Applesauce makes muffins super soft and moist. These are all of that plus easy to make and perfect for freezing. They will rise, crack and bake to a light golden brown. This homemade muffin recipe is not overly sweet and can be flavored with different spices, zests, and extracts.
The season is changing, and for most readers of this blog, it's starting to feel like apples and pumpkins. So we're adding a new batch of Fall recipes with favorite flavors, starting with these muffins with applesauce.
First, let's discuss the homemade applesauce recipe posted a while ago. So darn easy and smooth, just plain delicious.
I used it to make these cinnamon applesauce muffins and a applesauce quick bread, both easy recipes I'm sure you'll love.
Why make this recipe
- Very easy to make: it uses simple ingredients and no special equipment. Just a few bowls, a spatula or whisk, and a 12-cup muffin tin. It uses oil, so there is no need to soften or cream butter.
- A healthier alternative: applesauce can replace the fat ingredients in a recipe, like butter or oil. So it's an easy way to lower the fat content and have wholesome muffins on busy mornings.
- Make ahead: as with most muffins, they can be frozen for a month or more and then warmed in a medium oven until soft. It's a great way to have last minute quick breakfast or brunch addition.
- Applesauce: you want to use unsweetened applesauce, homemade or store-bought.
- Brown sugar: light or dark brown sugar; both work and add a great extra layer of caramel flavor.
- Vegetable oil: sunflower or other neutral oil is what I recommend. But you can use coconut oil (for healthier muffins) or even light olive oil.
- Flour mixture: also called dry ingredients. They are made up of all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda (the leaveners), and a little salt (I use kosher) to bring out the flavors.
- Eggs: large, fresh.
- Vanilla: I use pure vanilla extract or pure vanilla paste when available, but a good vanilla essence (artificially flavored) also works.
- Cinnamon: any ground cinnamon you normally use works fine. I like Frontier Vietnamese cinnamon and Simply Organic Ceylon cinnamon.
Variations and substitutions
- Sugar: use white sugar for a sweeter muffin.
- Oil: change the type of oil. Coconut oil or a light olive oil will add another layer of flavor.
- Cinnamon sugar topping: sprinkle the top of the muffins with a mix of sugar and cinnamon before baking for a crunchy top.
- Mini applesauce muffins: use a mini muffins pan for bite-sized treats.
- More apple flavor: add chopped or diced apples to the batter. Use different types of apples.
- Chocolate chips: add ½ cup to the applesauce batter.
How to make applesauce muffins
This is an easy, old-fashioned muffin recipe; you only need a large bowl and a whisk. No need for beating, only mixing the ingredients to integrate.
- Oil and eggs are mixed lightly, and then the applesauce is added.
- Brown sugar is added and mixed.
- Spices and flavorings are added next.
- Finally, the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda) are added. Simply mix with a whisk just until incorporated. No need for a very smooth batter.
Filling the muffin tin
Paper liners or muffin cups: this is the easiest way because there's no need to butter or spray the metal pan, and there's little washing up later. You will have less crust as it only forms at the top, not the sides or bottom. Image 5, below
Butter or spray: if you don't want to use paper liners because you want more crust (the batter needs to be in contact with the metal for this to happen), simply butter or use a baking spray to prevent the muffins from sticking.
Baking the muffins
- Oven: make sure the oven is preheated at the right temperature.
- Baking time: put a timer for the specified baking time and check if they're done by inserting a tester or toothpick in the center of a muffin. It should come out shiny but not wet or with crumbs attached.
- Cooling rack: cooling them down on a wire rack is highly recommended.
- Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier.
- Baking time: consider that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer(like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
- Healthy applesauce muffins: use coconut oil and coconut sugar to make them healthier. Remember that the latter sweetens less than brown or white sugar, so they will not be as sweet.
- Serving them: they are great warm and also at room temperature.
- Storing these muffins: you can keep them at room temperature for two days or refrigerate them for 4-5 days. Always covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. Or freeze them for a month. I recommend you warm them in a medium oven before eating.
- Small muffins: use a mini muffin pan and reduce the baking time accordingly.
Related recipes you might like:
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- 2 eggs
- 6 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup brown sugar (light or dark)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven at 350°F/180°C
- Line 12 muffins tins with paper liners, or butter or use baking spray.
- Beat eggs with oil for a minute.
- Add applesauce and mix. The mixture will thicken.
- Add sugar and mix well.
- Add cinnamon and vanilla and mix.
- Sift dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda) and add to them in two parts to the wet ingredients. You don't need to incorporate the first part before adding the second one.
- Mix with a spatula but don't beat at this point.
- Fill muffin cups, dividing as evenly as possible.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool on a wire rack.
- Eat warm or at room temperature.
- For storing and freezing, see Notes below.
always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes are as accurate as I they can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer that is placed inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
Healthy applesauce muffins: use coconut oil and coconut sugar to make them healthier. Keep in mind that the latter sweetens less than brown or white sugar, so they will not be as sweet.
Serving them: they are great warm and also at room temperature.
Storing these muffins: you can keep them at room temperature for two days and refrigerated for 4-5 days. Always covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container to prevent drying out. You can also freeze them for a month. Use airtight container or freezer bag, or wrap first in plastic and then in foil. I recommend you warm them in a medium oven before eating.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Muffins
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/12
- Calories: 189
- Sugar: 10.1 g
- Sodium: 68.2 mg
- Fat: 7.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 26.9 g
- Fiber: 0.8 g
- Protein: 3.2 g
- Cholesterol: 31 mg
Keywords: applesauce muffins