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.
This looks great! I plan on going to a apple orchard within a few days so this will be good to make! Thank you so much!
Hey Aly, i Made these just now. They are healthy indeed. Not sweet at all. And they fell apart.
I’m gonna tweak this wit banane puree cause it needs some sweet moisture to come together for me. An raisins.
Btw, teaspoon of salt was a little much.
Your timing with muffin recipes is wonderful. I had just gotten to the point of wanting something other than popsicles for dessert at night, and decided muffins would be good. I’m definitely going to be making these.
This recipe looks yummy! What type of almond milk are you using that is high in protein? I live in Canada and our almond milk typically has 1 gram of protein per 1 cup.
These look wonderful! I couldn’t talk my husband into pumpkin muffins but I am sure he will go for apple! Hopefully this weekend!
Hello, I am going to try to make this recipe but substitute banana’s for the egg and no oil, coconut oil is full of saturated fat. All oils are inflammatory to endothelial tissue. I’m not so concerned about a recipe being gluten free, as I am with it being oil and animal product free. :-)
Omg, these are amazing! I love that they’re GF (thank you ??) and I really really love that they’re not too sweet. I used pumpkin pie spice in mine and thought it was delicious.
How do you line your muffin tins? I see that you’re using parchment paper? Can you do a how-to for that?
Yes! I’ve been waiting for this recipe…you’re the best!
Mmm your healthy apple muffins look and sound fantastic! I bet they make your house smell divine while they are baking in the oven!
Would you happen to have the nutritional info or smart points for the healthy apple muffins? They were yummy!
I made these this morning, I subbed your Chai spice blend from the your butternut squash muffin recipe instead of just cinnamon… They were amazing!!! Wonderfully flavorful, easy to make, and great texture! Thank you ?
I made these today and thought they were delicious! I made them into mini muffins and got 48 of them. I love all of your oat flour based muffins; healthy, yummy, and great texture. I doubled the amount of spice since I like my muffins to have extra flavor, I also used half honey and half maple syrup as I find that the honey adds a little more sweetness. Will definitely make these again.
Looks delish! And perfect flavors for the fall season :)
Made these today and they are delicious. Used honey instead of maple syrup. I opted out of putting the sugar o top.
These muffins are amazing! They are moist and so tasty. On day three their texture was still like right out of the oven. I’ve made them twice this week. My husband and friends are raving over them. They will be one of my go to’s for a regular treat. The only tweak I made was I used maple sugar instead of the other sugars. I’m lucky enough to live in ‘everything maple country ‘ here in Canada. Thank you for posting this recipe. Love your work
Thanks I loved these! I used unsweetened soy milk instead of almond milk and xylitol instead of maple syrup – made them last week and again this week – it’s a keeper!
Wow! I just made these and they turned out so nicely! I made them in little mini loaf tins so I upped the heat and left them in a little longer. But using my blender to make oat flour was kind of magical for me (yes, I must get out more). My mom and I just had a perfect tea party for ourselves…thank you! I did add walnuts and the raw sugar on top too. YUMMY. A perfect treat for a cold and rainy day. Or any day.
These were so delicious! Came out perfectly. I’ll be making these again and again!
I made these and they are tasty! But they completely stuck to the muffin wrapper. I probably lost 1/3 of each muffin to the paper. Any suggestions??
Very good, light sweetness. Easy to make. I use all ingredients I had on hand. I used 1% milk and 3 TBS margarine instead of coconut oil and almond. Milk. Love them! I would like to now the nutritional value as I’m doing WW and would love to know how many points. I’m posting a picture sepated.
These healthy apple muffins were delicious. I like the various ways the recipe can be altered and used for various occasions. I was missing the nutrients content and how many fat, carbs, sugar, and calories are in a muffin. They sure were good going down!
These muffins are DELICIOUS! Easy to make, and quick to disappear.
The big negative I have is on the Print option. The way it is setup it takes 3 sheets of paper. This is 2 pages too many. I try a lot of recipes I find online, but I do like to print my favourites and keep them in a binder.
I made one change and one mistake but the muffins still turned out pretty well. I left the vanilla extract out by mistake and substituted half the maple syrup with Swerve granulated to reduce the sugar content. I also used grated one Honeycrisp apple with the skin removed. I found that I had to bake them longer than expected- probably about 25 minutes – but I think my oven temp isn’t totally accurate. There was enough batter for 15 small muffins. They didn’t hold together too well which may be a result of my substitution. I still really enjoyed one with a nice cup of coffee though! Next time I make them I think I’ll add some chopped, toasted walnuts. Thanks for the recipe.
I should update my earlier comment. I found this muffins DID hold together once I let them sit for a number of hours. Since they seemed very moist I left them uncovered for several hours (all day). I have a blueberry muffin recipe that requires the same treatment. Once I did that they held together beautifully. Will definitely make again.
I made these and they turned out really good! I did make a few substitutions though. I used 1/2 cup brown sugar instead of maple syrup (I was out of maple syrup) and I used a tablespoon of baking powder instead of baking soda (i was also out of baking soda), although next time I would definitely use 2-2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder if I was going to make that substitution. I also used butter instead of coconut oil. I know I made a lot of substitutions, but this recipe was very forgiving and turned out amazing. Definitely would recommend!
I forgot to rate it 5 stars!
Did some subsitutes as I did not have all ingredients,,put in Chai spice,,less applesauce ,,what i had 1/4 cup and cream I watered down ,,it needed to be cooked longer like 20 mins,,used the coconut oil too for greasing tins worked awesome no sticking!! they are now in my favorite list!!!
I read the reviews before I made and I’m glad I did. I did not use muffin papers and just sprayed the tin and they came out beautifully when hot. I just flipped the pan over. I added walnuts and went heavy on the spice and used half agave and half maple syrup for the sweeter. Next time I’m gonna substitute banana for the apple. Super good!!!
I just made these, thank you for the recipe! I used mashed bananas instead of applesauce, coconut sugar instead of maple syrup, olive oil instead of coconut oil, and oat milk because that’s what I had on hand. They are very delicious!
Beautiful! Thoroughly enjoy this recipe. Thank you
Made this recipe exactly as written, no substitutions and they turned out perfectly! I love the heavy amount of spice mix, glad I didn’t hold back. My 6 year old declared these the best muffins she’s ever had!
I made these today with a couple changes. I used honey instead of syrup and added walnuts. Also used butter instead of oil. They were delicious and actually made 15 muffins instead of a dozen. Thanks so much!