Enjoy cozy fall flavours with a batch of these Apple Spice Muffins! They’re dairy-free and refined sugar-free, with a soft and tender texture, warming spices and chopped fresh apple.
Is there anything better than freshly baked muffins for breakfast?! Perhaps the only thing better is when they make your house smell like warm autumn spices, just like these muffins do!
Muffins are usually on my weekend baking list as I like to have a batch for us to snack on during the week. They’re perfect to pack in lunches and make an easy grab and go breakfast. Some of our favourites include these spelt banana muffins and these healthy blueberry oatmeal muffins.
So, with an abundance of apples and inspired by cooler fall mornings, I decided to add these spiced apple oatmeal muffins to my list of go-to muffin recipes.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Refined sugar-free. These muffins are naturally sweetened with maple syrup and bananas. The apple sauce is even unsweetened.
- Dairy-free. By eliminating the butter and using almond milk, these muffins are great if you have a sensitivity to dairy.
- Wholesome ingredients. These muffins are made with whole wheat flour and rolled oats, which makes them a hearty and filling breakfast or snack.
- No special equipment. You don’t need an electric mixer. Making this recipe is as simple as combining the wet and dry ingredients in a bowl and stirring together with some chopped apple.
- Tender and moist. The apple sauce and mashed banana ensure these muffins turn out soft and fluffy every time!
Details on a few ingredients
Apples – You’ll need 1 cup of finely chopped apples for this recipe. I prefer to use Honeycrisp or Granny Smith, but other kinds work too.
Apple sauce – The recipe calls for unsweetened apple sauce. You can use sweetened, but the muffins will no longer be refined sugar-free.
Spices – Instead of using apple pie spice, I decided to control the amount of spice used and added a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.
Bananas – To help naturally sweeten the muffins and add moisture, a 1/2 cup of mashed banana is added to the batter.
Maple syrup – You’ll need a 1/4 cup of maple syrup to help naturally sweetened the muffins. While I haven’t tested it in this recipe, honey and agave syrup are usually good substitutes too.
Almond butter – Since there is no butter or oil in this recipe, the almond butter adds some healthy fats, which helps create a light and tender texture. You can substitute natural peanut butter if you don’t have almond butter.
Almond milk – While I prefer to use almond milk, you can use any type of nut milk, just make sure it’s unsweetened. You can even use dairy milk if you don’t need these muffins to be dairy-free.
How to make apple spice muffins
In a large bowl, combine your dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl, whisk together your wet ingredients.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
Gently fold in the chopped apple, reserving some to place on top of the muffins.
Divide the batter evenly into a greased 12-cup muffin pan. Top with remaining apple pieces and sprinkle a few flakes of oats on top of the batter.
Bake on 425F for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Frequently asked questions
I’ve only tested this recipe using whole wheat flour. While I sometimes substitute white for whole wheat flour in muffin recipes, a 1:1 substitution doesn’t always work, especially when using larger quantities of flour.
Firm and crisp apples work best in these muffins. For a sweeter flavour, try Honeycrisp apples, and for a more tart taste, use Granny Smith. Other apples that you could try include Braeburn, Cortland, Fuji, Pink Lady or Gala.
You can peel the apples if you prefer, but the apple skin has nutrients, so I like to keep it on. It also saves you a little time!
Since these muffins are moist, I only keep them at room temperature for 1-2 days. They’re best stored covered in the fridge, where they should last for 4-5 days.
Yes, just let the muffins cool completely and then place them in a single layer in an airtight container. They’ll last for up to 3 months in the freezer. Defrost them at room temperature or by using the defrost setting on your microwave.
Key recipe tips
- Measuring the flour. You’ll want to measure your flour using the spoon and level method. If you scoop your measuring cup into your flour container, it will be packed with flour and you’ll end up with too much for the recipe.
- Don’t over mix the batter. Just stir the wet and dry ingredients together until incorporated. If you over mix, your muffins may turn out dense and chewy.
- Filling the muffin pan. You’ll want to fill the muffin cups almost to the top in order to get high muffin tops. Make sure you grease the muffin pan well for easy release or use muffin liners.
- Room temperature ingredients. Warmer ingredients incorporate together better. This is especially true for almond butter which is stored in the fridge. You’ll want your almond butter to be soft and even a little runny so it mixes easily into the wet ingredients.
- Type of muffin pan. I made these muffins in a lighter coloured pan. If you use a darker muffin pan, your muffins may brown a little quicker.
Other muffin recipes
- Partridgeberry Muffins
- Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins
- Raspberry Lemon Muffins
- Coconut Mango Muffins
- Blackberry Lemon Muffins
- Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins
Other apple recipes
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!Print
Apple Spice Muffins are dairy-free and refined sugar-free, with a soft and tender texture, warming autumn spices and chopped fresh apple.
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (spooned and levelled)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons rolled oats, divided
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/2 cup mashed banana
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or another nut milk)
- 1/3 cup almond butter, softened at room temperature
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup finely chopped apple
- Preheat oven to 425F and grease a 12-cup muffin pan (or line it with muffin liners).
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1/4 cup oats, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the apple sauce, mashed bananas, almond milk, almond butter, maple syrup, egg and vanilla.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
- Fold in the chopped apple, reserving some pieces for the tops of the muffins.
- Evenly divide the batter into the muffin pan. Each cup should be almost filled to the top.
- Top the batter with remaining apple pieces and sprinkle on the remaining 2 tablespoons of oats.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
- Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the fridge for 4-5 days.
- Firm and crisp apples work best in this recipe. For a sweeter flavour, try Honeycrisp apples, and for a more tart taste, use Granny Smith.
- Warmer ingredients incorporate together better so I usually bring my almond milk, almond butter and egg to room temperature before baking. You’ll want your almond butter soft and even a little runny so it mixes easily into the other ingredients.
- Don’t over mix the batter as your muffins may turn out dense and chewy.
- You can substitute natural peanut butter if you don’t have almond butter.
- If you don’t need these muffins to be dairy-free, you can substitute dairy milk for the almond milk.
- These muffins were baked in a lighter coloured pan. If you use a darker muffin pan, the muffins may brown a little quicker.
- Be sure to check out the other sections above the recipe card for more detailed advice and suggestions for making this recipe.
Keywords: apple oatmeal muffins, apple banana muffins