These healthy banana cupcakes are made with whole-grain oat flour and loaded with sweet cinnamon banana flavor.
Y’all, I’ve been working on this recipe for at least two years.
I’ve always wanted to convert my banana oat flour cake to a cupcake recipe, but each time I tried, I failed…. until now.
I finally came up with the right combo that leaves these cupcakes light and fluffy like cake should be, not dense like a muffin or bread. The taste is subtly sweet with notes of cinnamon and a lot of banana flavor. They are honestly perfect for any occasion, but I’m glad I got them right before all the Spring brunch opportunities startup!
I do wish my family loved banana-flavored items as much as I do. I think I might have overdone it on them just a tad. Constantly making things like oat flour banana bread, oat flour banana muffins, banana oatmeal bread, almond flour banana bread, and chocolate chip banana oatmeal muffins will do that. What can I say, I’m a fan of banana-flavored baked goods. Lol, At least I know what I like!
How to Make Healthy Banana Cupcakes
I always start by mashing my banana and setting it aside. Pro tip: you want your bananas more mashed than you would for, say a banana bread or muffin. Bread and muffins can handle large chunks of bananas in their texture. Cake can not. In the third round of making this recipe, I mashed my bananas a lot, almost into a chunky smoothie consistency (more than the picture shows), which was perfect. No one cupcake had giant chunks of banana in it, which is good, my friends, very good!
Next, you’ll cream together your sugar and butter, then beat in the remaining liquid items.
You’ll mix your dry ingredients in a separate bowl (not shown) along with milk plus lemon juice. You’ll alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk to the wet ingredients about 3-4 times until it’s fully incorporated. Then, you’ll mix in your banana. I used the beater to make sure the banana was fully integrated, remember large chunks of banana are not ideal in cupcakes (especially when they sink to the bottom.)
I made this recipe several times. I tested with and without cupcake liners. Either was fine. It made 12 cupcakes every time. I did prefer the cupcake liners vs. not. The cupcakes aren’t crumbly per se, but they are like any cake are a bit delicate. So the liners were definitely a better option than not.
Swaps and Substitutions
Almond milk – substitute any other non-dairy milk or water. Real milk may add a heaviness that I haven’t tested.
Lemon Juice – do not omit. In a pinch, you could substitute vinegar.
Oat Flour – do not omit and do not substitute. Oat flour is heavy and absorbent. You can’t easily swap it out with other types of flour!
Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt – do not omit
Cinnamon – modify as desired.
Bananas – 2 small bananas mashed. Do not omit or substitute.
Maple syrup – can sub with any other liquid sweetener like agave or honey
Eggs – do not omit. An egg substitute such as flax eggs may work, but I haven’t tried it. Please let us know if you try it!
Coconut sugar – or brown sugar
Softened Salted Butter – Feel free to use your favorite vegan stick butter, softened. Coconut oil would likely work as well, but I haven’t tried it.
Vanilla Extract – you can omit it in a pinch, but I would try not to!
Cream Cheese Frosting – I love Miss Jones Brand – it’s dairy-free and full of real food ingredients, but feel free to use your favorite frosting or make your own! My greek yogurt cream cheese frosting would go nicely as well!
How to Store and Freeze
Storing: Store these cupcakes in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 5-7 days.
Freeze: Freeze these cupcakes without the frosting for up to 3 months, defrost under refrigeration and then add frosting!
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Healthy Banana Cupcakes
- 1/3 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1.5 cups oat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 2 bananas 2/3 cup mashed
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 large eggs
- 1 /2 cup coconut sugar** or brown sugar
- 1/4 cup softened salted butter or vegan butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 12 ounces creamy cheese frosting optional
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Whisk milk with lemon juice and set aside.1 tsp lemon juice, 1/3 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- Mix the oat flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.1.5 cups oat flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Mash bananas very well, no large chunks, in a separate bowl and set aside.2 bananas
- Cream together softened butter and coconut sugar with an electric mixer. Mix in eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.2 bananas, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 /2 cup coconut sugar**, 1/4 cup softened salted butter, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2 large eggs
- Fold in 1/4 of the dry ingredients, mix them until combined, and add 1/4 of sour milk, then mix again. Repeat alternating dry ingredients mix and sour milk until everything is incorporated.
- Fold in (use a spatula, not the mixer) to mix in the mashed banana. Bake in a cupcake-lined muffin tin for 15-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes back clean.
- Let cool for one hour on a cooling rack before serving. If you want to add frosting, let it cool overnight in the fridge, so that the frosting doesn't melt when you try to add it. Once you add the frosting, it's ready to serve, best served cold, or at room temperature.12 ounces creamy cheese frosting