These healthy apple cinnamon muffins are sweet and crunchy thanks to a streusel topping, and packed with nutritious carrots and zucchini. Make a double batch and enjoy one now, and save one for breakfast or snacks the next day!
The air is crisp and the winds are strong. The boots and sweaters are out. It's definitely fall here in the Pacific Northwest, and when the leaves turn each year, it's like a permission slip to turn on the oven and bake up some tasty fall treats all day long.
When fall arrived, I really wanted to make muffins. I don't know why, but like most thoughts that enter with a force, I couldn't get it out of my head. I HAD to make muffins!
We had so many apples from our last grocery store trip, and also from my recent trip with Travel Oregon to Kiyowaka Family Orchards (more Travel Bliss stories on that adventure soon!), so I decided to make healthy apple cinnamon muffins.
We also had some zucchini that our neighbors brought over from their massive harvest, so I decided to add grated zucchini and carrots into the mix. Veggies would make this muffin recipe super healthy -- yay!
But then, oh dear darlings, I couldn't help myself.
I had to go and make a streusel topping, too.
A super buttery, sugary streusel topping for these apple muffins that would probably negate the healthy addition of the veggies... but totally make each and every bite of these muffins THE BEST HEALTHY APPLE CINNAMON MUFFINS you have ever tasted.
My 12-year-old son declared these muffins to be the best I have ever made.
My 9-year-old daughter couldn't get enough.
Then I told them they had veggies in them. Their smiles turned to small frowns... and then the little rascals shrugged and continued to eat more. And more. My son even commented "I can't even tell there are veggies in here." That's the beauty of these, son. Enjoy!
Fair warning: you should most definitely double this recipe and make two batches, because they will be gone so fast!
The secret to making these Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins awesome!
Here's the secret as to why these healthy apple cinnamon muffins are so soft and tender: It's thanks to the added moisture from the grated carrots and zucchini. Note: I use finely grated not just shredded veggies in this, because that helps bring out the liquids in the veggies and helps them blend in more in the muffins.
Also: I prefer to dice the apples into teeny tiny itty bitty little pieces (see the first photo with ingredients above) because I want them to cook evenly with the muffins; I personally don't like biting into large chunks of fruit in muffins.
I also like adding some of the itty bitty apple pieces to the buttery sugary streusel topping, which gives these muffins the most delicious, satisfying crunch to each and every bite.
My kids normally love the muffin tops and tolerate the rest of the muffin; with these tasty apple cinnamon muffins, they LOVED the crumbly topping and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the muffin as well.
As an added bonus, your house will smell SO AMAZING and fill the air with the delicious scents of fall with these beautiful muffins baking in your oven!
If you would like to make these even healthier, simply omit the streusel topping. I mean, they are really good without the topping, but they are oh so better with the topping!
We're making these all the time now. We made these last weekend. I'm making them every chance I get. Try the recipe for yourself and let me know how yours turn out!
Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins Recipe
- 8 tablespoons 1 stick butter at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup almond milk
- ½ cup peeled finely diced green apples
- ¼ cup finely grated carrots
- ¼ cup finely grated zucchini
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin/cupcake liners. Set aside.
To Make The Streusel Topping
- In a medium or large bowl, sift together flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, and green apple until well blended.
- Using your hands (or two forks, but your hands are the best kitchen tools for this job!), add the cubes of butter and knead them into the dry mixture until you get a nice crumble (see photo on UrbanBlissLife.com for example).
- Set aside.
To Make Muffins
- In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer over a large bowl, cream the butter and both sugars until well blended. Slowly add the eggs and vanilla, then the almond milk.
- With the mixer on slow speed, gently add the green apples, carrots, and zucchini. Mix for 1-2 minutes until well blended.
- While the wet ingredients are mixing, in a separate, large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until well blended.
- Using a medium cookie scooper or spoon, fill muffin cups about ¾ of the way.
- Top each muffin cup with enough streusel to cover the top of the muffin batter.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 22-25 minutes. Tops should be golden brown.
What are your favorite fall baked goods to enjoy when the weather turns crisp and cool?