Gluten Free Apple Muffins

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Gluten-Free Apple Muffins are made with wholesome ingredients like almond butter, apples, applesauce, pecans, and oats. These muffins are flourless and low in added sugars. They’re also moist, flavorful, and loaded with texture.

Try our other gluten free muffin recipe — these chocolate & peanut butter muffins are one of the most popular recipes on this website!

Overhead image of Gluten-Free Apple Muffins.

Nutritious Gluten-Free Apple Muffins

These muffins couldn’t be easier to make. Everything gets mixed together in one bowl!

It’s also made with better-for-you ingredients. How is it healthier than most muffins?

  • No white flour– we use ground oats instead.
  • No butter– instead, we use applesauce.
  • These muffins have almond butter which is packed with good-for-you fats and protein. If you aren’t familiar with almond butter, it’s like peanut butter but made with ground almonds instead of peanuts. Almond butter can usually be found near other nut butters and jams in the grocery store.
  • These muffins require far less sugar than most muffin recipes that can have a cup or more of sugar added!
  • These muffins use chopped pecans, which are loaded with good-for-you fats and nutrients.
  • And, of course, there are lots of apples in the muffins!

Image showing how oat flour is made.

I mentioned that Gluten-Free Apple Muffins are flourless; instead of using white flour, or even whole wheat flour, we use oats instead. Some of the oats are left in their whole form and mixed into the muffins and the rest of the oats are blended into an oat powder or oat flour. No need to buy this from the store since it literally takes seconds to make at home.

How to make oat flour

If you have quick oats or old-fashioned oats, you can have oat flour in mere minutes!

  1. Place the  old-fashioned or quick oats in a food processor or small blender jar.
  2. Pulse the oats until they are ground into a powder-like consistency that resembles flour (see photo above on the right).
  3. Stir the oats around to be sure that all the oats have been finely ground and there aren’t any whole oats left. 
  4. Make sure to measure your oat flour measurement for these apple muffins after it’s been turned to flour and not in the original whole oat form.

Process shots of the Gluten Free Apple Muffins being made-- images of the wet and dry ingredients being added; mixed together; added to a muffin tin; and baked.

How to make Gluten-Free Apple Muffins

  1. Combine wet ingredients: applesauce, honey, almond butter, vanilla extract, and brown sugar
  2. Mix in the egg.
  3. Add dry ingredients right on top of wet: baking soda, baking powder, salt, and oat flour (blended up oats). Stir.
  4. Add in the oats and mix to combine.
  5. Dice an apple and toss it with lemon juice. Add that diced apple, chopped pecans, and cinnamon into the mix.
  6. Mix until combined and then fill up 8 muffin cavities 3/4 full.
  7. Bake the muffins until lightly browned at the edges.

Up-close overhead image of Gluten-Free Apple Muffins.

Let’s talk almond butter

Make sure to use a good and flavorful almond butter. The almond butter can make or break these muffins, so use the kind you enjoy plain from the jar. If you don’t love it plain, you likely won’t love these muffins as much as you could. I recommend using an almond butter that is slowroasted and lightly salted. The recipe assumes this type of almond butter is being used, so if it isn’t, you’ll likely want to add a bit more sugar and salt to the recipe.

If the almond butter has separated, make sure to stir it well before adding to these muffins.

Image of the almond butter used in this recipe.

Quick tips

  • Ensure all ingredients are in fact gluten-free: While the ingredients called for in these Gluten-Free Apple Muffins are naturally gluten free, make sure to check all your ingredient labels to verify they weren’t processed in a facility with gluten.
  • Right out of the oven, these muffins have a tendency to crumble. Allow them to thoroughly cool before eating, to avoid the muffin falling apart.
  • Generously grease the muffin tin. I don’t recommend muffin liners; the batter sticks to the liners. Make sure to really grease the cavities well. Of course, a good muffin tin also makes a world of difference. These tins are my absolute favorite, and I’ve never had a problem with the muffins not releasing nicely!

Image of one of the muffins cut open, showing the inside.

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Gluten Free Apple Muffins

4.72 from 7 votes
Gluten-Free Apple Muffins are made with wholesome  ingredients like almond butter, apples, applesauce, pecans, and oats. These muffins are flourless and low in added sugars. They're also moist, flavorful, and loaded with texture.
Make sure to check all ingredient labels to verify all the products were prepared in a gluten-free facility, if gluten intolerance is a concern.
Print Recipe

Gluten Free Apple Muffins

4.72 from 7 votes
Gluten-Free Apple Muffins are made with wholesome  ingredients like almond butter, apples, applesauce, pecans, and oats. These muffins are flourless and low in added sugars. They're also moist, flavorful, and loaded with texture.
Make sure to check all ingredient labels to verify all the products were prepared in a gluten-free facility, if gluten intolerance is a concern.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword Gluten Free Apple Muffins
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 31 minutes
Servings 8 muffins
Calories 158kcal
Cost $3.98

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup (120g) roasted and salted almond butter (See Note 1)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, lightly packed (See Note 2)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (41g) oat flour (old fashioned oats that have been blended -- See Note 3)
  • 1/3 cup (34g) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup (61g) chopped tart apple (I use Granny Smith)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped pecans, divided

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8 cavities of a light-colored muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and fill the other empty cavities halfway with water (ensures even baking). Do not use muffin liners -- these muffins stick to the paper.
  • MUFFIN BATTER: In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the applesauce, almond butter (See Note 1), honey, vanilla extract, and brown sugar (See Note 2) in a large bowl. Beat in the egg until mixed in. Add the salt, baking soda, baking powder, and oat flour (See Note 3). Mix. Stir in the old-fashioned oats and mix to combine.
  • APPLE: Peel the apple and chop into small pieces. In a separate small bowl, toss the chopped apple with the lemon juice. Add the apple pieces (and any accumulated liquid) to the muffin batter along with 2 tablespoons of chopped pecans and the ground cinnamon. Gently stir to combine.
  • BAKE: Fill the 8 muffin cavities 3/4 full. All of the batter should be used among the 8 cavities. Evenly sprinkle the last two tablespoons of pecans on the tops of the muffins. Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Watch carefully; over- baking will make these muffins less moist and less flavorful.
  • ENJOY: Let the muffins stand in the muffin tin for 5-10 minutes before gently coaxing them out, with a spoon, onto a cooling rack (while hot, these muffins have a tendency to crumble). Allow muffins to finish cooling on the cooling rack. Muffins are best enjoyed within 2-3 days. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Muffins can be frozen for up to 2 months, individually and tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. Thaw at room temperature.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Make sure to use a good, flavorful almond butter. I recommend using an almond butter that is slow roasted and salted with sea salt. The recipe assumes this type of almond butter is being used, so if it isn't, you'll likely want to add a bit more sugar and salt to the recipe. If the almond butter has separated in the jar, make sure to stir well before adding to these muffins.
Note 2: If you want your muffins sweeter, increase brown sugar by 1-2 tablespoons. If you aren't used to healthier treats, you'll likely want to increase it by 2 tablespoons. 
Note 3: Make sure to measure the oat flour measurement for these muffins after it’s been turned to flour and not in the original whole oat form.
 To make oat flour:
  1. Place the oats (old-fashioned or quick oats) in a food processor or small blender jar.
  2. Pulse the oats until they are ground into a powder-like consistency that resembles flour.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 9servings | Calories: 158kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1.8g | Fat: 11.1g | Cholesterol: 47.8mg | Sodium: 11.1mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 7.9g

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52 Comments

  1. I love nuts in baked goods so that doesn’t bother me! These look fantastic! And I love that you have almond butter in them too – my favorite! Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  2. 5 stars
    I wasn’t always a fan of nuts in baked goods but now I love them – especially in muffins 🙂 These look absolutely delicious! Love the almond butter in here and the fact that they are healthy – that means I can have more right?? 🙂 Pinning of course and hope you have a great rest of the weekend sweet lady!

  3. YES!! It’s like you read my mind!! I hate nuts in almost all things baked — especially brownies. Why ruin a perfectly good extra fudgy brownie with nuts?? I always pick them out and eat them separately… Strange but true. 😉 These muffins look incredible — so perfect for the cozy fall weather! Pinned!

  4. 5 stars
    These are the very best muffins I’ve ever had. Even better than “unhealthy” ones. Loved this recipe and will be making often!

  5. Hi! These look so great! I only have organic peanut butter at my house, can you not substitute it because of the flavor or difference in texture?

    1. Hi Haley! I just didn’t like the taste with the peanut butter ones nearly as much. The texture is fine, but the peanut butter kind of overtakes the rest of the flavors whereas the almond butter is much more subtle.

  6. Why do you say not to substitute peanut butter? My son is allergic to nuts, so I was planning to substitute sunflower seed butter for the almond butter.

    1. Hey amber! I haven’t tried it with any other butters except for peanut and almond. I say not to do peanut butter because I didn’t like the taste and it was a bit overpowering whereas the almond butter seemed the perfect complement. Just my taste preference though! If you try sunflower seed butter if would love to hear your thoughts!

      1. 4 stars
        I made these today with a few substitutes. I used sunbutter instead of peanut butter and subbed 1 tbls of flaxseed meal mixed with 3 tbls of warm water for the egg, due to food allergies in our home. I had to bake for about 19 minutes to get them done in the middle. They turned out great! I haven’t made the almond butter version to compare flavor or know if you’d think the sunbutter flavor is more overwhelming, but we found the texture and flavor to be good! They got a two thumbs up from my son. 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

        1. I guess I should also note that omitted the pecans too because of nut allergies. I would like to try the regular version someday for myself since I don’t have any allergies. 😉

        2. Amber – I so appreciate you coming back and letting everyone know the substitutions you used and that they worked! So helpful to everyone that has the same questions that I don’t have answers for, so thank you! I am so glad to hear that they worked out and that you enjoyed them. Thank you!! Have a great day!

  7. What to use in place of the nut things? I saw someones suggestion of sunflower butter (I also would LOVE to know how it came out). What about the flour? could I just use the oat flour for all of it?

    1. The only flour called for in the recipe is oat flour. Is that what you are asking? And you can omit the pecans if needed!

  8. These just came out of the oven and they are DELICIOUS! Followed the recipe almost exactly using a Granny Smith apple for the tartness and made 9 muffins. The only change that I made was to add some apple pie spice in with the cinnamon and a little extra vanilla. I ground the pecans and sprinkled them on top with a little extra dusting of the apple pie spice. I pulled them out right at 16 mins and the texture was perfect. A wonderful recipe!!

  9. 5 stars
    I made these this morning and all I can say is, Wow!! They are wonderful and my husband loves them too. I baked mine in mini muffin pans and ended up with a total of 32 muffins. I’m so happy with the flavor and they taste really indulgent. I used my homemade almond butter too.

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! And glad that a homemade almond butter worked well in these 🙂 LOVE the idea of using miniature muffin pans 🙂

  10. Do you use raw or roasted almond butter? There is a big difference in flavour to me and these look so delicious I don’t want to muck them up! Thanks!

  11. 5 stars
    I WAS LOOKING FOR A HIGH FIBER MUFFIN, I HOPE THIS IS . I MADE THEM AND THEY WERE GOOD. I COULD’NT FIND NUTRITIONAL VALUE.COULD YOU INCLUDE IT THANKS

  12. These sound wonderful and I plan on making them today! Do you have the nutritional breakdown of 1 muffin? I have been on a very successful weight loss journey and want to plug into my fitness app.

  13. 4 stars
    I just pulled these out of the oven and they are super tasty! A bit like a bran muffin. I made the in a mini muffin tin since they are for my newly grain-free (except oats) 2 year old. I didn’t have any brown sugar so I used 2 T Organic Cane Sugar + 1/2 t. molasses. I’m sure brown sugar would have made them a bit sweeter, but I like that they have a more hearty muffin taste rather than tasting like a cupcake without frosting. There aren’t any flavors that are overly evident. I would maybe add a little bit more apples than I did. As is, I would definitely make these again! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Thanks so much for your comment and feedback Annie! 🙂 I appreciate it! Glad you enjoyed this and I love hearing your substitutions for the brown sugar!

  14. I just found your blog and I am super happy to find so many gluten free muffin recipes! And they look like they come out well, too! I’ll for sure be trying one tomorrow — most likely the pumpkin chocolate chip. I still have a few cans of organic pumpkin in my cupboard. Thanks!

  15. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I LOVE these muffins! I was wondering if you have ever doubled the recipe. If so, how did they turn out?

    1. So happy to hear you’ve been enjoying them! 🙂 I actually have never doubled them, sorry 🙁 I don’t see why it wouldn’t work though!

  16. 5 stars
    These really are so decadent! Healthy too! Have made many times with no recipe changes and the whole family loves them. They actually remind me of pecan pie!

  17. Ooooo I can’t wait to try these! I think I may try to substitute almond extract for vanilla extract! Thanks for the inspiration!

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