Healthier Cinnamon Apple Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar Topping

I love muffins.

They're easy to grab and eat on the go, make in bulk (and freeze for later) and they are loved by both my husband and toddler. The muffins that I make, however, are not to be confused with cake. Cake muffins are delicious, oh yes, but I hate feeling like crap (why, sugar dump, whyyyyyyy) in the morning and have worked really hard to not get my toddler addicted to sugar (like I am). With that said, I refuse to eat cardboard. I love food so the food I eat needs to taste delicious (duh). These muffins did not disappoint.

Slightly sweeter than my favorite Healthy Banana Pumpkin Muffins, these apple cinnamon muffins were a HUGE hit and sweet (but still healthy) treat.

Unfortunately, I only had two apples, so I couldn't double the recipe. The muffins were gone in less than 48 hours. Eaten by 2 adults and 1 toddler. Ugh, yup, breakfast, snack and dessert for a day.

Delicious with and delicious without, the cinnamon sugar topping is optional. So if you prefer less sweet, just leave it out. However, if you love your baked goodies sweet, you can even double or triple the topping amount ;)

Healthier Cinnamon Apple Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar Topping

 Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 16-20 minutes / Total Time: 30-35 minutes
Yield: 16 muffins


2 large apples, finely chopped OR grated (I used a cheese grater) 
1/3 cup applesauce
2 Tablespoons canola oil (or coconut oil)
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1.5 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

3 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray (I made regular sized muffins, but mini or jumbo work well also).
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the applesauce, canola oil, buttermilk, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract until smooth. In a separate smaller mixing bowl sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, allspice, ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the chopped or grated apple. Carefully scoop batter into prepared muffin tin (I had a yield of 16 muffins, so I had to use two muffin tins).
  3. In a small bowl, melt butter for the topping. Add sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Carefully spoon a small amount of the butter topping over the tops of each muffin.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 16-20 minutes (varies depending on size and oven) or until tops are golden and toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool before serving.


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