Easy healthy apple muffins that are only 189 calories per muffin. Made with 100 percent oat flour, no oil or butter, and sweetened naturally with honey. They're moist, tender, and bursting with apple flavor. Irresistibly delicious!
Why This Recipe Works
This recipe is inspired by our healthy oats banana muffins that are such a hit amongst our readers. I've made these healthy apple muffins so that they have way fewer ingredients than other similar recipes out there so that it's even easier for you. Definitely a keeper and I'll tell you why.
- Uses healthy and wholesome ingredients - These are gluten-free apple muffins. They're made with 100% oat flour and naturally sweetened with honey. They're delicious and not dense like the typical healthy muffins in the stores. We're not sacrificing the flavor and texture here.
- Has no oil or butter in the batter. Yes, I bet you wouldn't have guessed it if I didn't say it! These are healthy muffins with applesauce. I'm using applesauce to replace oil or butter and these muffins came out so tender and soft, just like in my healthy apple oatmeal muffins and my healthy blueberry oatmeal muffins.
- Double apple dose. This recipe uses applesauce and diced apples to emphasize the apple flavor. We want to be able to taste the delicious apple flavor when we bite into them.
- Works for oven and air-fryer. They can also be called air-fryer apple muffins! I've made them using both oven and air-fryer and they always come out perfect. Both option details are in the recipe card. Personally, I prefer using my air-fryer so I don't need to turn my oven on and it's even faster.
- Easy apple muffin recipe. Yes. All you need to do is minimal mixing and whisking. This is a fun recipe to do with kids as the steps are very straightforward and it doesn't take long. These healthy apple muffins are also perfect for whenever you want to whip something fast but healthy and delicious!
Ingredients For This Recipe
Gluten-free oat flour - I buy mine, it's easier. You can make it yourself by blending oats in a food processor until you get a fine texture. Measure the amount needed of ground oats, not whole oats.
Applesauce - Replaces fat in this recipe and makes these healthy apple muffins super tender and moist. It also emphasizes the apple flavor. I highly recommend you use it.
In a pinch, you can use sour cream or Greek yogurt instead but you'd have to adjust the sweetness by adding brown sugar. Don't add more honey or liquid sweetener to avoid affecting the batter's consistency.
Honey - Acts as the sweetener in this recipe and it gives the muffins such a delicious and delicate touch, like in my healthy carrot cake muffins. Any other liquid sweetener like maple syrup or coconut syrup works amazing.
Milk - I use low-fat milk because that's what we always have in the house. Honestly, any type of milk will do. Full-fat milk, oat milk, coconut milk, take your pick.
Apple - Any apple will do. I use Golden Apple since we love to snack on them. Use Fuji, Pink Lady, Gala, Honeycrisp, whichever you prefer.
Coconut oil - I simply love the flavor! You can obviously use any oil that you prefer. Melted butter works great also.
⭐ See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
1. Mix dry ingredients. Add oat flour, cinnamon powder, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Mix very well using a spoon, and set aside.
2. Whisk wet ingredients. In another bigger bowl, add applesauce, honey, milk, vanilla extract, and egg. Whisk until everything is well combined using a hand whisk.
3. Mix the dry and the wet ingredients. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk until there are no lumps. The batter will be quite thick. Don't worry if you're over-mixing it, no gluten will be formed, your muffins will be soft no matter what.
4. Add in apple. Fold the diced apple into the batter using a spatula. Set aside.
5. Make the topping. Add oat flour, coconut oil, and brown sugar into a small bowl and mix well using a fork.
6. Bake. Divide the batter evenly into 10 muffin liners. Sprinkle the topping on top. Bake in a preheated oven at 400ºF (200ºC) for 18-20 minutes. For an air-fryer, use silicon muffin casings. Bake in a preheated air-fryer at 320ºF (160ºC) for 13-15 minutes. They're done when a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Enjoy your healthy apple muffins!
Recipe Expert Tips
- Mix the batter thoroughly. Oat flour tends to form lumps and takes longer to dissolve when mixing. Since it doesn't have gluten, it's totally fine if you go crazy whisking the batter. These healthy apple muffins will come out soft and tender, don't worry.
- Don't overbake the muffins. Otherwise, you'll see some air pockets in the muffins, making them lose their structure. This is because of the steam from the diced apples when cooked for a long time.
- Air-fryer option. Use silicon muffin casings or something sturdier than muffin liners alone. A 4-hole muffin pan or ramekins works great. Depending on the size of your air-fryer basket and the muffin casings, the cooking time might slightly vary.
How To Store And Freeze
Store - I love to serve these healthy apple muffins warm, so delicious! Keep the balance in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or up to 5 days in the fridge.
Freeze - Freeze them in an air-tight container for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature. Warm it for a few seconds in the microwave. The topping won't be crunchy after you freeze it.
If you're into healthier baking using wholesome ingredients, then my healthy banana peanut butter chocolate muffins are a must-make!
Any apples are great for this recipe like Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady. We use Golden Apple since we always have them in the house for snacking.
Although there's no oil or butter in this healthy apple muffin recipe, our secret ingredient for moist muffins is applesauce. It replaces the fat, enhances the apple flavor, and makes the muffins moist and tender.
The word healthy is subjective to each person. We view it as healthy when it uses wholesome ingredients like oat and whole wheat flour, and natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. Everything that these muffins have.
More Healthy Recipes
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Healthy Apple Muffins
- 1 ¼ cup oat flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup applesauce
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup milk , room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg , room temperature
- 1 Golden apple , peeled and diced
- ½ cup oat flour
- 3 tablespoon melted coconut oil , or any oil or melted butter
- 2 tablespoon unrefined brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC), with no fan. Line a muffin tin with 10 muffin liners.
- Add oat flour, cinnamon powder, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Mix very well using a spoon, and set aside.
- Add applesauce, honey, milk, vanilla extract, and egg in another bigger bowl. Whisk until everything is well combined using a hand whisk.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk until there are no lumps. Fold the diced apple into the batter using a spatula. Set aside.
- Add oat flour, coconut oil, and brown sugar into a small bowl and mix well using a fork. Divide the batter evenly into 10 muffin liners using an ice cream scoop. Sprinkle the crumble on top.
Bake in the oven
- Bake on the middle rack for 18-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Enjoy!
Bake in the air-fryer
- Use silicon muffin casings or anything sturdier than muffin liners so the muffins can hold their shape. Preheat the air-fryer to 320ºF (160ºC) for 5 minutes.
- Place the muffins into the air fryer basket. Bake using the air-fryer program for 13 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Wait 1-2 minutes so that they're not super hot before carefully removing them onto a rack. Continue baking the rest. Leave muffins for 10 minutes before removing them from the silicon casings, and then cool completely. Enjoy!
- Use the spoon and level method for cup measurements.
- If grinding your own oat flour, measure the amount needed after grinding the oats, not before.
- Use a portable oven thermometer to get the accurate oven temperature. I use it every single time I bake.
- Depending on the size of your air-fryer basket and the type of muffin casings used, the cooking time might slightly vary. I always bake mine in silicon muffin casings when I'm using my air-fryer.
Originally published on Sep 11, 2021. Updated with improved text on Sep 17, 2023.