Healthy Oats and Applesauce Muffins

1. a person who invites me and all five of my children over for a summer playdate, politely diffuses the near disaster of a tipping swingset caused by three of my posterity coercing the teeter-totter swing to new heights, gently redirects my body-tackling toddler as she goes after her baby over and over and over, and even manages to serve muffins and milk all while pretending not to notice when four certain little male humans not belonging to her eat at least three muffins each.

2. or in other words, my-friend-that-I-hope-is-still-my-friend, Katie.

After totally demolishing her house and yard, the icing on the cake is that I couldn’t even leave until I groveled for this recipe, I was a bit jealous my boys were able to consume three when simple etiquette demanded I not ask for (or sneak) seconds or thirds.

Remember how I said these delectable muffiny treats may not be apropos for a playdate? Well, I couldn’t leave you hanging on a suitable option so here you go.

Healthy Oats and Applesauce Muffins

Not only are these applesauce muffins healthy but they are also moist and very delicious. Ok, so they may not be the prettiest muffins to look at it but do I really need to insert overstated cliches here? Looks aren’t everything, people.

After wrangling the recipe from Miss Katie, I’ve made double batch after double batch, freezing so I can pull them out for school lunches and random snacks. I love knowing that I can throw something this healthy into my kids’ lunches without requiring any prep time the night before. You know, because making a sandwich is, like, so hard. Thank you freezer. Thank you muffins that freeze well.

When I slap one of these delectable muffins in the kids’ lunchboxes with a string cheese, all-natural beef sticks, grapes and sometimes a few pretzel sticks, they are overjoyed and request it Monday through Friday. Of course, that wish is never granted. I mean, Cam the linebacker and I need something to snack on while we are home all day, right? Right.

One Year Ago: Breadstick and Pizza Casserole
Two Years Ago: Sweet Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin {Slow Cooker}
Three Years Ago: The Best Frosting {a.k.a. Magical Frosting}

Healthy Applesauce Oat Muffins

Yield: Makes 12 muffins

Healthy Applesauce Oat Muffins

I always double this recipe because they freeze so well!


  • 1 cup rolled/old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners or grease the muffin cups. Set aside..
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the oatmeal, applesauce, milk, egg, vanilla, butter and sugar. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt (and cranberries or raisins if using). Make a well in the center and pour in the applesauce mixture. Stir until just combined (don't overmix or the muffins will be dense and dry). The muffin batter texture might be a bit different (wetter?) than other muffin batters but no fear, carry on!
  4. Distribute the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Don't overbake or the muffins will be dry.
  5. Remove the muffins to a rack to cool completely. Once cool, I place 6-9 muffins in a large freezer ziploc bag, suck all the air out (oh yes I do) and seal the bag, then freeze, pulling them out one by one to stick in my kids lunches or warm slightly for a snack.

Recipe Source: adapted very, very slightly from my friend, Katie K. (added a pinch of salt)

203 Responses to Healthy Applesauce Oat Muffins

  1. Heidi says:

    My kiddos all but inhaled these muffins! Thanks for the recipe and the funny story, which is why I chose this recipe over all the other recipes that I found on the internet!! We used cinnamon applesauce and white flour b/c that’s what we had on hand and brown sugar b/c we prefer it over white and these turned out moist and flavorful!

    • Danièle says:

      I’m not sure I’m commenting in the right manner… I made these replacing the applesauce with a blueberry-chickpea purée my baby didn’t want for lunch… delicious!

    • Cheryl says:

      Theses were great! I did use coconut oil instead of butter and used honey in place of sugar. They were delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

    • Heather says:

      We actually did the exact same thing and they were amazing! We eat these after working out, they are perfect!

  2. Kelli says:

    Hi, Mel – I love your recipes & after trying the carrot applesauce muffins successfully, I was excited to try these. Unfortunately, they didn’t turn out at all! I opted to use the coconut oil instead of butter (I’m new to coconut oil) otherwise followed the recipe to a T, or so I thought. They never really set. The tops were browned nicely but they were still raw on the inside AND they seemed really oily! Got any suggestions? The tiny bites I took off the top of a few were tasty & I’d love to have another go at it.

    • Mel says:

      Kelli – do you think you might need to increase the baking time? If they were still raw in the middle it sounds like they might need more time. I think that could help! Coconut oil does make baked good slightly more oily in my opinion but it shouldn’t affect the overall texture terribly.

  3. Jenn says:

    Wow! Made these to take with us on a mini-vacation but I think half were gone as soon as they came out of the oven! I’ve got three kids, ages 6, 8, and 10 and the oldest two are boys (who are not picky) and the youngest is a girl (who is picky). Everyone loved them! They did not last long…next time I will be making a double batch! I love that they are healthy and I can freeze them. Perfect for breakfast, adding to school lunches, or as an after school snack. Thanks Mel! Your site is my all time favorite!

  4. Katie says:

    These are so yummy! I didn’t use craisins or raisins, and chose butter over coconut oil. My kids gobbled them up, and I was happy to let them! The only thing I think I might change next time I make them (there will definitely be a next time!) will be to use brown sugar instead of white, just because I love me some brown sugar :) But brown sugar or no, we can’t get enough of these!

  5. Kelli says:

    Hi, Mel! Oooh, I feel like a famous person is talking to me! Squeeee!!!! :D
    I did increase the baking time with the second tray (yep, I doubled the batch!) and it helped, as they seemed less oily & slightly more firm. I didn’t want to overcook them or burn the outside. The tops/sides were nicely browned & the toothpick came out clean. No clue what went wrong. Maybe slightly lower temp for a little longer? I’ve found that cooking in an electric oven vs. a gas altered the temp on much of what I cook but I haven’t had an issue in a long time. I’m going to try again, maybe with butter & with a temp adjustment. :)

  6. Erin B says:

    Just made these and we LOVE them! I subbed in Coconut oil for butter, almond milk for regular milk- to make dairy free- and honey for the refined sugar. They were definitely a little less sweet, but in an effort to decreased my (*high*) processed sugar intake, they were great! Next time I might use a little less coconut oil as the oil was starting to go through the muffin liners as they sat out (I used a 1:1 ratio). Can’t wait to make them again!

  7. Christine says:

    I just made these this morning for my daughter who has a milk allergy. I made a few substitutions and she LOVES them! Thank you for providing this recipe! Now I have a filling food to feed her for breakfast that she will be excited about, and I can feel good about feeding her in the morning. She has been on a Kix cereal kick for over a week and I feel guilty giving it to her but hate to face the fits first thing in the morning.

  8. Carol Gonzalez says:

    This are sooooo good! How I wish I’ve made them last year before joining Weight Watchers! Oh well! I’ll eat only two. Thanks for a great recipe.

  9. Vera says:

    I made these today – and loved them. I didn’t see the nutrition count anywhere so thought I would add it. Also I didn’t have applesauce so I blended a large apple with 1/2 cup water and a pinch of cinnamon and lemon juice. They turned out moist and perfect. This is with 2% milk and butter.
    Nutrition facts per muffin without fruit:
    Calories 130.6 Total Fat 5.2 Sodium 153 Carbs 18.9 Sugars 8.3 Protein 2.56

  10. Sara says:

    I made these this morning, and my two-year-old is eating her second one as I type this. :) I added some frozen blueberries, and they were awesome! I especially love how the coconut oil gives them just the slightest coconut-y taste. These are definitely going to become a regular thing in our house.

  11. Vanessa Shannon says:

    Hi Mel. I cant wait to try these and freeze them as after school snacks for the kids. Unfortunately your brilliant school lunch packing list wont even touch the appetite of my 11 and 13 year old boys – dont I miss the days when they didnt eat me out of house and home – but I think they will love these as a snack!!

  12. Cearrow says:

    You’re always saying you Freeze your muffins. I’m one of those people who is scared of the freezer. Unless its a soup or meat I’ve never frozen it. Do you just place these in ziplock bags? When you pull them out at snack time do you just thaw them or microwave them? If I let them thaw all day are they good that way or is microwaving better still?

    • Mel says:

      Cearrow – ok, let’s help you get over your freezer fear! I bake these, let them cool and then place them in a freezer ziploc bag to freeze. When we want to eat them, I either take the bag out of the freezer the night before or simply pull the muffins out of the freezer, take them out of the bag and microwave them for about 1-2 minutes on 50% power until they are thawed. Slightly warm like that and they taste amazingly fresh!

  13. Ann says:

    We have another winner! Of course I’m not surprised, seeing as how all of Mel’s recipes are winners. I’m enjoying one right this very minute at work with a cup of strawberries drizzled with agave nectar. Perfect way to start the day.

  14. Jessica O. says:

    Loved these! Thanks so much for sharing! We were getting bored of our usual healthy snacks and are loving these! So glad we found your website, we’ve loved all the recipes we have tried…and we’ve tried a bunch!!

  15. Thanks for a great recipe using ingredients that I already have on hand! I just pulled these from the oven, and they’re fantastic! I can’t wait to freeze the extras for a special treat on the weekends!
    Thanks for being a Saint, Mel! You’re the BEST :)

  16. Kelli says:

    I tried these again using butter and a longer cooking time and STILL had trouble! The muffins were still raw in the center. I’m thinking it’s my wonky oven. I’ve had to adjust the temp on it for so many things. Thankfully, all the other muffins I’ve tried from this site have worked out. Keep the yummy recipes coming!!!

  17. Tried this recipe and it was way too wet — I’m guessing different applesauces have different amounts of water in them. Anyway, I made several modifications (including halving the sugar) and now they are a family favorite. I make a quadruple batch and freeze. Thanks for the great recipe!

  18. Christy says:

    These are so good! I have a child with food allergies, so I substituted soy milk for the milk, oil for the butter, and just omitted the egg. They came out amazing! We love all of your recipes. You are definitely are go-to blog!

  19. Sarah says:

    I just wanted to join the applesauce oatmeal muffin fan club. These are amazing!! I have a non-sandwich eater and I’m always looking for things to put in his lunch, this is perfect!

  20. Judy says:

    I’m writing this as I eat my second muffin. These came out ridiculously moist and fluffy, light even with the whole wheat flour. I think I’ll add a little less sugar next time. I put in a handle of each dried cranberries and walnuts and this is now my go-to oatmeal muffin recipe :) thanks!

  21. Allison says:

    My mom gave me three of these muffins to take home and let my kids try to see if they liked a “healthy” snack. Unfortunately, the muffins never made it home! I devoured all three while running errands and have craved them ever since. These muffins are the reason I’ve joined your site! I’m excited to try more healthy recipes!

  22. Amy says:

    I stumbled upon your blog today and am very glad I did!! I just made these muffins, and I have to say, they are absolutely 100% totally AWESOME!!! So, so yummy and moist. I used large flake oats and the texture was perfect, and they gave the muffins a bit of a nutty taste. I also used the coconut oil instead of the butter, and it gave them such a subtle coconut flavour. Truly lovely. I will definitely make these again. And again. Thank you!!

  23. Mel, I’m so excited to try these!! You’re the best!

  24. Jen says:

    Turned out really well. Subbed grapeseed oil for butter, reduced sugar to 2 tbsp (will omit completely next time) and added 2tbsp of peanut butter. Thanks for the recipe.

  25. Jessica says:

    MY KIDS LOVE THESE!!! Finally a way to get them to eat their oatmeal!!! No more breakfast battle! No more processed cereal!! We substituted silk almond milk and used 3 tbsp egg whites instead of an egg. They are so simple and tasty. Thanks!!!!

  26. susanj says:

    Just wanted to tell you thank you for this recipe! I just finished eating another one and well, its just so satisfying. I cannot tell you how many times I have made double batches since you posted it. I have used coconut milk (in the carton) in them too and they turned out flawlessly. oh, and I take them everywhere and they always get rave reviews. Thanks again!

  27. Felicia says:

    Hi, Mel!

    This is my first comment on your blog after being a loyal, silent reader all this time. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I’ve just made a batch of it (an hour ago) & it turned out really nice! I tweaked it a bit to my preferences: subs to brown sugar & reduce it a bit, use virgin coconut oil, subs raisin to fresh apples & adding 2tbsp of chia seed!

    The apples made it moister, so it needs longer baking time, and because of adding the fresh apples & chia seeds resulting in odd quantity. But it’s not a big problem & the result was very yummy! Not to sweet, very satisfying and you know that it is an ultra-healthy treats! :D Thanks once again, Mel! You rock!

  28. These are delicious! I found them a few weeks ago because I had applesauce I needed to use up. They have quickly become a favorite in our family. I have made them several times and passed the recipe on to my friends. Thank you!

  29. Caitlyn says:

    Love these muffins! I had some very ripe bananas and decided to sub the apple sauce for mashed ripe bananas this time. They came out great! Such an easy snack to keep on hand in the freezer.

  30. Leanne says:

    These are SO GOOD. I added flax seeds and blueberries to mine. They’re so moist and flavourful, and they freeze excellently so I can pack them in my lunches when I want a healthy snack. I might add less sugar next time, as I’ll 100% be making these again.

  31. Ashlee says:

    Love these muffins!! Moist and yummy. I just made them this morning! Thank you!

  32. Debbie says:

    So I made these a bit healthier by using almond milk instead of regular milk and honey in place of the sugar. They are lovely! Thanks!

  33. Mary Alice says:

    These are absolutely to die for!!! So moist and delicious and healthy too! I doubled the batch like you suggested and added toasted macadamia nuts and some smashed banana to one batch and toasted almonds with dried cherries to the other. I was planning on putting some in the freezer for later, but at the rate they are being consumed in my household, I just might end up having to make more! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe! Aloha :)

  34. Krystle says:

    These are delicious! Everyone in my family loves them, including my almost 2-year-old. How would I adjust temperature/baking time if I wanted to make them into mini muffins?

  35. I love muffins and I love healthy! Thanks for the recipe!

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  38. Mike says:

    Made them, ate them, they were awesome!
    Thank you.

  39. Multimeg says:

    I have a batch if these puppies in the oven for 1st day of school tomorrow. One batch with walnuts for home consumption, and a nut-free batch for taking to school for snack. I’m baking them with confidence, knowing you are a woman who knows her muffins! Thanks!

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  41. April says:

    These have saved us on a couple of egg days when we were low on eggs due to me not wanting to go to the store. The kids love them. I love that I can always come back and look for that recipe on your site and not have to save it or print it out. Thanks for your hard work. We sure miss you here in the frozen north.

  42. Katie says:

    I love this recipe, I’ve made it a bunch of times with different fruit (so good with blueberries) but my fav has just come out of the oven….I switched the apple sauce for pumpkin puree…WOW. Thanks!!

  43. bjahlstrom says:

    I have been trying lots of different muffin recipes lately, and trying to make healthy varieties. This is now my top muffin recipe. It’s delicious! Today, I subbed mashed bananas (about 3 small ones) for the applesauce, and it turned out SO GOOD! My toddler kept snitching the mini ones off the counter! Since the ripe bananas were so sweet, I will probably reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup, instead of the listed 1/3. I love how the sides are slightly crispy, and the middle is so moist!

  44. Michelle says:

    I just made a double batch of these muffins and they are delicious! Thank you for the recipe :)

  45. Rachel says:

    I don’t usually leave comments even though this site is my standard recipe source, but these muffins are a fantastic go-to base recipe. I have made variations like peach (1:1 peach puree for applesauce and some nutmeg) and pumpkin (1:1 pumpkin puree for applesauce and use pumpkin pie spice 2:1 to the cinnamon in the recipe). Plus, you can play with mix-ins for even more changes. Oh, and I always sub plain yogurt for oil. These are fantastic and VERY forgiving. Make a double batch; you won’t be sorry! Thanks for the recipe, Mel.

  46. leah says:

    I made homemade applesauce last night (with the peels on, then I strained and kept the “pulp”). And I used the pulp in the muffins this morning and they’re fabulous! Still moist & super yummy. I love that the oats out-measure the flour. Thanks for the recipe!

  47. Laurie says:

    Four-year-old helped and approved: “We make the goodest muffins, Mama.” Thanks for all the winning recipes!

  48. Jeanabeth says:

    Hi. I want to make these using 1/2 white and 1/2 whole wheat flour. What would the measurement be for the flour with this change?

    • Mel says:

      I wouldn’t change the measurements of flour if making that substitution – just measure with a light hand (about 5 ounces of flour per cup) and you should be ok.

  49. Bess says:

    I love these.
    There was a Kruteaz boxed muffin that I used to make in college. They were always dry and crumbly but I suffered through because I loved the flavour so much. These have that flavour and it makes me so happy. Of course these are a thousand times better. My kids love them too.

  50. kori says:

    Just pulled these out of the oven. Delicious!!! And quick!!!! My 3 & 5 year old loved them.

  51. elizabeth says:

    My mother is very sugar conscious, and I have two diabetics in my holiday circle that I’d like to feed these for breakfast…has anyone tried these with the splenda brown sugar mix? other sugar substitute, at least partially?

  52. kim says:

    Made these today. They taste delish. The only modification was that I did half brown and white sugar combo and I added raisins and dried cranberries. The muffin paper did kinda stick to the muffin a little.

  53. Emily says:

    Thank you for this fantastic recipe! I made them for my 14 month old son and he LOVED them….he kept saying “more more” and doing the sign language for “more”. I added in diced apple instead of raisins. Thanks again!

  54. Nisha says:

    I love these things! I always have batches and batches of these in the freezer for quick mornings. I make them into mini muffins and always add flax seeds and use coconut oil. The night before I stick some in a sandwich baggie and thaw them on the counter. Yum and thanks!

  55. meg says:

    We make these all the time and they are my kids’ favorite muffins, hands down!! I never use muffin liners; we just spray the muffin tin with cooking spray and they come out beautifully. I made them with honey for the first time today and my kids can’t tell the difference, and neither could I. We never get around to freezing them because they get eaten too quickly:) Maybe a quadruple batch would solve that problem;)

  56. Mindy says:

    I made these yesterday for my 2 year old and 8 month old and they LOVE them. Making a double batch tomorrow to freeze! Thanks.

  57. Marla says:

    These muffins are soooo delicious!!! I used spelt flour, homemade apple/pear sauce and almond coconut milk and they turned out amazing!!!!!

  58. Amanda says:

    I made these last night and accidentally left out the butter – AND THEY WERE STILL DELICIOUS!! I’m not sure I’ll ever make them with the butter now…why add those extra calories if the muffins don’t need it! Thanks for a great recipe!

  59. Adrienne says:

    I just made these and completely forgot to add sugar (I always think I can multitask in the kitchen, but apparently I cannot…) and they still turned out great! Not as sweet tasting as maybe an apple-y oat muffin should be, but definitely not terrible either. If you were to put a bit of honey or peanut butter or margarine on them, I bet you wouldn’t even really tell about the lack of sugar…? (Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself so I don’t feel as silly for leaving out such a main ingredient. Oops).

  60. Becky says:

    This is our FAVORITE muffin recipe and it turns out great every time. This morning I tried a variation and it was delicious! I used carrot juice instead of milk and a handful of fresh blueberries instead raisins. My kids devoured them!

  61. marcella abner says:

    can you use white flour and quick oats instead of wheat flour and old fashioned oats?

  62. Julie says:

    They were great! Thank you!!

  63. Monica says:

    do you think the whole wheat flour could be subbed with almond meal?

  64. Erica says:

    I could not stop eating these! I put some walnuts and chocolate chips on top and they were amazing. My only issue was after peeling off the muffin liner, a good chunk of the muffin on the bottom would come off with it. Maybe I’ll get different liners and see if it helps

  65. Lauren says:

    These are great muffins. Most healthy muffins are a disappointment so these are an extra joy.

  66. Ursula says:

    Wow! These muffins are amazing! Forget about dieting for now. I tried out my Amaranth flour for the first time in this recipe. So, making the double recipe, I used half whole wheat and half amaranth. I will try out your original recipe next time. For Valentine’s day I added one cup frozen, thawed raspberries and cut half the applesauce. Also half butter and half coconut oil. I think as long as you keep the basic measurements you can experiment.

  67. Katherine says:

    I tried this today and it was great! Healthy and not too sweet.
    Yum O!

  68. Billy Snyder says:

    My son has HIV AIDS, a condition that isn’t very fun. However, these muffins helped make it better I suppose.

  69. Michelle says:

    Hi Mel :). Katie K. Is a mutual friend of ours so I had to try these! They are in the oven as we speak! I’m wondering if you ever bake with coconut sugar? We are just starting to sub our white sugar for it because it is so much healthier, and I thought maybe you had some experience with using it!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Michelle – thanks for the comment! I have almost no experience baking with coconut sugar…mostly because it’s never been super easy to find (or affordable) where I used to live but I have seen it in a couple local markets lately and wondered about it. Sorry I don’t know more about it! If I start experimenting with it, I’ll let you know.

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