Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked apple cinnamon muffins. These no-fuss, real fruit added muffins come together in just minutes to create a warm, comforting addition to breakfast or snacks that you can enjoy all week long.

Graphic for post - healthy apple muffins, kid favorite, easy to make, freezer friendly. Image is of a teal kids plate with a stack of apple muffins and a few apple slices on the side with a blue napkin underneath on a white background.

Medically reviewed and cowritten by Jamie Johnson, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and Lauren Braaten, Pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT).

Homemade Apple Muffins

It’s no secret I love a good muffin recipe. I’ve racked up quite a variety, from my banana muffins, to spinach muffins, to yogurt muffins, all the way to these mini blueberry avocado muffins. And now, let’s add a classic – these healthy, homemade apple muffins.

They’ve got real apple flavor, two ways – from both grated apples and unsweetened applesauce. They’re spiced with cinnamon and vanilla. And they’ve got just the right amount of sweetness to make you feel like you’re enjoying a light little treat, but not so much sweetness that you’ll be dreading a sugar crash hours later.

Toddlers, kids and adults will all love these cozy apple muffins. They pair just as well with a side of Greek yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast as they do with a schmear of peanut butter for lovely pick-me-up afternoon snack.

Apple Muffin Video

Watch this video to see step-by-step instructions on how to make these muffins!

You can also find more recipes and information in my best-selling cookbook, Little Foodies: Recipes for Babies and Toddlers with Taste.

Reasons to Love these Apple Muffins

  • toddler, kid and adult-friendly
  • easy to make
  • great for school or packed lunches
  • healthy
  • freezer-friendly
  • great for breakfasts on the go
  • can be made gluten and dairy-free
  • naturally nut-free and naturally sweetened

Apple Muffins Health Benefits: These are not your average muffins. They are much healthier in that they provide fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, have no additives and preservatives, and are less processed sugar than your typical muffin.

Ingredients in a spread with graphics with what they are labeled on top.

Ingredients

Make sure to read the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions!

  • Flour: you can use all-purpose, white whole wheat flour, a mixture of 50/50 white and whole wheat flour, or gluten-free one-for-one flour
  • Apple: chopped or grated
  • Maple Syrup: a good quality maple syrup to bring out the natural sweetness of apples. You can also use honey (for babies 1 year and up) or agave nectar.
  • Oil/Butter: to make the muffins nice and moist. You can use coconut, avocado, vegetable, olive oil, or melted butter.
  • Applesauce: plain unsweetened applesauce – homemade or store-bought
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt

Allergy Tips: to make these muffins gluten-free, you can use any one-for-one gluten-free flour blend. If you are looking for a dairy-free muffin option, you can use any plant-based milk you prefer such as almond, soy, hemp, oat, etc.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Prep: preheat the oven and spray or line a muffin tin. Grate the apples and press out any excess moisture.
  2. Whisk: in a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, maple syrup, sugar, butter, vanilla, and eggs.
  3. Combine: add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and stir until just combined.
  4. Apples: add in the grated apples and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Fill Muffin Tin: Scoop the batter into the muffin tin 3/4 of the way full.
  6. Bake: Place the muffin tin into the oven, and bake until just golden brown.
  7. Eat: Let cool to the touch and serve.

Tools Needed

How to Store & Freeze

Once the muffins have cooled completely, store them in an airtight container. They will keep on the counter for up to 4 days and in the fridge for up to a week.

To freeze the muffins, place the muffins into a freezer zip-lock baggie or stasher bag and place in the freezer. They will keep for up to 3 months frozen.

Thaw frozen muffins overnight in the fridge or gently warm them in the microwave.

Teal blue plate with a cut up muffin, side pink bowl full of yogurt and sliced apples showing how to serve apple muffins to toddlers and kids.

Muffins for Toddlers & Kids

These apple muffins are great served as is, or with a smear of cream cheese, butter or peanut butter for breakfast. My kids’ current favorite is to serve them with a hard-boiled egg or a cheese stick for a little extra protein for snacks or packed into a school lunch.

Kids in the Kitchen

Muffins are a great beginner recipe to help kids build their skills in the kitchen. There are many different ways both toddlers and older kids can help out.

Toddlers

  • Toddlers can help count out the muffin liners and place into the muffin tins.
  • They can help measure and place ingredients into the bowl.
  • Toddlers can help mix the ingredients together.
  • They can help scoop the batter into the muffin tins. (I find it’s easiest to give them their own smaller bowl and spoon to use.)

Kids

  • Older kids can pick out and measure all of the ingredients. 
  • They can help chop or grate the apples with adult supervision.
  • Kids can help mix the ingredients together.
  • They can help pour the batter into the muffin tins.
  • Depending on your child’s age and skill level, they can carefully put the muffin tin into the oven (with adult supervision) and remove once baked. 
Teal kids plate with a stack of apple muffins and a hand reaching out to pick one up.

Expert Tips

  • Do No Overmix: I can’t stress this point enough – do not over mix the muffin batter, if you do they won’t rise in the oven and will become dense and hard. The dry ingredients should be just combined with the wet ingredients.
  • Preheat Oven: Ensure the oven is fully preheated so the muffins cook through evenly.
  • Let Cool: let the muffins cool for about 10 minutes before enjoying them and let them cool completely before storing.
  • No Sticking: make sure you generously grease the mini muffin molds or use mini muffin liners so that the muffins don’t stick to the pan.
  • Dice, don’t slice: Dicing or even grating the apples into smaller pieces helps distribute them evenly throughout the batter. This ensures a more consistent texture in the muffin and can help with any kiddos who might be a little pickier about what’s in their muffins.
  • Use room temperature ingredients (if possible). Eggs, milk (and butter, if you are using instead of oil) at room temp will create lighter, fluffier baked goods.
Teal blue plate with a stack of apple muffins and a side of sliced muffins sitting on a blue napkin on a white counter.

Get the recipe: Healthy 30-Minute Apple Muffins

No ratings yet
Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked apple cinnamon muffins. These no-fuss, real fruit added muffins come together in just minutes to create a warm, comforting addition to breakfast or snacks that you can enjoy all week long.

Ingredients 

  • 1 3/4 cups white wheat flour, or all-purpose, gluten-free blend
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, honey (babies over 1), or agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter, or oil such as olive oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil or coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup applesauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup apples finely chopped or grated

Instructions 

  • Prep: Preheat the oven to 375° F. Spray or line a muffin tin. Grate or chop the apples.
    Paper towel on a white counter with shredded apple on top.
  • Whisk: In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, sugar, applesauce, butter, eggs, and vanilla.
    Clear glass baking bowl with wet ingredients inside sitting on a white counter.
  • Stir: Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Gently stir until just combined.
    Clear bowl with both wet muffin ingredients and dry ingredients getting ready to mix together.
  • Combine: Add in the grated or chopped apples, and gently fold in. Do not overmix.
    Clear white bowl on a white counter with apple muffin batter.
  • Fill Muffin Tin: Scoop the batter into the muffin tin 3/4 of the way full.
    Blue muffin tin on a white countertop with apple muffins inside.
  • Bake: Place the muffin tin into the oven, and bake for 15-18 minutes or until just golden brown.
    Blue muffin tin with cooked apple muffins.
  • Eat: Let cool to the touch, serve and enjoy!
    Teal blue plate with a stack of apple muffins and a side of sliced muffins sitting on a blue napkin on a white counter.

Notes

Age: roughly 9 months and up 
 
Mini or Regular Size: you can make these muffins into mini or regular size muffins, the only difference is the baking time. For mini muffins, bake for 10-12 minutes, for regular muffins bake for 18-20 minutes. 
 
Storage: store in an air-tight container on the counter or fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. 
 
Note on Flours: you can use all-purpose, white whole wheat flour, a mixture of 50/50 white and whole wheat flour, or gluten-free one-for-one flour. 
 
 
Applesauce: can use homemade or store-bought. If using store-bought then make sure to look for no-added-sugar applesauce.
 
Oil/Butter: to make the muffins nice and moist. You can use coconut, avocado, vegetable, olive or melted butter.
 

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @babyfoode on Instagram and hashtag it #babyfoode!