Banana-Date-Walnut Muffins

by on January 16, 2006
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Banana Date Walnut Muffins

This morning I had a houseful of girls: my daughter E. had her friends J. and K. over to spend the night since today is a school holiday. I decided that instead of filling several breakfast orders (one loves grits, one likes cereal, one says she always eats bacon…) I’d make muffins. I took a look at some of the muffin recipes I could find online and in Vegan with a Vengeance for inspiration and then decided to just wing it! The result was these amazing, tender, fat-free vegan banana-date muffins.

October 2011 update: E and I just made this recipe again, and it’s as good as ever. It struck me now as being extremely sweet, so I recommend doing away with the agave nectar, which I’ve now marked as optional, or reducing the sugar to 1/3 cup unless you like your muffins super sweet. Give them a few minutes to cool off before eating; they’ll be more tender that way and you won’t burn the roof of your mouth!

Banana Date Walnut Muffins

Banana-Date-Walnut Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
  • 3/4 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup natural sugar (I used the large crystal, unbleached kind)
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1-1/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soymilk, almond milk, or other non-dairy milk
  • 1/3 cup natural apple sauce
  • 2 tbsp. agave nectar (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (omit to reduce fat)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 and spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray. Sift together the flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, mash the banana with the sugar, soymilk, apple sauce, and agave nectar.
  2. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Add in the dates and walnuts, and pour into 12 muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve to everyone who came running toward the aroma of fresh baked banana muffins!
Without walnuts: 128 Calories (kcal); trace Total Fat; (2% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 31g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 171mg Sodium; 2g Fiber.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/12 of recipe Calories: 144 Fat: 2g Carbohydrates: 31g Sodium: 171mg Fiber: 2g Protein: 3g

These came out very light and sweet; J. actually asked if I had any “regular” muffins because “these are too sweet.” You can probably reduce the sugar with no ill effects. Enjoy!

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

1 dawnpoulos September 22, 2009 at 3:40 am

I thought the amount of sugar called for in this recipe was excessive so I used naturally sweeter rice milk instead of soy, upped the dates to 1/2 a cup and took the 1/2 cup of sugar down to 2 tablespoons. The results were light and sweet.


2 Lillian January 1, 2010 at 4:54 pm

I made these muffins this morning for my family, and they absolutely loved it. THEY ARE ABSOLULTELY DELICIOUS. I omitted the 1/2 cup of sugar and the agave nectar and used some stevia instead because I thought they were going to be sweet enough already 🙂 you are amazing for posting up wonderful, healthy, easy recipes!

I cook religiously from your website, so thank you!!


3 Katie January 29, 2010 at 6:12 pm

being me, I HAD to add some dark coco powder because everything is better with a little chocolate 🙂
I cut the white flour to 1/2 cup and added a 1/4 cup of the coco powder… also I used a replacement sweetener and used less than a 1/2 cup of the sweetener instead of the raw sugar. The result was a light, fluffy, sinfully delicious cupcake/muffin


4 Anonymous February 19, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I made these for breakfast and my family and I loved it! I used honey instead of agave nectar and didn't put dates. Definitely a thumbs up for this recipe!


5 LindsayH April 29, 2010 at 12:33 am

I want to make this but I have no applesauce (can’t make it to the store until Friday either). I need to make something with bananas, as I have a bunch of bananas that need to get made PRONTO (which irritates me, becuase I just bought them two days ago from Costco). I thought about making a vegan banana bread I’ve done before, but it’s super fattening. Any ideas?


6 SusanV April 29, 2010 at 7:24 am

Probably the easiest thing to do is just add 1/3 cup more banana. I think that should work, but you could also try using a gel made of flax and water; just mix 2 teaspoons ground flax seed with 1/3 cup of warm water and let it sit to thicken.


7 LindsayH April 29, 2010 at 12:46 pm

It just now dawned on me to make applesauce. So that’s what I have going right now. I had some apples that were getting mealy anyway, I was going to make apple pie like my husband has been begging me…this is probably a better choice. If I ever find myself applesauce-less again I’ll probably try the flax route.


8 LindsayH April 29, 2010 at 12:35 am

Oh, I should add. I’ve made this recipe a half dozen times, exactly as posted, and it came out perfect every time. I thought the amount of sugar was just fine.


9 Laina June 26, 2010 at 9:33 pm

These were so delicious. Just made them and had to comment. 🙂

In place of the white flour I used whole wheat pastry flour. For the whole wheat flour I used white whole wheat.

I used 1/2 cup applesauce and used date sugar, but no agave nectar. I used pecans instead of walnuts.

Thanks Susan!!!


10 nicole July 27, 2010 at 11:12 am

Just wondering, can you use 1 3/4 C white whole wheat flour instead for all the flour called for?


11 SusanV July 27, 2010 at 11:17 am

Yes. The white flour just makes them a little fluffier. You may need to add a little bit more liquid (like a tablespoon) if you use all whole wheat flour.


12 Azahara August 27, 2010 at 4:35 am

Delicious! I’m not sure how long dates can be kept in the fridge before they go bad, so I used raisins instead, just to be on the safe side. I made other changes: I used all white whole wheat flour and no sugar at all (but increased the agave nectar to 4 tbsp.).
I love how quick & easy most of your muffin recipes are.

Thanks, Susan!


13 jo ann glahn October 20, 2010 at 1:16 am

We would like to try your recipe with agave nectar instead of sugar. I would think it would be best to decrease the soymilk. How much soymilk would you suggest?
thanks, Jo Ann


14 SusanV October 20, 2010 at 8:50 am

This is just a guess but it’s what I would try: Use 1/3 cup of agave nectar instead of 1/2 cup natural sugar. Start with 1/3 cup soymilk and add another tablespoon or two if the batter seems dry (but I think 1/3 cup will probably be enough.)


15 AVBear May 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm

I just made these using this variation, and the batter was a bit on the dry side. I added 2 tbs more soy milk to get the perfect consistency. I happened to have dried cherries, so I added a few of those too, and to make it more of a cake, I added a dark chocolate mocha glaze after they were cooled down. So yummy! Thanks for (yet another) a wonderful recipe.


16 April at Kitchen Blender Reviews November 22, 2010 at 9:50 pm

I made this recipe one morning for breakfast and it was wonderful. I did back off a bit on the sugar, but all the same, it is a keeper.

Later that day my husband was making us smoothies and we had to guess the ingredients (a fun game). We got them all with exception of the last one…a banana-date-nut muffin from breakfast. It turned out to be an excellent smoothie!


17 laloofah January 2, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I’ve made these twice since Christmas and they’re delicious! I’d run out of whole wheat flour by the time I made the second batch, so I used whole wheat pastry flour exclusively (I can’t get white whole wheat flour here). And since I only had 1 TBSP of agave nectar left, I made up the difference with a TBSP of maple syrup. I also used the full amount of sugar called for (I used sucanat) rather than reducing it to 1/3 of a cup as I had the first time, and I sprinkled the tops of the muffins with a little demerara sugar just before putting them in the oven, for a little crunch and sprinkle! 🙂 We liked the second batch of muffins even better than the first one, and next time I make these I’ll use all maple syrup instead of agave nectar. We really enjoy these with our morning cup of Teeccino!


18 Vanessa January 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I just wanted to thank you for you unbelievable website. I am vegan and on weight watchers right now so this is now my new favorite blog 🙂

Last night, I made the chai coconut breakfast cake, the blueberry breakfast bread and these banana muffins. They are all amazing! I loved that I had all the ingredients in my pantry already and didn’t have to buy anything for all three recipes to work. The three of them turned out perfectly. Great for freezing and grabbing on the go!

Wow. I am so excited. I guess what I am trying to say is a big thank you and keep posting, you’ve got a new fan 🙂


19 Christine Lanteigne February 22, 2011 at 6:18 pm

These muffins were really tasty! I made a batch a few days ago and just put another batch into the oven now. I like to find different ways to use up bananas, plus I love dates. Even though I am not vegan, I still like to try different things. I did a few different things, like added 3/4 tsp. of cinnamon and a 1/4 tsp. of cloves. I added 2 tbsps. of maple syrup, as I don’t have agave nectar. The first batch of muffins I used honey. I also didn’t have whole wheat flour, so I used unbleached all purpose flour. I also don’t have vanilla soymilk, so I used skim milk with a tsp. of real vanilla. I did omit the walnuts, just to cut back on the fat a bit. Very lovely muffins. The first batch went fast! Thanks for posting your recipe.


20 Get Skinny, Go Vegan. March 16, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Looks great. Nice, simple, and delicious with coffee.


21 Jody Stadler April 28, 2011 at 12:08 am

I wondered if I could make this any healthier and somehow omit the white flour altogether…what would happen if I used chickpea flour…or quinoa flour…or just stuck with all whole wheat flour?


22 SusanV April 28, 2011 at 8:00 am

I would try using all whole wheat flour. I’m afraid chickpea flour would make it heavy, though a little quinoa flour might not hurt.


23 Violet February 5, 2014 at 5:50 pm

You can try gluten free flour instead of the white. I did and they were still good except I felt I needed more liquid and they came out a little more dense/doughy as opposed to fluffy and light. Still tasty, just a little different I guess? lol


24 Erica June 9, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Just made these and took them out of the oven 20-ish minutes ago. Major yum!! I didn’t change anything but I did have a bit of an oops with the baking powder…accidentally adding it to the banana mixture. I think it may have effected the rising of the muffins because they are a little short and extra moist. Doesn’t change their deliciousness though! The only other difference was using vanilla almond milk instead of soymilk.
This recipe is definitely a keeper! Perfect balance of sweetness for me. Love the addition of dates.


25 Amy October 7, 2011 at 12:13 pm

I love your blog and recipes and have great faith in them. However, this didn’t turn out quite right.

They didn’t come out very sweet as comments say; in fact, I felt they needed a bit more sweetness. So next time I’ll increase either the sugar or agave nectar. Or maybe Splenda?

Also, they weren’t light and fluffy. They were rather dense and soggy. What possibly could have gone wrong?

I am looking forward to repeat this recipe, as I loved their banana flavor. I just need some suggestions for things to do (or mistakes to avoid) to improve the next batch!

Thank you so much!


26 Melissa November 10, 2011 at 9:10 pm

First of all – I love your site!! We have tried so many tasty new treats for the plant-based lifestyle that we live! Do you have any recommendations to use canned pumpkin instead of bananas? Perhaps some sort of pumpkin muffin?


27 Susan Voisin November 10, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I have a good pumpkin bread that would make delicious muffins: . Hope you enjoy it!


28 Ariana Curiel January 7, 2012 at 3:49 am

Where did you get the cute heart shaped muffin cup?


29 Susan Voisin January 7, 2012 at 9:04 am

It’s been so long that I’ve forgotten, but probably some place on sale like Tuesday Morning.


30 Chelsey February 16, 2012 at 8:04 pm

These muffins are super delicious and incredibly moist! I lessened the amount of sugar called for and i still thought they were incredible. But i do like a sweet muffin, so maybe next time i’ll add the amount of sugar called for. So delicious. Thank you!!


31 Nicole April 15, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Very good! Left out the agave but otherwise followed the recipe – even my carnivore (and picky!) husband loved them!


32 Teresa May 10, 2012 at 9:22 am

Amazing recipe! I used whole wheat pastry flour and oat flour and omitted the agave and walnuts and they are great! Thanks for doing what you do, it makes it more fun to be plant based 😀


33 nicole August 28, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Hi Susan..Firstly, these are delicious! My only question is though are you using silicone muffin cups to bake these in? My second round of making these I used paper liners and they are sticking to the paper when I peel them off. Would you recommend silicone cups or just a non-stick pan? If so, what brand of silicone cups are you using? Thanks! 🙂


34 Susan Voisin August 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Hi Nicole, sorry about the sticking! Yes, I almost always use silicone muffin cups (Wilton brand) to make these, and they make a huge difference. Next to them, non-stick metal is second best, and I’ve learned to never ever use paper liners with low-fat muffins because of the sticking. I need to add that to the instructions!


35 Anu November 26, 2012 at 8:34 am

I made these this morning. they were easy and yummy. thx for the recipe 🙂


36 Alicia July 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Thanks for the recipe. I tried making the muffins but they stayed mushy in the middle and went really crispy on the outside, I tried putting them back in the oven on a lower heat but they just started burning – any advice? I’d love to try them again because the tops tasted nice haha


37 Susan Voisin July 17, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Ive never had that happen, so I don’t know what went wrong. Did you change any ingredients? If everything else is the same, try using a little less liquid or smaller bananas.


38 Laloofah July 26, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I’m making a bunch of food to take to my mother’s in a couple of weeks, as well as needing to make up as much food in advance of a week-long visit from my in-laws at the end of August as I can, and am wondering if anyone has ever tried freezing these and if so, how that went?

I have a batch of these in the oven now (I love these!), but realized too late I completely spaced adding the applesauce! So this should be an interesting batch. I just hope they’re edible – I loathe wasting ingredients! 🙁


39 Laloofah July 26, 2013 at 3:46 pm

I think my bananas – large and very overripe as they were – saved me, because the muffins rose beautifully and are moist and delicious! The texture is a bit different than I remember earlier batches being (I usually only bake in the fall and winter, so I’m a tad rusty come late July), but nothing like the disaster I’d feared. I’ve popped a few of them in the freezer to find out for myself how they do – this will be a batch that we’ll just keep to ourselves. For research purposes. 😉


40 Susan Voisin July 26, 2013 at 4:04 pm

I’m glad to hear they came out okay! I’ll bet they freeze well, too.


41 Laloofah July 28, 2013 at 11:14 am

They did indeed! If anything, they were even better (texture-wise) after freezing and thawing! Can’t wait to make more for my mom and in-laws, they’ll love these!


42 sherismiley August 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm

I made these muffins today. I never go wrong with Susan’s recipes! These are delicious! I followed the recipe exactly except I used golden raisins instead of dates. Also, I omitted the nuts to have a lower fat muffin!! They are so moist and have a great flavor! My many vegan cookbooks have produced many a dud recipe but every time I come here the recipes never fail me! Thank you Susan Voisin!


43 DAlia Varanka December 15, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Do the Banana-Date-Walnut muffins really need a tablespoon of baking powder? It leaves a rather strong flavor.


44 Susan Voisin December 15, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Dalia, all I can say is that this is the amount I always use, and they have never tasted of baking powder.


45 Violet February 5, 2014 at 5:45 pm

I tried this out and I had to add about 3/4 cup of soy/almond milk. The amount specified in the recipe was not enough. The dough was not even remotely ready for a muffin recipe. I also found the muffins to be doughy when cooked. I kept them in the oven for 20 minutes as indicated. Perhaps I should have kept them a little longer? Otherwise, the taste was good. I substituted maple syrup for the sugar and did not include the agave at all. I also substituted gluten free flour for the white flour. Everything else I kept the same.


46 Cheryl February 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm

This is regarding the banana pineapple version of this recipe on today’s newsletter. It has the option of sugar or a stevia blend. We don’t eat sugar anymore, or maltodextrin, which is in the stevia blend listed with the link.
We sweeten recipes with dates blended in the vitamix… can you give me a rough idea of how many dates, blended to a puree, I should use to sweeten them? We don’t make things super sweet, but kinda sweet, if that makes sense.


47 Susan Voisin February 10, 2014 at 2:14 pm

What I would do is start with about 1/3 cup of chopped dates–just pit them and cut into 3-4 chunks– and blend them with the recipe’s milk. You can actually taste the batter and see if it’s sweet enough, and if not, just add a few chopped dates right to the batter.


48 Cheryl February 10, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Brilliant! Thanks Susan!
Why didn’t I think of that? It never dawned on me batter is safe to taste now. lol


49 Jacqueline March 28, 2014 at 8:17 am

I’m in France and would like to know how many millilitres there are in a ‘cup’. I’m new to this and I’m itching to try your recipes 😉


50 livinrsd April 18, 2014 at 10:52 am

According to a conversion table I use there are 225ml in one cup/8 ounces of liquid. Hope this helps.


51 Kera April 19, 2014 at 10:09 am

Just made these and they are delicious! Best banana nut muffins I’ve made with no oil or dairy, hands down. I left out the dates because I didn’t have them and used unsweetened plain almond milk plus a little vanilla extract. Yum!!


52 Linda P. February 1, 2015 at 10:13 am

I made these exactly as described except that I had no walnuts and so substituted a scant 1/4 cup pecans that I had left over from another recipe. Perhaps it depends on the bananas and/or the applesauce, but these were perfect and not at all too sweet.


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