With simple ingredients, natural sweetness, and a super easy stir-together method, these Cinnamon Muffins are a great breakfast for kids. You can make them ahead and serve them throughout the week, or even stash half of the batch into the freezer for later!

mini-cinnamon-muffins-on-wire-rack

Cinnamon Muffins

Sweet, tender muffins with just enough cinnamon-sugar topping to turn them into a donut-like treat? We’re so in! And these muffins, while tasting delish, are a nutritious breakfast for kids that us parents will love too.

Bonus: You can easily make them egg-free and dairy-free for kids with allergies or families who eat vegan.

The sweetness in these apple cinnamon muffins comes from a combination of applesauce and maple syrup. The result is a naturally sweet flavor that also lends a lot of moisture to the muffins.

I like using this mix because it cuts down on the overall amount of added sweetener needed, all while adding fiber, vitamin C, and delicious flavor.

TIP: The apple flavor is pretty subtle and the muffins taste a little bit like a snickerdoodle cookie.

Ingredients You Need

To make these easy muffins for kids you’ll need the following ingredients:

ingredients in cinnamon muffins on countertop.
  • Flour: We use a mix of all-purpose and whole wheat flour to yield fluffy muffins with some fiber and whole grains.
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Flaxseed: This is optional, but is a nice way to add beneficial fatty acids.
  • Egg: You can use egg or my recommended egg replacer in this recipe. See the Notes at the end of the recipe for the full info.
  • Milk: Dairy or nondairy milk works the same in this recipe.
  • Applesauce: I usually use smooth unsweetened applesauce, either homemade or store bought.
  • Butter or oil
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon and sugar

TIP: Find the allergy-friendly variations in the Notes at the bottom of the recipe.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the simple process in making these healthy muffins. Scroll down to the bottom of the recipe for the full scoop.

how to make cinnamon muffins step by step
  1. Stir the ingredients for the batter together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Divide the batter among a 24-cup mini muffin pan. You’ll fill each cup about to the edge.
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top of each. Just a little adds flavor and nice texture.
  4. Bake until just golden brown around the edges and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.

TIP: You can bake these as full muffins if you prefer, though this little size is perfect for toddlers. See the Notes section at the bottom of the recipe for details.

baked cinnamon muffins in muffin pan

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make these muffins vegan?

You can use non-dairy milk, oil instead of butter, and omit the egg if needed to adjust these for food allergies or to make vegan. See the Notes section of the recipe for full details. You can also use gluten-free flour to make these gluten-free. They’re super versatile!

What’s the secret to fluffy muffins?

In this recipe, it’s just enough baking soda to ensure that they rise really well. They’re super fluffy and moist from that and also the applesauce.

Can I omit the cinnamon-sugar topping?

Sure, just skip it if you don’t want to add it. (It’s yummy though!)

baked cinnamon muffins on wire rack

How to Store

To store, place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days, warming briefly if desired before serving. Or, freeze in a zip top freezer bag with as much air removed as possible for up to 3 months.

Best Tips for Success

  • Gluten-free: Use gluten-free 1:1 style flour for the regular flours.
  • Dairy-free: Use plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk and oil instead of butter.
  • Egg-free: Omit the egg and increase the milk to ¾ cup. Add 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed to the batter.
  • To make these as full size muffins, bake for 20-22 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
  • To make these less sweet for younger toddlers or babies, you can cut the maple syrup down to 1-2 tablespoons and skip the cinnamon sugar on top.
  • Any applesauce will work, though I use unsweetened smooth style.

Related Recipes


I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe so please comment below to share!

healthy-cinnamon-muffins on wire rack

Mini Cinnamon Muffins

Made with a base of applesauce and whole grain flour, these easy mini muffins are sweet enough to taste like a treat!
5 from 21 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Muffins
Calories 111kcal
Servings 12 (Makes 24 mini muffins)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted and slightly cooled; or neutral oil like canola)
  • 1/2 cup milk (dairy or unsweetened nondairy)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 24 cup mini muffin tin.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the applesauce, butter, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and egg.
  • Add the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and gently fold together.
  • Fill prepared muffin tin to the edge of each cup using about 2 tablespoons of batter.
  • Sprinkle each muffin with cinnamon and granulated sugar.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out cleanly.
  • Remove from oven, run a paring knife around the edges, if needed to loosen, and transfer to cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Video

Notes

  • To store: Place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days, warming briefly if desired before serving. Or freezer in a zip top freezer bag with as much air removed as possible for up to 3 months.
  • Gluten-free: You can use gluten-free flour for the regular flours.
  • Dairy-free: Use plain, unsweetened nondairy milk and oil instead of butter to make these dairy free.
  • Egg-free: Omit the egg and increase the milk to ¾ cup. Add 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed to the batter.
  • Any applesauce will work, though I use unsweetened smooth style.
  • To make these as full size muffins, bake for 20-22 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
  • To make these less sweet for younger toddlers or babies, you can cut the maple syrup down to 1-2 tablespoons skip the cinnamon sugar on top.

Nutrition

Serving: 2muffins, Calories: 111kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 118mg, Potassium: 80mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 101IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 47mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This post was first published August 2018.

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Comments

  1. I love you lower sugar recipes and this one sounds like another great one. But real maple syrup is very expensive where I live. Can I sub brown or white sugar for it?

  2. 5 stars
    So perfectly and lightly sweet. Used pink lady apples for the applesauce (used Amyโ€™s instant pot recipe), and made 24 mini muffins and 2 reg size. Sprinkled cinnamon sugar on half the mini muffins so baby can have some without. Moist and fluffy. Will definitely make again!

  3. 5 stars
    Hi! This recipe look delicious and but I was wondering if it would be possible to add in things like blueberries or chocolate chips? Would I need to change the recipe if I were to do this?

    1. No, just stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips or 1 cup berries. You may have an extra muffin or two.

  4. 5 stars
    These are super easy and so delicious! My 4 year old (and us!) ate them right up. It makes the kitchen smell yummy too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. 5 stars
    Wow my kids loved these! I used honey instead of maple syrup because thatโ€™s all I had, and I used canola oil instead of butter because I didnโ€™t feel like melting haha. they turned out perfect! Thanks

  6. 5 stars
    Super easy to make and turned out great. I added blueberries and skipped the cinnamon sugar (truth: I forgot it!) but they still tasted awesome. My 18 Month old love it! Thanks!

    1. If you have ripe bananas or mashed sweet potato that would likely work the same (though the flavor would be a little different!)

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