How to make muffins

Healthy Apple Muffins made with whole wheat flour and agave are an ideal fall snack that will satisfy the whole family. Not only are they filling and nutrient-rich, they’re bound to impress everyone eating them because they’re as beautiful as they are delicious. Plus, they are ready in under 30 minutes. 

Healthy apple muffins served on a wooden stand on a dark grey backdrop accompanied by fall leaves.

Busy schedules, short days, upcoming holidays and end of year work commitments have everyone losing their minds this time of year. One of the most important things we shouldn’t forget when things are hectic is not to skip meals, especially in the morning. I love these Healthy Apple Muffins because they make a perfect on-the-go breakfast and keep me going without lots of processed sugar. The fact that they’re great for breakfast, a snack or even dessert is just a bonus.

I know you all love a good Apple Cinnamon Bread and the smell that spreads in your home when baking it. How about making a similar thing that is healthier and in individual portions?


Apple cinnamon muffins served on a wooden stand on a dark grey backdrop accompanied by fall leaves.


For the muffins

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup wheat bran
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the glaze

  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 28-30 pecan halfs
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat softened butter until smooth and creamy. 
  3. Add 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup molasses. Beat well.
  4. Add vanilla and egg and beat, remembering to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. 
  5. Add the sour cream and mix it all together.
  6. Add the wheat bran and flour but don't stir. Make a well in the flour and add the baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir it into the flour a bit with your teaspoon. 
  7. Beat the dry ingredients into the batter until just BARELY combined. Make sure there are no parts that are too dry or liquidy, be sure to scrape the edge and bottom of the bowl, and then stop. Over mixing the batter makes for tough grouchy muffins. Set the batter aside.
  8. In a small bowl, melt 5 tablespoons of butter. Add 2 tablespoons of molasses and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Stir it until it's combined. 
  9. Use a tablespoon to divide the batter into your muffin tin.*
  10. Use a pastry brush to spread the glaze all over the bottom and sides of each muffin tin.
  11. Place two pecans snugly next to each other, flat side up, in the bottom center of each muffin tin that has glaze. 
  12. Divide the batter between the muffin tins. See photos for how full I made mine. About 3/4 of the way full.
  13. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes.
  14. After 10 minutes, WITHOUT opening the oven, decrease the temperature to 350. 
  15. Bake at 350 for another 5-10 minutes. The muffins are done with they are not shiny on top and a toothpick comes out of the center without any batter on it. 
  16. Let the muffins rest in the pan for about 5 minutes. Don't go longer than that, otherwise the sticky glaze will start to set and it will be tough to get them out. 
  17. Place a sheet pan or large tray over the muffin pan. Use hot pads and flip the pan over so the muffins are released upside down onto the pan or tray. 
  18. Eat hot! These are really good even on day 2. Store them covered on the counter.
  19. Muffins are great for freezing. Seal in a ziplock bag and they will keep for a few months. Let thaw in the sealed bag on the counter, then heat up for 10-20 seconds each in the microwave. 
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by The Food Charlatan

More muffins you are going to love!

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How to Make Healthy Apple Muffins

This healthy apple cinnamon muffins recipe is an eternal favorite because it requires very little work and almost no kitchen equipment. Two bowls, a whisk, a muffin tin and a grater will suffice. As with many similar recipes, the method used here combines all the wet ingredients in one bowl and all the dry ingredients in another before mixing them together. Make sure that you add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients, rather than wet to dry, to help evenly incorporate everything and avoid lumps of flour in your muffins.

When it comes to ingredients, this recipe uses agave instead of granulated sugar as a sweetener which has the advantage of having a lower glycemic index. If you prefer to use another sweetener, brown sugar, honey or even maple syrup can be substituted to make these easy apple muffins. The recipe also uses whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour, which will help keep you full longer and adds a depth of flavor. What’s more, olive oil and grated apple will help keep these healthy apple cinnamon muffins moist.

Feel free to use any type of apple, but a crisp red variety, such as a Honeycrisp, is ideal. A great rule of thumb is that if you like to eat the apple, you’ll also like it in baked goods. I prefer to leave the apples unpeeled when I grate them as I find that the skin adds a little bit of texture, but you can peel them before grating for a smoother consistency. Just remember to core them as no one likes apple seeds in their whole wheat apple muffins! The same goes for the apple slices on top of the muffins.

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Easy apple muffins on a dark grey backdrop accompanied by fall leaves, a cup of tea, a plate and cinnamon sticks.

Are these apple cinnamon muffins dairy-free?

Because these apple cinnamon muffins use olive oil instead of butter, they are 100% dairy free. You can substitute another neutral oil such as canola, but other vegetable oils tend to have less flavor. Some prefer the final product using a more neutral oil, so I encourage you to experiment and figure out what you like.

Regardless of the substitutions you make, these healthy apple muffins are out of this world and will hopefully keep you fueled up for the busy season coming. Let me know how you made them! We’d be happy to see your feedback in the comments section below. Please don’t forget to rate this recipe!

Want more apple recipes? Check out the following recipes!

Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookies

Cinnamon Baked Apple Slices Recipe

Skinny Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Turkish Apple Cinnamon Cookies

Zucchini Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Print Healthy apple muffins served on a wooden stand on a dark grey backdrop accompanied by fall leaves.

So refreshing, soft and light apple muffins without butter and sugar. Made with whole wheat flour, these keep you full for a long time.

  • Author: Zerrin
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 15 muffins
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup agave (or brown sugar)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 and ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup apple, grated (I used 2 apples)
  • 2 apples, thinly sliced for topping
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix eggs and agave until smooth.
  3. Add in olive oil and continue mixing.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  5. Add these to the wet mixture and mix with a spatula.
  6. Fold in grated apple.
  7. Share batter into muffin liners, top with thin apple slices and sprinkle cinnamon over them. Bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Check if they are done with a toothpick.
  9. Remove the muffin tin from oven and let it cool.
  • Serving Size: 1 muffin
  • Calories: 159
  • Sugar: 11.4g
  • Sodium: 54.7mg
  • Fat: 8.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.9g
  • Protein: 2.5g
  • Cholesterol: 37.2mg

Keywords: apple, apple muffins

This post was published in 2013 and has been updated with new pictures and additional information.

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