Spiced Apple Muffins

Easy Lightened Up Spiced Apple Muffins

In Brunch, Snacks by sarawalkenbach2 Comments

Pumpkin Spice everything can hold its horses. Yes. I said it. Let the apples have their moment this month… and a little bit of next month. Then we can go full boar pumpkin spice… if we must. These lightened up Spiced Apple Muffins will be your Fall go to breakfast grab. All the flavor, without sacrificing your healthy lifestyle.

Close up of lightened up apple spiced muffins
Whether you are gluten free or gluten full, this versatile Lightened Up Spiced Apple Muffin recipe will be your new breakfast go to.

Looking for a more-savory brunch recipe, try my Green Chili Crustless Quiche. They can be made into muffin cups too.

What Makes these Spiced Apple Muffins Lightened Up?

These are the ingredients that make these muffins a healthier choice.

  1. Oats: whole grain, excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  2. Whole Wheat or Gluten Free Flour: you can use either in this recipe; the process of making white flour removes almost all nutritional properties by extracting the bran and germ. Yuck.
  3. Eggs: added protein
  4. Greek Yogurt: added protein and contains probiotics for gut health
  5. Maple Syrup & Coconut Sugar: both are healthier alternatives (in moderation) compared to highly processed white sugar
  6. Flax Seed: improves digestion

Even though these Spiced Apple Muffins are lightened up, they are still packed with flavor.

Fuji apples in a bowl
Any apples will do in this Lightened Up Spiced Apple Muffin recipe. I like to use Fuji apples, as I feel they hold their texture while baking.
Granny Smiths work well too.

If you like this muffin recipe, you’ll love Hummingbird Muffins with Pineapple.

The Spices

Cinnamon and apples go together like pb&j. It’s a match made in heaven. There are few more spices in these Spiced Apple Muffins to really make them sing: ginger and cardamom. Together with cinnamon, they are like the Harry, Ron, and Hermione of spices. They just go together.


Who knew that teaspoon of spice you put into your recipe is really doing your body good? Let’s look at some health benefits of cinnamon.

According to 10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Cinnamon on Healthline.com, written by Joe Leech, consuming cinnamon can really help you out. Here are a few reasons why Joe Leech says to keep sprinkling that cinnamon:

  • “High in cinnamaldehyde, a substance with powerful medicinal properties
  • Loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties
  • It can lower blood sugar

So, put cinnamon in your coffee in the morning, or sprinkle it on top of your yogurt. As my friend’s mom always says, “Get it in ya”.

Apples hanging on the tree with the beautiful blue sky behind.
Apples are so good for you. Chalked with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties you can’t go wrong biting into one…or baking with them. Photo Credit: Renea Smyser


Cardamom is in the ginger family, and it’s loaded with goodness too. In the article, What are the Health Benefits of Cardamom, by Jennifer Berry in Medical News Today, she highlights some of the health benefits:

  • Ulcer prevention
  • Could help with Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes
  • Boosts Heart Health
  • Helps with bad breath, gum disease, and cavities

Cardamom originated in Southern India. It has a unique flavor profile being both sweet and savory. Cardamom is warm, slightly sweet, and very aromatic.


Ginger is a spice I find myself putting in more and more recipes. It’s a little zingy and sweet. Ginger also pairs nicely with apples. The health benefits, though…WHOA! Time to grab a knob from your local grocer and grate some into your sweet and savory dishes.

According to Health Benefits of Ginger, at WebMD.com, ginger is where it’s at.

  • “Certain chemical compounds in fresh ginger help your body ward off germs.”
  • Ginger has shown to lower cholesterol
  • Ginger is anti-inflammatory and loaded with antioxidants
  • “Active compounds in ginger called gingerols keep oral bacteria from growing.”
  • It lowers blood pressure
  • Eases period pains
  • Helps settle an upset stomach

Keep that leftover knob of ginger in the freezer for a later use. When ready to use it again, simply take it out of the freezer, and microplane or grate while frozen.

The Apples

The best is picking your own apples. Whether it’s in your backyard or at the apple orchard.

Apple tree grown in Maryville Missouri is loaded with apples ready to pick.
My Father-In-Law’s apple tree is loaded with apples, just waiting to be picked.
Photo credit: Renea Smyser

If you like apples, you’ll love my Apple Turkey Wrap with Cream Cheese.

We were born to eat apples here in the states. Especially if they help keep the doc away. This delicious fruit is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Here are a few according to 8 Impressive Health Benefits of Apples written by Ariane Lang and Kerri-Ann Jennings on Healthline.com:

  • Apples are a good source of fiber and vitamin C
  • They help lower cholesterol and risk of diabetes
  • “Apples contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that may help regulate immune responses and protect against asthma.”
  • Promotes good gut health
  • Because of the fiber apples contain, they aid in weight loss

Use your favorite apple in this recipe, or a combination. I like using Fuji apples or Granny Smiths, because they keep their shape and stay firm during the baking process.

Fuji apples stacked on top of each other with a granny smith apple on each side.
Fuji or Granny Smith Apples work great in this recipe.

Looking for more Apple recipes? Try my Apple Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies.

The Process of Making the Muffins

Muffins are so easy to make! No need to get out your heavy mixer. You just need: 2 bowls for wet and dry ingredients, a whisk, spatula, and muffin tins. Here’s how to make them…

  1. Measure out the dry ingredients (except coconut sugar) in medium bowl, whisk together.
  2. Melt coconut oil in small bowl, and put to the side to cool.
  3. Crack eggs in large bowl, whisk. Add in Coconut Sugar, this helps it dissolve faster. Add in rest of wet ingredients, except oil, and whisk until Greek yogurt is incorporated. Whisk in cooled oil.
  4. Chop up apples in small pieces. (See video below)
  5. As soon as the apples are chopped, put them in with the wet ingredients. This will help prevent browning of the apples.
  6. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Gently mix until just incorporated. Don’t over mix.
  7. Put batter into muffin tins, bake at 375 for 12-18 minutes, (gluten free ones take a few minutes longer than the whole wheat).
  8. AND viola! Yummy muffins to grab on the go, or to enjoy with your coffee.

If you like this recipe, you’ll love my Healthy and Hearty Banana Breakfast Cookies.

thyme branch

Thanks for reading along. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you would like more healthy recipes like this one sent right to your inbox, sign up for my Recipe Drops. They’re always FREE.

Spiced Apple Muffins

Lightened Up Spiced Apple Muffins

Your belly will thank you for these muffins. Warm spices and apples are the perfect combo in this recipe. They are lightened up, but still have all the flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Bake Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 18 muffins
Calories 110 kcal


  • 2 Muffin Tins


Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup Quick Oats
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour or Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Flour
  • 1/4 cup Flax Seed milled
  • 1-1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp Cardamom ground
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 cup Coconut Sugar

Wet Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Coconut Oil melted
  • 2 Eggs large
  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 cup Almond Milk unsweetened
  • 1-1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Ginger – grated or 1 tsp dry ground Ginger
  • 1-1/2 cups Apples chopped


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees (Fahrenheit). In a small bowl melt the coconut oil in microwave for 15-25 seconds, set aside to cool.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients, except coconut sugar. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the coconut sugar to eggs, whisk. Add in the remainder of the wet ingredients, except the coconut oil. Whisk until Greek Yogurt is incorporated. Then add coconut oil, and whisk.
  • Chop apples into small pieces (see video). Add to the wet ingredients immediately. This will prevent the apples from oxidizing.
  • Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stir with spatula until just combined.
  • Whether you are using muffin liners or not, spray the pans and/or liners to prevent sticking. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.
  • Bake at 375 for 12-18 minutes. *(see note)



Make sure you do a small dice on the the apples. If your chunks are too big, they will fall to the bottom and bake wonky. No one likes a wonky muffin. The size of a small blueberry is a good size.
With my oven, whole wheat muffins are done in 12 minutes, while gluten free ones are done in 16 minutes. All ovens run at different temps. Keep an eye on those muffins, with the oven light. Try not to open the oven door too much, as it lets the heat escape. 
These muffins freeze well. Put them in a freezer safe zip bag, and freezer them for up to 3 months. Take one out, wrapped in a paper towel, defrost in microwave for 30 seconds or until thawed.


Calories: 110kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 4gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.002gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 118mgPotassium: 100mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 30IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Apple Muffins, Cardamom, Fall Baking, Healthy Breakfast
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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