Banana Yogurt Muffins and Little Banana Bread Loaf

How many banana bread and banana recipes does one person need? If you’re like me, more than thirty.

I don’t think it’s possible to have too many because there’s always a banana about to over-ripen.

Banana Yogurt Muffins and Little Banana Bread Loaf

I didn’t have a recipe for banana muffins and it was high time to post one. Well, I do have one for Banana Nut Muffins (vegan, gluten-free) but it’s from 2009 and life, cooking skills, and photography skills have changed dramatically since then and I was overdue for an update. Truthfully, most of my banana bread recipes can be made as muffins rather than loaves but I normally just bake loaves.

One reason I don’t make many muffins or cupcakes is because I find them to fussy to deal with. I’d rather bake a  whole loaf of bread or a whole cake, than individual muffins or cupcakes. Filling up the liners, trying to not drip batter all over the pan, and then decorating each individually is time-consuming and tedious. I like to slap it all in a big pan and be done, but I made an exception for these. I made them before I even knew it was National Banana Bread Day on February 23.


Banana Yogurt Muffins and Little Banana Bread Loaf

The beauty of the recipe is that it goes from ingredients-in-pantry to muffin-in-mouth in 30 minutes and your house smells ridiculously amazing for the rest of the day. Something about banana bread baking is just so comforting and is a sure-fire way to get the family racing into the kitchen. The batter is made in one bowl, by hand, which saves on dishes. I try not to spend my weekend mornings doing baking dishes.

And because I baked sprinkles right in, I didn’t have to worry about glazing, frosting, or decorating them, another time-saver. Although muffins don’t technically need to be decorated, cupcakes definitely do. No one wants a bald cupcake and even with muffins, usually they’re a little dry or boring and need a glaze to jazz them up.

Muffins are prone to dryness, which is a total deal-breaker, but I assure you these aren’t dry at all. Bananas do such a fabulous job of keeping batter moist and soft, and I also used Greek yogurt, another workhorse in the tenderizing and moistening department.

Banana Yogurt Muffins and Little Banana Bread Loaf

To make the muffins, add two-and-one-half bananas to a large mixing bowl. I used three bananas total; mashed 2 1/2 and the remaining half-banana is reserved, sliced and later garnishes the top of the little loaf before baking. I made 1 dozen muffins and a little loaf since I had a bit more batter than I had muffin pans or patience.

Mash bananas with a fork, and then an egg, sugars, yogurt, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, and whisk it all together. I used the new banana Low-Fat Chobani Greek Yogurt. I think they made it just so people could bake banana bread with it. It’s good on it’s own, but it’s tailor-made and perfect for baking. It helped boost the banana flavor of the muffins, but use what you can find.

Banana Yogurt Muffins and Little Banana Bread Loaf

Sour cream will work and if using it, consider adding an extra tablespoon or two of granulated sugar since the yogurt is sweetened. When you crack the seal on your yogurt or sour cream, if it has separated into a solid with water on top, pour off the water before adding the solid to the batter. That pure, thick, creamy yogurt or sour cream is what you’re really after.

I used oil rather than butter because nothing says soft and moist like an oil-based muffin, bread, or cake. I was going to add butter a bit of butter for flavor, but decided to omit it in an effort to keep things relatively healthy and it wasn’t missed at all.

Banana Yogurt Muffins and Little Banana Bread Loaf

Add the dry ingredients and fold them in until just combined, making sure to not overmix so you don’t create tough, rubbery muffins. The less you mix, the less you develop the gluten, which translates to softer and more delicate muffins. They’re not light and airy; the bananas, yogurt, and oil keep them dense, but they are soft, fluffy, and not tough in the least.

Pour the batter into a lined 12-cup muffin pan, filling each cup three-quarters full. The old rule of thumb about filling two-thirds full creates short, squat, and skimpy-looking muffins. For bigger, puffier, bakery-style muffins with a bigger muffin top, fill the cavity three-quarters full. If you overfill slightly, the worst that can happen is the batter rises while baking and the overage rests and bakes on the muffin pan. Hello muffin top.

Don’t you just want to rip that little mushroom cap right off? I created Muffin Top Bread so I could have a whole loaf that tastes like muffin tops so that I don’t have to dismember muffins.

Banana Yogurt Muffins and Little Banana Bread Loaf

I put a pinch of sprinkles in the center of each muffin before baking, which helps dress up the muffins so they don’t look bald and bare after baking. They also add a tiny bit of texture and sweetness, and if you have kids, eyes will light up. It’s a scant teaspoon well spent.

After filling the dozen liners, I had enough batter for probably 6 more muffins but I was muffin’ed out. I reached for my trusty 8-by-4-inch baking pan and poured in the remaining batter. I sliced the reserved half banana into thin rounds, placed them on the surface, and sprinkled away.

I baked the muffins at 350F for 20 minutes, and the loaf for 30 minutes, rotating pans once midway through baking. When done, the muffin tops and surface of the loaf should be set, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted will come out clean.

Banana Yogurt Muffins and Little Banana Bread Loaf

I served Strawberry Butter with them and it stellar. Strawberries, bananas, and sprinkles are a winning trifecta.

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter

The muffins are about as sweet as regular banana bread and make for a healthier breakfast option. One cup of sugar spread over 12 muffins and a loaf of bread isn’t excessive in the least, and coupled with the yogurt, they’re on the healthier side. I’m sure you could veganize them by substituting a flax egg and using a soy-based yogurt. I’m sure you could use applesauce, whole wheat flour, and all sorts of other things to make them lighter, lower, healthier, and so forth. But I’d rather not. I loved them just as they were.

My husband loves muffins and isn’t really a cookie guy. What a shame. He loved these. They’re soft, tender, moist, and fluffy; thanks to the softening and moistening powers of yogurt and bananas. The crumb was dense and well-formed, so much so that when ripped in half, the halves wanted to stay hinged and I had to lightly tug to separate them, a true testament to the moistness.

Banana Yogurt Muffins and Little Banana Bread Loaf

I love the taste and sensation of little sprinkles in my teeth, especially in between a few chunkier bites of banana. I always mash my bananas with a fork and don’t over-mash so they stay a little chunkier and retain some texture.

The little loaf baked up adorably and I used it as the bread for mini peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Why not.

I can never have too many recipes for banana bread. Or banana anything.

Banana Yogurt Muffins and Little Banana Bread Loaf

Banana Yogurt Muffins - Soft, easy, fluffy muffins made without butter and WITH Greek yogurt to keep them healthier & liter!

Banana Yogurt Muffins and Little Banana Bread Loaf

These muffins are so moist, tender and soft, thanks to the addition of Greek yogurt. The batter is make in one bowl, by hand, in mere minutes and the muffins go from idea to mixing bowl to oven to mouth all in under 30 minutes. Because there’s sprinkles baked right in, no need to bother with a glaze. The batter makes enough for 12 standard muffins plus 1 small 8×4 loaf, or bake as about 18 muffins. I like baking the extra batter as a loaf because it’s easy to wrap it up and freeze for a rainy day.


1 to 1 1/4 cups mashed banana (3 medium/large ripe bananas)
1 large egg
6 ounces Greek yogurt (I used Lowfat banana Chobani, sour cream may be substituted))
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon, or to taste
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
about 1/4 cup sprinkles, divided; optional but recommended


  1. Preheat oven to 350F, line a 12-count muffin pan with liners or spray with floured cooking spray; set aside. Recipe make about 18 muffins so either prepare a second muffin pan or spray an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with floured cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash 2 1/2 of the 3 bananas, reserving half of one banana for garnishing the little loaf. Add the egg, yogurt (if using sour cream, add an additional 2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar to compensate because the yogurt is sweetened), oil, sugars, vanilla, cinnamon, and whisk to incorporate. Mixture will be lumpy because of the banana chunks.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined; don’t overmix or bread will be tough. Pour batter into prepared muffin pan, filling each of the 12 wells to three-quarters full (fill past the old two-thirds full rule to create domed and fuller muffins). Add 1 scant teaspoon (a generous pinch) of sprinkles to the center of each muffin. Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes, or until tops of muffins are set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean. Muffin tops should feel springy to the touch when done. Allow muffins to cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes before removing.
  4. With the remaining batter, either pour into prepared loaf pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula; or make more muffins (I’d guess about 6 more). With the reserved half banana, slice into thin rounds, about 1/8th-inch thick, and lay the slices on the top surface of the bread. Liberally shake sprinkles over the top. Bake for about 28 to 30 minutes, or until tops is set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comest clean. Top of bread should feel springy to the touch when done. Allow muffins to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before removing.
  5. Muffins will keep in airtight container (or for the bread wrap it in plasticwrap and place inside a large ziplock) for up to 5 days, although are best enjoyed sooner rather than later. Consider freezing extra muffins or the loaf if you’re not going to consume within a week. Optionally serve muffins or bread with Strawberry Butter

Only Eats

Related Recipes:

Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze – My all-around favorite banana bread recipe. Vanilla is used four times in this straightforward, easy recipe that never lets me down. The banana bread turns out moist and perfect every time and the browned butter glazes pushes it over the edge. This is the most popular banana bread of all the varieties I have with readers

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter – Buttermilk and browned butter are combined to create this banana bread that’s fluffy, soft, moist, and packed with rich, nutty, and deep flavor. The top of the loaf stays smooth, shiny, dense and reminds me of a big muffin top

Blueberry Muffins with Raspberry Jam Swirls – The muffins are moist, soft, and have raspberry jam swirled throughout, creating a bounty of berry flavors

Banana Nut Muffins (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free) – Blast from the past, circa 2009. The recipe produces muffins that are dense, almost like a blondie or bar-cookie that’s baked in muffin cups. Full of rich flavor from the toasted and ground flax and cashews

Blueberry Streusel Muffins (vegan, GF) – More like little blueberry oat-cakes than muffins. Made in one bowl, no mixer required

Blueberry Yogurt Cake with Lemon Vanilla Glaze – The yogurt keeps this cake soft, springy, and spongy and the lemon glaze gives a wonderful pop of flavor

Carrot Pineapple Banana Bread with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting – My favorite non-traditional banana bread and it’s what you’d get if banana bread met carrot cake. Full of bits of carrots, pineapple, raisins, yogurt and it’s moist and soft beyond words and more like cake than bread

Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Bread – The bread tastes like one big muffin top and is more like a dense cake-meets-muffin-top than bread because it’s falling-apart soft, tender, and moist. It’s dense yet springy and bouncy, oozes blueberries, and there’s a cream cheese filling baked in

Chewy Sugar Sprinkles Cookies – Normally sugar cookies need to be frosted and decorated, but I used the baked-in sprinkles trick for these cookies, a major timesaver

30 Favorite Banana Bread and Banana Recipes – In case you need more banana bread and banana recipe inspiration, these may help

30 Favorite Banana Bread & Banana Recipes

Do you have a favorite easy muffin or cupcake recipe? Or favorite banana bread recipe?

Feel free to leave links to your favorites.

Thanks for the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookies Giveaway and $100 Swanson Vitamins Shopping Spree and Coconut Oil Giveaway entries!

129 comments on “Banana Yogurt Muffins and Little Banana Bread Loaf”

  1. You had me at “banana & yoghurt” combined haha can’t wait to try this!

  2. Oh Averie, you never fail with your pictures and everything :) i looove anything banana-y! I’m 21 y/o and a newbie food blogger too and I really wish to be like you one day :) Regards from Malaysia ! <3

  3. I like using greek yogurt in breads–this looks like a great healthier banana bread/muffin recipe! I’m also one to prefer a loaf over muffins–just seems like less of a hassle. :)

  4. Between the oil, the banana chobani, and the bananas – one can only imagine how moist and soft these banana muffins are. Not to mention, bursting with flavor! The sprinkles are a nice touch – I don’t know about anyone else, but I love waking up to sprinkles in the morning! The 6th photo down – the bokeh is GORGEOUS Averie. What a great shot! And the striped muffin liners are adorable. I live for colorful liners like that! Who knew I’d have an obsession with collecting plates and colorful cupcake liners when I grew up?! PS: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on banana bread with sprinkles sounds like my dream meal. :)

    • Thanks for the compliments on the photos…It was one of those days that was almost TOO bright to shoot. I kept having to mess around with my ISO and aperture…I had about 20 combinations going :) Sprinkles in the a.m. are the best way to wake up! And these are hands down, the softest banana muffin I’ve ever had!

  5. Love that you put sprinkles in there- how fun!

  6. LOVE the sprinkles on these muffins Averie! We eat a lot of muffins because they are perfect for our busy on the go life. I never thought to put sprinkles on them, but totally going to do it. I love that you baked them right on, I’m always looking for a quick step, and that’s perfect.

  7. OK, these sound absolutely incredible!! I love the sprinkles on top! So adorable! I love using yogurt in baking because it just gives a light moist texture that can’t be beat! Definitely trying this one!!!

  8. These are seriously the cutest little banana muffins I’ve ever seen! YUM!

  9. Now that you’ve got me into baking with coconut oil, all I can think of is how great these would be with that! But the banana flavored yogurt is a great idea! Kind of like adding in banana extract, but a little more natural tasting? Maybe….

    Don’t you just want to rip that little mushroom cap right off? <– YES!!!

  10. I love how fun and festive these look. Talk about a great Easter brunch item. I am a weirdo and sort of like baking muffins (especially the little mini ones) or those small loaves. I have a pan that has 6 mini loaves and it’s just fun to use to bake up gifts. Plus…better portion control ;-)

    • I have ALMOST bought that style of pan like 10 times but I think, well, it’s kind of bulky to store. But I actually think I’d get a ton of use out of it…bigger than muffins, no liner required, perfect for gifting. I think I just sold myself :)

  11. You completely sold me when you put sprinkles on top. I love these!

  12. I love the idea of adding sprinkles! Too cute!

  13. I just bought a 6oz container of Chobani and may have to use it up to bake these. LOVE the addition of sprinkles – so festive and pretty!

  14. I adore that you added all of those colorful sprinkles to these! I can only imagine how amazing these all smelled and tasted!

  15. I agree that one can never have too many banana bread recipes! Although I prefer the ease of making loaves versus muffins, sometimes muffins are more fun and convenient. I love the addition of sprinkles on these, very cute.

  16. I never thought to put sprinkles on my banana bread before. It’s makes it look so fun

  17. I have become pretty good at half batches and single serving muffins since I’m usually just making goodies for 2 of us. I usually bake them in little ramekins in my toaster oven. Your banana bread recipes are my favorite–what can I say?!?! I love using yogurt or buttermilk in quick breads–and sprinkles are always fun. The only drawback to using ramekins is the lack of a muffin top–unless I really fill them!.

    • I think though that ramekins are such a good call. I don’t love paper liners; they get all greasy and weird looking. And they are smaller. I like the idea of something slightly bigger like a ramekin but not quite as big as a loaf. However, a skimpy-filled 8×4 loaf is one of my new faves. It doesn’t make for great photos b/c it’s so short and squat but for size and practicality, it’s EASY and good for our needs & flow.

  18. Those are so festive! I’ve got to get my hands on Chobani’s new banana flavor — this is the second time I’ve heard about it but haven’t seen it in the store. I’m on a mission. Thanks for the recipe!

  19. Averie, this muffins reminded me of Easter when I was a kid. I think it’s because of sprinkles: my grandmother use to sprinkle Easter bread with a rainbow of colors. Good memories… :)
    I was reading a new book of Cook’s Illustrated, and thought this quote would be interesting for you too: “We recommend that all cooks … rely on their instincts when making our recipes. Refer to the visual cues provided. If the bread dough hasn’t “come together in a ball”, … you may need to add more flour – even if the recipe doesn’t tell you so. You be the judge”. I love this quote! I think I am going to use it next time I post a bread recipe or other that need intuition indeed.
    Yes, what happened to our cooking instincts? (Am I too philosophical for Monday?!) :)

    • Thanks be to C.I. for just writing that! Every time I almost skimp on my writing/directions/details, I get a whole bunch of ‘thank you for writing it all out – you really helped me’ emails…so it reinforces doing it.

      • Yes, Averie, you do fantastic job writing your recipes. Everything in it makes perfect sense and is in order easy to follow. Sometimes I read your recipes with great pleasure as a short novel. I honestly don’t understand why you still get frustrated emails (I mean I don’t understand people who send it). So the quote I sent was to make you feel better when you do get those negative feed backs. :)

  20. These are so cute! I have never seen sprinkles on top of banana bread/muffins and I love it! You are totally right- you can never have enough banana bread recipes. I enjoy baking a loaf too much easier but the muffins are really cute and they looks so darn moist! I never make banana bread without greek yogurt and I was so happy when Chobani came out with the banana flavor :)

  21. This sounds so good!! Love those cute sprinkles :)

  22. Oh my! These look so Spring-y, Averie! Love the sprinkles!:) Time to make some banana muffins!

  23. Averie, these are so beautiful with those bright, colorful sprinkles popping out on top! And the picture without the liner where you can see how perfectly the muffin has formed! I just want to cut off all of those muffin tops, and submerse myself into a sprinkle filled sugar coma :)

  24. The sprinkles on top are such a cute touch! And since this recipe comes from you, there is no doubt that these muffin are bursting with flavor.

  25. The sprinkles on top are the perfect addition! And I’m a lover of all things banana…so this collection of recipes is awesome. :)

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