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 Amy’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! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Wow my kids loved these! I used honey instead of maple syrup because that’s all I had, and I used canola oil instead of butter because I didn’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!)

  7. 5 stars
    Made these on a whim this afternoon for snack time. EASY to make! And my kids (2 and 4 years old) gobbled them up. I’ve had two myself and am struggling not to eat more. Will definitely make again in our house!

  8. 5 stars
    ALL you’re muffins are a hit here and I just made 7 batches of various kinds for the freezer (baby just turned 1 so I need a lot of easy things to serve!). However, this recipe is MY fave!!!! I added blueberries to 2 batches of these for the kids and it turned out great. I seriously don’t know what I’d do without your recipes!!!

    1. You’d only need to add it if you’re making them egg-free. To make these without egg, omit the egg and increase the milk to 3/4 cup. Add 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed to the batter.

  9. 5 stars
    Hi, I only have all purpose flour and almond flour on hand. Can I substitute the whole wheat with almond? If so, do you have a recommendation on how much? Thanks!!

    1. I think I would do 1 1/4 cups all purpose and 1/4 cup almond. I worry they’d be too wet if you did any more (and they may need a little longer to bake this way). I haven’t tried this, so no guarantees, but this is my best guess. Otherwise, you can use all all purpose flour.

      1. 5 stars
        I only had almond flour on hand and they definitely were too wet. Didn’t quite cook right and started to burn on the edges. Despite that, I tasted a bit of the fully cooked parts and the flavor is really there and very good. I will try this recipe again with different ratios of the flour to get it right.

      2. 5 stars
        I only had almond flour on hand and they definitely were too wet. Didn’t quite cook right and started to burn on the edges. Despite that, I tasted a bit of the fully cooked parts and the flavor is really there and very good. I will try this recipe again with different ratios of the flour to get it right.

  10. 5 stars
    My little girls love this recipe! I use all purpose flour and I put a little more cinnamon than it calls for. We make donuts in a donut pan instead of mini muffins and they are delicious!

  11. I love your recipes, we make them all the time! We lived this muffin recipe a lot, but the muffins really stuck to the paper muffin cups. I followed your recipe to a T. Any ideas why? Thanks!

    1. I’m so glad! Generally, I don’t use paper liners for muffins since muffins don’t tend to have enough fat to come off of the paper very easily. I use nonstick spray and a nonstick muffin pan since I’ve found that to have the most reliable results. If that helps!

  12. I want to make these for my son who is allergic to eggs. You mention increasing the applesauce by 3/4 cup and then below in notes it mentions the milk to 3/4 cup. Would it be 1 3/4 cup applesauce or stick with 1 cup applesauce but increase the milk from 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup?

    1. Sorry for the confusion. Just omit the egg and increase the milk to 3/4 cup. Add 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed to the batter. The applesauce stays at 1 cup.

  13. Hi Amy,

    I made the Cinnamon muffins and they turned out delicious however, my batter was really lumpy with the above recipe. What could I do next time to have more fluid batter?

    Thanks!

    1. You could mix the dry ingredients with a whisk first to get any lumps out of your flour. I’m glad they turned out well!

  14. I just made these muffins and they are delicious and easy. I discovered your site a few months ago and have found the recipes and content really helpful as I navigate feeding a toddler for the first time. Thank you!

  15. Hi – do you think adding mashed banana would change the consistency too much? These were a hit but looking to get rid of some bananas. Thanks

    1. I haven’t made this recipe with mashed bananas so I can’t say for sure, but usually they’re a pretty good substitute for applesauce. (Otherwise, I have a few banana muffins on the site too!)

  16. Just wondering if you still have your recipe available for the mini apple snickerdoodle muffins? The link says unavailable when I click on it! Thank you!

    1. I just added it to this post. (I moved my site recently and am still working on updating so thank you for letting me know it was missing!)