These tender and moist Applesauce Muffins are the perfect start to fall mornings. They are full of warm, cozy flavors and made even more delicious with a crunchy cinnamon oat topping. Enjoy one for breakfast, brunch, or afternoon snacking! Not only are these absolutely scrumptious, they are great for making in advance and enjoying through the week. They even freeze well!
With the change of the season, these healthy applesauce muffins and cozy fall flavors are on repeat! Consider them a hug from fall. That’s right, when autumn rolls around, these babies are in high demand. My whole family adores them. They didn’t even last two full days!
In reality, they are perfect as a year-round breakfast treat, but with the comforting cinnamon apple flavor, I immediately associate them with cool autumn mornings.
Oh my goodness… I cannot say enough great things about these muffins! They had the best cozy flavor and they also had such a lovely texture. We ate them up!— Sonia
Reasons you will love this recipe
- Flavorful. Thanks to the addition of applesauce, these are incredibly moist and perfectly sweet without having to use much oil or sugar! The cinnamon streusel topping makes them extra warm and comforting. They are simply delightful with a cup of coffee or tea!
- Easy. The recipe requires no electric mixer, and you will have nutrient-dense muffins ready to go in less than an hour! We like to meal prep these on Sunday to enjoy throughout the busy weeks!
- Healthier. With just over 150 calories per muffin, these are better-for-you than most muffin recipes. The applesauce along with the honey (or maple syrup) adds flavor, moisture and natural sweetness.
- Family-friendly. Kids and adults love these, and they’re perfect for packing in lunchboxes or having for breakfast at home.
This applesauce muffins recipe is made with simple, wholesome ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. Here’s everything you’ll need to make them:
- Applesauce. The star of the show! These contain a full cup of unsweetened applesauce. It not only gives the muffins the most wonderful apple flavor, but it also makes them super moist.
- Cinnamon. Let there be no apple recipe without cinnamon!
- Honey. We’re only using 4 tablespoons to give these the perfect sweetness, and the slight honey flavor is an added bonus.
- Whole wheat pastry flour. Higher in fiber and protein than white flour, and it tastes so mild, you’ll never suspect the swap. These will also work great with all-purpose flour and white whole wheat flour.
- Olive oil. You only need 2 tablespoons of oil to give these the perfect light and airy texture. You can sub with coconut oil or vegetable oil, if you prefer.
- Baking essentials. Last, we have the normal baking staples that are necessary for the perfect baked goods – eggs, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and salt.
- Crisp topping. Don’t even get me started on the topping. It’s buttery, crunchy, sweet and downright delicious. It is the perfect addition to the moist and apple cinnamon-y muffins. It is optional, but HIGHLY recommended. The nutritional info includes the topping, so yay!
How to make this recipe
This recipe is very straightforward, you only need one bowl and a muffin tin. Here’s the simple process:
- Prep. First things first, preheat your oven to 350ºF. Then, prepare a muffin pan by spraying the cavities with cooking spray or lining them with muffin liners.
- Whisk dry ingredients. Now, in a large bowl, stir dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon).
- Stir wet ingredients. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture. Add wet ingredients to the center (eggs, honey, applesauce, olive oil and vanilla).
- Combine wet and dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients together and then combine all ingredients. Stir only until just combined.
- Spoon batter in pan. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups, filling them 3/4 full.
- Make the crumble topping. If using the cinnamon sugar topping, mix all topping ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter.
- Bake. Place in the oven and bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool & serve. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
- Measure ingredients accurately. For precise measuring, always use a scale and measure in grams. However, if you don’t own a kitchen scale, scoop the flour into the measuring cup with a spoon. Then level it off with the straight side of a butter knife, pushing the excess back off into the flour canister or bag.
- Don’t overmix your batter. Mix just until everything is combined. When making most baked goods, it’s important that all the ingredients are at room temperature before getting started because it ensures that everything mixes together evenly without having to stir the batter too much. Over-mixing can cause muffins to get tough.
- Scoop the batter. You can use an ice cream scoop or a spring loaded scoop to fill the muffin tin. This helps you to get even amounts of batter in each tin.
- Don’t over-bake your muffins. If the muffins get too dry, they will not be very good. Bake them just until a tester or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, or once you can gently press the top of the muffin and it springs back.
Frequently asked questions
Adding applesauce to cake, bread or muffins makes them incredibly moist and tender. It also allows you to reduce the fat, like oil or butter, while still yielding soft muffins with great texture. In addition, it adds natural sweetness (even the unsweetened variety), reducing the amount of sugar required.
Unsweetened applesauce can be used to replace part or all of the butter or oil in a recipe. It can be swapped in equal quantities, so if a recipe calls for 2 cups of butter, you could replace as much of it as you’d like with applesauce, from a small amount such as 1⁄4 cup to the entire amount. In this recipe, we’re still adding in 2 tbsp oil for maximum moistness and the best texture.
Yes! Fold in about 1 cup peeled and finely chopped apple (about 1/2 medium apple, such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Gala, Pink Lady).
Here are some delicious additions that you might enjoy:
- Nuts. Try folding about 1/2 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, macadamia, or pistachio nuts.
- Raisins or cranberries. For a sweet, chewy burst, add about 1/2 cup of any dried fruit into the batter.
- Baking chips. These are great with about 1/2 cup added chocolate chips, cinnamon chips or peanut butter chips.
- Glaze. If you’d like a little extra decadence, add a drizzle of glaze to the tops, once cooled. For the glaze, mix 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tbsp milk and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
- Storing leftovers. Place any leftover muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days and in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freezing. Once fully cooled, place in a heavy-duty freezer zipper bag, removing as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months. Be sure to write the date on the bag.
- Reheating. These are great straight out of the refrigerator, but if you’d like to enjoy them warm, simply pop them in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.
I hope you guys enjoy these muffins as much as my family does! They’re tender, perfectly sweet, slightly crisp from the topping (in the best way!), and so VERY wonderful! Keep these on hand for a quick, on-the-go breakfast or snack. They would also make a lovely holiday gift or treat for fall parties.
More fall breakfast recipes
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
- Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins
- Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
- Best Pumpkin Bread
- Cinnamon Streusel Apple Bread
- Pumpkin Overnight Oats
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves them as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
- 1 1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons (84g) honey or maple syrup
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce (I used two 4 ounce containers which came to 223g)
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) light olive oil (or other oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- 3 tablespoons (24g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons (10g) quick oats
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons (24g) brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) light olive oil (or other oil or melted butter)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare a muffin pan by spraying the cavities with cooking spray or lining them with parchment paper liners. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon).
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients to the center (eggs, honey, applesauce, olive oil and vanilla). Mix wet ingredients together and then combine all ingredients. Stir only until just combined.
- Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups, filling them 3/4 full.
- If using the oat topping, mix all topping ingredients in a small bowl. Top each muffin evenly with the topping.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days and in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Don’t overmix your batter. Mix just until everything is combined.
- You can use an ice cream scoop or a spring loaded scoop to fill the muffin tins. This helps you to get even amounts of batter in each tin.
- Don’t over-bake your muffins. They may end up too dry. Bake them just until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, or once you can gently press the top of the muffin and the muffin springs back.
- Let the muffins sit in the tin for about 10 minutes before removing to serve.
- You can either bake muffins in a greased muffin tin or with paper liners.