Do fluffy banana bread muffins, oozing with a gooey chocolate spread centre and a toasted hazelnut topping sound like your thing? Of course, they do! This recipe for gluten-free and vegan Nutella banana muffins was created just for you!
Firstly excuse me for using the word Nutella in a vegan context. Nutella is not vegan (sorry if I got your hopes up!), but the word Nutella is like the word Kleenex or Hoover. One word (instead of three) to describe all chocolate-hazelnut spreads forevermore!
In reality, this recipe came about because I found the Vego chocolate hazelnut spread at my local supermarket, and I had some very overripe bananas begging to be transferred into their higher, more delicious, selves.
Honestly, it was a toss-up between these and crepes, but I have absolutely no regrets (leave a comment below if you want a gluten-free, vegan crepe recipe!).
One hour later, I had a dozen fluffy banana bread muffins oozing with a gooey chocolate spread centre and a toasted hazelnut topping. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you they’re delicious, but THEY ARE DELICIOUS! They’re even better than banana bread (because chocolate hazelnut spread) and, you’ll need to put something between you, a spoon and that jar of Vego choc-haz spread.
Want a little more insight into this recipe before you commit?
- You’ll need three large overripe bananas (for the best results, I recommend weighing the peeled bananas) and, of course, a vegan chocolate hazelnut spread.
- You’ll need ground chia or flax to make a vegan egg substitute and xanthan gum because these are gluten-free.
- They’ll be ready in an hour.
I’ve included all the additional notes for these gluten-free and vegan Nutella banana muffins at the bottom of the page with the hope of improving your experience here at blue border. If you found this useful, I’d love your support on Instagram, click here to follow.
- 2 Tbsp. / 12g ground chia seeds or 15g ground flaxseed
- 75g / 6 Tbsp. water
- 350g / 1.54oz gluten-free flour, all-purpose
- 1 tsp. xanthan gum
- ½ tsp. fine sea salt
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 290g / 10.23oz coconut sugar
- 60g / 2.12oz non-dairy milk
- 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 90g /3.17oz neutral vegetable oil
- 3 large over-ripe bananas (335g / 11.82oz)*
- 100g chocolate hazelnut spread, vegan
- 1 Tbsp. hazelnuts, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line two muffin trays with paper cases.
In a medium to large bowl, make a chia egg by combining the ground chia seed with water and mix well. Set to one side to thicken.
Into a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add the peeled bananas to the chia egg and mash with a fork. Add the coconut sugar, milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla and oil. Mix well to combine.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until all the flour is well incorporated. The batter will be slightly thicker than regular cake batter.
Divide half the batter between the muffin trays, spoon a teaspoon of the hazelnut spread into the centre of the batter and top with the remaining batter. Use a toothpick to swirl a dollop of chocolate hazelnut spread on top of the muffins and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.
Bake for 25 – 30mins, transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before handling. Store in an airtight container and eat within 2-3days or freeze when cool.
NOTES: Vegan Nutella Banana Muffins Recipe
For the absolute best results, I recommend you weigh your bananas instead of using a quantity. The bananas play a bigger role than just adding flavour. In a recipe like this which is, free from eggs and gluten, bananas act as a natural binder and tenderiser. If you have slightly less than 335g, you may need to add a little extra liquid, or if you have too much, chuck what you don’t need in the freezer and use it for smoothies.
I use Dove’s Farm gluten-free all-purpose flour to make these vegan Nutella banana muffins, and I love the way it performs. It’s important to keep in mind that all-purpose gluten-free flour is made of a blend of gluten-free flours (potato starch, corn starch, brown rice flour, white rice flour etc.), each of which will absorb moisture to a different extent.
If you use a different brand of flour you may need to adjust the recipe slightly. The batter should be a little thicker than the ordinary cake batter.
Other gluten-free flour brands with good reputations are Bob’s Red Mill One for One gluten-free flour, King Arthur’s all-purpose gluten-free flour or Better Batter.
Xanthan gum (what is it, and do I have to use it?)
Xanthan gum is a binder made through the process of fermenting simple sugars. In this recipe, xanthan gum helps hold the muffins together in the absence of natural binders like eggs and gluten.
I have only tested the recipe with xanthan gum so if you choose not to use it, I can’t guarantee the recipe will work.
Can I use a different sugar instead of coconut sugar?
I specifically choose coconut sugar for this recipe because it is a little drier than ordinary sugar and helps to mop up some of the extra moisture from the bananas. It also has a slightly savoury quality which I think balances the sweetness from the bananas. If you can’t find coconut sugar, I recommend trying this recipe with soft brown sugar (light muscovado sugar) but keep in mind the bake will turn out a little differently.
Why do you use baking powder and baking soda?
Gluten-free bakes always need a little more help. Both raising agents together have a greater leavening ability and give GF cakes an extra boost.
Why is my gluten-free cake falling apart?
If you did, decide to leave out the xanthan gum, and your cake is crumbling that’s probably why. As mentioned, xanthan gum is an excellent stand-in for gluten and eggs, and without it, GF bakes tend to crumble and fall apart.
You didn’t let it cool completely before handling it. Gluten-free cakes are more fragile than cakes made with wheat flour. Allowing your muffins to cool completely before handling allows the crumb structure to set completely.
Why does my cake have a gritty texture?
Rice flour is to blame for a gritty texture in gluten-free bakes. Try using a different all-purpose gluten-free flour or make your own mix. I like this recipe for gluten-free flour by Minimalist Baker, and even better make it with superfine brown and white rice flour.
For more help with gluten-free vegan baking check out –
A little note on non-toxic bakeware
I recently watched Dark Waters and honestly, it scared the s**t out of me. Dark Waters tells the story of the legal case made against DuPont and how the production of Teflon affected a town in West Virginia. Teflon is incredibly toxic and has had a severe impact on people and the planet since its inception in 1938.
For this reason, I’m making an active effort to cook without it. There is an immense amount of information out there on non-toxic vs non-stick bakeware, but that’s a whole post in itself.
So for the sake of keeping it simple, I just wanted to mention that I used a set of stainless steel muffin trays lined with If You Care baking paper. Not perfect but the closest I could get! For more info, you can read the New York Times Article that inspired Dark Waters here, or watch the movie on Prime.