Mini Applesauce Muffins (Whole Grain & Low Sugar)


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Updated: / First Posted: 96 Comments

These happy little Applesauce Muffins are packed apple-cinnamon flavor, whole grains, and vitamins. And all without excess added sugars! They’re a perfect healthy snack or breakfast for kids to make ahead and serve throughout the week.

applesauce-muffins-on-plate

Applesauce Muffins

Applesauce is a staple in our house and I try to keep it on hand for both eating as a snack or as a simple side—and for turning it into easy baked goods like these muffins. This recipe stirs together in just a few minutes and the mini muffins pack balanced nutrition into each bite.

We love to have these for breakfast or a snack—and I love even more to make a batch on the weekend and dole them out throughout the week.

TIP: This is the muffin recipe I make when I don’t have any fresh fruit or veggies in the house. Pantry staples to the rescue!

ingredients in applesauce muffins

Ingredients You Need

I did my best to keep the ingredient list for these healthy muffins streamlined so that you wouldn’t need to go off in pursuit of any hard-to-find ingredients. You’ll need:

TIP: I prefer to use unsweetened applesauce in this recipe so I can control the added sugars, but any kind will work.

how to make applesauce muffins step by step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the simple process involved in making these muffins. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see the full information.

  1. Preheat the oven and grease a mini muffin tin. I use nonstick canola spray, but any spray meant for baking will work. Gently stir all ingredients together.
  2. Fill each muffin cup.
  3. Bake until lightly browned around the edges and cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
  4. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

TIP: You can serve them warm, or let them cool and save them to enjoy later in the day—or even in a few months if you store them in the freezer. (See the note at the end of the recipe for details.)

mini applesauce muffins on pink plate

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best applesauce for muffins?

I like to use unsweetened applesauce that’s smooth or almost smooth. Chunky applesauce is okay as long as you know that you might wind up with piece of applesauce chunks in the final muffins! Just use one that you like the taste of to ensure that there’s good flavor in the muffins.

You can use store-bought or homemade—both work fine. Sometimes the color of the muffins can be lighter or darker according to the color of the applesauce.

Can I make these vegan muffins?

To make these muffins without dairy, use an unsweetened plain nondairy milk. Use a neutral oil, such as canola oil or avocado oil, instead of the butter.

To make these muffins without eggs, omit the 1 egg that’s called for and stir together 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed and 2 tablespoons water. Let the “flax egg” sit for a few minutes before adding it to the batter.

When the muffins come out of the oven, let them cool completely inside the pan (so don’t transfer them to a rack—this batter is a little moister and likes the extra heat!).

Can I omit the added sugar?

You can make Applesauce Muffins without added sugar for a baby or younger toddler by omitting the sugar. The resulting muffins will be less sweet. You could also omit the sugar and add a tablespoon or two of maple syrup.

You can top with a little butter, nut butter, applesauce, apple butter, or honey if desired.

Make-Ahead Applesauce Muffins

You can bake these muffins and store them for about 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge. You can serve them either at room temperature or warmed slightly. Or cold! It just depends on what your kids prefer.

TIP: You can freeze fully cooled muffins and store in zip top bags in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the fridge.

mini applesauce muffins on pink plate

Best Tips for Success

  • Try not to over-mix the batter, which could make the muffins denser than they should be. Stir gently and stop when the ingredients are mixed together.
  • Use an applesauce that tastes good to you when eaten by the spoonful. The applesauce provides flavor and sweetness.
  • Be sure to grease the bottom and the sides of the muffin cups to ensure that the muffins come out of the pan easily.
  • You’ll know they’re done when the edges are lightly golden brown, a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly, and the tops are firm.
  • Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold, according to what your kids prefer.
  • You can top with a little butter, nut butter, applesauce, apple butter, or honey if desired.
  • You can freeze fully cooled muffins and store in zip top bags in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the fridge.
  • You can bake these muffins and store them for about 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge.
  • You may also like Sugar-Free Banana Muffins, Cinnamon Muffins, and my ABC Muffins.

I’d love to know how your family likes these muffins, so please comment below.

This post was first published September 2017.

mini applesauce muffins on pink plate

Mini Applesauce Muffins

We like these on their own, topped with nut or seed butter, or even with a smear of cream cheese. See what your littles like! (I updated the leavening in July 2019 to ensure a more consistent rounded shape to the top of the muffins.)

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 16 mins

Total Time 26 mins

Course Breakfast

Cuisine American

Servings 12 (Makes 24 mini muffins)

Calories 101 kcal

Ingredients 

 

  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter, slightly cooled (or neutral oil like canola)
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 cup milk (dairy or unsweetened plain nondairy)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease a mini muffin tin well.

  • Stir together the applesauce, butter, milk, egg, and vanilla in a medium bowl.

  • Add the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and gently fold together.

  • Fill prepared muffin tin to the edge of each cup. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges and cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.

  • Remove from oven, let cool for about 2 minutes in the pan, run a paring knife around the edges if needed, and remove to cool on a wire rack. (Or sort of just tilt in the pan to allow air under the muffins.)

  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

  • To store, let cool fully and store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days or in a zip top freezer bag with as much air removed as possible for up to 3 months. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Egg-free: Stir together 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed and 2 tablespoons water. Let the “flax egg” sit for a few minutes before adding it to the batter. When the muffins come out of the oven, let them cool inside the pan (so don’t transfer them to a rack—this batter is a little moister and likes the extra heat!).
  • Gluten-free: Use a cup-for-cup gluten-free flour like this one.
  • Dairy-free: Use canola oil instead of the butter and a plain, unsweetened nondairy milk.
  • Be sure to grease the bottom and the sides of the muffin cups to ensure that the muffins come out of the pan easily.
  • You’ll know they’re done when the edges are lightly golden brown, a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly, and the tops are firm.
  • Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold, according to what your kids prefer.
  • Pair with fruit and or milk or a smoothie for a simple meal or snack.

Nutrition

Serving: 2muffinsCalories: 101kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 157mgPotassium: 84mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 102IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 1mg

Keyword applesauce muffins, healthy muffins



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