‘Free From’ Banana and Chocolate Muffins

Vegan, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nut Free Banana and Chocolate Muffins - Ingredients

Until a few weeks ago, my little Jumpy had never eaten homemade cakes, for the simple reason that I had never managed to find a recipe that catered for her range of allergies. You have to admit it is not common to find cakes with no eggs, dairy or white flour.

Since the start of the summer holidays, I have been determined to develop a chocolate muffin recipe for her. The idea what to make muffins with ingredients I could source easily. I also wanted it to be a quick recipe I could rustle up in five minutes, as time is precious with four little ones.

I first made a few recipes I found on the Internet, but they were a complete disaster so I started again, from scratch. All I knew was that I would use bananas as a substitute for eggs.

Vegan, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nut Free Banana and Chocolate Muffins - Bananas copie

I sort of used a ‘touch and go’ technique as I did not have a starting point for my recipe. It was rather experimental to say the least, but after four disappointing batches, we got there!

My first batch looked great. The muffins were nicely raised and had a lovely colour. You could not tell they were ‘free from’. Until you tasted them, that is. They had a rather vile aftertaste. I ate a whole one, but that was only because I had made them! Even Jumpy, who is a chocoholic like me, could not eat more than half of hers.

I asked my friend Vicki at the Free From Fairy for advice and she suggested using plain gluten free flour instead of self-raising. I also bought gluten free baking powder. Two more batches and things were definitely improving.

What I struggled with the most was finding cocoa powder that was guaranteed milk and nut free. I sometimes use Green & Blacks’ Organic Cocoa’, but the warning on the package is as such: “May contain milk, soya, nuts and cereals.” Even though Jumpy has never reacted to the cocoa powder, there is a risk and I was adamant I was going to develop a fully ‘free from’ recipe.

Vegan, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nut Free Banana and Chocolate Muffins - Batch with Cocoa Powder

In my last batch, I used Plamil’s ‘Organic Luxury 70% Chocolate Flakes’ in place of the cocoa powder as it is “Manufactured under controlled conditions in” their “own factory in which no nuts are ever used.”

Vegan, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nut Free Banana and Chocolate Muffins - Chocolate Flakes

I found that a lot more reassuring and was happy to give Jumpy those muffins without being jumpy myself as she was eating them!

Vegan, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nut Free Banana and Chocolate Muffins - Batch with Chocolate Flakes

The last batch was the one and I have made those babies three or four times since! I personally think they should always be eaten warm with a nice hot drink, but the children love them warm or cold.

This is what they look like:

Vegan, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nut Free Banana and Chocolate Muffins -  with Chocolate Flakes


They look prettier when you make them with cocoa powder, and Beanie even tried to grab one as I was taking photos! Can you actually believe these muffins contain no wheat, no gluten, no eggs or dairy products?

Vegan, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nut Free Banana and Chocolate Muffins -  with Cocoa Powder


Beanie: “I love it.”

Crevette: “I really love it!”

Jumpy: “allowed!”

Hubby: “It’s very nice.” He does not normally eat cake, so that is a huge compliment!

My foodie friend Cé: “They are better than the banana muffins I usually make!” (she did sound surprised!)

Without further ado, here is the recipe.


‘Free From’ Banana and Chocolate Muffins

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nut Free, Vegan Treats
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 12


  • ¾ cup caster sugar 160g
  • 1/3 cup vegetable spread 60g, dairy free – I use Pure Sunflower
  • 3 ripe bananas mashed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup wheat & gluten free plain flour blend 210g, I use Doves Farm
  • 1 ½ teaspoon wheat & gluten free baking powder I use Doves Farm
  • ½ cup cocoa powder or ½ cup dairy & nut free chocolate flakes 30g, 45g, I use Plamil’s
  • 1 cup dairy & nut free chocolate chips 180g, I use Plamil’s Catering & Baking chocolate drops or 4x45g bars of Plamil chocolate, broken into small pieces


  1. Preheat your oven at gas mark 4 (180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Mix the sugar and vegetable spread until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the mashed banana and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add all other ingredients apart from the chocolate chips and ensure they are all well incorporated.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Divide between 12 muffin cases – an ice cream scoop is the perfect measure.
  7. Cook for 15 minutes. To check they are cooked, insert a knife. It should come out clean, otherwise give it another three or four minutes.
  8. Place your muffins on a cooling rack.
  9. Eat warm!

Recipe Notes

They can be kept in a sealed container at room temperature for a couple of days, or frozen. They are best enjoyed warm, so give them five minutes in the oven to reheat them.

Here is a visual summary:

‘Free From’ Banana and Chocolate Muffins

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  1. 08/09/2014 / 11:30 am

    Ooo yum!! Glad I helped a bit, although it looks like you would have done it without my help! Next time I seriously recommend adding a tsp of ground flax seeds (linseeds)…that will make them even more moist, and of course they are very nutritious. And or a 1/4 tsp of xanthum gum…keeps them nice and elastic!

    • 08/09/2014 / 1:23 pm

      Oh yes, I remember you mentioned the flax seeds. I wanted to make this recipe as simple as possible so no trip to the shops would be required but I will definitely try the seeds and xanthan gum in my next one (am working on a lemon one at the moment!). I was going to use your syrup trick as well!

  2. 08/09/2014 / 7:41 pm

    They are amazingly good!! Can’t wait to try them;-)

    • 08/09/2014 / 8:27 pm

      Could be a nice way to try your new oven!!

    • 09/09/2014 / 9:56 pm

      Let me know if you try making them, Merlinda!

    • 09/09/2014 / 9:56 pm

      They really are yummy!

  3. 09/09/2014 / 5:30 pm

    They look fab Mel, excellent pictures too. It’s great that you have developed a recipe that works for Jumpy. x

    • 09/09/2014 / 9:55 pm

      Thanks Julie. I am particularly proud of that one! We all love it, and I thought that would never happen with a muffin recipe containing no eggs, wheat or dairy!

  4. 09/09/2014 / 8:11 pm

    They look great my lovely, I hope all the kids really enjoyed them – especially Jumpy 🙂 I agree with Vicki on using flaxseed in place of egg, it works wonders xx #tastytuesdays

    • 09/09/2014 / 9:43 pm

      Thanks hun. Someone had mentioned flaxseed as an egg substitute before, but because of her severe peanut allergy, her paediatrician had recommended avoiding all tree nuts and seeds. She did not react to any of the seeds they tested for her last prick tests (unfortunately flaxseed was not one of them) so I will ask her consultant what he recommends when we see him in November. I like trying new things!

  5. 10/09/2014 / 9:39 am

    Wonderful recipe, I love to bake with bananas and a great idea to use as an emulsifier, it is great to have a few ‘free from’ recipes handy if you have someone with intolerances in the family #tastytuesdays

    • 10/09/2014 / 1:23 pm

      Thanks Caroline. ‘Free From’ usually comes in with a list of obscure ingredients so I am glad I managed to keep it simple. I have all those ingredients at home and it takes minutes to get a batch ready, yum!

  6. 10/09/2014 / 10:00 am

    These look soooo yummy!! My little ones would love them as they have both chocolate and banana in 🙂 x #tastytuesdays

    • 10/09/2014 / 1:09 pm

      Let me know if you ever make them for the twins, Kirsty!

      • hijackedbytwins
        16/10/2015 / 2:09 pm

        I haven’t tried them yet but have got baking plans for the half term. I have included your recipe in my National Chocolate Week post xx

        • 16/10/2015 / 10:46 pm

          Thanks my lovely, I’ve just read your post. Your white chocolate and raspberry cake is making me drool!

  7. Rachel
    10/09/2014 / 10:48 am

    Can’t wait to make these, they were so yummy 🙂

    • 10/09/2014 / 12:55 pm

      Thanks sweetie 🙂 x

  8. 12/09/2014 / 5:31 pm

    You really do put us all to shame with the efforts you make – I’m sure I’d have given up after failure number 1! Well done, these look like “real” ones!

    • 12/09/2014 / 9:43 pm

      Thanks Sophie, I love the end result. I would not have persevered like that with the muffins if she had been able to eat any other cakes, but her range of allergies means quite a lot of staple ingredients are out of the question. I have never been this proud of a recipe, hihi

  9. 13/09/2014 / 12:16 pm

    Fab recipe and will be returning to this as we all now eat a wheat free diet. I’ll still share wheat recipes but Oliver’s rashes have minimized massively and feel so much better! So lovely to read how much your children all enjoyed them too! Well done you for seeking out chocolate without any disclaimer too! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays x

    • 13/09/2014 / 2:28 pm

      Brilliant! Let me know what you think after you have tried them. If you are not dairy free, you can use any chocolate you like as well as cocoa powder and butter. x

  10. 15/09/2014 / 10:27 am

    It must be really difficult to find a recipe that is free from all those things. They look gorgeous.

    • 15/09/2014 / 1:24 pm

      It is! That is why I had to make my recipe from scratch. They really taste lovely; just like ‘real’ muffins!

  11. BakedPotato Mummy
    16/09/2014 / 10:01 am

    Well done! I’ve been looking for a real ‘free-from’ recipe for a while as I have a friend who has allergies. I will pin these to try for her. Thank you xx

    • 18/09/2014 / 11:52 am

      Great! Give me your thoughts after you have tried it!

  12. Kim W
    28/10/2014 / 3:46 pm

    Thanks Mel, I will try these when I next crave a baking day! They look lovely.

    • 28/10/2014 / 8:29 pm

      Thanks Kim.

  13. 11/11/2014 / 5:56 pm

    I’m excited to find a banana and chocolate recipe that might work for our girls! It will take a few alterations but I think they might come out ok. Thank you so much! I’ve recently started my own blog on food allergies etc. only just starting out but really enjoying the process. 🙂

    • 11/11/2014 / 6:02 pm

      Jenni, I am so glad you found your way to my blog! What ingredients do you have to avoid for this recipe? I really struggled to get a decent result, but it does work really well (pat on the back, ha ha!). I am really looking forward to having a look at your blog! We will probably have lots of recipes we can swap. x

      • 11/11/2014 / 6:33 pm

        Our only safe flour at the moment is rice flour and we’re avoiding spreads due to a reaction but I’m going to try with sunflower oil instead. Also iffy with sugar so I’ll cut down on the volume of sugar but other than that it’s all ok! In the future we may be able to swop recipes but for the time being I think it will be me gaining from all of yours! I’ve only got one on my blog so far but it’s an area I’m hoping to work on. I’m glad I found your blog!

        • 11/11/2014 / 8:53 pm

          Oh my goodness, that is a lot to avoid. I am really not sure about the rice flour. Have you used it in cakes? It is the first flour I tried using in baking to replace wheat flour, and I found it awful. It is grainy, heavy, not nice on the palate. Have you tried Pure spreads? They have a sunflower version. I love sugar, and for a long time, I used it as a way to try and improve Jumpy’s weight gain. She is not too bad at the moment, but her baby sister, who is only 5 months old, is almost the same weight as her already! You could always try honey instead of sugar, but I cannot guarantee it will work. Good luck! x

          • 11/11/2014 / 9:30 pm

            You’re right about the rice flour, it’s not great! Although I’ve made some nice cupcakes with it which are on the birthday cake post on my blog. At the moment it’s the only option I’ve come up with as they aren’t good with maize/corn which is in all the alternative flours I’ve found. We’ve used pure in the past but are struggling to pinpoint reactions at the moment and the spreads all have a lot of ingredients in them and it was complicating things. But we’re getting there. Being able to do any baking at all is a big step forward! I’ll be following x

          • 11/11/2014 / 11:38 pm

            If they tolerate potato flour, it might be a nice one to mix with the rice flour as it has a very similar texture to corn. Buckwheat and rye also have a good texture, but their flavour is distinctive. x

          • 11/11/2014 / 11:41 pm

            Thanks, that’s really good to know. Hopefully they will tolerate it as they are fine with potatoes, but not potato starch, especially our eldest. No idea why but we’ve trialled it intentionally and unintentionally quite a lot of times! I’ll let you know how we get on 🙂

          • 12/11/2014 / 9:18 am

            Please do! x

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