These banana sourdough muffins are a delicious way to use your sourdough discard and couldn’t be simpler to make! Spiced with a little cinnamon, and made with buttermilk to keep them moist. These banana muffins can easily be whipped up in about 15 minutes or less!
When it came to trying out using my sourdough discard that I’d built up in the fridge from all my sourdough baking I immediately tried my hands at muffins. Why you ask? Why not pancakes? Waffles? Ok sure I plan on trying those at some point as well.
But if I’m going to whip up a breakfast treat from scratch, that also involves sourdough, muffins are just too darn easy to ignore. Mix your dry. Mix your wet. Combine the two. Easy peasy…ready for the oven.
So if you have some sourdough discard chilling away in your fridge begging for a home. I’m going to suggest these moist sourdough muffins made with sweet, ripe bananas, and spiced with cinnamon.
Use Sourdough Discard
These are of course sourdough muffins so we are using our discard from when we feed our starter to make these banana sourdough muffins. When I feed my starter fresh flour and water I remove half of the original starter and move it to a second jar. That jar is my “discard” and I keep this in my fridge for about a month.
I keep a jar of discard in the fridge and when I have enough built up I use it in my muffins. So this means it’s not “active” and isn’t what is responsible for making our banana sourdough muffins rise, but replacing some of the flour and liquids called for in our muffin recipe.
We will use baking powder to help the muffins rise instead. The sourdough discard can give the muffins a hint of sourdough flavor. The amount of “sourdough” taste will depend on how sour your discard is to begin with.
HEATHER’S BAKING TIP: If you find your discard has some gray liquid on top, called hooch, just simply pour it off. It’s harmless and won’t affect your discard.
If you haven’t gotten around yet to making your sourdough starter, and have no discard then let’s get going! What are you waiting for? It will take about 5 days to make your starter and have a discard worth using. But it will be worth it. Here is the full guide on How To Make Sourdough Starter From Scratch.
Once you have your starter raring to go then you will need to feed and mantain your starter.
Want to jump in to sourdough but don’t want to make your own starter? Totally fine! Just buy a sourdough starter and it will be ready to use faster.
Here is what you need to make these banana muffins made with sourdough discard:
- Sourdough Discard – These are of course sourdough so we are using our discard from when we feed our starter. I keep a jar of discard in the fridge and when I have enough built up I use it in my muffins. So this means it’s not “active” and isn’t what is responsible for making our muffins rise, but replacing some of the flour and liquids called for in our muffin recipe.
- Brown Sugar – I used light brown sugar but dark brown sugar would also work.
- Bananas– You want to use bananas that are very ripe, black and speckled. These are sweeter than bananas that are not as ripe and more yellow. You can use frozen bananas, but they need to be thawed first. And I recommend blotting the liquid after as it can contribute too much moisture. The bananas should look like this bunch below…⬇️
How To Make These Muffins
1. Combine Your Dry Ingredients
You want to start by whisking together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
HEATHER’S BAKING TIP: It’s important that you measure your flour correctly. Over-measuring flour is one of the biggest mistakes bakers make. I always recommend using a digital scale and weighing your ingredients. It’s faster, and much more accurate! But if you do measure using measuring cups (aka by volume) then be sure to do it correctly. Spoon the flour into your cup and then level off. Do not pack it down in the cup. You can read How To Measure Flour.
2. Combine The Wet Ingredients
In a second mixing bowl, combine the mashed bananas, melted butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, and discard. Just simply whisk it together.
3. Combine The Wet And Dry Ingredients
Next you want to combine the wet and dry ingredients. I like to create a well first by pushing the dry ingredients aside and then pouring the wet ingredients into the hole. And then just stir together using a spatula.
HEATHER’S BAKING TIP: Be careful to NOT overmix. Overmixing will create a tough muffin. Stop mixing once the last of the flour has been incorporated.
4. Scoop The Batter
Go ahead and scoop the batter into your prepared pan. These aren’t cupcakes so go ahead and fill them up. I like to leave just a little room for the topping. I get about 10-12 muffins depending on how much I fill them up.
Heather’s Best Baking Tips
- Measure your flour correctly – Measuring your flour wrong is one reason why homemade muffins don’t come out fluffy and moist like they do as a bakery. The best way is to use a scale and measure by weight. I still love to measure by volume, as I am sure most American home bakers do. So if you do use your measuring cups, then be sure to first fluff up the flour. Then scoop with a spoon into the cup and then level off with a flat edge. For more on how and why to measure your flour you can read this post.
- Prepare your pans first. You want to make sure to get those ready before you start measuring. I like to use liners for my muffins and then also spray the top of the pans with non-stick cooking spray. You don’t have to use liners, but then make sure the wells and the top of the tin are sprayed well. If not using liners I would recommend, greasing AND dust with flour to ensure they don’t stick.
- Do not overmix. Once you add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, you want to make sure to mix just until the flour is mixed in. If you keep mixing, then you activate the gluten protein in the flour which can make your muffins tough and chewy. And cause “tunneling” which are these long holes throughout your muffins. So. Do. Not. Overmix. Ok? Ok.
- Test for doneness. It can be tough to tell if your muffins are done. I like to use a toothpick inserted into a muffin in the middle of the tin and look for moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick. If you see batter still then pop them into the oven for a few minutes.
- Cool on a cooling rack. Once you have taken your muffins out of the oven you want to move them from a tin to a cooling rack. If you leave the muffins in the tin, then the heat from the tin will cause them to continue to bake possibly causing them to overbake.
For more muffin making tips check out this post!
Initial High Baking Temperature
You want to bake your muffins first at a high temperature of 425. This high initial burst of heat helps the tops to spring up creating that beautiful domed muffin top we all love.
After the first five minutes, lower the temperature so the inside of the muffin can continue to bake. And what results? Beautiful pretty muffins like this ⬇️
Add In Ideas
Mix and match up to 1 cup of any off the following:
- chocolate chips (semi-sweet, white or dark)
- toasted nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts)
- shredded coconut
- dried cranberries (or raisins)
I find that they keep for about a week as long as they are well covered. I like to wrap mine individually in plastic wrap or tinfoil so then I can grab them throughout the week to take to work with me!
You definitely can! Mini muffins will bake for 12-14 minutes at 350°F.
Yes. And you should! Freezing your baked good is a major time saver.
To freeze unbaked: Scoop as the recipe directed into your liners, then freeze the muffin in the tin. Once frozen you can either take them out of the tin (therefore getting your tin back) and place in a zip-loc bag. Or just wrap the whole tin in plastic wrap a few times. Then when ready to bake, just bake frozen (no need to thaw) and add on a few minutes of bake time.
To freeze baked: If you find you have some leftover, then allow them to cool completely and place them in a resealable plastic bag and freeze. When ready to enjoy, I just let mine thaw at room temperature (this happens within a few minutes!) and enjoy.
More Ways To Use Your Discard
If you still have some sourdough discard still to use up after making these banana muffins, then here are a few more delicious recipes for you to try!
Banana Sourdough Muffins
- 1 1/4 cups (150 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 large ripe bananas about 1 and 1/2 cups mashed
- 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, melted
- ⅔ cup (135g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 60 g (generous ¼ cup) sourdough discard
- Prep oven and pans. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or use cupcake liners.
- Combine dry ingredients. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Combine wet ingredients. Mash the bananas. Whisk in the melted butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then whisk until combined. Do not overmix. I stop mixing just as the last of the dry ingredients are stirred in. If adding nuts or chocolate chips, stir them in now. Batter will be thick.
- Bake muffins. Spoon the batter into liners or greased muffin tin, filling them all the way to the top. Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Bake for an additional 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the muffin pan, then transfer to a cooling rack to continue cooling.
- Make Ahead/Storage: Muffins stay fresh covered at room temperature for a few days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can also freeze these for up to 3 months.
- Initial High Temperature Of Baking: This is necessary to achieve that domed muffin top. After the first five minutes, then lower the temperature to continue baking.
- Mini Muffins: For mini muffins, bake for about 12-14 total minutes at 350°F.
- Bananas: You want to use very ripe, black, speckled bananas. These are the sweetest. You can use frozen bananas, but it’s important to thaw them first. And then blot them to remove the excess moisture.
- Discard: You want to use your sourdough discard, the starter that is left over from feeding it. It’s not very active at this point, and just replaces some of the flour and liquids in the recipe. It doesn’t help it rise.