I decided why not give it a shot. I looked up a bunch of recipes. However, the problem I had with the recipes I found was most of them called for A LOT of sugar. I like sweets, but I don’t like when my muffins are overly sweet.


Vegan Banana MuffinsBanana muffins fresh out of the oven


Instead of using white sugar as a sweetener, I opted for maple syrup. ¼ cup (60 mL) of maple syrup felt like enough, so that’s the amount I went with. And because I had no idea what I was doing, I decided to use ¼ cup (60 mL) as the quantity for all the liquid ingredients as well. I figured it would be safe to use lower oil and milk quantities since there would now be fewer dry ingredients without the white sugar. Thankfully, it turned out well. And will make remembering this recipe easy peasy.

P.S. Cute or Creepy?

Studly Banana Muffin MenDo you know the muffin men?



Banana ‘Stud’ Muffins {Vegan, Refined Sugar Free}

This is an easy vegan banana muffin recipe. The muffins are egg-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and can be made with your preferred sweetener, oil, and milk. These eggless muffins are made “studly” with melted vegan chocolate chips.

Yield: 12 muffins

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

  • 3 large or 4 medium ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) liquid sweetener (e.g., maple syrup, agave nectar, brown rice syrup)
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) high smoke point oil (e.g., avocado oil, sunflower oil, canola oil)
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) dairy-free milk (e.g., coconut milk beverage)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups (260 g) unbleached all purpose/plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ cup (30 g) vegan chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Grease a muffin tin.
  3. In a bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well.
  4. In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Create a well in the center, and pour in the banana mixture. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  5. Pour the banana muffin batter into the muffin tin. Use about ¼ cup (60 mL) in each cup.
  6. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 10 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 325°F (165°C) and bake for another 10 minutes.
  1. Simmer an inch or two of water in a saucepan. Place a heatproof bowl (one that is bigger than the saucepan) on top of the saucepan. Melt the chocolate in the bowl.
  2. Put the melted chocolate into a piping bag. Pipe “studly” features onto the muffin. Include eyes, eyebrows, mouth, and a bowtie.
  3. Enjoy!

  1. If your bananas haven’t ripened yet, you can accelerate the ripening process by sticking them unpeeled into the oven for 5 minutes as your oven is preheating.
  2. Add up to an additional ½ cup of liquid sweetener if you prefer sweeter muffins.
  3. You can use a ziplock bag as a piping bag. Snip one of the corners and use like you would a normal piping bag.