Easy Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

These easy vegan chocolate chip banana muffins are super fluffy and moist, full of cozy spice, and packed with chocolate chips and sweet banana flavor. Made in just one bowl, no mixer required, naturally sweetened with coconut sugar, and freezer friendly. Whether you’re plant based or just out of eggs, these are sure to be a family breakfast favorite! Gluten free friendly.

A toddler's hand reaching for a chocolate chip banana muffin on a white parchment paper background.

Easy one bowl vegan banana muffins

We just about always have some overly ripe bananas on the counter – I often purposefully let them get too soft and speckly for regular snacking, because I love baking with them so much. And when those run out, there’s probably a stash in the freezer, too.

Some version of banana bread – or muffins – is in constant rotation around here, and I’ve been making these chocolate chip banana muffins on repeat lately. They have a wonderfully spiced banana flavor, just the right amount of sweetness, and an incredibly moist and fluffy crumb. They also happen to be plant based and are made with simple pantry staples.

The muffins come together quickly in one bowl, are easy (and forgiving) enough for our toddler to help with the measuring and mixing, and are a favorite grab-and-go treat to have on hand when I’m craving something both indulgent and reasonably healthy.

Chocolate chip banana muffins on a white cake stand with a light background.

Why you’ll love this chocolate chip banana muffin recipe

These naturally sweetened banana muffins are based on one of my favorite recipes on the blog: these double dark chocolate banana muffins, which are also a reader favorite. It seems like you all are muffin fans too!

I made this version a bit healthier by swapping in some more wholesome ingredients: extra-virgin olive oil, coconut sugar in place of refined sugar, ground flaxseeds for extra fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, and I also swapped out the egg for Henry (making them accidentally vegan).

They come together in one big mixing bowl in just a few minutes, and make exactly 12 muffins, which I love – no extra batter hanging around for a second half-empty muffin tin. Moist and tender and topped with mini dark chocolate chips, these banana muffins taste just as delicious and indulgent as the “real” thing, but also happen to be a little bit better for you.

Close up of a pile of dark chocolate chips.

Vegan chocolate chip banana muffin ingredients

These chocolate chip banana muffins are my favorite for cozy breakfasts, an afternoon snack, or even dessert (hello, chocolate chips!). And not only are they delicious, but they’re full of healthy, flavorful pantry staples that I bet you also have on hand right now. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • bananas: we start with two very ripe bananas for lots of moisture and natural sweetness. The riper and more speckled they are, the more flavorful your muffins will be.
  • olive oil: I love baking with olive oil and this healthy fat keeps our banana muffins incredibly moist.
  • vanilla: Use the good stuff for a sweet flavor boost.
  • coconut sugar: These muffins are sweetened with coconut sugar, which adds sweetness and a hint of caramel flavor, but they aren’t overly sweet. If you’d prefer, you can also use a combination of granulated sugar and light brown sugar.
  • almond milk: I like to use unsweetened almond milk, but you can easily use another dairy free milk as well.
  • flax: ground flaxseed adds fiber and omega-3’s, and helps bind the ingredients together in place of eggs.
  • baking soda: provides all of the leavening in this recipe.
  • cozy spices: ground cinnamon, ginger, and cloves add warmth and lots of flavor.
  • salt: intensifies all of the flavors (I typically use Diamond Crystal.)
  • flour: regular, all purpose flour makes up the base of these muffins. Be sure not to overmix for tender and fluffy centers.
  • chocolate chips: I like to use both miniature chocolate chips (sprinkled on top) and standard chips (swirled into the batter). You could also swap out the chocolate altogether for chopped nuts if you’d like! (walnuts would be my favorite here if you go for a banana nut version).

Find all the exact measurements and instructions below.

Chocolate chip banana muffins on a white cake stand with a light background.

What is coconut sugar?

Coconut sugar is an unrefined, natural sweetener that comes from the sap of coconut palm tree flower buds. The sap is heated to remove moisture, leaving the coconut sugar crystals behind. There’s no bone char or other animal products used during this process, so it’s a great option for vegan/plant based diets.

Similar in flavor to light brown sugar, with caramel notes, coconut sugar also has a lower glycemic index than other refined sugars. I love using it in baking recipes where I would traditionally reach for brown sugar, and since it has a slightly nutty, caramel flavor to it, works really nicely with the banana and cinnamon in these muffins.

Closeup of banana muffin batter with chocolate chips

How to make simple vegan banana muffins:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350℉. Gather all of your ingredients, and get your muffin pan ready.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash the banana then whisk in the sugars and wet ingredients.
  3. Stir in the dry ingredients, being careful to gently fold in the flour until just mixed. Don’t forget to add your chocolate!
  4. Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Maybe sprinkle on a few more chocolate chips. Bake until the tops are lightly golden and gently domed. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a baking rack or diving right in to banana muffin bliss. Enjoy!!
Banana muffin batter topped with mini chocolate chips in paper muffin cups in a gold muffin pan on a marble counter.

Tips for making perfect chocolate chip banana muffins

  • Start with super ripe bananas, even verging on overripe. For the most intensely flavorful, sweetest muffins wait for your bananas to become soft, fragrant, and speckled all over or almost entirely brown. You’ll get the best banana flavor with a little bit of patience!
  • Measure the flour carefully. I like to weigh my flour for the best results, but if you choose not to use a kitchen scale, be sure to measure your flour with the spooning and leveling method.
  • Don’t overmix the batter. Gently fold the flour into the wet ingredients until just combined. Overmixing will yield dense and tough muffins instead of the fluffy and tender ones we’re aiming for!
  • Use a medium cookie scoop to divide the batter among the muffins cups for evenly sized muffins with less mess.
A batch of chocolate chip banana muffins on a dark wood background.

Baking with bananas

Whenever you’re baking with bananas, you definitely want to use the ripest bananas you can find. This will improve both the flavor and texture of the banana bread or muffins you’re baking, keeping things moist and flavorful.

The riper the banana, the sweeter and more intense the flavor. So look for nearly black, or incredibly speckled, very soft, and fragrant bananas – the ones you probably wouldn’t want to eat fresh or on your cereal.

You can also freeze overripe bananas, either whole or in pieces (just be sure to note the quantity if you go that route), then defrost in the microwave or overnight in the refrigerator. They’ll look pretty disgusting when they thaw (oxidized and goopy), but will work just as well once mashed into the batter and baked.

A batch of chocolate chip banana muffins on a white parchment paper background.

Easy banana muffin variations

These banana muffins are naturally sweetened, dairy-free, and vegan, but are easily adaptable to lots of different diets and tastes.

  • Make them double chocolate banana muffins: add 2 Tbsp unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder (after the milk), reduce the flour to 1-2/3 cups, and omit the cinnamon.
  • Don’t like bananas? Try using pumpkin or sweet potato puree instead. Love doing this in the Fall!
  • Add some nuts: chopped walnuts(or another favorite variety) can be substituted 1:1 for the chocolate chips.
  • More melted chocolate? Instead of mini chocolate chips, add 2 to 4 oz of a chopped bittersweet (60-80% cacao) chocolate bar or feves to the batter and sprinkled on top.
A toddler's hand reaching for a chocolate chip banana muffin on a white parchment paper background.

Vegan Banana Muffins: FAQs

How to store banana muffins:

These muffins will keep covered in an airtight storage container for 2-3 days at room-temperature. The muffins will get sweeter and more moist over time. After that, it’s best to keep in the fridge or freezer for up to a week.

How to freeze banana muffins:

These banana muffins freeze well, too. Once they’re completely cooled, wrap each muffin tightly in plastic then place in a freezer bag or wrap in aluminum foil. They’ll keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. Simply thaw at room temperature or in the microwave (for about 30 seconds at half power) when ready to eat.

Can I make these gluten free?

Sure. I’d suggest using a 1:1 all-purpose gluten free blend such as Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur Flour.

More favorite muffin and quick bread recipes to try:

If you make these banana muffins, be sure to tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #forkknifeswoon and leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked them! ★★★★★ Star ratings are especially helpful because they help others find my recipes too. xo, Laura

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Chocolate chip banana muffins on a white cake stand with a light background.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins


  • Author: Laura Bolton
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Muffins 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These easy vegan chocolate chip banana muffins are super fluffy and moist, full of cozy spice, and packed with chocolate chips and sweet banana flavor. Made in just one bowl, no mixer required, naturally sweetened with coconut sugar, and freezer friendly. Whether you’re plant based or just out of eggs, these are sure to be a family breakfast favorite! Gluten free friendly.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 medium bananas (about 11/4 cups), very ripe
  • 2 tsp (10g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120g) olive oil
  • 2/3 cup (128g) coconut sugar ¹
  • 1/3 cup (75g) unsweetened almond milk ² (or other milk of choice)
  • 1 Tbsp (9g) ground flaxseed
  • 11/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 11/2 tsp (9g) baking soda
  • 13/4 cups (210g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 cup (85g) semisweet chocolate chips, divided ³

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375℉. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or lightly grease with baking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, use the back of a large fork to mash the banana until smooth and only very small lumps remain. Whisk in the vanilla and olive oil until combined.
  3. Whisk in the sugar and milk. Switching to a spatula, stir in the flaxseed, spiced, salt,  and baking soda.
  4. Gently fold in the flour and about two-thirds of the chocolate chips,³ until just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Be careful not to overmix.
  5. Use a medium cookie scoop to divide the batter between the muffin cups. They will be mostly full. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating once halfway through, until the muffin tops are golden, gently domed, and a cake-tester inserted into the centers comes out mostly clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool in the muffin tin for 10 or so minutes, before carefully removing and cooling completely on a baking rack. Enjoy!!

Notes

¹ Instead of coconut sugar, you can also substitute equal parts granulated sugar (1/3 cup/66g) and light brown sugar (1/3 cup/71g).

² My favorite unsweetened almond milk for baking is made by Malk which doesn’t include any gums or stabilizers. Feel free to use your favorite non-dairy milk or cow’s milk (for a non-vegan version).

³ I like to use a combination of 2/3 standard chocolate chips swirled into the muffin batter, and 1/3 mini chocolate chips sprinkled on top. And while chocolate chip muffins are the best, for a banana nut version, you could also add up to 1/2 cup of your favorite chopped nuts (walnuts would be great!) instead.

For mini muffins: divide the batter between a lightly greased 24-cup mini muffin tin (about 3/4 full). Bake at 350℉ for 15-18 minutes.

For a banana bread loaf: grease the bottom and sides of a 4-inch-by-8-1/2-inch loaf pan with butter and dust lightly with flour. Bake at 350℉ for 45-55 minutes. Let cool for 30 mins in the pan before removing and cooling completely on a baking rack.

  • Category: Baking, Vegan, Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vegan chocolate chip banana muffins, easy banana muffin, chocolate chip muffin, vegan baking, egg free muffin, chocolate chip, one bowl, no mixer, healthy muffin, bakery style, coconut sugar

Originally published March 18, 2019.

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7 Comments

  1. 5.1.20
    Lakin said:

    Great recipe! I love the simple ingredients. While I love a sweet banana muffin, I enjoyed this healthier, more savory take as well. I halved the recipe and used avocado oil instead of olive oil and they turned out well. They were also quick and easy to whip up. I love that I only used one bowl. I had all of the dishes done before the muffins were even out of the oven. Thanks for sharing!

  2. 11.14.19
    Amber Evans said:

    This came out AMAZING! I added normal chocolate chips but it’s so amazing that they’re vegan and a slightly healthier option 😍😍😍

  3. 9.30.19
    Darcy Orr said:

    Oh my muffiny goodness. These came out perfect!! I used 2 egg whites instead of the Tbl flax and did heaping 2/3cup of coconut sugar and they were super duper amazing. Saving this recipe forever 🙏❤

  4. 3.19.19
    Louise said:

    Yum! I can’t wait to try these!
    As always, they’re beautiful, too!

    • 3.20.19
      Laura said:

      Thank you, Louise!! 🙂

Hi! I'm Laura, the food-obsessed cook, writer, and photographer behind Fork Knife Swoon, where you'll find mostly sweet, seasonal recipes and stories from my Northern Virginia kitchen.

All photography and content copyright Laura Bolton ©2021.