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These vegan apple cinnamon muffins are made with homemade applesauce and lots of juicy and chunky apples. Full of lovely apple flavour and warm and cosy aroma of cinnamon. They are easy to make, refined sugar free, fluffy, juicy, soft, and of course, so delicious. Great as a healthier option for your breakfast and snack.
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It’s almost halfway through September now. It’s still somewhat hot in where I live, around 25 to 29 degrees celsius. It still kind of feels like summer but it doesn’t stop me from making lovely autumn desserts!
I have a fruit bowl I keep my fruits in, and I always make sure that there are a few apples in it for whenever I get peckish during work. Apple is one of my favourite snacks to eat as well as an ingredient for baking, so I had to make something with them, and voila! I made some amazing apple cinnamon muffins! They are sooo good. I drizzled some of my homemade caramel sauce and it was delish as a dessert!
If you like my raspberry muffins or blueberry muffins, you will love this recipe. I wanted to make this recipe healthier than regular apple muffins out there, with as much juicy apples as possible in the muffins. To achive it I made it refined sugar free and wholesome with applesauce. They are so soft and moist yet fluffy and full of lovely autumny cinnamon flavour. This homemade apple muffin recipe is perfect for breakfast and as a little snack!
This recipe is:
- refined sugar-free
Must Read: The Ultimate Guide to Perfect Muffins – A complete guide to baking your perfect vegan muffins with easy and delicious muffin recipes!
Ingredients and substitutions
Plain flour: The base of this muffin recipe is plain flour. I chose it as the base as it gives me the best fluffy texture and it rises very well. You can possibly substitute for 1:1 gluten-free flour mix if you want to make this recipe gluten-free.
Wholemeal flour: I used part wholemeal flour in this recipe to make it a little more wholesome and healthier. I love how wholemeal flour gives baked goods a lovely nutty flavour. However, it’s a little more difficult to rise your baked goods with wholemeal flour than regular plain flour because it has bran. Let’s talk a little more into this!
In baking, gluten in flour is very important as it makes sure that your baked goods have good structure and rise well, but the bran part of wholemeal flour has no gluten. For instance, 100g of wholemeal flour has less gluten content than the same amount of regular plain flour. Because of this, baked goods made with just wholemeal flour tend to be denser and less fluffy.
So I like using part wholemeal flour alongside plain flour so my muffins or any other baked goods rise well, are fluffy, and have a lovely nutty flavour at the same time!
If you don’t have wholemeal flour, you can just use plain flour in place of wholemeal flour. If you want to make this recipe with just wholemeal flour, I suggest you use an extra teaspoon of baking soda to help it rise a bit more.
Fresh apple: I used a medium size Fuji apple for both making my applesauce and adding into the batter. Fuji apple is in season over autumn and winter so it’s very sweet with a hint of tanginess which is perfect for this recipe. You can also use other types of apples too.
Applesauce: I used sweet and juicy homemade applesauce in this recipe to really bring out the flavour. Apple sauce is wonderful in baking because it creates a soft and moist texture. Making applesauce is very easy too! I have the recipe in the How to section and in the recipe card.
Soy yogurt: Soy yogurt has a creamy texture and tangy flavour which balances the sweetness. Feel free to use any other plant yogurt of your choice too, such as almond, coconut, etc.
Coconut oil: Coconut oil is the fat in this recipe which creates a soft and moist texture. You can replace it with melted vegan butter if you want a more buttery taste.
Maple syrup: I know maple syrup is an all-year-round thing but is it just me who feels like it brings a lovely autumny flavour to baked goods? I love the taste of maple syrup and it’s the main sweet component in this recipe besides applesauce. It also makes this recipe refined sugar free! If you prefer, you can use agave syrup, date syrup, or any other liquid sweetener of your choice.
Cinnamon: I used cinnamon powder in this recipe to pair with apple flavour. I use Simply Organic’s cinnamon powder.
Other ingredients: Lemon juice, baking powder, baking soda, and brown sugar.
Recommended equipment for this recipe
Muffin tray: I have a muffin tray that can bake 9 muffins at a time. My oven is small so I need as big a muffin tray as possible! Make sure that your tray fits the size of your oven if you are buying a new one.
Muffin cups: I like baking muffins in muffin cups rather than baking directly in a muffin tray because it’s a whole lot easier to take muffins out after baking them. I also like that muffins look pretty in muffin cups! There are many muffin cups with different colours and pretty patterns on, so choosing which one to bake with is also a fun part too. If you don’t have muffin cups and are baking them directly in a muffin tray, grease it with a bit of oil or vegan butter before pouring the batter into it to prevent them from sticking to the bottom.
Wooden spoon/silicone spatula: I always use either a big wooden spoon or a silicone spatula to mix my muffin batter because it’s more gentle than mixing with a whisk. Gluten is important in baking but mixing batter too much can cause overdevelopment of gluten, which then can result in a dense, tough, rubbery texture. So always, mix your batter gently!
Ice cream scoop: When pouring muffin batter into each muffin cup, an ice cream scoop comes in handy! You can pour an equal amount throughout every muffin for every batch.
*The ingredient list and measurement for this recipe can be found in the recipe card at the bottom.
How to make vegan apple cinnamon muffins
If you are making your own applesauce for just this recipe, here’s a quick recipe. Cut up a medium size apple into cubes, cook them in a frying pan for about 7-8 mins until they are soft. Puree them in a food processor with 1/8cup(25-30ml) of filtered water. This should make about 1/2cup of applesauce for this recipe.
Step1: Mix the wet ingredients
In a relatively large bowl, mix the applesauce, coconut oil, soy yogurt, lemon juice, and maple syrup with a whisk until well combined. Set aside. An important thing to have in mind here is to use all the ingredients at room temperature. This is because coconut oil hardens when mixed with cold ingredients, so if your soy yogurt or applesauce is straight out of the fridge, the mixture won’t combine well. So take all the ingredients out of the fridge before you make this recipe!
Step 2: Cut the apple
Wash, core and cut up a medium size apple(makes about 2cups, 190g) into 2cm/1inch cubes with the skin on. In a large bowl, mix the flours, cinnamon powder, baking powder, and baking soda with a whisk until well combined. Add in the cubed apples and stir lightly with a wooden spoon.
Step 3: Mix the batter
Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir gently with a wooden spoon or a silicone spatula. Over mixing is a no-no here! Mix with a big cutting mortion rather than a whisking motion until the dry and wet mixture are just combined. It’s ok to see little lumps of flour in the batter, don’t worry! If you are not sure when to stop, stir about 12-14 times maximum.
Step 4: Fill the muffin cups
Scoop the batter with an ice cream scoop and pour into each muffin cup lined in a muffin tray. I usually say fill up to 3/4 of a cup for muffins, but because this recipe has slightly more moisture content from apples, they won’t rise as much as other muffin recipes of mine. So you can fill it pretty much full with a slight room around the edge, like in the picture on the left below.
Step 5: Make cinnamon sugar and bake
Let’s make cinnamon brown sugar! Mix 1 tbsp brown sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder. Sprinkle on top of each muffin with a small spoon. Bake for 25 mins in an oven that has been preheated for 180℃. Do a toothpick test to see if it’s done. Insert a toothpick into the middle of a muffin, and if it comes out clean then it’s done! If not, bake for another 2-3 mins and test again.
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Tips and tricks
As I mentioned earlier, over mixing muffin batter is a texture killer. If your muffins come out of the oven with a dense, chewy, rubbery texture, chances are you mixed your batter too much. It’s so tempting to mix the batter until it’s silky smooth, but it won’t do good for your muffins! So when mixing, use either a large wooden spoon or silicone spatula and mix very gently with a big cutting motion.
Use room temperature ingredients
This recipe uses coconut oil, and it hardens when the temperature is cold. Because of the nature if you mix it with other cold ingredients, for instance soy yogurt, the wet mixture won’t combine well. So make sure you have all the ingredients out of the fridge and at room temperature before you start cooking!
Mix the cubed apples with dry mixture first
After cutting an apple into cubes, lightly pat them dry with a clean cloth or kitchen towel, then toss them into the dry mixture first rather than adding them to the batter at the last stage of mixing. This is because cut up apples have a lot of moisture and coating them first in flour will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of muffins when being baked in the oven.
Fill the muffin cups almost full
Unlike other muffin recipes of mine, you can fill muffin cups with the apple muffin batter almost full with a little room left around the edge for them to rise. I found that because of the weight of the apple cubes and the high moisture content in the batter, the muffins don’t rise as much as other muffin recipes like my double chocolate muffins or chocolate chip muffins.
Now, why is the moisture content relatively high in this recipe? The answer is because the apple is cut into cubes and water from the apple cubes evaporate very easily while being baked in the oven as they don’t have skin on. So to make sure the muffins rise as high as possible, pat the apple cubes dry and fill muffin cups to almost full.
Use applesauce made with only apples
Apples are already sweet with their naturally occurring sugar, so I like using applesauces that are made only with apples. Store-bought applesauce can have added sugar and other additives, so to make this recipe healthy avoid using those ones or it can significantly alter the tastes of this apple muffin recipe.
If you can’t find any applesauce without added sugar, you can make your own applesauce at home! To make enough for this recipe, see the “How to make” section above or the recipe card in this post!
How to store the muffins
You can keep the muffins at room temperature or in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Bake or microwave until it’s warm when eating. You can also freeze the muffins too. If you want to freeze them for a later time, let them cool down completely, put them in a freezer friendly airtight container, and store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Defrost in a microwave when eating. It makes a great ready to go breakfast!
Q and A
What are the best apples to use for this muffin recipe?
I used Fuji apple as it was the easiest one to get in my local supermarket at the time I made this recipe, and they are absolutely amazing to bake these homemade apple cinnamon muffins! They are sweet, crisp and flavourful.
Other apples I like using in baking are Jonagold, Mutsu, Honeycrisp, Jazz, Royal Gala, Envy, etc. Grannysmith is a lovely one to bake with too!
Can I make them gluten-free?
I haven’t tried making this recipe gluten-free, but you should get a good result by swapping the flours with 1:1 gluten-free flour mix. The texture of the final product will probably be slightly denser and less fluffy, it’s the nature of rice flour or any gluten-free flour. So to make the muffins rise and fluffy, I think adding another half a teaspoon of baking soda will do the trick.
Can this recipe be oil-free?
Yes! If you want to make this recipe oil-free, use the same amount of extra apple sauce or soy milk in place of coconut oil. This will make this recipe oil-free!
Can I make my own homemade applesauce?
Making applesauce at home is super easy! Essentially all you need to do is peel some apples, core them, cut into chunks, cook in a frying pan until soft and cooked, puree in a food processor with a dash of filtered water. I will make a recipe post of it soon but meanwhile I included how to make applesauce just enough for this recipe in the recipe card below.
Want to master the basics of vegan baking?
Check out Vegan Baking 101 – the beginner’s guide to vegan baking for you to become an excellent vegan baker and familiar with the basics of vegan baking, ingredients, and techniques with useful tips!
You will LOVE these easy apple cinnamon muffins because they are:
- full of apple flavour
- soft and moist
- easy to make
- great breakfast
- healthy snack
Want more recipes like this?
Try my other delicious muffin recipes you might enjoy!
- Apple Crumble Cake
- Apple Crumble Bars
- Banana tahini muffins
- Blueberry muffins
- Raspberry muffins
- Double chocolate muffins
- Chocolate chip muffins
- Pumpkin banana muffins
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