Ultra fluffy, super soft, and full of cinnamon spice – these Applesauce Muffins are made without oil or butter making them healthy enough to eat for breakfast! You’ll taste the flavors of Fall with every bite of this spiced muffin recipe. They’re also super adaptable and can easily be made gluten-free, vegetarian, and even vegan.
Cinnamon Applesauce Muffins
After quite a few rounds of recipe testing for this Instant Pot Applesauce, I wondered what to do with all of the leftovers.
And then, I remembered… applesauce is a great substitute for oil in baked goods!
So why not try out a batch of applesauce muffins?!
I will be totally honest here. I initially thought these would turn out to be bland, dry, and not-too-flavorful.
After all, there is ZERO, ZILCH, NADA oil or butter in this recipe. That’s normally the ingredient that gives muffins, breads, and baked good that lovely and soft texture.
But you guys. Lemme’ tell you. You cannot even TASTE the difference.
These muffins are not only super soft and tender, but they also puff and fluff up just like a normal muffin would – but without the added fat and calories!
So yes, you can feel good about eating one or two of these for breakfast or an afternoon snack this Fall. 🙂
The ingredients you will need for these applesauce muffins are relatively easy to find at your local grocery store:
- Flour – Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 is the gluten-free flour that is used in this recipe and has the best results. Other gluten-free flour blends have not been tested, so please use these with caution. All purpose flour can also be used instead of gluten-free flour.
- Applesauce – Using applesauce in place of butter or oil makes the muffins extra moist, dairy-free, and have a delightful but subtle apple flavor.
- Eggs – Large eggs give these muffins their fluffy texture. If you’re vegan or avoiding eggs, you can substitute with flax or chia eggs.
- Maple Syrup – Instead of using your typical processed white sugar, pure maple syrup is used. You can also substitute with honey or agave nectar.
- Coconut Sugar – This is a slightly healthier alternative to regular sugar and I promise, it does not add any coconut flavor to your muffins! If you don’t have this ingredient on hand, you can also use regular sugar instead.
- Apple Pie Spice – Using a homemade spice blend gives your muffins the most complex flavor. However, you can use a store bought apple pie spice or substitute with a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Best Applesauce to Use
When replacing oil and butter with applesauce it’s essential that you use an unsweetened kind with no sugar added.
You also want to notice whether the applesauce already has spices or flavoring. If it does, you’ll want to adjust the amount of additional spices you use.
Homemade applesauce or store bought applesauce can both be used interchangeably in this recipe.
If using homemade, make sure you have mashed it until it is a smooth and creamy consistency. You can also add it to a high speed blend or food processor to help you achieve the right texture.
A few easy to find store bought brands:
- Santa Cruz
- 365 Organics
- Mott’s (make sure you look for the unsweetened variety)
How to Make
Making applesauce muffins is much like other breakfast bread recipes you might have tried. It is a quick and easy process and only requires a few simple steps:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Mix together flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, apple pie spice, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
- Whisk applesauce, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla in a separate large bowl.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix by hand until just combined.
- Place muffin cup liners into 12 cavities of a regular-sized muffin tray. Spray each liner with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pour the muffin batter into all 12 cups. They should end up being about ¾ full.
- Whisk together cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle over each of the muffins.
- Bake muffins in preheated oven for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick when inserted in comes out clean.
When I first made a batch of these applesauce muffins they stuck to the paper muffin liners even though they had plenty of non-stick cooking spray.
If you happen to have this problem, too, chances are it’s the type of muffin liners you are using.
These parchment paper liners are the best muffin cup liners to use and require little to no non-stick cooking spray. The muffins will slide right out of the liners after they’re done baking!
Serving and Storing
Wait at least 3 to 5 minutes before removing the muffins from the pan so they keep their shape.
If you’re serving them within the next 24 hours, simply place them on a plate at room temperature uncovered.
Muffins will keep for up to 2-3 days at room temperature.
To prevent them from getting soggy, line the bottom of a Tupperware container with a paper towel. Add muffins and then place an additional paper towel on top to absorb the excess moisture.
It’s also extremely easy to freeze muffins for later. To do this, make sure you remove the muffin cup liners before freezing. Place the muffins in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for 6-8 hours, or until firm.
Once partially frozen, add them to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag and store for up to 4-6 months.
What if I don’t have apple pie spice?
You can easily substitute with ⅔ cinnamon and ⅓ nutmeg anytime a recipe calls for apple pie spice. Pumpkin pie spice may also be substituted, but will have a slightly stronger cloves flavor.
Are they gluten-free and vegan?
These applesauce muffins can be made even healthier by using a gluten-free 1-to-1 flour blend and flax or chia eggs to make them vegan.
What if I don’t like spice?
You can either leave out the spices from the muffins or decrease the amount used.
Other Healthy Muffin Recipes
Here are a few other healthy muffin recipes you might enjoy:
Healthy Applesauce Muffins Recipe
Ultra fluffy, super soft, and full of cinnamon spice - these Applesauce Muffins are made without oil or butter making them healthy enough to eat for breakfast! You'll taste the flavors of Fall with every bite of this spiced muffin recipe. They're also super adaptable and can easily be made gluten-free, vegetarian, and even vegan.
Preheat oven to 350 °F.
Mix together flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, apple pie spice, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
Whisk together applesauce, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla in a separate large bowl.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix by hand until just combined.
Place muffin cup liners into 12 cavities of a regular-sized muffin tray. Spray each liner with non-stick cooking spray.
Evenly distribute the muffin batter into all 12 cups. They should end up being about ¾ full.
Whisk together cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle ¼ teaspoon over each of the muffins.
Bake muffins in preheated oven for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick when inserted in comes out clean.
Let cool to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!
- Make your own Apple Pie Spice or substitute with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ½ teaspoon nutmeg.
- Use flax eggs or chia seed eggs if vegan or dairy-free.