Whole Grain Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I woke up two Tuesdays ago and knew immediately at the onset of brain functioning that I needed to figure out a recipe for whole grain banana chocolate chip muffins. I was unable to think about anything else. Maybe the success of these healthy applesauce oat muffins was subconsciously driving me to figure out another stellar, healthful muffin to throw in my kids’ lunchboxes. I don’t know.

No matter the motivation, the result of several test batches is a crazy delicious banana chocolate chip muffin. Baby Cam (ok, she’s 1 1/2 and not a baby anymore but I still can’t quit calling her that) devoured them. Like, threw a full-on tantrum on the floor, lowering her head ever so gently to the tile before the screaming began, because I wouldn’t let her have a third, and my sweet 4-year old Ty-guy politely stepped over his flailing sister to ask me if he could have her requested muffin instead (upping his muffin intake to soaring levels).

Whole Grain Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

They’ve been made several times since then and have graced lunchboxes, after-school snack sessions, sneak-out-of-the-freezer-cravings and a few playdates.

While they won’t win any awards in the looks department – kind of homely, really – maybe that’s not such a bad thing since I already mentioned that their plain counterparts have pretty much rocked our world. If you are looking for an indulgent, sweet, fluffy fluffiness of a muffin, you probably ought to not make these. They are soft and moist but the presence of whole wheat flour is alive and strong and these definitely fall into the “muffin” category, not the “cupcake-posing-as-a-muffin” category. Otherwise, if you want a fabulous healthful muffin with just the right amount of chocolate to help the world go round, then by all means make them. Hope you love them as much as we do!

Whole Grain Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

One Year Ago: Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Bars
Two Years Ago: Classic Macaroni and Cheese
Three Years Ago: Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake

Whole Grain Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yield: Makes 12 muffins

Whole Grain Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

If your bananas are super ripe (and really sweet because of that), you could probably get away with decreasing or even eliminating the sugar. Also, these freeze magnificently!


  • 2 average-sized bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar (optional, see note)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with cupcake liners (lightly grease the muffin liners if using).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the bananas, sugar, yogurt, egg, and applesauce.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Don't overmix.
  5. Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cups. Bake for 16-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  6. Remove the muffins from the tin and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

67 Responses to Whole Grain Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

  1. Laura says:

    Had to make these twice this weekend because they were such a hit! Didn’t add brown sugar at all and they tasted amazing!!

  2. Olga says:

    Hi Mel!

    I pretty much live off of your recipes and funny comments! Thank you so much for changing my life. I’ve recently been watching a show called cutthroat kitchen. I decided that you would rock that show. You should really consider applying to be on the show. 🙂


  3. Mollie says:

    I’d love weight measures on this one. I’m always terrible at figuring out what “average sized” is, and I think my measurements may be way off because of it!

  4. Carlie says:

    I hate yogurt so I only buy the Cho bani tubes for my kids. Can I sub something else for the yogurt so I don’t have to buy it just for this?

  5. Haley says:

    My boys and I loved these! They were so fluffy and moist. Definitely my go-to when I have bananas that need to be used up.

  6. Rachel says:

    I completely forgot the egg when making these (I’m a pretty unfocused baker sometimes) but they turned out amazing and actually a little fluffier than the ones in the photo. This will definetly be a go to recipe for a long time! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Meli says:

    These were gross. I followed your recipe and did not over-mix the batter. They are very dry and hard, my two year old did not enjoy them. He likes your applesauce oat muffin recipe. I think I will stick to that one.

  8. Nisha says:

    Oh my goodness these were yummy! I made them exactly as the recipe says, except I made them into mini muffins and froze them. Your muffin recipes never fail me! Thank you, again!!!

  9. Cyndi B says:

    I made these today and subbed light sour cream for yogurt. Also, i added a teaspoon if vanilla extract. These ,like all of your recipes, were fantastic!

  10. Angela says:

    I made these and used 1/2 cup instead of 1/3 cup of Ghiradelli chocolate chips with 1/2 cup of dried cranberries. Everyone loved them. 2014-10-07

  11. Jocy says:

    I made this today and they are wonderful! I doubled the recipe, now i’m ready for school to start haha. Do you have more muffins recipes using yogurt? Thanks for your wonderful recipes! I have also made the power muffins, they were delish!!!

  12. Jen says:

    Just as a heads up, these muffins are not filed under quick breads, which would be where I would look for them. I am excited to try these!

  13. viktoriya says:

    I am currently in fluffy muffin heaven as I type this! The combination of yogurt, bananas, and applesauce (homemade) is the foundation for its moist and spongy nature. I also recommend to include the brown sugar no matter what. This is definately in my top favorite muffins right up there with your pretzel chocolate chip muffins!:))

  14. viktoriya says:

    Can these be made into mini muffins, and maybe your whole wheat applesauce oat muffins too?

    • Mel says:

      Viktoriya – Sorry for the late response. Yes, they would work as mini muffins. I am glad you liked them. As for the brownies, it sounds like they needed a few more minutes in the oven.

  15. Dawn says:

    This is my first time baking with whole wheat flour. Muffins were awesome! Lacked a bit of banana flavor for me, but perhaps my bananas weren’t that big. Will add another…used frozen bananas I keep on hand. Mel, would you please work on a zucchini muffin?

  16. Sheena says:

    There are great and beautiful!!! Mine had more of a muffin top versus the pics above. I followed the recipe exactly, except I used one tablespoon of honey instead of any sugar. If my configurations are correct, each muffin has about 88 calories, which is unbelievable!! The only thing that annoyed me was that the muffin cups were stuck to the muffin… Maybe I should spray cooking spray inside the cups?? Anyway, thank you for the recipe. Sticking to a 1300 calorie a day diet, it’s hard to fit in any baked goods.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Sheena – thanks for calculating the calories – sounds like a great little snack! About the sticking problem, yes, you can definitely spray the inside of the cups. I do that often if a batter tends to stick more. Good luck!

  17. Preeti says:

    What can I substitute for unsweetened applesauce?

  18. Betty says:

    Just baked these muffins and they are delicious!! I used 1 1/4 cups WW flour, and 1/4 cup of Rogers porridge oats,(large flake oats, wheat bran and flaxseed mixture) and as I did not have plain yogurt, I used Activia’s vanilla yogurt topping it up with a bit of low-fat sour cream to make 1/2 cup. I added no sugar whatsoever (due to the sweetness of the vanilla yogurt and the bananas and choc. chips). Warm from the oven, they are nice and moist and they smelled heavenly. Oh and I added a pinch of cinnamon, too. I will be making these again for sure! Thanks so much for the post.

  19. Heather says:

    Just spent the last 2 hours in the kitchen baking these and your applesauce oat muffins for my freezer. While the applesauce oat ones are really good, these, well, these are simply to die for!! I made a double batch and I’m so glad I did. Next time I may have to triple it. 🙂 I used honey instead of the brown sugar and organic Greek yogurt. Delicious! The kids will love them!

  20. Ellen Renee says:

    Made these today finally…so so good! Thank you for sharing. My bananas were really ripe – pretty black actually (yuck) so I only used 2 tbsp of brown sugar – tasted great to me! I had let the filled muffin tin rest for 10 – 15 minutes before baking and mine did puff up very nicely once baked. Since I have never made them before and baked them immediately not sure if it really makes a difference or not. Tomorrow…baking another double batch of your applesauce (with my chunky unsweetened sauce I made this fall) oat muffins…hate not having those in the freezer!

  21. Jennifer H. says:

    These were very good, despite the fact that my bananas were not very ripe at all…I just put in the whole 1/3 c . brown sugar and added 2 T. honey for added sweetness to offset the under-ripeness of the bananas. Oh and I used sour cream because I didn’t have yogurt on hand. Despite my substitutions, they were yummy! Thanks, Mel!

  22. Leah says:

    These were wonderful!! i didn’t have applesauce so I just added another banana -they turned out moist and delicious. I pinned this on my “baked it, loved it” board on Pinterest as it is so worth sharing. I cut up my bananas into chunks rather than mashing them and the muffins were very tall, but maybe one thing has nothing to do with the other? Thanks for a great recipe, I’ll be back fir more inspiration.

  23. Brianne says:

    Can I use something instead of yogurt? Don’t have any and I lost the recipe I used to use for these, though this is super similar!

  24. Meg says:

    HI again:) Just FYI, I just calculated the nutritional info for these (since I ate maybe WAY too many tonight!) using myfitnesspal.com, and I got 154 calories in each muffin. I used just a bit less than 1/3 cup brown sugar. Everything else was the as written. Ouch. More exercise tomorrow!!!

  25. Meg says:

    Hi Mel:) So I have made these twice- my kids LOVE them!- and both times mine have been nice and poofy and round on top. . . they really look beautiful. Not sure why, since you mentioned they were not much to look at, but they are awesome. Thanks for another great recipe:)

  26. Tracey says:

    I just made these and they are light, fluffy, and delicious! I subbed sour cream for the yogurt, because I didn’t have any, and it worked great. I did reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup, but they weren’t QUITE sweet enough. (apparently i have a strong sweet tooth!) Next time I’ll stick to the 1/3 cup, or maybe even try half honey. Thanks so much for the recipe! 😀

  27. Maureen says:

    Delicious!!! We substituted 1/2 c sour cream for the plain yogurt and left them in the oven for a little over 20 minutes. They turned out perfectly. Mel, you are a genius! You have yet to disappoint with your amazing recipes.

  28. Meg says:

    These are great! I don’t have any plain yogurt on hand, so I just used applesauce in place of the yogurt and it turned out fabulously. Also, I was baking another batch of the applesauce oat muffins while I made this batter, and because I only have one muffin pan, I had to wait until the other were done before baking these. . . so the batter sat for probably ten minutes. The batter got all fluffy, and my muffins ended up nice and puffy looking, not flat at all! Not sure if it is the lack of yogurt or the time spent sitting before baking, but they are beautiful:)

  29. Teresa says:

    These were very good. I didn’t realize until I had made the recipe that there is no oil or butter in them. I did use non-fat greek yogurt as that is what I keep on hand. They were definitely healthy tasting and guilt free.

  30. caitlyn says:

    I made them on Thursday – they are sooooo delicious! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! It is a total winner and I can see these muffins replacing the healthy applesauce oat muffins (which I love) in my freezer. 🙂 A question – I use paper muffin liners and didn’t grease them (so the muffins stuck a bit), and I was wondering – how do you recommend greasing muffin liners? Pam? Thanks again!

  31. Deborah says:

    Ok, I am totally trying these!!

  32. Dawn says:

    I admit that I despise bananas, so I did not taste these, but my 4.5 year old said they were “super duper” and ate 3 and was mad she could not have more. My 22 month old threw a tantrum when I said she could not have a third muffin! An awesome after school snack for sure! Thanks for another amazing recipe!!

  33. Nikeva says:

    These muffins are delicious. Do they freeze well? If so, how long will they last in the freezer (assuming I don’t eat them all by tomorrow)?

  34. Nikeva says:

    I am baking the whole grain banana chocolate chip muffins at this very moment. They smell heavenly! I can’t wait to have a bite.

  35. Karen says:

    Success! This is the first recipe, of anything, I’ve made with bananas that my boys actually liked. Not only liked…devoured. I just heard my picky eater tell his older brother, “These muffins are stinking delicious!”
    I wonder if hearing all the substitutions people make gets old but I’m going to tell you only because you were just talking about coconut oil this week. I doubled the recipe and subbed 1/2 cup of applesauce for coconut oil (hurray for healthy fat) and 1/3 cup of brown sugar for honey (hurray for a healthier sweetener).
    Anyway, thanks for being amazing and helping me feed my family!

  36. Laura says:

    In any of your test batches did you try honey as a sweetener instead of the brown sugar?

  37. Marie says:

    Mel, these muffins are soooooooo good! I am making them for the second time this week, and this time I even doubled the batch. They are delicious! And so hearty and filling. We love them at our house. You should be proud for creating such a wonderful recipe. Thanks for sharing your masterpiece with all of us! 🙂

  38. Sheila says:

    I had some overripe frozen bananas in the freezer for smoothies. I pulled them out and made these muffins. Since last night, I greatly overindulged in your scrumptuous chocolate mousse cheesecake I made for a dinner party, I replaced the chocolate chips for an even heathlier ingredient of chopped walnuts. We had them warm out of the oven for dessert after supper tonight. They are delicious! I sure hope your creativity kicks in again soon morning, noon, or night. I’m am so impressed with your original crafted recipes.

  39. Leanna says:

    Thank you so much for posting a delicious, healthy recipe! In our house, we know we can count on you. Every recipe we make from your site turns out drool-worthy. 🙂

    And just as a note for others, we’re dairy free here, so I added 1/4 cup more applesauce and omitted the yogurt. They came out great!

  40. heather bell says:

    Hooray! can’t wait to try them and I know I can always trust yours.=) I did a lesson in enrichment last night on how to use squash and pumpkin and used some of your recipes.So thanks!

  41. Monica says:

    This sounds great! My family and I love banana muffins and I always welcome healthier alternatives. Looks delicious!

  42. Rachel R. says:

    Thanks! These look really really good.

  43. Julia says:

    Waiting for these to come out of the oven!! Smells so good….hope I can wait for them to cool before trying them.

  44. tahnycooks says:

    these look great for my son and husbands’ lunch box, they can care less what their food looks like, so no worries there!!

  45. Vicky says:

    These sound tasty! Have you ever tried KAF’s Heavenly Healthy Banana Bread recipe? I love it for making banana chocolate chip muffins and I love that it’s 100% whole wheat.

  46. Jane says:

    1) I was just sitting here trying to remember my ‘healthy’ banana muffin recipe – so thanks, you’ve saved the day…and
    2) A friend of mine has 9 year-old twins who are still referred to as ‘the babies’, not derogatory in any way, it is just the way it is, so you’ve got lots of time to call your daughter a baby. 🙂

  47. Emilee says:

    Muffins are my girls’ favorite breakfast food, so I love any opportunity to healthify them. Thanks for doing the experimenting–we’ve never gone wrong with one of your recipes. These will be the next muffins we make.

  48. Sheila H. says:

    Love these and my 3 boys would eat a full dozen in one sitting. The only change I make is to add 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder and not include the brown sugar.

  49. Stacey says:

    Didn’t have bananas so I swapped in pumpkin. We had a way happy breakfast at our house. Thanks!

  50. Kylene says:

    Mel, thank you SO MUCH for these great HEALTHY muffin recipes. My 3 kids have boycotted sandwiches in their packed lunches so I have started packing them muffins instead. It is hard to find the ones that aren’t “cupcake-posing-as-a-muffin”. 🙂 Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  51. Melissa says:

    We are sharing a brain Mel (must be the name), but I’ve had 3 bananas go bad on me and just yesterday was looking for a good banana choc chip recipe for them, even on your website and was sad you didn’t have one……until now! Making these TODAY!

  52. Liz says:

    My two girls and I just finished up a breakfast of the healthy applesauce muffins. I’ve made them twice since you posted them. They are so easy and delicious. These will definitely be made soon! I always have some overripe bananas sitting on my counter. Thanks Mel!

  53. Banana chocolate chip muffins are the best! I just put them on my blog recently too. I love the combo of sweetness. They’re the perfect treat with just the right amount of chocolate.

  54. Debbie says:

    Really great recipe! Saw this this morning and whipped them up for breakfast. Picky eaters approved! Love that I can try any of your recipes and know that they’ll turn out!

  55. Nicole Hunn says:

    Okay, I love the image of Cam’s lowering her head gently to the floor before commencing the screaming — and then her brother’s stepping over her to make the same request. That sounds about right for a house full of foodies!
    xo Nicole

  56. Abbie says:

    The ingredients are very similar to your healthly blueberry banana muffins. I will be trying these for sure. Thanks for another great recipe!

  57. These sound like such a delight!! Love banana muffins 🙂

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