Apple Muffins

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Apple Muffins are soft and moist, perfectly spiced, and topped with an easy crumb topping.

These muffins are made with better-for-you ingredients — apples, Greek yogurt, coconut oil, and an egg. We leave out the butter and excessive amounts of sugar found in typical bakery-style muffins and you won’t miss either!

Image of Apple Muffins fresh out of the oven, sitting on a cooling rack.

What can I make with all these apples?

We often go apple picking in the fall and end up with so many apples that I’m always asking myself what to do with them all. My first move is making a couple batches of these apple muffins of course! 

Over the years, I’ve created many apple recipes we love, and below are some of our favorite ways to use extra apples besides these muffins:

Now that you’ve got a whole list of apple recipes to work through, let’s talk about this recipe in particular.

Easy Apple Muffins

Apple Muffins are made to imitate a bakery-style muffin, but in a healthier way. They’ve got the taste, moisture, and texture of your typical bakery muffin but with superior ingredients. Below I break down all the ingredients in these muffins.

Process shots-- images of the batter for Apple Muffins being made.

Ingredients

  • White whole wheat flour or white flour: Plain white flour is great in these muffins and we’ll use that often, but if you want to amp up the nutritional value a bit, use white whole wheat flour. Not sure what that is? Read up on it here. I don’t recommend whole wheat flour — it makes these muffins too dense.
  • Cornstarch: This is my “secret” ingredient to make these muffins soft and tender. Cake flour is essentially regular flour with cornstarch added in, so we’re making a quick imitation cake flour for these muffins by adding in cornstarch.
  • Baking powder: It’s a needed leavening agent to help the batter rise.
  • Spices: We use ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground allspice in these muffins. I’d say the spices are very subtle; feel free to add more. You can also add some of this apple pie spice in these muffins.
  • Salt: This balances and intensifies flavors; I like using fine sea salt.
  • Large egg
  • Vanilla Greek yogurt: Make sure to use a good flavored, full-fat Greek yogurt. Greek God’sยฎ Honey Vanilla Greek Yogurt is my favorite for making Apple Muffins (not sponsored).
  • Coconut oil: It’s a better-for-you oil that adds a very subtle flavor.
  • Vanilla extract: For flavor
  • Apple and lemon juice: I typically use a Granny Smith apple in these muffins. Make sure to peel and very finely dice the apple so the chunks of apples aren’t too big. The lemon juice adds a nice zing and keeps the apples from browning before being baked.
  • Brown sugar: We add a lot less than most muffin recipes, but we definitely need some sugar for flavor in these muffins. Use light brown sugar; dark brown sugar will make these muffins too moist.

Which apples are best for baking?

When baking with apples, we want apples that will hold their structure (so they don’t turn into apple mush after baking for a few minutes). Granny Smith apples hold up extremely well with the heat of baking and they balance the sweet-tart flavor in these muffins. Some other great baking apples: Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Braeburn, and Pink Lady.

Image of the crisp topping being made that goes on top of the healthy Apple Muffins.

Oat topping for Apple Muffins 

These muffins have an irresistible oat topping (pictured above), made with quick oats, a little brown sugar, flour, and coconut oil (no butter!) It’s healthier than most crisp toppings and no one can tell it doesn’t have loads of butter in it — it’s that good.

I like the oat topping because it adds texture and flavor, but these muffins can certainly be made without it.

I wouldn’t recommend adding oats to the actual muffins; in this particular recipe it will dry them out.

Apple Muffins tips

  • Make sure to spoon and level the flour measurement. Too much flour and the muffins won’t be nearly as moist and soft. Along with this tip, make sure to measure all ingredients precisely. If you have a food scale, I recommend using it. Here’s the type I use often with my recipes.
  • Don’t beat (or over-mix) the batter. This introduces too much air and will cause the muffins to rise and then fall in the centers.
  • Finely chop the apple. The apple needs to be in really small pieces. I don’t recommend grating the apple; I have tested grating the apple for these muffins and they were too moist/wet.

FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content.

Apple Muffins

4.92 from 24 votes
Apple Muffins are soft and moist, perfectly spiced, and topped with an easy crumb topping.
Print Recipe

Apple Muffins

4.92 from 24 votes
Apple Muffins are soft and moist, perfectly spiced, and topped with an easy crumb topping.
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Apple Muffins
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 large muffins
Calories 262kcal
Cost $6.27

Ingredients

Muffins

  • 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon (126g) white whole wheat flour or plain white flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon EACH: ground nutmeg and ground allspice Note 1
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (120) honey vanilla full fat Greek yogurt (I recommend Greek Gods!)
  • 1/4 cup (53g) melted coconut oil Note 2
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (88g) light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 cup (100g) peeled and finely diced apple (I use Granny Smith)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Crisp cinnamon sugar topping

  • 3 tablespoons (27g) white whole wheat flour or plain white flour
  • 2 tablespoons (14g) quick oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons (32g) brown sugar not packed
  • 2 tablespoons (24g) melted coconut oil Note 2

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8 cavities of a muffin tin and lightly dust with flour. Do not use muffin liners as these muffins will stick to them. Set aside.
  • FLOUR AND DRY INGREDIENTS: In a large bowl, add the flour (spoon and level when you measure; use a food scale if you have it). You should have 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon flour (126 grams of flour).
    Add in the 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1/2 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon allspice (See Note 1). Mix until combined.
  • WET INGREDIENTS: In a separate bowl, mix together 1 large egg, 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup melted coconut oil (See Note 2), 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Whisk together until well combined and smooth.
  • APPLE: Peel and very finely chop the apple. Toss with the lemon juice. Add into the dry ingredients and stir until the apple pieces are coated in the flour (this helps to evenly disperse the apple).
  • COMBINE: Use a spatula to scrape every bit of wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon until ingredients are just combined. Over-mixing yields denser muffins.
  • FILL MUFFIN CAVITIES: Fill 8 muffin cavities evenly with the mixture -- each cavity will be a little over 3/4 full. Fill the remaining 4 cavities halfway with water (helps for even baking).
  • TOPPING: 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 (crumble with your fingertips if needed). Add a bit more coconut oil if too dry or a bit more flour if too wet. Sprinkle this topping evenly on top of each muffin. Don't press the topping into the muffin; just sprinkle on top.
  • BAKE: Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted in the center of the muffin 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 minutes. Allow muffins to finish cooling on a cooling rack so the bottoms don't get soggy as they cool.
  • STORE: Store completely cooled muffins in an airtight container in the fridge. Warm in the microwave for 10-15 seconds before serving, if desired. Muffins are best enjoyed within 2-3 days.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Feel free to increase the spices if desired. As written, the spices yield a very subtle flavor.
Note 2: Measure the coconut oil in its melted form. Do not add hot or warm coconut oil to the wet ingredients; wait until it's a room temperature so it doesn't clump.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 262kcal

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

Nutrition facts in apple muffins

NO butter in these muffins! Plus lots of healthy swaps and still the great taste and texture of a bakery style muffin thanks to this secret ingredient!
FREE BONUS

FREE BONUS

EASY MEAL SECRETS:
How to Make Mealtime Hassle Free!

5 secrets to easy, fast and delicious dinners.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




71 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’m so jealous of your two summers! These muffins look incredible, and I love that you used cornstarch, it’s definitely a great secret ingredient for softness, I feel like I use it in everything now! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I love fall but I’m not so sure I’m ready for summer to be over. I’ll compromise by enjoy the last week of my daughter’s summer vacation while eating these dreamy muffins. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. As much as I will miss all the summer berries, fall is my favorite baking season too ๐Ÿ™‚ I love these apple muffins, Chelsea! They’re gorgeous and I’m swooning over the cinnamon sugar topping!

  4. I am so amazed at how well this recipe turned out! I’ve tried so many different types of healthier muffins in the past and they were never quite right, but these were perfect! My kids just started school this week and breakfast is always a struggle. They don’t like cereal (especially when I won’t buy the high sugar kinds) they don’t like toast, eggos, granola bars, eggs, or most typical quick breakfast options….so we made muffins. These were fluffy, delicious, the topping adds just a little sweetness without going overboard. Now, I just need to go find this “white wheat flour” I keep reading about so my next batch will have more fiber.

    P.S. I’m trying to rate your recipe 5 stars, but for some reason, it’s not working for me.

    1. I would not recommend leaving out the coconut oil, but you could try a different oil in place of coconut such as canola or vegetable oil. I haven’t tried either one so I can’t say for sure if the taste or texture will be different but better than leaving out that ingredient entirely!

  5. 5 stars
    These muffins are awesome! If I could give these more than 5 stars I would! I made them last night and put them in the freezer. Pop them in the microwave for 45 seconds and they are perfect. I just ate two of them and could probably eat the whole rest of the batch. The batter was very thick, so I was not expecting them to be so light and fluffy with a lovely crispy top and edges. I used AP flour, 1/3c brown sugar, and one 5.3oz nonfat apple pie greek yogurt in the muffin part; for topping used 1 1/2T butter, 2T quick oats, 1/2t cinn, about 1 1/2T brown/dk brn sugar, about 2T flour (started w/1T and added until right consistency). Thanks for another awesome muffin recipe and for the healthy swaps, keep ’em comin’!

    1. You are so sweet Robin!! I so appreciate your kind comments and trying so many recipes!! So glad you enjoyed these muffins ๐Ÿ™‚ And your crisp topping sounds amazing!!

  6. 5 stars
    I made these and I loved them. I used plain Greek yogurt because it’s what I had on hand. However, as awesome as they are that way, I am sure using apple pie Greek yogurt will be even better…if that’s even possible

  7. 5 stars
    These muffins turned out great! Really nice and soft. Not dense like many of the other healthier muffins I have tried! Good flavor but I would probably increase the amount of cinnamon….but thats just my taste. I will definitely be making these again. Thanks for the great recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    Found this recipe on pinterest and made ’em, can’t describe how delicious they are. Possibly one of the best recipes I’ve found in a while!

  9. happy, this comes out very nice… i don’t have coconut oil so used corn oil instead… the crust part is a bit different, maybe too wet… and the sugar become “rocky” rather than like a crispy crumb… maybe i should get myself some right ingredients ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for the recipe.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed these! And yes I think the crust part will come out much better when you try the coconut oil ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the comment!

  10. Hey! I’m not a big fan of using sugars and like to use honey instead. Do you think that would work? How much do you think?

    1. I’m not sure how you would replace the sugars with honey since I haven’t tried that in this recipe. I’m guessing it would be a bit more dense and not have the rise that these do. And I’m sorry, I couldn’t suggest an amount to use without further recipe testing since I don’t want to say something that might not have stellar results.

  11. Hi, I found your recipe on Pinterest. Subbed in whole wheat pastry flour, 1/4 cup maple syrup for the brown sugar, and used 1-1/2 cups of apples (because I misread the directions, oops!). I omitted the topping also. Despite the substitutions my husband said the muffins were great! Thanks for posting the recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I’m so happy they worked out well and the maple syrup in these sounds delicious! You are welcome for the recipe! Thanks for the comment Alison ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. 5 stars
    Just made these and they are UNREAL! So light and fluffy. Thank you for being so detailed in your instructions. It helped me so much. I used avocado oil instead of coconut oil and used plain Greek yogurt. I used a half cup of brown sugar but I will probably use a bit less next time to try to make them even healthier. Do you know the calorie/muffin on the recipe approximately?

    1. Awe thank you so much Mandy! I’m thrilled to hear your results ๐Ÿ™‚ And your substitutions sound delicious as well! I don’t have the calorie counts unfortunately on this recipe, but I believe My Fitness Pal would give you the most accurate count ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I try a lot of random recipes online and this is first I’m printing out because I don’t want to lose it! Used gluten free flour, only 1/4 cup sugar, plain yogurt, and no topping and they are perfectly soft and tasty!

  14. What a great recipe! I decided to see if this would work as a quick bread rather than muffins. No change to the ingredients, but baked it in a loaf pan at 325 for 40 minutes and tented the top with tinfoil for the first 20 minutes so the topping wouldn’t overcook – perfect! Your cornstarch substitution is genius.

  15. 5 stars
    So delicious! I made them this morning and doubled the recipe. I did one cup apples and one cup shredded carrots! I also skipped the topping. Some of the bottoms were a bit soggy- but that is my fault for adding too much water lol!!! I ate three!

  16. 5 stars
    Delicious thank you Chelsea! I used spelt flour and a combo of coconut oil and ghee and put it together in the Thermomix. All of us, inc my 6 and 5 yr old really enjoyed them.

  17. 5 stars
    These muffins were amazing. I initially was concerned they would taste only like coconut. The apple flavor was wonderful, used a little more than the one-cup. Recipe is a keeper ? Thank you

  18. 5 stars
    I just made a batch and OhMyGosh delicious!!! I substituted the brown sugar for dextrose powder and a bit of rice malt syrup to make it a sugar free muffin. I think the cornstarch and greek yoghurt make this a very special recipe. Even with the adjustments this is so moist and fluffy and still sweet. Great recipe thank you!

  19. 5 stars
    These muffins are delicious! I shredded my apples because I was too lazy to dice them. They turned out perfectly moist, and the crunchy topping makes them even better! Thanks for the recipe!

  20. 5 stars
    Hi Chelsea, thanks for the recipe! It looks so good. I was wondering: any ideas on how to adapt the recipe to mini muffins? Thanks again!

  21. 4 stars
    I used white whole wheat flour, vanilla Greek yogurt and canola oil. I cut the apples up very small. They muffins are a little drier than I would like. Maybe Iโ€™ll put in some shredded apple next time in addition the the chopped apple. It made 13 muffins with the yellow scoop. Took 17 min to bake at 350F.

  22. We made these today as baked donuts–it took 13 minutes at 350. We followed the recipe but used granola in place of oatmeal for the topping because we were out. Still delicious, though! Thanks for the great recipe!

  23. 5 stars
    These muffins turned out way better than expected.

    Not that I doubted the recipe but they are truly better than apple muffins purchased from a proper Muffin cafe or bakery.

    I used 4 large muffin moulds so I could get 4 large muffins and sat the moulds in a oven tray with about 1cm of water to keep moisture in the oven as my oven is fairly old.

    The topping turned out great with just a nice crunchiness in every bite.

    The only thing I may do next time is scale back the sugar I put in but thatโ€™s all optional.

    Thank you Chelsea for posting a brilliant recipe you should enter these muffins in to a show as Iโ€™m sure theyโ€™d do pretty well..

    Cheers

    Adrian from Australia,Melbourne

  24. 5 stars
    Made these tonight and turned out great! Quick to whip up, and packed with apples! I doubled the recipe and substituted 1/2cup white flour for whole wheat, and used a mix of applesauce and canola oil, in place of the coconut oil. Thanks for sharing!

Never Miss a Recipe

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.