How to Make Reduced-Sugar Banana Bread Muffins


We all love them

Reduced-Sugar Banana Bread Muffins are the perfect grab-and-go snack! The reduced-sugar content also makes it great for breakfast when you don’t want to feel like you’re eating dessert first thing in the morning. Best of all, it uses those overripe bananas you forgot about on your counter so you don’t have to waste any food!

reduced-sugar banana bread muffins

Too Many Bananas?

The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has been a strange time for us all. In Austin, we were placed under a “Stay at Home” order for several weeks. During this, time a lot of things changed but the strangest of them all might just be the changes in people’s shopping habits. All of a sudden people were stockpiling toilet paper and bananas. I admittedly am guilty of the latter.

If you know me, you know baking is not my strong suit but I also hate wasting food. Buying too many bananas inevitably led to some becoming too ripe to enjoyably eat. Fortunately, banana bread is a recipe that thrives on brown, overripe bananas.

I tried some highly-rated recipes I found online but most called for 1 cup of sugar, which is too sweet for my taste. Since we were all under “Stay at Home” orders I figured I had nothing else better to do and sent myself on a mission to perfect reduced-sugar banana bread muffins.

overripe bananas

Sixth Times a Charm

My journey for the perfect reduced-sugar banana bread muffins did not come easy. It took me six tries to find the perfect ratio of ingredients. If you watch my Instagram stories, you know my struggle.

  • ATTEMPT #1: I used a recipe for banana bread loaf I found on Google. It called for 1 cup of sugar which I knew was too sweet for my taste so I reduced it to 3/4 cup. It was decent but still too sweet.
  • ATTEMPT #2: I used the same recipe but reduced the sugar to 1/4 cup. The texture was firmer than the first time. It wasn’t as good but still edible.
  • ATTEMPT #3: I searched for different recipes and noticed some used 2 cups of flour. Gave that a try and it ended up being my worst attempt. The outside was like a hard crust. My fiancé said it was fine but I would deem it inedible.
  • ATTEMPT #4: I went back to 1.5 cups of flour and reduced the baking time from 55 to 45 minutes. Although it was edible, it wasn’t something to brag about. It was a bit firm, not fluffy like you would expect.
  • ATTEMPT #5: Here is when I realized that I couldn’t use a loaf recipe to make muffins. So I reduced the baking time to 20 minutes and increased the heat from 350°F to 375°F. I also tried 3 bananas instead of 4. The texture turned out great. However, there was a weird metallic taste in some parts.
  • ATTEMPT #6: I did more research and experimented. Instead of melting, I used soft room-temperature butter. I separated wet and dry ingredients, mixed them separately, and then combined together. I went back to using 4 bananas. The results were great and I knew I had accomplished my mission.

Tips for Success

  1. Use 4 overripe bananas! The best ones are soft, brown, or covered in spots. This will result in an amazing, naturally sweet, banana flavor!
  2. Use soft, room-temperature butter and cream it with sugar. This makes the banana bread light and fluffy.
  3. Separate wet and dry ingredients. This allows you to mix each component well without overmixing the final batter. The metallic taste I experienced was because the baking soda was not mixed sufficiently with the flour.
  4. When measuring flour do not pack it. Instead, spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level with a flat edge like a knife. Packing results in more flour, which means denser bread. We want to keep it light!
  5. When adding dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mix gently. You do not want to over-mix because this causes the muffins to be denser. Similar to making pancake batter, you want the flour to be moistened but the batter should not be perfectly smoothed.
  6. Muffin and loaf recipes cannot be used interchangeably. Muffins require less time and higher heat (20 minutes at 375°F). Loaves require more time and lower heat (55 minutes at 350°F).
  7. 1 tsp baking soda can be substituted for 3 tsp baking powder.

Did you make this recipe? I would love to see! Tag me on Instagram @feedmi_

Reduced-Sugar Banana Bread Muffins

Prep Time 10 minutes
Bake Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 muffins



  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder


  • 1 stick butter, room-temperature
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • In a mixing bowl add the dry ingredients: loosely packed flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Mix well and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl add the wet ingredients. Add packed brown sugar to softened, room-temperature butter and cream/combine. Then add ripe bananas, eggs, and vanilla extract. Mash/blend until everything is mixed well.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  • Mix gently, just enough to combine but do not over-mix (similar to pancake batter).
  • Butter a 12-cup muffin pan.
  • Pour batter equally into the 12-cup muffin pan.
  • Bang the pan on a counter to remove air bubbles and even out the batter.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Insert a toothpick in the center of a muffin to test. If it comes out clean, then it is done.




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