This healthy apple muffins recipe is naturally gluten-free (made with oats), lightly sweetened with maple syrup, and filled with lots of fresh apple and applesauce…to make these muffins deliciously apple-y.
After making batch after batch of my healthy pumpkin muffins this fall (we’re obsessed!), I decided it was time to mix things up and create a version with my other favorite fall flavor. It’s been a muffin marathon around here while I was testing and re-testing and getting this recipe just right. But today, I’m happy to finally share this one with you.
Meet….the most delicious healthy apple muffins. ♡
These guys are just about everything I could ask for in an apple muffin. They are made with healthy, wholesome ingredients that feel like a great choice at the beginning of each day, including lots of fiber-rich oats (which we blend to make the flour) and protein-packed almond milk (or your choice of milk). They’re lightly sweetened with maple syrup, plus a hint of turbinado (raw) sugar on top if you would like. They’re naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian. And, thanks to using both applesauce and an entire fresh apple in the recipe, I’m happy to report that these muffins are super-duper-apple-y…as any good apple muffin should be.
So while fresh apples are still in season, let’s make a batch together!
Healthy Apple Muffins Ingredients:
The ingredient list for this apple muffin recipe is pretty simple. You will need:
Old fashioned oats: Which we will blitz in the blender or food processor to make oat flour. (Or you can just purchase oat flour at the store. We have a tiny kitchen so I usually only have room for old-fashioned oats on hand in my pantry!) Note that this recipe calls for old fashioned (rolled) oats, not quick oats.
Pumpkin pie spice: Or apple pie spice, or whatever combination of warming spices you love. Here’s my recipe for homemade pumpkin pie spice, if you would like to mix it up yourself.
Eggs, baking soda, sea salt, coconut oil, vanilla: All of the typical muffin-y things.
Apple: I used a Granny Smith apple, whose tartness and texture I like in these muffins. But any kind of apple will do.
Applesauce: I just used plain, unsweetened applesauce (made with 100% apples). But any variety/flavor will do.
Almond milk: Or your preferred kind of milk.
Maple syrup: Plus a sprinkle of turbinado (raw) sugar on top to sweeten, if you’d like.
How To Make Apple Muffins:
To make this healthy apple muffins recipe, simply:
Make the oat flour. Puree the oats in a blender or food processor until they reach a fine flour-like consistency.
Mix the dry ingredients. Add in the pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and sea salt, and pulse until combined.
Add the apple. Finely-dice your apple (I recommend about 1/4-inch cubes). Then add it into the oat mixture, with the power on your device turned off, and use a spoon to toss it briefly until the apple chunks are all evenly coated with the oat mixture. This will help them not to all sink to the bottom of your muffins. ;)
Mix the wet ingredients. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, applesauce, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract until evenly combined
Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Fold the oat and apple mixture into the egg mixture, and stir until just combined. You don’t want to overmix this batter.
Portion into baking cups and bake. Then divide the batter evenly between 12 baking cups (they will be pretty full), sprinkle a pinch of turbinado sugar on top of each cup, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean!
And…enjoy! I’m convinced these muffins are best when they’re nice and hot and fresh outta the oven. But good news, they also store and freeze well! More below.
How To Store Apple Muffins:
If you have leftover muffins, feel free to either:
Store at room temperature: In a sealed container for up to 3 days.
Freeze: In a sealed container (or freezer bag) for up to 3 months. Then let them thaw until they reach room temperature and enjoy.
To mix things up, feel free to add:
Nuts or seeds: Such as pepitas, pecans, sunflower seeds, walnuts, etc. You can either sprinkle them on top of the muffins, or fold them into the batter.
Different spices: As mentioned above, any other blend of warming spices would be delicious, such as apple pie spice or chai spice. Some candied ginger would also be delicious in this recipe.
Grated apple: If you don’t like the little chunks of apple in your muffins, feel free to grate your apple instead.
A maple glaze: Whisk together powdered sugar and maple syrup until they form a glaze-like consistency, and drizzle over your muffins for extra sweetness.
This healthy apple muffins recipe is naturally gluten-free (made with oats), naturally sweetened with maple syrup, and filled with double the apples!
3 cups old-fashioned oats*
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, homemade or store-bought
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 medium apple, finely diced
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, plain or vanilla
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or any mild-flavored oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
optional: turbinado sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with parchment or cupcake liners, or lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside.
Puree oats in a blender or food processor until they reach a fine flour-like consistency. Add in the pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and sea salt, and pulse until the mixture is evenly combined. With the power turned off, add in the diced apple. Then use a spoon to toss until the apple is completely coated in the flour mixture. Set aside.
In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, applesauce, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract until evenly combined. Fold the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredient mixture, and stir until the mixture is just combined. (Try to avoid over-mixing.)
Portion the batter evenly into the prepared baking cups. Then sprinkle a generous pinch of turbinado sugar on top of each muffin, if you would like.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.
Serve warm. Or let the muffins cool to room temperature, then store in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
*Or feel free to substitute in 240 grams (8.4 ounces) oat flour. And as always, be sure to use certified gluten-free ingredients if making this recipe gluten-free.