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.

Applesauce oat muffin in paper wrapper on wire rack.

A Very Straightforward Muffin

The batter for these applesauce oat muffins is simple as can be.

Mix together:

  • old-fashioned or quick oats
  • applesauce
  • egg
  • melted butter or coconut oil
  • sugar or honey
  • milk

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!

Stirring together egg, oats, applesauce, sugar, flour and spices for muffin batter.

Highly Adaptable

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!

Scooping muffin batter into tin with cookie scoop.

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.

Several muffins on white plate with one muffin split in half.

FAQ for Applesauce Oat Muffins

Can I double this recipe?

Yes, it doubles great.

Can I freeze these muffins?

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.

Can I use sweetened applesauce?

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.

Can I use quick oats or steel cut oats?

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.

Can I use honey in place of the sugar?

Many readers (and comments below) have made that substitution with great results!

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applesauce oat muffin on wire rack

Healthy Applesauce Oat Muffins

4.65 stars (460 ratings)

Ingredients

  • 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
  • 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)

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

Freezable: I always double this recipe because they freeze so well!
Oats: quick oats can be subbed for old-fashioned oats (I prefer the texture of old-fashioned oats); steel cut oats do not work well in this recipe.
Serving: 1 muffin, Calories: 131kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 140mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 8g
Follow @MelsKitchenCafe on Instagram and show me the recipes you are making from my blog using the hashtag #melskitchencafe. I love seeing all the goodness you are whipping up in your kitchens!

Recipe Source: from my friend, Katie K.
Recipe originally posted September 2013; updated January 2022 with new photos, recipe notes, etc.

A white platter full of baked muffins, studded with oats, and apples in the background.