Healthy Applesauce Oat Muffins
A family favorite for years, these delicious, soft and fluffy healthy applesauce oat muffins are low in sugar and packed with whole grains.
The numbers don’t lie. With over 400 5-star reviews, these muffins have become a beloved favorite of many (and one of the most popular recipes on my site!).
Simple and straightforward, the muffins are lightly sweet, packed with whole grains, and most importantly: they are so very delicious.
A Very Straightforward Muffin
The batter for these applesauce oat muffins is simple as can be.
- old-fashioned or quick oats
- melted butter or coconut oil
- sugar or honey
And then combine that mixture with whole wheat flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
Optional: adding chocolate chips, craisins, or raisins is a very good idea!
The beauty of this recipe being around for almost ten years is that almost any adaptation you can dream up has probably already been tried.
The comments are full of readers who have made the muffins dairy-free, gluten-free, and accidentally butter-free. 🙂
And in most cases, the report back is that the variations are amazing! So if you’re looking to alter these muffins in any which way, read through the comments for some inspiration.
For instance, a comment from Carolyn: These muffins are delicious!! I made them gluten free by using oat flour instead of wheat flour. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly. They have been added to my regular rotation!
Wholesome and Delicious
For me, I love the basic simplicity of these muffins. They aren’t fancy. They also aren’t fussy.
They are the perfect every day muffin for after school snacks, easy breakfasts, school lunchboxes, and everything in between.
I’m very loyal to recipes that stand the test of time, and this one certainly has. My friend, Katie, served these muffins to us during a playdate at her house years ago when we had just moved to northern Minnesota and knew hardly another soul in the area.
I didn’t even wait until the playdate was over to beg for the recipe. (Although more than the muffins, I’m incredibly grateful for the sweet and loyal friend Katie quickly became.)
Friendship > muffins. Although this recipe proves that muffins might very easily be the gateway to great friends.
FAQ for Applesauce Oat Muffins
Yes, it doubles great.
The baked and cooled muffins freeze GREAT. I place them in a gallon-size freezer ziploc bag and freeze. We defrost in the microwave or on the counter for a few hours.
Sure, and you can use flavored applesauce as well (like cinnamon, etc). If using sweetened applesauce, you can probably decrease or omit the sugar in the recipe.
Steel cut oats don’t work very well in this recipe because they don’t soften and absorb as much liquid (they stay coarse and crunchy), but you can sub quick oats for the old-fashioned oats.
Many readers (and comments below) have made that substitution with great results!
One Years Ago: Easy Amish-Baked Oatmeal
Two Years Ago: Healthy Breakfast Cookies
Three Years Ago: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
Four Years Ago: Healthy Dark Chocolate Almond Joy Bites
Five Years Ago: Southwestern Chicken Barley Chili
Six Years Ago: Cheesy Black Bean Lasagna
Seven Years Ago: Whole Grain Honey Bran Muffins
Eight Years Ago: Skillet Butternut Squash, Sausage and Penne
Nine Years Ago: Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Quinoa
Ten Years Ago: Egg-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cream Cheese
Healthy Applesauce Oat Muffins
- 1 cup (100 g) old-fashioned rolled oats (see note)
- 1 cup (227 g) unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup (57 g) butter or coconut oil, melted
- ⅓ cup (71 g) granulated sugar or honey
- ¾ cup (107 g) whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (70 g) dried cranberries or raisins (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners or grease the muffin cups. Set aside..
- In a medium bowl, stir together the oatmeal, applesauce, milk, egg, vanilla, butter and sugar. Set aside.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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: from my friend, Katie K.
Recipe originally posted September 2013; updated January 2022 with new photos, recipe notes, etc.