These Air Fryer Banana Muffins are made using paper cupcake liners and have a beautiful crusty exterior with soft and fluffy inside, that is unlike an oven baked muffin, and it cooks in half the time. So good!
I wanted air fryer banana muffins with an ultra soft and fluffy texture and pack an incredible banana flavor. The problem with using paper liners, is that it was not sturdy enough to hold the wet batter, without spilling or toppling over.
The solution was to triple the cupcake liners which gave it stability and helps to stand on it's own without any support, because there's no muffin pan used. And, you don't need any silicone molds!
This recipe is a muffin version of my hugely popular air fryer cake recipe, with the addition of cinnamon and chopped walnuts. I am simply amazed at the result every time I make this recipe.
It is amazingly soft and fluffy inside, with a slightly firmer, darker crusty top. Thanks to the hot air blowing on top.
Whether you are making quick breads like eggless banana bread, too much mixing leads to a strong gluten network, which traps gas and ultimately makes chewier baked product. The easiest way to know when to stop mixing, is to stop when you see streaks of flour in your batter.
Why this recipe works?
- Much faster! The air fryer preheats quicker and also the baking time is almost half when compared to oven baking.
- Muffins are a better match when it comes to baking in the air fryer, because the hot air is able circulate around each muffin, resulting in a crusty exterior that's unlike any other.
- Perfect when you want just a small batch instead of a dozen muffins.
Scroll down to the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and amounts.
- All purpose flour - I like to use Gold Medal or Pillsbury all purpose flour because it has relatively lower protein or about 10.5 percent. Lower protein means tender muffins.
- Flavoring - Ground cinnamon, but vanilla extract may be added.
- Banana - Be sure to use very ripe, heavily speckled bananas.
- Brown sugar - The molasses notes in brown sugar compliments the bananas, just like in almond flour banana pancakes.
- Yogurt - Plain yogurt or use lightened greek yogurt.
- Oil - A neutral oil such as vegetable or corn oil, adds softness to the recipe.
- Egg - It gives structure and lift.
- Baking powder - Baking powder works first when it comes in contact with the wet ingredients, and again when cooking in the air fryer.
- Baking soda - Baking soda is an alkali and therefore works with the yogurt to produce carbon dioxide. It is also a key ingredient in promoting that beautiful deep golden tops.
- Nuts - I used chopped walnuts, but toasted pecans will be tasty too.
Pro tip: The starch converts to sugar as the bananas ripen. In fact, very ripe bananas have nearly three times the amount of fructose when compared to less spotty bananas.
- Skip walnuts to make it nut free.
- Toasted and chopped pecans will be tasty too.
- Stir in semi sweet chocolate chips.
- Use sour cream instead of yogurt.
- Try other flavorings, such as vanilla extract, ground ginger or nutmeg.
How to make?
You can find full printable recipe below, but here is a quick overview of the procedure along with step-by-step photos.
1 & 2. Whisk all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt together in a small bowl.
3 & 4. Mash bananas with the back of a fork or potato masher and mix with brown sugar, yogurt, oil and egg until smooth.
Pro tip: Do you need a room temperature egg or is it ok to use straight from the refrigerator? Room temperature egg will result in a slightly finer and an even crumb, when compared to the cold egg muffin. However, the difference is marginal and one can hardly notice the difference. The takeaway: Both are acceptable!
5 & 6. Stir flour mixture into the wet and mix until just combined (do not over mix).
7 & 8. Stir in chopped walnuts, until evenly distributed.
Pro tip: Over-mixing will encourage too much gluten development, which inhibits the rise and make them tough. So, gently mix the batter with a rubber spatula, until just combined with a few streaks of flour still remaining.
9. Pre heat air fryer to 350 degrees for 8 minutes (I use this time to make the batter). When 8 minutes is done, set to 320 degrees for 12 minutes. Working quickly, place 3-layered cupcake liners into the basket, divide batter into the liners and top with more chopped nuts. Cook until done.
Pro tip: 3 layered cupcake paper liners gives stability without having to use silicone molds or muffin pan.
Tip: Work quickly when pouring batter into paper cups so you don't loose much of the heat.
10. This recipe makes 7 big muffins! They take about 12 minutes. I like to check after 10 to 11 minutes. Insert a tooth pick in the middle to make sure that it comes out clean and it is deep golden on top.
Pro tip: The secret is in two different cooking temperatures! The hotter 350 degrees gets the air fryer hot enough to kick start the baking. It is then baked at at lower temperature which ensures the muffins cook all the way through without the tops burning.
How long will they last?
Air fryer banana muffins will stay fresh and soft (much longer than oven baked ones, thanks to the amazing crust) for up to 4 days, stored in an air tight container at room temperature.
To freeze - Place in a sealed zip lock bag, they can be frozen for up to 3 months. To thaw, let sit on the counter for 1-2 hours.
- How to use greek yogurt? Use ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt along with 2 tablespoons water instead.
- Mash thoroughly - We like to use a potato masher or the back of a fork to mash well.
- Golden Brown sugar – It adds moistness and caramell-y notes which compliment the bananas.
- Halve recipe to make 4 muffins and bake for 9 to 11 minutes.
- This recipe was tested in Instant Pot 6qt Vortex Air Fryer, cooking time may vary for other brands. Seven large muffins fit perfectly in the large basket. If you are using a smaller one, then you can halve the recipe to make 4 medium muffins.
It depends on the model used. Some blow hot air directly on top, allowing them to form a crust on top before giving them a chance to rise properly. If you new to air fryer baking, then you'll get the hang of your air fryer in a couple of tries.
Both! Silicone cups are a lot more studier since we are not using a muffin pan. If using silicone, make sure that the molds are designed for oven and can withstand heat for up to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C). They are heavy and can easily be filled on the counter and transferred without spilling.
Absolutely! Transfer batter to paper lined cupcake pan (makes about 8), bake in a pre heated 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes.
More air fryer breakfast recipes
Air Fryer Banana Muffins
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons mashed banana about 1 very large
- ½ cup packed golden brown sugar
- ½ cup plain yogurt refer notes to use greek yogurt
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- Have 3 paper liners stacked for each muffin (to get a 3 layered liner) ready.
- Pre heat air fryer to 350°F for 8 minutes (the air fryer will run empty during this time, this helps to kick start the baking process). Prepare muffin batter in the mean time.
- Add all dry ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until combined.
- Add all wet ingredients into a larger bowl, whisk until smooth and combined. Stir in the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula, until combined well. Don't over mix. Mix in half the walnuts.Pro tip: Use very ripe, speckled bananas. The starch converts to sugar as the bananas ripen. In fact, very ripe bananas have nearly three times the amount of fructose when compared to less spotty bananas.Tip: Over-mixing will encourage too much gluten development, which inhibits the rise and make them tough. So, gently mix the batter with a rubber spatula, until just combined with a few streaks of flour still remaining.
- When air fryer is done preheating, working quickly, place the seven - 3 layered muffin liners into the air fryer basket (they will fit a little snug, which gives them stability), divide batter evenly into the paper liners, sprinkle remaining walnuts on top.Tip: Work quickly when pouring batter into paper cups so you don't loose much of the heat.
- Close basket, set air fryer to 320°F for 12 minutes. Bake until the tops are deep golden in color and a tooth pick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes clean (check occasionally after 10 minutes).Pro tip: The secret is in two different cooking temperatures! The hotter 350 degrees gets the air fryer hot enough to kick start the baking. It is then baked at at lower temperature which ensures the muffins cook all the way through without the tops burning.
- Cool muffins and enjoy!
Nutritional information, based on third-party calculations, should be seen as estimates, not guarantees, as various factors like product types, brands, processing methods, and more can alter the nutritional content in recipes.
Did you make this recipe? I’d love your feedback! Please let me know by leaving a comment or review below or snap a photo and share on Instagram.
All contents and images are my original work, unless and otherwise mentioned. Please do not use my recipes or images without linking back to www.kitchenathoskins.com. If you wish to republish a recipe, please rewrite in your own words and don’t forget to include a link back to the original recipe.
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting kitchenathoskins.com.