Healthy Apple Muffins


What better way to welcome autumn than with a recipe that makes your apartment smell like apple pie? These Apple Crumb Muffins are easy to pull together, relatively healthy (as far as baked goods go), and absolutely delicious. The best things about this particular recipe are the little juicy chunks of real apple laced throughout the batter, and the sweet, crumble topping.

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What makes these healthier is that the butter typically used in muffins is replaced with oil and applesauce, and the flour is half whole-wheat, half regular (though you could definitely use all whole-wheat). I appreciate these swaps in a muffin, because really, if I wanted to make something decadent, full of white flour and butter, I would just make a batch of cupcakes.

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If you wanted to make these even healthier, I think you could cut the sugar in the muffins down (I would leave the topping alone), and you could use all whole-wheat flour instead of half and half (try whole-wheat pastry flour, or spelt flour, for a lighter texture). Also, if you’re not a nut person, try oats in the topping in lieu of the pecans.

Healthy Apple Crumb Muffins

adapted from Ellie Kreiger


For the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (liquid)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the muffins:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (liquid)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk (I made my own buttermilk using yogurt and milk, instructions here)
  • 1 medium apple, cored and cut into small chunks


For the topping: Whisk together all topping ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.

For the muffins: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with liners or a little coconut oil.

Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, eggs, and oil until well-combined, then whisk in the applesauce and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk, until just combined. Lightly stir in the apple chunks.

Divide muffin batter evenly into muffin pan and sprinkle on topping mixture. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Yield: 12-15 muffins

photos by me

Leave a Comment

  1. These apple muffins look really good! I like healthy muffin ideas because they are so easy for me to grab for breakfast on my way out the door.

    Published 10.13.15 · Reply
  2. Elana wrote:

    Yum! I absolutely have to make these! xoxo

    Published 10.14.15 · Reply