Reduced Sugar Banana Cranberry Muffins

Posted on Jan 18, 2018

We are well into January now and I’m curious, how is everyone’s healthy eating plan going? Are you all still managing to stick to it, or are bad habits starting to creep back in? I don’t really follow any super strict diets as such. I just try to stick to a balanced diet and enjoy a little of everything. But being as cake obsessed as I am, sugar can be a bit hard to cut down. Hence why I love muffins so much because you can reduce the sugar without sacrificing flavour. Just like these reduced sugar banana cranberry muffins that I am sharing with you today. Often when I make muffins, I make reduced sugar ones and no one can ever tell!

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Reduced Sugar Banana Cranberry Muffins are half the sugar of regular muffins but they are just as flavourful. Healthy and tasty! |


I just want to talk a little about the sugar I have used in these reduced sugar banana cranberry muffins. I used a sugar called Demerara, here in the UK, I think it may be called raw or sugar in the raw in the USA. It’s basically a cane sugar that has been a lot less refined, has a lot larger crystals than regular granulated sugar. It has a caramel taste to it and is perfect for these muffins. If this sugar is too hard for you to find then light brown sugar would probably be the best substitute to use.


Reduced Sugar Banana Cranberry Muffins - the sugar I use in them is called Demerara sugar in the UK. Its an unrefined sugar with a large crystal and a caramel flavour. |


I love cranberries but they are coming towards the end of their season now. I made these twice, once with fresh cranberries and once with frozen and both tasted perfect. But if they are just to hard to come by now for you, then raspberries would make a wonderful substitution. You want a fruit/berry that has a little tartness to it as the banana is so sweet.


Reduced Sugar Banana Cranberry Muffins - these muffins don't need as much sugar due to the sweet ripe bananas in these muffins. Packed also with fresh cranberries and oats for a fibre boost, that are perfect for breakfast or as a snack. |


And the colour really does pop so well! But seriously the sweet and tart flavours do pair so well with muffins.


Reduced Sugar Banana Cranberry Muffins are half the sugar of regular muffins but they are just as flavourful. Healthy and tasty! |

Oats & Flour.

Like a lot of my muffins, I like to add some oats. They are packed full of good vitamins and fibre and they do help to keep you fuller for longer, which is a good thing if you are eating them for breakfast. I use good ol’ plain/all-purpose flour but a wholemeal/whole wheat flour would also probably work well if you wanted to make them a little bit more healthy.


Reduced Sugar Banana Cranberry Muffins are half the sugar of regular muffins but they are just as flavourful. Healthy and tasty! |


And also don’t do as I did and slather them in butter, because that to will save you a few calories!!! Won’t taste as good though….lol.


Reduced Sugar Banana Cranberry Muffins - these muffins don't need as much sugar due to the sweet ripe bananas in these muffins. Packed also with fresh cranberries and oats for a fibre boost, that are perfect for breakfast or as a snack. |

Reduced Sugar Banana Cranberry Muffins

Reduced Sugar Banana Cranberry Muffins are easy to make and have less sugar than regular muffins. Using sweet bananas to keep them sweet and oats to keep you fuller for longer. Cranberries add a lovely tartness to every bite.
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Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 225kcal
Author: Emma


  • 50 grams oats (1/2 cup)
  • 300 grams plain / all purpose flour (2 and 1/3 cup)
  • 100 grams demerara sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium ripe bananas - mashed
  • 2 large eggs - beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 120 grams cranberries - fresh or frozen (1 and 1/3 cup)


  • Preheat your oven to 220C / 425F / Gas mark 7 and line or lightly grease a 12 hole muffin pan and place to one side.
  • In a large mixing bowl add in the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk it all together until well combined, then place to one side.
  • In a large jug or another mixing bowl combine the oil, mashed banana, eggs and vanilla extract. Vigorously mix everything together until well combined.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and with a gentle hand bring it all together.
  • Fold in the cranberries very gently.
  • Scoop the batter into your prepared muffin pan, filling each cup ⅔rds full.
  • Pop the muffins in your hot oven and leave for 5 minutes then reduce the heat in your oven to 190C / 375F / Gas mark 5 and bake for a further 15 minutes. Check the muffins for doneness at this point. If a pick comes out of the centre clean then your muffins are baked through if not then give them a further minute or two.
  • Once baked through remove your muffins from the oven and allow them to rest in their pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to fully cool down.
  • Stored in an airtight container these muffins will last up to 5 days. They also freeze well for up to 3 months.
Nutrition Facts
Reduced Sugar Banana Cranberry Muffins
Amount Per Serving (1 muffin)
Calories 225 Calories from Fat 64
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7.1g 11%
Saturated Fat 1.5g 8%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Sodium 216mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates 35.8g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 11.1g
Protein 4.4g 9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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  1. fantastic muffins! i hardly ever use coarse sugar for anything except sprinkling on top of bread or muffins for a little crunch. including it in the muffins themselves sounds delicious!

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    • Course sugar makes a lovely addition to muffins in the actual recipe and sprinkled on top 😀

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    • Yes, you can totally use olive oil in place of vegetable oil.

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  2. Strict diets are not for me either – a nice balanced diet is best in my opinion and I also tend to reduce sugar in my recipes. I am sure the ripe bananas give these muffins a nice sweetness and moistness. They look delicious!

    Miriam x

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks, Miriam. I am 100% in agreement, strict diets just make you want to cheat more. A little of everything is definitely the way to go.

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  3. OH yum Emma, this really sounds like the perfect breakfast. I am going to settle for dried cranberries though, because the fresh ones are out of season here now. Definitel pinning to make for breakfast.
    Thank you for the delicious recipe, hope that you are having a great week 🙂

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks Ashika, I’m sure dried cranberries would be lovely 🙂

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  4. I would eat these delightful muffins in a heartbeat. Thanks for the recipe!

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  5. oooh i normally just put demarara sugar on top of my muffins for crunch, but i really should put some into the muffin as well. and love that there’s so much banana in them, since i’m always trying to decrease the amount of sugar i use!

    Post a Reply
    • I find banana is a great sugar replacement as they are so sweet when they start to get all spotty. I love Demerara sugar in baked goods, it adds such a good flavour and it’s perfect for muffins. Thanks Heather 🙂

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  6. Haha, I can’t help slathering my muffins in butter. It just tastes so good! I have never tried the banana cranberry combo. It sounds like a winner!

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    • Butter on muffins just takes them to the next level… I’m glad I’m not the only one that thinks that!

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  7. I love cranberries and every year I kick myself for not stocking up on bags in the freezer. Why can’t we eat them year round? Your muffins are beautiful.

    Post a Reply
    • I always stock pile them in the freezer as I do love them year round, thank you Mimi 🙂

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  8. I’m a huge fan of cranberries specifically because I love their sourness! I bet the combination with the banana is amazing 🙂

    Post a Reply
    • I too love cranberries for the same reason, there is something about that sourness when paired with other super sweet fruits. Thank you

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  9. Delicious little bites perfect for breakfast and snacks on the go. Cranberries are perfect addition to your moist muffins. Hope the weather is behaving in the UK. Take care.

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    • The weather is terrible here in the U.K. storm rains everyday! These do make a great breakfast though, thank you

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    • If I’m making them for breakfast I always try to reduces the sugar because I really struggle with the 11am sugar crash!

      Post a Reply

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