Spiced Apple Muffins

I don’t know what words to use to convey how amazing this simple recipe is.  I had a glut of apples, and needed a creative outlet.  This was a recipe of convenience.  My expectations were marginal, so it was a total surprise when these muffins knocked my socks off (it’s okay, I prefer to be barefoot).  As soon as the first batch was gone, I whipped up a second.  With no intention of sharing.

spiced-apple-muffinsSo soft, these muffins are studded with chunks of tender apple and a hint of fall spices, while still maintaining a healthy attitude with 100% whole wheat flour.  In this muffin, the nuttiness of whole wheat really compliments the spiced apple and rounds out the flavor.  It is…the perfect muffin.  The secret ingredient?  Applesauce.  I made a lot of applesauce for canning this year, which worked out perfectly.  If you don’t have any unsweetened applesauce, it’s really easy to make a small batch.  Peel and slice some apples (around 2 c.) and add them to a pot with water (1/4 c.), and steam the apples until they’ve softened into applesauce (I’m just guessing here – maybe 20 minutes?  Don’t forget to stir).  It will still be a little chunky, but that’s just fine for these muffins. 
applesauceYou’ll also need a few peeled apples cut into half inch chunks.  I used some sweet Cortlands, which allowed me to cut down on some of the sugar originally in this recipe.
fresh-chopped-applesSo there are the apples, now here are the spices.  Ground ginger, cinnamon and dark cloves.
spiced-mixThe dry ingredients get mixed, then all but two tablespoons folded into the wet ingredients. The reserved tablespoons are used to coat the apples.
spiced-applesThis is the thickest muffin batter I have ever made.  About the consistency (and color) of peanut butter.
apple-muffin-batter-2Because of the amount of apple in these muffins, they don’t rise as much as typical muffins, which means you can stuff even more batter in the muffin tin.
apple-muffin-batterThe smells that start wafting through the house might draw in the neighbors.  Consider yourself warned.
Spiced Apple Muffins

Spiced Apple Muffins

These muffins are studded with chunks of tender apple and a hint of fall spices, while still maintaining a healthy attitude with 100% whole wheat flour.


  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 large or 4 small apples (about 3 c., peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch chunks)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Stir in the applesauce, and then the eggs, and then the vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Take 2 tablespoons of this dry mixture and toss it with the chopped apples until coated.
  4. Stir the flour into the wet ingredients, in 3 batches. Then gently stir in the apples.
  5. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray (I use a refillable olive oil sprayer - it's great!). Fill each muffin cup with batter, until just about to the top of the tin. These muffins will not rise as much as typical muffins.
  6. Bake for 18 - 20 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. I found the baking time to be remarkably consistent. 18 minutes was perfect.

adapted from iowagirleats


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