This easy applesauce muffin recipe is a winner for breakfast, brunch, and after school snack! These deliciously moist muffins are packed with cinnamon spice and apple flavor. With only simple pantry ingredients, you can whip these up in just a few minutes.
Okay, maybe I throw this title around too much, but these applesauce muffins are the BEST MUFFINS EVER! I have tons of muffins in my repertoire, but I find myself making these unassuming little guys every chance I get.
Don’t let their little brown exteriors fool you. This applesauce muffin recipe took taken first prize at the Alaska State Fair in (hence the title “Blue Ribbon”). My little brother’s swim team has dubbed them “crack muffins.” I still have old roommates contact me for the recipe. That’s how good they are.
What’s so great about them, you ask? The applesauce keeps these muffins moist and adds just the right amount of sweetness while the delicious array of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice) do their work. You can dust them with a little powdered sugar at them plain, or – my favorite – cut them in half and spread them with peanut butter.
Why you want this recipe
- quick and easy recipe
- simple pantry ingredients
- strong cinnamon and apple flavor
- perfect for fall breakfast or brunch
- one-bowl wonder
- done in under 30 minutes
What do I need for Homemade Applesauce Muffins?
This recipe tastes great with a variety of applesauce. I use unsweetened applesauce, because with 2 cups of sugar, I don’t need any more sweetness. Cinnamon applesauce also tastes great in this recipe, intensifying the cinnamon flavor from the spices. I’ve also used homemade applesauce, which is absolutely delicious!
I used unsalted butter in testing this recipe. It has also been tested with salted butter and margarine. All of these work, although I like the texture and taste of the muffins made with butter best. Muffins made with margarine are slightly more dense, which, depending on what you’re shooting for, might be a plus!
Granulated sugar is used in this recipe. I’ve never tested it with any other kind of sugar, but you can sub honey in for half the sugar if you’re looking to cut down on refined sweetners. In place of the second cup of sugar, use 1/2 cup honey. Your muffins will be more dense, but the flavor is the same!
Eggs add moisture and structure to your muffins. I’ve never tested any egg substitutes here, but if you try the recipe with them, we’d love to hear!
I use all-purpose flour in this recipe. Its low protein and gluten content give these muffins their gorgeously moist crumb.
Cloves, Allspice, Cinnamon
This combination of spices just feels like fall! I’ve made these without the allspice and cloves, and while they tasted just fine, something was missing. The spicy sweetness of cloves, the warmth of the allspice, and the classic taste of cinnamon all work together to create the stunning flavor these muffins are known for.
There really are 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract in this recipe. Yes. Really. The vanilla intensifies the flavors of the spices, and adds its own sweet note. Trust me on this one!
Baking soda’s here to lift these muffins up to create a fluffy, yet moist crumb.
How do I make Blue Ribbon Applesauce Muffins?
Step 1 | Cream the Butter and Sugar
In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream the butter, vanilla, sugar, and eggs. You want everything to be completely incorporated with no hunks of butter left.
Step 2 | Add the Applesauce
Now, add the applesauce to the creamed ingredients. You’ll mix the applesauce in thoroughly. It looks a little weird at this stage (see picture above), but that’s how its supposed to go!
Step 3 | Add the Dry Ingredients
The last mixing step is to add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, including flour, spices, and baking soda. Once you’ve mixed it in well, it should look like a thick muffin batter.
Step 4 | Line and Fill
Line a muffin tin with muffin liners, or thoroughly grease the muffin cups in the pan. Fill the cups about 1/2 full — don’t overfill the cups unless you want weird, misshapen muffin tops.
Step 5 | Bake
Bake your muffins for 12-15 minutes at 400°, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. When they’re done, you can transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
Step 6 | Enjoy!
Once your muffins have cooled to room temperature, you can eat them plain, or sprinkle powdered sugar over the tops of the muffins for an extra sweet treat!
To make mini-muffins from this recipe, simply line and fill a mini muffin pan, then adjust your baking time to 8-12 minutes.
If you want Costco sized muffins, you can make them by using a jumbo pan and adjusting baking time to 20-25 minutes.
Cinnamon Apple Muffins
Add 1 cup apple pieces to the recipe. Sprinkle the tops with cinnamon sugar (1 tbsp sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon), then bake as directed.
How to serve Applesauce Muffins
This these delicious apple cinnamon muffins taste fantastic as a breakfast or brunch food. As mentioned before, you can dust them with powdered sugar to intensify the sweet flavor. Cinnamon sugar is another dusting option.
These are also great at potlucks. My mom used to bring these to swim meets as a snack for the swimmers. Any event where easy-to-eat is important is a show-in for these little guys.
My favorite way to eat these is to cut them in half and spread them with peanut butter. These make an easy, on-the-go breakfast that’s perfectly delicious!
Storing, Freezing, and Thawing
Storing: Applesauce muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
Freezing: Both the batter and the baked muffins freeze very well. This recipe makes a ton (3 dozen standard sized muffins), so I often freeze the batter for baking later.
To freeze the batter, place it in an airtight container, then in the freezer. The batter will stay good for up to 2 months.
To freeze the muffins, place them in an airtight container, then freeze. The muffins will stay good for up to a month.
Thawing: To thaw batter, place it in the fridge overnight.
To thaw the muffins, you can leave them on the counter for 2-3 hours. You can reheat them by putting them in the oven at 350° for 3-5 minutes.
Blue Ribbon Applesauce Muffins
- 1 cup butter/margarine
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 Tbsp vanilla
- 4 cups flour
- 1 tsp cloves
- 2 tsp allspice
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups applesauce
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together eggs, margarine, sugar, vanilla, and applesauce.1 cup butter/margarine, 2 cups granulated sugar, 2 eggs, 3 Tbsp vanilla, 2 cups applesauce
- Mix flour, spices, and baking soda in well to create muffin batter.4 cups flour, 1 tsp cloves, 2 tsp allspice, 3 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp baking soda
- Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Fill the muffin cups half way. Don't overfill!
- Bake at 400° for 10-15 minutes.