Healthy Applesauce Muffins

by Erin @ Food Doodles on October 15, 2019

These healthy applesauce muffins are fluffy, moist and delicious. They also have vegan, whole wheat and gluten-free options.

Applesauce muffins don’t sound all that exciting, do they? At least I didn’t think they would be. But I was wrong!

Not only are these muffins light and flavorful, but you can’t even tell that they’re made a little more healthfully. And they’re especially great when you have an open jar of applesauce that you need to use up. 

They use whole wheat (or gluten-free flour), olive oil, and coconut sugar for a healthy breakfast muffin that isn’t just a bunch of sugar and refined carbs.

Fluffy, moist and delicious healthy applesauce muffins. With vegan, whole wheat and gluten-free option.
They could almost pass for cupcakes. If you’d prefer something with frosting, try these Applesauce Cupcakes! And for a more decadent breakfast treat, try these gluten-free donuts.

The first time I made these healthy applesauce muffins, I thought that they were super delicious, but lacking in something. The add-ins definitely make them better!

I used dried cranberries and pecans but you could use whatever dried fruit and nuts you want. I don’t recommend apples or any fresh fruit as the muffins are already really, really moist. 

I’ve been working on an apple cake that uses grated apples. I thought some apple chunks would make it even better and it went from being the perfect cake (except the lack of apple chunks) to a wet, soggy mess. 

They weren’t even especially juicy apples! So be careful with your add-ins.

I made these once for an egg-free family and can say that they come out great with a chia egg. You can’t tell any difference!

If you can’t have wheat, then Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-free Baking Flour works great in this applesauce muffin recipe. They’re not 100% like the whole wheat version and a bit denser, but still tasty.

I used a mild olive oil that doesn’t have a super strong taste and in the batter, you can taste it. When the muffins are still warm, you can taste it. But once they cool, the flavor is gone and all you taste are lovely fall flavors.

You can use whatever type of oil you’d like. Butter would also work. I tried it once with coconut oil and the wet ingredients didn’t come together as well, but they baked up fine.

I used coconut sugar but granulated or a mix of granulated + brown sugar (half and half) would also work. The muffins are fairly spicy when using coconut sugar, but if you use another type of sugar, they’ll be, I think, quite a bit spicier (because coconut sugar has quite a strong taste and it covers up a lot of the spice flavor).

If you try these easy applesauce muffins, I’d love to hear what you think!

For some no-bake apple treats, try these Apple Pie Larabars or this Apple Smoothie!

5 from 1 vote
These easy and healthy applesauce muffins are fluffy, moist and delicious. They also have vegan, whole wheat and gluten-free options.
Healthy Applesauce Muffins

These healthy applesauce muffins are fluffy, moist and delicious. They also have vegan, whole wheat and gluten-free options.

  • 1 1/2 cups (188 grams) whole wheat flour or 1 1/2 cups (207 gram) Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-free Baking Flour for a gluten-free version
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs (50 grams each, out of shell) or 2 chia eggs for vegan
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) light olive oil or another type of oil
  • 2/3 cup (166 gram) tightly packed coconut sugar - you can use 1/2 cup for a just hardly sweet version - you can also use brown sugar
  • 1 cup + 2 1/2 tablespoons (280 gram) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup (83 grams) chopped toasted pecans*
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar or raw sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with muffin liners. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour through salt).

  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs a little or prepare the flax eggs (mix 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds with 6 tablespoons water and let sit for a minute until goopy like an egg). Add the olive oil and sugar and mix. Then add the applesauce and vanilla extract.

  4. Add the dry mix to the wet mix and stir just until combined. Stir in the add-ins.
  5. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar over each muffin.

  6. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then turn it out onto a rack and let cool completely.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature or refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Recipe Notes
  • To toast pecans, bake for 7-9 minutes at 350 °F (175 °C) until they smell fragrant. Let cool.

Leave a Comment

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kari Alana September 27, 2020 at 16:38

This is the perfect applesauce muffin recipe for right now so thank you very much as I have saved to this next weekend.


2 Erin @ Food Doodles October 1, 2020 at 19:32

You’re welcome! I hope that you’ll enjoy it. 🙂


3 Sameera Danthanarayana July 19, 2020 at 12:08

Will it be oki to add wheat bran flour as well as whole wheat flour?


4 Erin @ Food Doodles July 26, 2020 at 19:37

I’m sorry for just now seeing your question! I’m not very familiar with wheat bran but I have a feeling that it’d make the muffins a bit too dry.


5 Charlotte Moore November 8, 2019 at 00:40

How did I miss this one? Love apple and cinnamon.


6 jillian November 7, 2019 at 17:52

Wish me luck…I will be trying these grain free. And monk fruit brown. woo.


7 Erin @ Food Doodles November 11, 2019 at 02:10

Wow, good luck! How will you make them grain-free?


8 Sandra October 23, 2019 at 07:20

I made them this morning and my 14yo daughter ate five before school! Delicious!


9 Erin @ Food Doodles June 23, 2020 at 02:06

I’m so sorry for just now seeing your comment, over half a year later. 🙁 It was in spam for some reason. I’m really glad that you enjoyed the muffins! And wow, 5! Sounds like me. 😉 Thanks a bunch for your feedback and sorry again!


10 Stacey Crawford October 21, 2019 at 09:33

Wow, I really want to take a bite of those muffins. The nuts and cranberries with the apple in the muffins are so tempting.


11 Megan Stevens October 17, 2019 at 05:27

GREAT!! that these can be made egg-free! Thanks for mentioning that and trying out that version! We’re egg-free here for my son’s sake; it’s so much easier to make one baked good for everyone. Excited to try these!!


12 ChihYu October 16, 2019 at 16:39

Delicious! Can’t eat just one! They’re so easy to make, too!


13 Don Baiocchi October 16, 2019 at 15:00

Ooh, I love snacks like these that are tasty, healthy and hearty at the same time. Perfect for the fall, too.


14 Raia Todd October 16, 2019 at 09:12

I love the spices in these! So yummy and healthy. 🙂


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