These easy vegan Apple Cinnamon Muffins are packed apple pieces in a delicious spiced muffin. It's a great recipe for breakfast or a quick snack with sweet apple flavor and significant calorie savings too!
The load of fresh apples in these easy healthy apple muffins is delicious. You'll get fall flavor in every bite!
If you are worried about not using eggs or oil, don't be! We have a great baking trick to replace them adding more apple flavor and creating moist muffins.
This muffin recipe has a great texture and stays very moist thanks to the chunks of apple. It reminds us of apple cake.
Pair them with our Tex Mex Instant Pot Egg Bites for some additional protein for breakfast!
What makes this skinny?
- Less sugar. We used ⅓ cup each of brown sugar and white granulated white sugar. Granulated sugar is sweeter than brown sugar for the same amount so mixing gives more sweetness with less sugar used than if just using brown sugar.
- No vegetable oil or butter. Using applesauce (that trick from our Skinny Swaps series) provides the function of oil without the calories.
- No eggs
The same things that make these vegan strip out extra calories too! A traditional Apple Cinnamon Muffin can be up to almost 500 calories. This version is 148 calories and 4 WW SmartPoints on all plans.
Recipe Ingredient Notes
All Purpose Flour. Regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour can be used. For our gluten-free baking versions we use (and love) Bob's Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour.
Almond milk. Used unsweetened almond milk. Use regular or vanilla flavor.
Applesauce. Store bought unsweetened applesauce or homemade applesauce can be used.
Apple. You'll need 1 ½ cups fresh chopped apples which is the equivalent of 1 large apple (approximately). Wonder what kind of apples to use? The best baking apple choices below.
Best apples for baking
Our favorite for these muffins (especially in apple season) are Honeycrisp apples. They have a strong sweet flavor and wonderful firm texture that holds up during baking. Choose firm apples with bright apple flavors.
Here are some classic apples for baking that won't become mushy and taste great:
- Granny Smith apples
- Pink Lady
How to make Apple Muffins - Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Preparation
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare muffin pan with liners or spraying with non-stick food spray.
STEP 2. Make the batter
In a large bowl combined the unsweetened applesauce, vanilla extract, brown sugar, granulated sugar and almond milk (photos 1-3). Whisk to combine.
In a second medium bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda (photos 4-8). Whisk to combine.
Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and whisk just to combine (do not overmix)(photos 9-10). Stir in the diced apples (photo 11).
STEP 3. Bake
Divide the muffin batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups. Using a large ice cream scoop makes this quick and not messy.
Mix together 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on the top of each muffin. It adds some extra sweetness and crunch (photo 12).
Bake muffins for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or just with a few crumbs.
Allow to cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes before placing on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Substitute some oats. Adding oats to baked goods can take out extra calories and add more nutrients. We have found they also add a gummier texture to the baked goods. The rule of thumb for substituting is up to one third of the flour can be swapped for rolled oats (also called old fashioned oats) or quick cooking oats. Do not use instant oats.
For this recipe you could substitute up to ⅔ cup of oats in addition to 1 ⅓ cup of flour (for a total of 2 cups). We tested rolled oats and quick oats and ultimately preferred the texture best using quick oats however liked just flour over the two oats options.
How to Store
Once the muffins have cooled they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature in a cool location or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
When storing at room temperature line the bottom of the container with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.
If stored in the refrigerator pop them in the microwave for 15 seconds before eating to soften them up.
Freezing the muffins
Place the cooled muffins on a baking sheet and put in the freezer for 1-2 hours to flash freeze them. Then place into a freezer bag or container. Flash freezing keeps the muffins from sticking to each other so you can remove one or two when you want them rather than the entire batch.
Allow to thaw in the refrigerator or using the defrost setting on your microwave.
When using liners they often will not peel off cleanly the day of baking. On day two they do!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes any milk (plant milk or dairy milk) can be used. If using dairy milk these muffins will no longer be vegan but it works in the recipe.
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Skinny Apple Muffins (vegan)
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated white sugar
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp ground cardamom
- Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ cups peeled can finely chopped fresh apple
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a 12 muffin tin with 12 muffin liners or by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl combine the wet ingredients and sugars: applesauce, vanilla extract, brown sugar, granulated white sugar and almond milk. Whisk to combine.
- In a second bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, ground nutmeg, baking powder, and baking soda. Add them to the wet ingredients and stir until well combined. Do not overmix.
- Add the diced apple and stir to combine.
- Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cavities. NOTE: using an ice cream scoop works great for this.
- Combine 2 tablespoons brown sugar with ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly across the tops of the muffins.
- Bake the muffins for 20 to 22 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the muffin tin.
- Once the muffins have cooled they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature in a cool location or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- When storing at room temperature line the bottom of the container with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.
- If stored in the refrigerator pop them in the microwave for 15 seconds before eating to soften them up.