Ready for the BEST healthy apple muffins? The streusel topping adds a sweet crunch to each bite, and they feature both applesauce and diced apple. To die for!
Alex, Larson and I came home with a huge bag of apples the other day, after an afternoon of sipping apple cider slushies and frolicking in the local orchard. What to do with them? Once we’d made apple crumble and applesauce and apple pie, we paused for a breather. How about…apple muffins? Fortunately, these turned out incredible. The streusel topping adds a sweet crunch to each bite: and they’ve got a healthy spin too. Our son Larson literally gobbles these up! Here’s how to make them.
Why to make these apple muffins? The streusel.
These apple muffins are really a riff on our healthy pumpkin muffins recipe (and these banana muffins are similar!). That recipe had the original streusel topping, a crunchy topping made of glittery turbinado sugar and a little butter and oats. The nice thing about a streusel topping is that it adds just the right sweetness to each bite, instead of having to add a load of sugar to the muffin batter itself. And there’s something about that crunch…well, you’ll have to try it for yourself!
The apple muffins spin uses cinnamon, ginger and allspice as the flavorings. It also features both applesauce in the batter, and chunks of diced apple throughout. The diced apple can be optional if you prefer, but it adds another nice texture. (In all honesty, our son Larson picked those out and ate the rest of the muffin: to each his own!)
Want to add flair? Drizzle with our 1-Minute Powdered Sugar Icing. (Of course, this negates the healthy part…!)
Are these really healthy apple muffins?
To us, the term healthy apple muffins can be used here. While they’re certainly not health food because of the sugar, these muffins are still healthier than the standard muffin. If you prefer a healthy apple muffin that’s fully made of rolled oats, try our Apple Oatmeal Muffins. Here’s our criteria for these muffins:
- Under 200 calories. Our main calorie goal for “healthy” was that each muffin should be under 200 calories.
- Just sweet enough. These muffins have just enough sugar, a little more than our typical muffin but still less than the standard. They’re sweetened with maple syrup, which gives a gentler sweetness than refined sugar.
- Nutrient-dense ingredients. The flour and sugar are balanced out with heart-healthy oats, applesauce and fresh apple.
How to store muffins
What’s the best way to store these apple muffins? The texture of the streusel can easily be lost depending on the storage method. Here’s our recommendation:
- 1 day: Leave the muffins on a cooling rack and cover with a clean, dry dish towel. This helps the crunchy streusel topping to stay intact.
- Up to 4 days: Place a paper towel in the bottom of a sealed container, then place the muffins in and place a paper towel on top. The paper towels absorb any moisture, which helps to retain the crunchy topping.
- Longer than 4 days: Freeze these apple muffins in a sealable container and store up to 3 months.
If you’re looking for more muffin recipes, we’ve got you covered! Here are some we’d recommend:
- Healthy Banana Bread Muffins Our most popular recipes, these blender muffins are made with mainly oats and bananas, making them naturally gluten free. Everyone loves them!
- Healthy Blueberry Muffins Here we’ve used our banana muffins trick and added blueberries! They add the perfect tangy zing.
- Easy Zucchini Muffins These zucchini muffins are quick and easy, and have a crunchy turbinado sugar topping.
- Applesauce Muffins The batter is whizzed in a blender and they come out fluffy and perfectly cozy spiced.
This apple muffins recipe is…Print
Ready for the BEST healthy apple muffins? The streusel topping adds a sweet crunch to each bite, and use both applesauce and diced apple. To die for!
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
- 3/4 cup rolled oats, divided
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon, divided
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 1/4 cups applesauce
- 1 cup diced apple (1 medium apple)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
- 1/4 cup salted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add 12 muffin cups to a muffin tin.
- In a medium bowl, mix the 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup rolled oats, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon with the ginger, allspice, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt.
- In another bowl, combine the maple syrup, applesauce, unsalted butter (melted), and vanilla.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until a smooth batter forms. Mix in the diced apple.
- In another medium bowl, add the remaining 1/4 cup rolled oats, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon along with the turbinado sugar and salted butter (cut into small pieces). Cut the butter into the remaining ingredients using a pastry cutter or fork until it’s evenly combined and a crumbly streusel topping forms.
- Divide the batter evenly into the muffin cups. Then top with a thin layer of streusel.
- Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean (if your oven is uneven, reverse the pan halfway through). Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins and place them on a cooling rack to fully cool.
- Category: Muffin
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Apple Muffins, Healthy Apple Muffins
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.