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.
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!
Healthy Applesauce Muffins
- 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
- Line a 12-cup muffin pan with muffin liners. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C).
- In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour through salt).
- 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.
- Add the dry mix to the wet mix and stir just until combined. Stir in the add-ins.
- Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar over each muffin.
- Bake for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
- Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then turn it out onto a rack and let cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature or refrigerate for up to 1 week.
- To toast pecans, bake for 7-9 minutes at 350 °F (175 °C) until they smell fragrant. Let cool.