My Spiced Apple Muffins are packed with sweet apples and warm fall spices, and topped with an irresistible cinnamon sugar topping. These tasty muffins are the perfect healthy snack and are so easy to make. Simply mix everything together in a bowl and in 20 minutes, you'll have a batch of delicious, warm apple muffins to dive into!
Every year when fall comes around, I look forward to apple season. I have fond memories of going apple picking with my family when I was growing up in New York. There's just something so warm and comforting about recipes that use fresh apples like my Baked Apple Cider Donuts or Slow Cooker Apple Crisp.
Now I'm excited to bring you these Spiced Apple Muffins. These tasty muffins are bursting with fresh apples and warm, fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
Enjoy them for breakfast, dessert or anytime in between. They also make an excellent healthy snack for kids to pack in their lunchboxes.
Why You'll Love This Dish
- Delicious- these spiced apple muffins are packed with fall ingredients and flavors like apples, cinnamon, maple and vanilla.
- Easy- a simple recipe made with pantry ingredients and no special equipment needed.
- Healthy- full of nutritious ingredients like apples, whole grains, and Greek yogurt; lower in calories, fat and added sugar compared to traditional muffins.
- Kid-friendly- your kids will gobble these up like mine do! A perfect lunchbox snack.
- Stores well- can be stored in the fridge or freezer- the perfect make-ahead treat!
These healthy apple spice muffins are not only delicious, they're also healthier than traditional muffins. Here's why:
- Whole grains- I use a mixture of white whole wheat flour with all purpose flour to incorporate healthy whole grains.
- Apples- apples are packed with beneficial nutrients including vitamin C, fiber, and phytonutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
- Greek yogurt- Greek yogurt adds a boost of protein and keeps the muffins moist.
- Lower in fat- I use grapeseed oil (which is low in saturated fat) rather than butter. I also use applesauce in the muffins, which allows me to use less oil.
- Lightly sweetened- these muffins are lightly sweetened with a combination of maple syrup and light brown sugar. The apples add a lot of natural sweetness.
Recipe Notes and Substitutions:
- Flour- I use a combination of all purpose flour and white whole wheat flour to incorporate some whole grains
- Apples- some of my favorite types of apples to use in this dish are Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Braeburn, Fuji, and Pink Lady. Granny Smith is a good choice if you like a more tart apple.
- Oil- I use grapeseed oil for it's neutral flavor; you can also use safflower, vegetable or canola oil
- Applesauce- I use unsweetened apple sauce; using applesauce allows me to use less oil
- Greek yogurt- I use vanilla flavored Greek yogurt
- Maple syrup- I use pure maple syrup
- Light brown sugar- can substitute coconut sugar
- Dried spices- I use a combination of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice; this is the combination found in many brands of store-bought apple pie spice so you can use that if you have it. You can also add a pinch of ginger or cardamom if desired.
Step-By-Step Instructions for Spiced Apple Muffins
Scroll down to the recipe card for full recipe details.
- Step 1- Peel the apples and dice them into small pieces. You want to keep the pieces small (about ¼-inch) so that they'll soften fully in the oven.
- Step 2- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice (and any other optional spices) together in a large bowl.
- Step 3- Whisk the oil, applesauce, Greek yogurt, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, and brown sugar together in another large bowl.
- Step 4- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Then, gently stir the ingredients together with a spatula or whisk until just combined. Do not overwork the batter.
- Step 5- Gently stir in the diced apples.
- Step 6- Scoop the batter into a greased 12-cup muffin pan, filling the wells about ¾-full. I like to do this using a cookie scoop. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of each one. Then, pop them in the oven and bake at 375°F for 20-22 minutes. As the muffins cook, they will make your kitchen smell divine!
Remove the spiced apple muffins from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Devour!
Chef's Top Tips
- It's very important to measure out your flour properly otherwise it will affect the texture of the final product. Gently stir the flour to loosen any clumps and then spoon it into your measuring cup with a large spoon. Don't scoop the flour up directly with the measuring cup. This will compact the flour more and you'll end up measuring out too much.
- Don't overwork the batter otherwise these spiced apple muffins will be dense and tough. Mix the ingredients by hand rather than with a mixer and stop as soon as the ingredients are combined. It's ok to have some lumps in the batter.
- Use a cookie scoop to scoop the batter into the muffin tin. It's easier than using a spoon and ensures that the muffins are all the same size.
- If you like a little crunch on your muffins, you can top the muffins with a mixture of cinnamon and turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw) rather than brown sugar.
- For an extra boost of protein, spread a little peanut butter on these healthy spiced apple muffins.
You can use almost any type of apple for baking these spiced apple muffins. Some of my favorites are Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Braeburn, Fuji, and Pink Lady. Granny Smith is a good choice if you like a more tart apple. I tend to avoid McIntosh apples as they break down a lot during cooking and can get mushy.
It's important to mix the dry and wet ingredients separately before mixing them together. This helps avoid overworking the batter. Also, avoid using an electric mixer- stick with mixing the batter by hand. I also add Greek yogurt and applesauce to the batter, which helps keep the muffins moist. Finally, don't over bake the muffins. Test them with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs, the muffins are done- remove them from the oven.
The apple muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature on the countertop for up to 4 days. Make sure to cool them completely first. Then line the bottom of the container with a paper towel and store the muffins in a single layer. They can be refrigerated for up to 6 days. They can also be frozen in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. To reheat frozen muffins, let them thaw at room temperature or pop them in the microwave for a minute.
No. Apple pie spice that you buy from the store is a spice blend that typically contains a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Some brands may also include ginger and cardamom. Allspice is a single spice. It's made from dried berries of the allspice tree, which is native to Jamaica. It has a flavor similar to cloves.
These Spiced Apple Muffins are part of my Best Apple Recipe Round Up.
More Comfort Food Recipes
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Spiced Apple Muffins
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom and or ginger (optional)
- ¼ cup neutral-flavored oil (like grapeseed or vegetable oil)
- ½ cup applesauce
- ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt (I use Chobhani 0% vanilla Greek yogurt)
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 2 cups apples, peeled and finely chopped, about ¼-inch (I like to use Honeycrisp)
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Whisk both types of flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice (and any other spices) together in a large bowl.
- Whisk the oil, applesauce, Greek yogurt, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, and brown sugar together in another large bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Gently stir the ingredients together with a spatula or whisk until just combined. Do not overwork the batter. Gently stir in the diced apple.
- Scoop the batter into the muffins pan, filling the wells about ¾-full. For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar on top of the muffins.
- Bake the muffins at 375°F for 20-22 minutes. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. See storage tips in Recipe Notes below.
Lorrie Roa says
Great tip on how to get muffins not to stick. This recipe looks fabulous! My son loves apples and cinnamon AND baking, so we are going to have to try this soon. It reminds me of a recipe I used to make with my mom when I was little that I called “Applesauce Muffins”. I never use liners for my muffins. I just spray the pan, and the muffins don’t create extra garbage with the liners. My son is on a huge muffin kick right now and this came at the perfect time! I was wondering what to do with the “leftover” buttermilk I had in the frig. These muffins will do the trick. Thanks for sharing!
Applesauce and muffins go together like peas and carrots - but I've never thrown cardamom into the mix! This recipe looks so perfect - pinning to trial.
Haha, it really is such a great combo and inviting cardamom to the party definitely livens it up! Thanks Alisa 🙂
Julie Wunder says
These are lovely! I used to dislike baking, but it is growing on me now that I've been experimenting more. Using Apple Sauce is one of my favorite healthy swaps.
Isn't it such a great swap? Thanks Julie!
Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies says
I love the idea of the grated apple, and the chopped apple. This is definitely a healthy muffin you can feel good about serving.
Thanks so much Kris!
YUM!! These look amazing! What a fun recipe! And they only have 150 calories?? That's SO much less than what you'd get in a bakery!! And they look beyond delicious.
Thanks Cailee! I was so happy that they came out so yummy at only 150 calories!
kelly denton says
What a wonderful combination of flavors. #client
Thanks so much Kelly! I really enjoyed developing this recipe 🙂
Cardamom is one of my favorite ingredients....especially in baked goods! This will be on the breakfast menu this weekend 🙂
Mine too! Thanks Erin, I hope you enjoy them!
Jessica Levinson says
I am definitely more of a cooker than a baker. My husband wishes I baked more and he thinks it's crazy I don't like baking since I'm so type A about everything else! But I always say that the kitchen is one place I want to let my creative juices flow and not be tied down to measuring every last detail! As for this recipe, it looks fabulous. I love using applesauce to cut the fat in baked goods and yogurt too. I can only imagine how moist these are given the combo of ingredients!
Haha, I hear ya! I think it's great that you're able to leave your type A traits outside the kitchen and really let it be a place for fun and creativity. Here's an idea, your hubs should pick up baking 🙂
Rebecca Pytell says
Such a stunning flavor combo! Cardamom always makes everything so elegant!
Thanks Rebecca! Isn't cardamon one of the best spices?
Kristy Sayer @ Southern In Law says
These look absolutely perfect! Yum!
I love baking and cooking. The kitchen is definitely my happy place, haha!
Yay! It's totally my happy place too 🙂
Rosey Rebecca says
These look and sound so delicious! I love to cook AND bake as well. Definitely pinning and making soon. I love muffins- just like your daughter- I'll eat anything in muffin form. haha!
Thanks Rebecca! What is it about muffin form that is so irresistible? LOL!
Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl says
I LOVE baking with applesauce! It makes everything extra moist!
It's so true! Thanks Hannah 🙂
Elizabeth Shaw says
Oh dang! I wish I had this recipe yesterday before I did an epic fail on a apple creation I tried to whip up! Couldn't agree with you more, baking IS an exact science lol! Pinned to make this as soon as I get more apples and applesauce!
Lol, sorry to hear about your fail, I'm sure attempt #2 will be amazing! Thanks Liz 🙂
Ben Maclain says
I enjoy both savory and sweet baking. Besides the mentioned reasons, I consider savory baking "real food" which allowes me to bake more often:) I love apple baked goodies, and the combo of apples and cardamom is one of my favourite. Plus, these guys are less than 150 calories? Yes, please! Count me on. I will be 7 or 9 at once:)
Ahh, a fellow sweet and savory baker, I knew I liked you Ben! Thanks for the lovely comment 🙂