These apple pie muffins are made healthier with Greek yogurt, coconut oil, and whole wheat flour. Plus these muffins have an optional cinnamon oat crisp on top made without butter!
Okay who is ready for FALL? I say it all year long and I mean it — I live for Fall time. It’s my absolute favorite time of the year! As much as I enjoy summer, when school has started it feels like summer has come to an end. Regardless of what the thermometer is telling me…
And while I’ll still be savoring the last bits of summer, I basically had two summers (Australia’s summer and now Utah’s summer) so I’m good and ready for Fall. To be honest, I’ve been pretending it’s Fall since about the beginning of July when I broke out the pumpkin and started experimenting on recipes for you all. So far I have about 9 different pumpkin recipes that I can’t wait to share with you all. But it would be rude to rob apples of their lime-light so let’s start with some apple recipes! First one up, these delicious and healthier apple pie muffins!
Last year the blog debuted some apple almond muffins that were very well received. We LOVE those muffins! They are flourless and even healthier than these ones. However, these have tons of healthier swaps and overall these two recipes are very different.
The flavors, ingredients, textures, pretty much EVERYTHING is different between these two muffin recipes. Besides the apple part – they do both have apples!
These muffins are made to imitate a bakery style muffin but in a healthier way. They’ve really got the softness, taste, and texture of your typical bakery muffin but with probably a third the calories depending on the actual bakery muffin you get.
To get that softness, the secret ingredient is CORNSTARCH. It makes these muffins ultra light and soft instead of a typical denser muffin you usually get with a healthier ingredients. It’s also important to use white whole wheat flour (or plain white) as opposed to whole wheat flour which is usually a bit denser. Another way to keep these muffins soft is to keep the stirring to a minimum. As much as we all hate doing dishes, the separate bowls are pretty important to avoid over-stirring while making sure all the ingredients do get mixed together.
To get the same taste and texture of a bakery style muffin I also added a crisp topping. This crisp topping is UNREAL! While it does have a decent amount of sugar, it is still healthier than most cinnamon-sugar toppings. There are some oats, white whole wheat flour, and coconut oil instead of tons of butter. You’ll be amazed there isn’t butter with how the crisp tastes! In fact, it’s pretty amazing there is NO butter in these muffins with how great they taste! 🙂
The tenderness of these muffins comes from the Greek yogurt and coconut oil. For an extra punch of delicious apple flavor, try and find an apple or apple-cinnamon variety of Greek yogurt. Plain or vanilla will work, but you’ll love the flavor that comes from the apple Greek yogurt. I recommend a full or higher fat variety of Greek yogurt as the lower or fat free versions tend to be a little watery and lacking in richness. However, both types will work. For the coconut oil, I recommend a very mild coconut oil — some are strong in flavor and will bring a bitter taste to your muffins. I use and highly recommend Louana pure coconut oil which is what I use for all my recipes that call for coconut oil. (Completely my own opinion — Louana is not a sponsor of this blog. And just in case you are wondering: I find this coconut oil at Wal-Mart in the baking aisle.)
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour or plain white flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup apple cinnamon flavored Greek yogurt or plain
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup brown sugar lightly packed
- 1 cup peeled and chopped apple I used Granny Smith
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons white whole wheat flour or plain white flour
- 2 tablespoons quick oats
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar not packed
- 2 tablespoons and 1/4 melted coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9 cavities of a muffin tin and lightly flour. Do not use muffin liners as these muffins will stick to them. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, pour in the flour. Remove 1 tablespoon of the flour and return it to the flour container. Add in the cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until combined.
- In another bowl, mix together a large egg (organic recommended for flavor purposes), Greek yogurt (I use apple cinnamon in these muffins and love it! Plain or vanilla will also work. Full fat or 1% for best results -- fat free tends to be a bit watery), coconut oil (measured when melted), vanilla extract, and brown sugar. (IF you are used to healthier muffins/snacks 1/3 cup brown sugar should be great for you and if not I would recommend doing 1/2 cup) Mix until well combined.
- Peel and finely chop the apple. Toss with the lemon juice and discard any extra lemon juice that doesn't coat the apples. Toss with the flour mixture. (this is important to keep the apples dispersed evenly throughout the muffins).
- Mix the wet and dry ingredients until JUST combined. Over-mixing yields denser muffins.
- Fill up 9 muffin cavities evenly with the mixture -- each cavity will be a little over 3/4ths the way full.
- In another bowl, toss together the flour, quick oats, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Pour in the coconut oil (measure when melted) and mix to combine. Add a bit more coconut oil if too dry or a bit more flour if too wet.
- Top each muffin evenly with this crisp topping.
- Fill the empty cavities of the muffin tin with water to ensure even baking.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a fork when inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes before removing the muffins from the tin. Use a spoon to coax the muffins out after about 5-10 minutes.
- Store muffins in an airtight container in the fridge. Warm in the microwave for 10-15 seconds before enjoying if desired.
- Muffins best enjoyed within 3 days.
I really wanted the apple flavor to shine through on these muffins so there isn't too much spice. If you enjoy more spice try increasing the cinnamon, and adding some allspice and/or nutmeg.
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