Applesauce Muffins

updated Nov 1, 2023

These muffins are naturally sweetened and have the most incredible soft, tender texture.

Makes12 muffins

Prep15 minutes

Cook20 minutes to 23 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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There are two types of muffins in the world: cupcakes masquerading as muffins, and those that are hearty, wholesome, and not overly sweet. Any time I have a hankering for the latter, these easy applesauce muffins are my go-to.

These applesauce oat muffins get their heartiness and soft, fluffy texture from a mix of all-purpose and whole-wheat flours and rolled oats. Plus, they’re naturally sweetened (thanks to the addition of maple syrup) and flavored with a mix of warm spices.

Key Ingredients in Applesauce Muffins

  • Whole-wheat flour: Using a 50/50 blend of whole-wheat and all-purpose flour gives the muffins a heartier texture than using just all-purpose flour on its own.
  • Rolled oats: Mixing a small amount into the batter keeps these muffins interesting with an extra-hearty, fun texture. Sprinkle more oats over top of the muffins before baking — it looks great and the oats pick up a great, toasty flavor in the oven.
  • Unsweetened applesauce: Even though you’re using unsweetened applesauce, it still has lots of natural sweetness. It works to sweeten the muffins and adds moisture for a soft, tender texture. 
  • Neutral cooking oil: Oil adds fat, which keeps the texture of the muffins super tender.I recommend using canola or vegetable oil.
  • Maple syrup: Any type of pure maple syrup will work here. Using just 1/2 cup of this natural sweetener ensures muffins that are just sweet enough.
  • Ground cinnamon: Cinnamon is a natural partner to applesauce. This warm spice ensures these wholesome muffins have plenty of flavor. 
  • Ground cardamom: In addition to working well with cinnamon, this warm ground spice is also really great with apples. 
Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik. Food Styling: Brett Regot

What Does Adding Applesauce Do to Muffins?

There are several benefits to mixing unsweetened applesauce into your muffin batter. 

  • It makes muffins incredibly moist and tender. 
  • It allows you to reduce the amount of fat in the recipe, while still yielding extremely soft and tender muffins. This recipe still calls for oil, although a lesser amount.
  • It also lends sweetness to the muffins (yes, even the unsweetened stuff), reducing the amount of sweetener required.

Best Type of Applesauce to Use for Applesauce Muffins

You’ll want to use unsweetened applesauce — homemade or store-bought — for these muffins. If you plan to use homemade applesauce, stick with one that’s not too chunky.

Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik. Food Styling: Brett Regot

Storing and Freezing Tips

The muffins will keep for up to five days stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They also freeze quite well. Just be sure to store in an airtight container in the freezer, and they’ll keep for up to three months. When ready to eat, just thaw at room temperature ahead of time.  

Applesauce Muffins Recipe

These muffins are naturally sweetened and have the most incredible soft, tender texture.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes to 23 minutes

Makes 12 muffins

Nutritional Info


  • Paper muffin liners or cooking spray

  • 1 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup

    whole wheat flour

  • 1/2 cup

    plus 2 tablespoons rolled oats, divided

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cardamom

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1 cup

    unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/3 cup

    canola or vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup

    maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup

    dairy or unsweetened non-dairy milk

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375ºF. Line a standard 12-well muffin tin with paper liners or coat with cooking spray.

  2. Place 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup of the rolled oats, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

  3. Place 2 large eggs, 1 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil, 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture and fold with a flexible spatula until no streaks of dry flour are left.

  4. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin wells (about 1/3 cup per well), they will be about 3/4 full. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons rolled oats (about 1/2 teaspoon per muffin).

  5. Bake until golden brown on top and a tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes in the tin. If not using paper liners, run a thin knife around each muffin to loosen. Transfer the muffins to a wire rack and let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months, then thawed at room temperature.