whole wheat applesauce oat muffins

by Amy on 20 April 2012

despite what my blog full o’ decadent foods might suggest, i’m actually a pretty healthy eater. sure, i love a good malted chocolate sandwich cookie, cake batter truffle, or slice of chocolate-ricotta icebox cake on occasion, but most of the time, i keep it healthy. i’ve found that one of the easiest ways to eat healthy is to always have good-for-you foods in the house. i try to always keep nutritious leftovers in the house, as well as ingredients that can be made into a healthy meal/snack in 15 minutes or less.

i normally prefer savory food for breakfast rather than sweet – veggie sausage with an egg white/veggie omelet is one of my favorites – but yesterday morning, i was jonesing for a breakfast sweet. i looked around the cabinets to see what sort of ingredients i had handy, did a couple online searches, + came across this muffin recipe. i made a couple adaptations to healthify them even more + utilize what ingredients i had or didn’t have in the house, + got baking!

these muffins? they turned out sooo good! the hearty flavor + texture of the oats + whole wheat balance wonderfully with the sweetness + moisture of the brown sugar + applesauce. to me, someone who doesn’t love overly-sweet breakfasts, they balance earthiness + heartiness perfectly with lightness + sweetness. i loved them just as is, warm out of the oven, but i have to be honest – they’d be amazing with a big ol’ pat of butter on ’em, too. everything in moderation, right? =)

whole wheat applesauce oat muffins

makes a dozen muffins, adapted from taste of home


1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, sifted (you can substitute all-purpose flour if you prefer)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 egg white

1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, melted + cooled slightly


preheat the oven to 400 degrees. prepare a muffin tin by spraying cups lightly with cooking spray.

in a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. in another bowl, combine the applesauce, oil + egg white. stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. fill muffin cups 3/4 full with batter.

in a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter in muffin cups. bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

1 kristen @ notsodomesticated April 20, 2012 at 6:18 am

Yum!! I’m definitely more of a sweet breakfast eater, and these look delicious. I bet they’d be good with some peanut butter smeared on them, too! 😉

2 Caroline @ chocolate & carrots April 20, 2012 at 6:37 am

I really wish I had one of these right now. Must. Make. Now. 😀

3 Baker Street April 20, 2012 at 6:40 am

Oh I would love to start my day with these healthy muffins. Using whole wheat is a good choice. The streusel topping just makes this perfect.

4 Kathryn April 20, 2012 at 7:18 am

I just love a healthy muffin and that streusel topping is just perfect.

5 Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray April 20, 2012 at 7:57 am

Yum! I made muffins similar to these back in the fall, but with chopped-up apples in them instead–definitely a delicious and hearty breakfast. Plus, um, who doesn’t love a muffin? Love your oaty topping though, will definitely have to try that!

6 amy April 20, 2012 at 8:05 am

tara, these would be sooo good with some chopped up apples in there – they’d add even a bit more sweetness + some great crunch. i’m definitely going to try that next time – thanks for the idea!

7 Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama April 20, 2012 at 8:24 am

I was JUST thinking about making apple sauce muffins this morning for the kids breakfast. Yours look super yummy!

8 Steph@TheChickpeaChickadee April 20, 2012 at 8:39 am

Sweets for breakfast is a favorite in my family. This is something I could eat in the morning that is sweet and not feel guilty. I’m thinking some PB would be pretty awesome on this. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

9 Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl April 20, 2012 at 8:46 am

I hear you–despite what I post, I do try to eat healthy most of the time! And these muffins are right up my alley–in fact, I have all of the ingredients at home right now, so we might have to bake up a batch for breakfast tomorrow. They look wonderful! Your pictures are amazing, too, as always. Have a fabulous weekend!

10 cassie April 20, 2012 at 8:48 am

I am all about muffins, especially healthier muffins. These look so good too. I’m drooling over the texture!

11 sportsglutton April 20, 2012 at 8:51 am

Finding a balance between healthy and decadent foods is an important aspect of life here in the Glutton household. When I was a baker I used to make muffins similar to this, but haven’t for years. I need to rectify that ASAP. Thanks for the reminder Amy and have a great weekend!!

12 Rachel @ The Avid Appetite April 20, 2012 at 8:59 am

these look truly fantastic! I love apple anything. happy weekend girl!

13 Erin @ Texanerin Baking April 20, 2012 at 10:02 am

I was so excited when I saw this in Google Reader and then I saw it was your post and cheered a little. Yay! I love that they use a large amount of oats. Oats are way yummier than whole wheat flour. :)

14 Nicole {Sweet Peony} April 20, 2012 at 10:15 am

These look delicious! I’m a huge fan of muffins & I can’t wait to try these healthier ones!

15 danielle April 20, 2012 at 10:55 am

They sound great – this is the kind of recipe I love making with and for my kids.

16 Joanna@Drizzleofsunshine April 20, 2012 at 11:45 am

Thanks for the congrats on my blog. I’m so excited and I’m very excited to be back in blogworld. I missed reading yours. This post was perfect for me because I haven’t been feeling healthy lately. I’ve been craving junk food. In the morning I like drier things like crackers and I think muffins might be good too! Thanks for posting Amy!

17 Renee April 20, 2012 at 11:53 am

these are my kind of muffins! I like the hearty ones much better than the sweet/sugary ones. The oats, whole wheat, apples, and cinnamon all together are awesome with a big mug of coffee for breakfast.

18 Julia {The Roasted Root} April 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm

What a great healthful muffin! I’m about to go grab a cup of coffee and would love a few of these muffins to go with it! :) Have a great weekend!

19 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious April 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I don’t know if people know that us foodies are actually healthy people considering we post such crazy sweets on our blog! But we have to balance it out since we’re making all that chocolatey, cupcake goodness, right?

Great call on these muffins. I’ve recently been obsessed with oats (I just made baked oatmeal for the first time) and I was actually looking for some wheat muffin recipes but nothing caught my eye, until I saw this recipe! I will most definitely make it this weekend! :)

20 amy April 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm

i’ve been really oat-centric lately, too – i’ll probably be trying more oaty recipes over the next weeks – i’ll pass along anything great that i find!

21 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar April 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm

This is so freaking yummy looking!! Love it!

22 Ally Garner April 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Ditto. I usually can’t eat sweet things in the morning. Give me a biscuit! But I do love muffins, especially when schmeared with a little cream cheese 😉 I love that you use whole wheat flour & applesauce as well. These would be such a great option for noon games & early tailgates this Fall too!

23 Biana | TastyGalaxy.com April 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Amy, these muffins sound so great and healthy too! I like that you are using whole wheat flour and oats in it, great combination and good for you.

24 angela@spinachtiger April 20, 2012 at 3:06 pm

I eat pretty healthy too, although you wouldn’t know that by the number of desserts I post. I’m going to try to make this muffin next week, using spelt flour because I like the ingredients and it looks moist. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

25 amy April 20, 2012 at 3:10 pm

i’d love to hear how they turn out with spelt flour!

26 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel April 20, 2012 at 3:14 pm

muffins and this girl are totally best friends, so much so that I can’t keep them in the house because I’ll eat them all lol

27 Choc Chip Uru April 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm

These muffins are so awesome – healthier and totaly full of apples? Yes please!

Choc Chip Uru

28 Julie @ Table for Two April 20, 2012 at 9:28 pm

oh, this is definitely AWESOME. i love that it’s full of apple — my favorite fruit, ever! i’d probably eat the entire pan for breakfast..they look so moist and delicious!

29 wendy (the weekend gourmet) April 20, 2012 at 9:44 pm

I love muffins and rarely take time to make them for some reason. I think I need a better muffin pan (non-stick). Must put that on my to-buy list!! These look so good…and they’re so healthy that I could enjoy two without feeling guilty, yes? I’m having a giveaway that you might want to enter…pop by when you have a chance!!

30 amy April 20, 2012 at 10:06 pm

i tweaked the original recipe, so i’m not 100% sure of the nutrition facts, but my guess is that each muffin is between 150-200 calories. so yes, you could definitely enjoy two for a hearty breakfast!

31 Baking Serendipity April 20, 2012 at 11:04 pm

When I want to break out of a savory breakfast rut, muffins (or sometimes scones!) are definitely the way to do it. I love the applesauce in these!

32 Aylin @ Glow Kitchen April 21, 2012 at 2:05 am

I love how healthy and wholesome these are. Also, it leaves the door open to add some other flavors (spices or dried fruit) to change it up, as I’d probably eat these every day!

33 Anna @ hiddenponies April 21, 2012 at 9:47 am

These look like a perfect balance of healthy and delicious! Isn’t it funny how it’s hard to portray your actual eating habits on a blog? I find the same thing, people probably think I hardly know what a vegetable is when actually we eat really healthy for the most part :)

34 CJ at Food Stories April 21, 2012 at 9:53 am

This looks like a great recipe to make diabetic friendly … Thx for sharing!

35 Lesley Eats April 21, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Apple muffins are a thing of wonder–so good, but (usually) good for you. Win-win!

36 Jocelyn @BruCrew Life April 21, 2012 at 6:28 pm

You would never know from all the sweets on my blog, but we actually eat pretty healthy too!!! I love a good yummy and healthy muffin for breakfast! And now I am thinking it is time go whip some up so we can have some tomorrow before church!!!

37 ea-the spicy rd April 21, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Such delicious looking muffins Amy! I’m like you-I usually do more of a savory breakfast, but every now and then that muffin is calling out my name! :-)

38 Jen Laceda @ Tartine and Apron Strings April 22, 2012 at 2:38 am

oh, i can’t wait to make these! they look absolutely delicious! i normally prefer savoury also for breakfast, but i make exceptions…lots of them…lol!

39 megan @ culinary chops April 22, 2012 at 10:19 am

Amy these look so yummy! I love the changes you made to make them a bit healthier. these look absolutely perfect for a sunday bakefest for weekday breakfast meals! (aka, what I plan to do today since it’s rainy/absolutely terrible outside)

Happy Sunday!

40 Rikki April 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm

This is perfect for me. I always crave horribly sweet things in the morning and I’d much rather reach for one of these than a slice of triple chocolate cake. I can’t wait to try them, they look incredible! [:

41 Julia April 23, 2012 at 8:44 am

These are the kind of muffins I actually like, they taste like a muffin, not a frosting free cupcake! Although, let’s be honest, it’s not that I DISLIKE frosting free cupcakes, you know what I mean… any.WAY! These look delish!

42 Kelly April 23, 2012 at 9:24 am

These look incredible!

43 Karen April 23, 2012 at 9:49 am

Now these are a muffin I wouldn’t feel bad about eating for breakfast! Sounds wonderfully hearty and healthy. And always love applesauce in baked goods. Yum!

44 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking April 23, 2012 at 11:43 am

These muffins look so moist and flavorful, Amy! Great recipe and beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing, lovely lady!

45 Jackie @ Domestic Fits April 23, 2012 at 6:14 pm

I love the apple sauce tip! Great way to add moisture without fat or tons of calories.

46 Julie at Burnt Carrots April 23, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Totally agree with you that while food bloggers post a lot of dessert recipes, we generally eat pretty healthy. I can usually be found with chicken, some veggie, and sweet potatoes on my dinner plate Monday thru Friday!

These look awesome. I’m in your camp on the savory breakfast foods, but have a weakness for muffins!

47 Sammie April 27, 2012 at 4:42 am

I love applesauce! They’re a much healthier alternative to butter!! mmm! What a delicious and healthy treat!! 😀

48 Megan {Country Cleaver} May 1, 2012 at 9:07 pm

These are some carby delicious healthified muffins I can totally get behind!! YUM!!

49 Lois May 2, 2012 at 3:47 am

I’m happy to read your blog

50 J Roet December 4, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I am a little late in finding this I guess, but I’ve been on the hunt lately for a healthier muffin for my 2 year old and I’ve tried all kinds of no sugar no oil recipes but unfortunately no taste either. After doing a simple google search and wading through the results- tada! I will look no further! I made these tonight and they were delish and perfectly sweet, but not too much sugar or oil. I even omitted the topping and they were still awesome! Thank you! Can’t wait to try some of your other recipes :)

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