These happy little Applesauce Muffins are packed apple-cinnamon flavor, whole grains, and vitamins. And all without excess added sugars! They’re a perfect healthy snack or breakfast for kids to make ahead and serve throughout the week.

applesauce-muffins-on-plate

Applesauce Muffins

Applesauce is a staple in our house and I try to keep it on hand for both eating as a snack or as a simple side—and for turning it into easy baked goods like these muffins. This recipe stirs together in just a few minutes and the mini muffins pack balanced nutrition into each bite.

We love to have these for breakfast or a snack—and I love even more to make a batch on the weekend and dole them out throughout the week.

TIP: This is the muffin recipe I make when I don’t have any fresh fruit or veggies in the house. Pantry staples to the rescue!

Ingredients You Need

I did my best to keep the ingredient list for these healthy muffins streamlined so that you wouldn’t need to go off in pursuit of any hard-to-find ingredients. You’ll need:

ingredients in applesauce muffins

TIP: I prefer to use unsweetened applesauce in this recipe so I can control the added sugars, but any kind will work.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the simple process involved in making these muffins. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see the full information.

how to make applesauce muffins step by step
  1. Preheat the oven and grease a mini muffin tin. I use nonstick canola spray, but any spray meant for baking will work. Gently stir all ingredients together.
  2. Fill each muffin cup.
  3. Bake until lightly browned around the edges and cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
  4. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

TIP: You can serve them warm, or let them cool and save them to enjoy later in the day—or even in a few months if you store them in the freezer. (See the note at the end of the recipe for details.)

mini applesauce muffins on pink plate

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best applesauce for muffins?

I like to use unsweetened applesauce that’s smooth or almost smooth. Chunky applesauce is okay as long as you know that you might wind up with piece of applesauce chunks in the final muffins! Just use one that you like the taste of to ensure that there’s good flavor in the muffins.

You can use store-bought or homemade—both work fine. Sometimes the color of the muffins can be lighter or darker according to the color of the applesauce.

Can I make these vegan muffins?

To make these muffins without dairy, use an unsweetened plain nondairy milk. Use a neutral oil, such as canola oil or avocado oil, instead of the butter.

To make these muffins without eggs, omit the 1 egg that’s called for and stir together 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed and 2 tablespoons water. Let the “flax egg” sit for a few minutes before adding it to the batter.

When the muffins come out of the oven, let them cool completely inside the pan (so don’t transfer them to a rack—this batter is a little moister and likes the extra heat!).

Can I omit the added sugar?

You can make Applesauce Muffins without added sugar for a baby or younger toddler by omitting the sugar. The resulting muffins will be less sweet. You could also omit the sugar and add a tablespoon or two of maple syrup.

You can top with a little butter, nut butter, applesauce, apple butter, or honey if desired.

Make-Ahead Applesauce Muffins

You can bake these muffins and store them for about 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge. You can serve them either at room temperature or warmed slightly. Or cold! It just depends on what your kids prefer.

TIP: You can freeze fully cooled muffins and store in zip top bags in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the fridge.

mini applesauce muffins on pink plate

Best Tips for Success

  • Try not to over-mix the batter, which could make the muffins denser than they should be. Stir gently and stop when the ingredients are mixed together.
  • Use an applesauce that tastes good to you when eaten by the spoonful. The applesauce provides flavor and sweetness.
  • Be sure to grease the bottom and the sides of the muffin cups to ensure that the muffins come out of the pan easily.
  • You’ll know they’re done when the edges are lightly golden brown, a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly, and the tops are firm.
  • Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold, according to what your kids prefer.
  • You can top with a little butter, nut butter, applesauce, apple butter, or honey if desired.
  • You can freeze fully cooled muffins and store in zip top bags in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the fridge.
  • You can bake these muffins and store them for about 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge.
  • You may also like Almond Flour Muffins, Sugar-Free Banana Muffins, Cinnamon Muffins, and my ABC Muffins.

I’d love to know how your family likes these muffins, so please comment below.

This post was first published September 2017.

mini applesauce muffins on pink plate

Mini Applesauce Muffins

We like these on their own, topped with nut or seed butter, or even with a smear of cream cheese. See what your littles like!
4.96 from 122 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Breakfast
Calories 101kcal
Servings 12 (Makes 24 mini muffins)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter, slightly cooled (or neutral oil like canola)
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 cup milk (dairy or unsweetened plain nondairy)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease a mini muffin tin well.
  • Stir together the applesauce, butter, milk, egg, and vanilla in a medium bowl.
  • Add the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and gently fold together.
  • Fill prepared muffin tin to the edge of each cup. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges and cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
  • Remove from oven, let cool for about 2 minutes in the pan, run a paring knife around the edges if needed, and remove to cool on a wire rack. (Or sort of just tilt in the pan to allow air under the muffins.)
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

  • To store, let cool fully and store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days or in a zip top freezer bag with as much air removed as possible for up to 3 months. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Egg-free: Stir together 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed and 2 tablespoons water. Let the “flax egg” sit for a few minutes before adding it to the batter. When the muffins come out of the oven, let them cool inside the pan (so don’t transfer them to a rack—this batter is a little moister and likes the extra heat!).
  • Gluten-free: Use a cup-for-cup gluten-free flour like this one.
  • Dairy-free: Use canola oil instead of the butter and a plain, unsweetened nondairy milk.
  • Be sure to grease the bottom and the sides of the muffin cups to ensure that the muffins come out of the pan easily.
  • You’ll know they’re done when the edges are lightly golden brown, a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly, and the tops are firm.
  • Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold, according to what your kids prefer.
  • Pair with fruit and or milk or a smoothie for a simple meal or snack.

Nutrition

Serving: 2muffins, Calories: 101kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 157mg, Potassium: 84mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 102IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These are great! Currently baking my second batch this week. I made them according to the recipe except I added a few Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips to some. Either way they’re sooo good!

  2. I’ve been following the recipe twice and happen to have completely flat muffi that do not want to bake…
    I don’t understand…
    3rd time I doubled the flour and oats and this then seemed to work, but I guess this is not as tasty as this should be…

    Anybody has an idea of what’s going wrong with me?

    1. Hi- If a muffin isn’t baking through, the most likely explanation is that the baking soda you’re using isn’t fresh or active. I would check that. (Adding that much more flour would likely make very bland and dry muffins.) I hope that helps!

      1. Hi Amy,
        Thank you for your fast reply!
        Well I cooked other muffins the same day with the same baking soda and it worked well…
        Will keep on trying as the taste is fabulous.😍

    1. They may not bake through exactly the same way. I think I might add an extra tablespoon to ensure they aren’t wet inside.

  3. 5 stars
    My ultra finicky toddler loves these🥹 The only thing I changed was substituted the cinnamon for cinnamon sugar. These have now become a weekly bake for us.

  4. 5 stars
    I made these with maple whipped cream to send to my son’s daycare for his first birthday, swapped out sugar for agave in equal amount, added a touch of nutmeg and cardamom. Overall, wonderful texture and taste. I’m going to use the rest of my apple sauce to make more for home.

    Two tips — (1) I recommend putting the milk in a microwaveable measuring cup with room for the melted butter and (2) letting the batter rest for 5-15 min seems like it can improve texture. I did two single batches deliberately so I could test out the recipe first instead of one double batch. The first batch tasted fine but looked much lumpier and didn’t rise as well.

    On #1, most of my baking involves creaming room temp butter and sugar first (not for babies!), so I was unpleasantly surprised when my butter immediately solidified upon combining with cold milk and applesauce. Duh. For second batch, I warmed the milk in the microwave slightly and poured melted butter into that measuring cup, then stirred as I combined with applesauce. Immediately smoother visible texture to my wet ingredients.

    On #2 I only have one mini tray, so the second batch of batter tested maybe 10 minutes while the first batch finished and my tray cooled from the first batch. When I spooned it into the tray, I could tell there was already a little rise and the oats were already softened — reminds me of how Jiffy cornbread says to let the batter rest before baking. So I’m guessing this might have improved my second bake, too.

    Thanks for this recipe!!

  5. 5 stars
    I made these the other day and my almost-4-year-old is obsessed with them! I accidentally got sweetened applesauce, so I didn’t add any sugar, but they turned out perfect. I also didn’t have any vanilla extract, which is what happens when I’m trying to order groceries while sick, so I used orange extract instead, and that hint of flavor is SO good.

  6. 5 stars
    My son is absolutely obsessed with these! I didn’t change a single thing in the recipe, and they came out absolutely perfect after 19 minutes. I love them too! 10/10! I’ll be making these regularly!

  7. 5 stars
    We love these! I normally replace half the applesauce with mango puree and leave out the sugar. We’ve added all kinds of mix ins – berries, dried fruit, nuts, etc 🙂 thank you!

  8. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe! I tried it just now and it turned out perfect!
    I substitute sugar to honey and combined extra virgin coconut oil and butter (1 table spoon each).
    I used whole grain wheat flour in same measurement.

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