Applesauce Muffins Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 10 min. Bake: 20 min.
Cinnamon-sugar-dusted applesauce muffins are the tender, homey treat you can stir together in just 10 minutes. The warm allspice, cinnamon and cloves will perfume your kitchen with an autumnal aroma as they bake.

Updated: Jul. 11, 2024

A sparkly dusting of cinnamon sugar dresses up homey applesauce muffins, a morning treat you can stir together in just 10 minutes. Though the ingredients in this applesauce muffin recipe are largely staple and pantry items, the combination of apple and walnuts perfumed with vanilla, cinnamon, allspice and cloves gives the resulting muffins a complex spiced flavor. They’re lovely in autumn, after a day of apple picking, but they’re also a great weekday breakfast or lunchbox treat any time you need one.

Ingredients for Applesauce Muffins

  • Butter: Creamed with sugar until fluffy, butter provides rich flavor and also structure in these applesauce muffins. Let the butter soften for about an hour before you start.
  • Sugar: There’s sugar to sweeten the batter, but we also like to finish these muffins with a dusting of cinnamon-sugar.
  • Eggs: Beaten eggs provide the muffin batter with structure and elasticity. Note that it’s best to use room-temperature eggs when baking.
  • Vanilla: Vanilla extract, whether store-bought or homemade vanilla, works with the spices to build a delicate aroma into the batter.
  • Applesauce: Applesauce is the star ingredient in this applesauce muffins recipe. It adds moisture, flavor and tenderness to the muffin batter.
  • All-purpose flour: Flour is the base of this muffin recipe. You can substitute a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.
  • Baking soda: The leavening in the batter, baking soda reacts with the acidity of the applesauce to contribute lightness and lift.
  • Spices: Cinnamon, allspice and cloves add heaps of warm, autumnal aroma to the applesauce muffin batter.
  • Walnuts (optional): Chopped walnuts add delightful crunch, but you can leave them out if you like.

Directions

Step 1: Make the muffin batter

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, five to seven minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the applesauce. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and spices, then stir that dry mixture into the creamed mixture. Fold in the walnuts, if you’re using them.

Step 2: Bake the muffins

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-quarters full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan for five minutes before removing them to wire racks. Sprinkle the tops with cinnamon sugar, if desired.

Applesauce Muffin Variations

  • Use apple butter: Apple butter is just applesauce cooked longer, until the sugars in the fruit caramelize and the mixture thickens. Use it in place of some or all of the applesauce for an intense apple flavor.
  • Use pears: Trade applesauce for pear sauce for a pear version of these muffins. You could also make them with leftover pear cranberry sauce.
  • Add a topping: Sprinkle rolled oats, sunflower seeds or a nutty granola on top of the applesauce muffins before baking.
  • Add dried fruit: Fold dried cranberries, cherries or raisins into the batter along with, or in place of, the walnuts.
  • Top with streusel: A simple streusel topping made with butter, flour and sugar will add a delightful touch of flavor and enhance the texture with a slight crunch.
  • Bake jumbo muffins: Do you have a jumbo muffin pan with six wells? This recipe can easily be used to make 12 giant muffins instead of 24 regular-sized ones. Just add a few more minutes to your bake time to ensure they’re cooked through.

How to Store Applesauce Muffins

Once they’re cooled, store leftover muffins at room temperature in an airtight container for up to four days, or in the fridge for up to five days.

Can you freeze applesauce muffins?

Yes. Freeze cooled muffins in freezer containers for up to two months. When you’re ready to eat them, thaw them at room temperature or, if desired, microwave each muffin on high for 20 to 30 seconds or until heated through.

Applesauce Muffin Tips

Can you use homemade applesauce to make applesauce muffins?

Certainly, but do be advised that we’ve tested this recipe using store-bought applesauce. If your applesauce has a thicker or chunkier texture than the almost pourable kind sold in jars, you may need to adjust the texture of your homemade applesauce by adding a splash of water to it before mixing it with your batter.

How do you make muffins that aren’t tough?

The more you mix the batter, the more you develop the gluten in the mixture, which means tough muffins. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and whisk the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Then pour the wet into the dry. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to gently fold and stir the two together until everything is slightly moistened. Resist the urge to stir the mixture enough to smooth out all the lumps—small lumps are fine!

How do you prevent muffins from sticking to the pan?

Paper muffin liners make it easy to lift muffins out of the pan without tearing them. Even if you do use liners, add a fine layer of vegetable oil or cooking spray to the top surface of the muffin pan to make muffin removal easier.

Applesauce Muffins

Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 20 min
Yield about 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
  • Cinnamon sugar, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in applesauce. Combine flour, baking soda and spices; stir into creamed mixture. If desired, fold in nuts.
  2. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. If desired, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Nutrition Facts

1 muffin: 224 calories, 8g fat (5g saturated fat), 36mg cholesterol, 120mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (19g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1-1/2 fat.

These are such a popular item at the restaurant I own that I had the recipe printed on a card to share with guests. —Linda Williams, LaFayette, Alabama
Recipe Creator