Banana Honey-Walnut Muffins

5 stars based on 9 votes

banana honey muffins

If you opened my freezer and looked in the bottom drawer, you’d think I was some sort of crazy person who hordes old brown bananas. The truth is that I’m not crazy — it’s just that I always buy too many bananas and am a wee bit fanatic about not wasting food. It’s a trait that was ingrained in culinary school, where the chefs would randomly check trash cans to make sure nothing that could be transformed into something else was in there. Believe me, there had better not be, unless you wanted to get chewed out by a French chef, which I can tell you from experience, is completely humiliating! Nothing is wasted in restaurant kitchens: old bread becomes breadcrumbs or croutons; bones become stock; vegetable odds and ends become soup; cake trimmings become dessert trifles; and (you guessed it) old bananas become banana muffins, banana bread or banana cupcakes.


I’m guessing you don’t have a lot of bones or cake trimmings lying around, but we’ve all got old bananas. Once they’re past their prime, let them get really spotty, peel them, and then throw them in a ziplock bag in the freezer. That way, you can whip up some banana baked goods whenever the mood strikes you. I have several recipes you might enjoy — such as Banana Bread, Chocolate Banana BreadBanana Bread with Coconut & Pecans, Chai-Spiced Banana BreadSticky Toffee Banana Cake and Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread — but these muffins are unique because they’re sweetened with honey. They’re wonderfully light and fluffy with a mild banana flavor that allows the distinctive taste of honey to shine through.


You begin by chopping some nuts and mixing them with a bit of honey and cinnamon. You can leave out the nuts if you prefer; I usually make half with and half without since my kids prefer them plain.


Next, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl…


Use an electric mixer to combine butter, sugar and honey until creamy…


Add eggs one by one…


Mix in mashed bananas and vanilla…


Stir in dry ingredients and milk…


Use an ice cream scooper to fill the pan, then top the batter with nuts. Bake for 30 minutes…


Cool muffins in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely.


Serve warm and enjoy!

Banana Honey-Walnut Muffins

Servings: 12 muffins


  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana, from 1 large overripe banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup whole or low fat milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, then line with paper liners (it is necessary to do both so that the muffin tops don't stick to pan).
  2. In a small bowl, toss the nuts with 1 tablespoon of the honey and cinnamon until the nuts are evenly coated (obviously, it will be very sticky). Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar and the remaining 1/3 cup of honey until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if necessary. At medium speed, add the eggs one at a time and beat until fully incorporated between additions. Beat in the banana and vanilla until blended. (It will look grainy.) At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients in 2 batches, alternating with the milk.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin (I like to use an ice cream scooper) and sprinkle with the nut topping. Bake the muffins until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack and let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    These were really delicious! We replaced the butter with coconut oil and had no issues at all. These will be going into regular rotation in our home.

    - Morgan on March 15, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Just mde these, they’re great! So moist and flavorful. I also (by mistake) added the cinnamon to the batter and the topping, and they are awesome! Thank you for the recipe, it’s a keeper!!

    - Betsy on March 5, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Love this recipe!!! Thank you. Beautiful photos, too.

    - robyn on February 15, 2015 Reply
  • I haven’t made this yet, but I want to completely get rid of the sugar and change the recipe to 2 overripe bananas. Would that be enough to make it less sweet? Or should I cut down on the honey as well? I’m hoping it won’t mess with the consistency, I just want lightly sweetened muffins. Can’t wait to try these!

    - Yuliya on February 12, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Yuliya, I’m afraid I can’t advise omitting the sugar — it will definitely change the consistency. Sorry!

      - Jenn on February 15, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Since I also hate to waste any uneaten bananas I puree mine and then freeze in small containers. When I need to use in a recipe, it’s easy to thaw. Have found it works better than freezing whole bananas. Love all your recipes, Jenn! You inspire me every week and my husband loves the results.

    - Pam S. on February 6, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    So simple and quick to make. Absolutely delicious. I loved the honey walnuts on top! Thank you for the recipe. I went 1/3 cup less on the sugar and they still tasted deliciously sweet!

    - joan on January 27, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Wonderful muffins. I took them to work and everyone loved them. So easy to make. I signed up for your email newsletter last week and wasn’t sure when to expect my first newsletter. Thank you!

    - Susie on January 7, 2015 Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed the muffins, Susie! Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter. I’ve been away for the holidays so it has not gone out in a few weeks, but I plan to resume in the next few days.

      - Jenn on January 7, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I’ve never made muffins before today and I’m 20. However, these muffins came out amazing and i was able to impress my wife and mother in law and even myself. Just wanted to say thanks for the recipe.

    - Andrew on December 16, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    These were a major hit today – I made them first thing this morning, and the hubby gobbled them up when he got home from work for breakfast. :-)

    - Molly on October 8, 2014 Reply
  • Back to school planning in progress. Looking for something I can make in advance and then have quick breakfasts ready for a 5 yr old and 8 yr old that are sorta picky. I think they would like these if I made them, but thoughts on freezing and serving at later date? Also, do you think if I made the nuts really fine in a food processor, would it hide them from a kid, but allow the flavor to still come through? I’m a sneaky parent when it comes to introducing new things to the kids.

    - egbluesuede on August 16, 2014 Reply
    • They freeze beautifully. Grinding the nuts would work but not sure your kids won’t notice them — I know my picky daughter can spot a nut from a mile away :)

      - Jenn on August 18, 2014 Reply
  • 4 stars

    Wonderful muffins. Made these and took them when we were going fishing. Got the boat launched, then had a great breakfast of these muffins. With a piece of fresh fruit and a cup of coffee was ready for a morning of good fishing.

    - Patricia on July 11, 2014 Reply
  • Ѕuperb, what a webpage it is! This web site presents useful information to us, keep it up.

    - Caroline on June 12, 2014 Reply
  • I cannot wait to try this before all of the bananas disappear! My four year old loves bananas. :)

    - Tiffany on January 23, 2014 Reply
  • This muffin recipe is simply divine….I love baking muffins and this is one of the best recipes I’ve ever made. The honey flavor makes this muffin not too sweet and the added walnut topping makes is yummerific!

    - Melody on January 19, 2014 Reply
  • These muffins were amazing! I never knew what to do with my old bananas! This is one of my go to favorites! Love you e-blast! Thank You! Thank You!

    - Caroline on March 13, 2013 Reply
  • I loved this recipe. The muffins turned out perfect!

    - Courtney on October 3, 2012 Reply
  • Almost all my muffins turn out bland and just plain bad. This one and the chocaholic ones on here are the only two muffin recipes that I have ever made and were good.
    Thank you for these!!

    - Gobbie on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • Plain delicous! These are the best muffins I’ve ever made.

    - Becky on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • These were awesome. I substituted agave nectar for the honey as that’s what I had on hand. It probably made it a little sweeter but my kids didn’t complain :).

    - Sri K. on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • Classic yummy!

    - Tessa on May 16, 2012 Reply
  • I’m stuffing my face with a just-cooled Banana Honey-Walnut muffin as I type. Banana and honey are 2 of my favorite flavors, especially combined. I am adoring this recipe, since it really lets the honey shine through. The honey/cinnamon walnuts are a great topper and give a nice crunch. For muffins, these really have a wonderful fluffy texture. As you suggested, I used 1/2 c whole wheat and 1 c AP flour. My husband doesn’t like walnuts, so I left the topping off of 6 muffins but threw in a handful of dark chocolate chips to half of the batter. This is going in my permanent recipe file! Oh, and thanks for the tip on defrosting the banana in a bowl, you weren’t kidding about the leak factor.

    - Brit on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • Great blend of being superbly moist with a crunch! A family favorite.

    - Jennifer on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • I love these muffins

    - Meagan on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • hi!! thank you for this lovely recipe. i will soon try this. i had a query, i would like to know if i can use another substitute for granulated sugar as i am going to bake it for my mom who is diabetic! :D

    - Sharmeen on April 23, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Sharmeen, I think that would be just fine. Hope you and your mom enjoy the muffins!

      - Jenn on April 23, 2012 Reply
  • These sound delicious. Can’t wait to try them.

    - Linda on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I made these yesterday with my 3 year old son and they came out perfect! I love the topping and the batter is so light and fluffy. Yum!

    - Becky on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I wanted to comment on how delicious, light and fluffy these muffins are! My whole family loves them. I also think they would be fantastic as cupcakes just skip the nuts on top and frost with cream cheese icing!

    - Laura on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Hey Jennifer! I wanted to comment to enter your AWESOME giveaway and also let you know that these muffins are so awesome that my sister in law made them after I made them and her three little sons gobbled them up! She made them even more decadent by using half and half in place of milk because she was trying to use stuff up in the fridge. yum. thanks for the great recipe. -Meg

    - Meg at Peaches and Cake on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • these are heavenly! i made 6 jumbo muffins instead of 12 regular muffins… yum.

    - emily on February 20, 2012 Reply
  • I made these this morning for a group breakfast they are sooo yummy! Thanks for the great idea I will post them on your FB wall soon!

    - Meg on February 4, 2012 Reply
  • I also collect ripe bananas in my freezer but cut into chunks for smoothies. This recipe sounds amazing and I will be making it this weekend!

    - Laura on January 19, 2012 Reply
  • I just made this and they are delcious! The best banana nut muffins I’ve made yet. Light, fluffy and yummy! Thanks for sharing.

    - Leah on January 15, 2012 Reply
  • ..more on frozen bananas, they are good just to eat like a popsicle, the sweetness of the fruit is intensified.

    - Maggi on November 2, 2011 Reply
  • I like Banana Honey-Walnut Muffins. This recipe is really very nice and also it looking are great. Also here all recipes look are awesome.

    - appointment setting on April 25, 2011 Reply
  • I’ve never heard of freezing old bananas! Needless to say, the one on my counter has a new destination tonight! Thanks for the tip… but I do need to ask, do you peel it before you freeze it?

    - Colleen on March 21, 2011 Reply
    • Yes, make sure you peel your ripe bananas before freezing.
      Otherwise, they’re impossible to peel.
      Frozen bananas also make great smoothie ingredients!

      - Margaret Corbett on November 10, 2013 Reply
  • these look amazing:) i cant help but freeze bananas as well. my husband is mad about banana bread, i cant wait to make some of these for him soon. thanks for sharing this.

    - blackbookkitchendiaries on February 25, 2011 Reply
  • My neighbor an I were just discussing our craving for a yummy muffin and here it is! And, I too, have bananas in the bottom of my freezer. Can’t wait to try these.

    - Amy on February 24, 2011 Reply
  • They do leak! First time I made bread from thawed, ripened bananas I was unsure if it was a good idea… The consistency is not what you have from a very ripe “fresh” banana. My husband eyed the bowl full of bananas with a mixture of disgust and much uncertainty! But the finished product yielded a taste that was divine.

    - Lisa on February 24, 2011 Reply
  • I too have a stash of yucky black bananas in my freezer! Yummy muffins!

    - leslie on February 24, 2011 Reply
  • I also gather old bananas in the freezer! I love honey added to anything, this recipe looks great :)

    - Beth on February 24, 2011 Reply

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