These applesauce muffins are so moist and delicious with a crispy, sweet cinnamon and oat topping. They are also fairly easy to make. All you need is a jar of applesauce as well as some other basic ingredients that you most likely already have on hand.
These muffins are perfect for a healthy snack or a quick and filling breakfast on the go. They are actually quite filling because of the weight of the applesauce. And the oatmeal helps keep you feeling full longer. So grab a couple and you are good to go!
This muffin recipe is perfect if you have a lot of applesauce on hand that you want to use up. I decided to make these because I had a huge jar in the fridge that I knew I couldn't finish. Applesauce muffins seemed like the perfect solution and they turned out amazing!
These muffins also freeze well. You can make a big batch ahead and freeze them for later. Just thaw them on the counter overnight or heat them in the microwave in about a minute. Another great idea is to mix your wet and dry ingredients ahead of time in two separate containers. When you are ready to bake your muffins, just blend your wet and dry mixtures together and pour the batter into the muffin pan. There's not much better than fresh-baked muffins, hot from the oven!
Tips for Baking Applesauce Muffins
- Do not overmix: It is very possible to overmix the ingredients when baking muffins and this is probably the most common mistake people make. When the batter is overmixed, it creates dense and tough muffins that will not rise well. You should stir the dry and wet ingredients until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Some smaller lumps in the batter are fine.
- Don't fill the muffin cups: A general rule with muffins is to fill the cups about 3/4 of the way. You can fill them a little more if you want extra plump muffins but do not fill them all the way. If you fill the muffin cups to the top you will end up with a big sloppy mess.
- Use silicone baking cups: I love using these silicone baking cups for baking muffins! I am not a fan of the paper liners because I find they are hard to remove from the muffins if they are not greased well. And greasing paper liners is not exactly a fun or easy task. With silicone baking cups, you don't have to worry about spraying them with oil and the muffins come out perfect every time! They are fairly inexpensive as well and you can reuse them over and over again. You can pour your muffin batter directly into the muffin pan if you choose as long as you grease the pan first. You will end up with muffins that are slightly crispy on the outside from cooking in the pan. If you want your muffins light and fluffy on the outside, it is best to use muffin liners.
- Do not overcook: This is another common mistake people make when baking muffins. The cooking time provided in this recipe is only a guideline and since ovens can vary, it's a good idea to check on them often. You can check the doneness of the muffins by inserting a toothpick into the centre of them. When the toothpick comes out dry or with only a few moist crumbs on it, they are done.
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For the muffins:
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 egg
For the topping:
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease muffin pan with oil. If you are using paper muffin liners, lightly spray the insides with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients for the muffins (oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt).
- In a medium bowl, combine unsweetened applesauce with milk, egg and melted butter.
- Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until just combined. It's okay if the batter is a little lumpy.
- To make the topping, combine rolled oats, brown sugar, cinnamon with softened butter. This works best if the butter is at room temperature. Your topping mixture should be crumbly when it is mixed.
- Pour the batter into your muffin pan until the cups are about 3/4 full. Sprinkle the topping mixture over the batter.
- Bake for 16 to 20 mins or until a toothpick comes out dry when inserted into the centre of the muffin. The cooking time can vary so keep an eye on them. Don't overcook the muffins or they will dry out.
Variations and Substitutions
This applesauce muffin recipe is very versatile and can be made in many different ways. You can make them without the topping for an easier recipe and they will still taste great. If you are not a big fan of cinnamon, you can make them without it or cut the amount in half. Use whatever ingredients you have on hand that you think might go well with applesauce muffins. Here are some examples of ingredients that can be added or substituted.
- White sugar: If you don't have any brown sugar on hand, you can use white sugar as a substitution. You can also add a little extra sugar if you like things sweeter. I didn't a lot of sugar to this recipe because I don't like muffins really sweet and there's already natural sugar in the applesauce.
- Honey: Skip the sugar altogether and substitute it with about 1/2 cup of honey for a healthier option. Just know that you might have to alter some of the ingredients if you are using honey instead of sugar. This is because you are replacing a dry ingredient with a wet ingredient. If the batter seems a bit runny, you can add a bit more flour to thicken it up.
- Whole wheat flour: If you want, you can use whole wheat flour to make the muffins even healthier. Just keep in mind that whole wheat flour will make the muffins heavier. For that reason, I would suggest using only half whole wheat flour and the other half all-purpose white flour.
- Nuts: Want more protein? These applesauce muffins are already so filling on their own but would be even better with nuts! And they would be great for a quick and filling breakfast that would keep you going for hours. The best nuts to use for applesauce muffins would be walnuts or pecans.
- Vanilla: Many people would prefer this recipe with a little bit of vanilla added (about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons should be enough). I am not personally a fan of vanilla, which is why I chose not to use it. It is not necessary to use it because there is already so much flavour with the applesauce and cinnamon. If you do like vanilla, however, it would make a very good addition to applesauce muffins.
- Nutmeg: I personally left this ingredient out because I did not have any. They still taste great without nutmeg so it is not necessary to add it. But if you do have some on hand I'm sure it would make a great addition as well.
- Fruit-flavoured applesauce: Another interesting idea would be to use fruit flavoured applesauce like strawberry or blueberry. This is something I haven't tried yet but would like to in the near future.
How to Store and Freeze Applesauce Muffins
Store these muffins in an airtight container with a layer of paper towel at the bottom. They can be kept in a sealed container at room temperature for up to four or five days.
To freeze these muffins, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container or large ziplock bag. They can be frozen for up to three months. To thaw them just take them out of the freezer and leave them on the counter overnight. Or just pop one in the microwave from frozen and heat for around one minute.