Healthy Whole Wheat Applesauce Muffins are soft, moist, and made with wholesome ingredients including whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt, coconut oil, and honey!
When I have overripe bananas on the counter, there's a good chance I'll be making muffins. Sometimes they're on the more indulgent side (like Banana Bread & Chocolate Muffins) and sometimes they're on the healthier side (like Banana Blender Muffins).
Sometimes, however, I want to make healthy banana muffins but there's nary a brown banana to be found. And so on those occasions, I tweak a recipe to include applesauce instead of mashed bananas. That's the recipe I'm sharing with you today!
These healthy Whole Wheat Applesauce Muffins turn out just as soft and delicious as the banana version.
Thanks to whole wheat pastry flour, they're 100% whole wheat but have a lighter taste and texture, more akin to that resulting from all-purpose flour.
But due to incorporating such a generous amount of applesauce, I was able to reduce the amount of coconut oil in the recipe.
And since I buy natural, unsweetened applesauce -- which is decidedly less sweet than ripe bananas -- I decided to increase the honey just a bit.
I also added cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg to complement the applesauce, and I swapped out protein-packed Greek yogurt for the regular plain yogurt that I typically use in the banana muffin recipe.
The resulting muffins are moist but not greasy, with a subtle applesauce flavor and an undertone of honey.
I think their simplicity makes them absolutely perfect for a toddler or preschooler's discerning palate, but older kids and adults love them, too. In fact I had two for breakfast this morning. 😉
Optional Oatmeal Streusel Topping
In full disclosure, however, sometimes I jazz up these muffins just a bit with a yummy oat streusel topping, which is evident on today's pictured muffins.
The streusel involves butter and brown sugar, so it does slightly detract from the "healthy" aspect of the recipe.
But since all of that streusel is distributed over two dozen muffins, there's no need to feel toooo guilty about it. The extra does of sweetness and crunch sure is scrumptious!
With or without the streusel topping, these wholesome Whole Wheat Applesauce Muffins are simple, tasty, and quick to whip up anytime using common pantry staples.
I love having these muffins on hand for breakfasts-on-the-go and after-school snacks.
The next time you get a hankering for a wholesome muffin, I hope you have a chance to try them, too!
Healthy Whole Wheat and Honey Applesauce Muffins
- 2 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 cups unsweetened applesauce, regular or cinnamon
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
- ¾ cup honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ½ cup yogurt, at room temperature
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare muffin pans by lining 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. In a large bowl, mix together the applesauce, eggs, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla. Add half of the flour mixture; stir. Add the Greek yogurt; stir. Add the remaining flour mixture; stir until just blended.
- Divide batter between muffin pans by filling each muffin cup approximately ⅔ full with batter. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool in the pans for a few minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool completely.
- Whole wheat pastry flour is the key to 100% whole wheat muffins that aren't heavy and dense. Whole wheat pastry flour lends baked goods a nice, light texture — more akin to that of using white flour — but with the wholesome nutritional benefits of 100% whole wheat. If you can't find whole wheat pastry flour, you may substitute half white flour and half regular whole wheat flour...but the muffins won't turn out quite the same and they won't be 100% whole wheat.
- These muffins turn out best when all ingredients are at room temperature. If my applesauce is refrigerated, I set it out ahead of time along with the measured-out ½ cup of Greek yogurt. To quickly warm up cold eggs, I put them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
- Sometimes I fill my muffin cups a little fuller and only end up with 22 or 23 muffins...that's okay, too. 😉
- OPTIONAL STREUSEL TOPPING: In a small bowl, combine ⅔ cup brown sugar, 1 cup rolled oats, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Using a fork or your fingers, work in 4 tablespoons softened butter (I prefer salted, but unsalted will work) until crumbly. Sprinkle over the tops of the muffins before baking as directed.