Okay, I won't use prefer to use raw bananas for sure.

But, I wish to understand why are over ripe bananas required for the muffins. Why won't ripe (yellow) bananas do?

From: https://cooking.stackexchange.com/a/24652/6168

You want to wait until they're so ripe you wouldn't want to eat them - blackening skin, very very soft.

  • The rest of the answer you quoted from pretty clearly says it's so that you can mash them into a smooth mush, with no little pieces left.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 15:52
  • @Jefromi I read that but I don't think just for mashing up you need to blacken the banana. What's the use of blender then? Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 16:00
  • The point on that question was that you don't need a blender if they're ripe enough; the OP was using one to get them blended smooth because they weren't ripe. The answers here are good too - the more ripe the more flavorful, for sure - but I just wanted to make sure we were clear what you were citing.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 16:32

4 Answers 4


They are easier to mash (so that they incorporate more smoothly into the batter), sweeter (more starch has converted to sugar), and more aromatic when overripe.

Still, you can get quite a good muffin or banana bread from fully ripe, but not overripe, bananas.

  • But not after cooking! Ripe bananas lose their aroma when cooked
    – TFD
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 6:24

At the risk of heresy, I say when over-ripe is called for it is by the mistaken impression that the flavor is improved when it is only that it is sweeter, less starchy. Muffins will brown faster.

I believe this myth grew out of the fact that recipes were created to use up what would otherwise go to waste: it then was inferred that over-ripe is ideal.

My personal opinion (highly heretical) is that slightly under-ripe bananas yield muffins with more banana-y flavor (not burnt sugar flavor). I began experimenting after finding that banana chips are made from half-green bananas. A bit of acid in the muffin batter (sm squeeze of lemon perhaps) further brings out the banana flavor.

Starchier under-ripe bananas bake up fluffier relative to the brown ones -I don't even need eggs or egg sub!

In the end, it's all about personal preference but for recognizable banana flavor, bake up a batch each and invite friends to a taste test which has 'more bananas' in the recipe. I'm betting greenies.


Most people want that distinct banana flavour. Which you get with over-ripe bananas. If you use bananas that are still suitable for eating, it won't be banana-y enough.


I have used yellow bananas that were absent of any spots - it was still very young and the bread I baked didn't taste like banana at all not to mention it took very long to brown and the consistency of the bread was not at all suitable. I couldn't bring myself to even share it with anyone else because of how bad it turned out. All I could taste was the cinnamon and nutmeg.

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