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Apple Oatmeal Muffins make a great breakfast or quick afternoon snack. Filled with apples, cinnamon, and oatmeal, then topped with an easy oat streusel, these apple muffins are an easy grab and go breakfast.
This recipe was originally published in September 2018, and has been updated for content.
I'm having a hard time deciding what my favorite thing is about these muffins. I'm torn between the chunks of sweet apple, the perfectly moist and gently spiced muffin batter which gets a texture boost thanks to the addition of oatmeal, or the crumbly oat streusel topping.
I have another muffin recipe on the site that calls for apples that I adore (my morning glory muffins, which are loaded with grated apples, carrots, zucchini, pecans, and coconut), but in the fall when apples are abundant I want to focus on their flavor even more. Enter these apple oatmeal muffins.
My family devoured these and while I normally have leftover muffins that I stick in the freezer to have on hand for busy mornings, these almost never last longer than a day in our house.
Why this recipe works
- It uses fresh, real apples for the apple flavor.
- The wholesome, hearty texture of the oatmeal gives them a satisfying chew factor.
- The muffin batter comes together with just a bowl, whisk, and spoon, requiring minimal effort. Even beginning bakers and kids can make these!
- Applesauce replaces some of the oil, resulting in a lighter muffin with more apple flavor.
- Apples: Use your favorite baking apple here! Many varieties work, but some of our favorites are Envy, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Jazz, and Honeycrisp.
- Oatmeal: You can use old-fashioned oats, quick oats, or even instant oats for these muffins. The old-fashioned ones will have a chewier, heartier texture. The quick cooking oats and instant oats are rolled thinner to cook quicker, but they still work. This article has a great explanation of the differences.
- Applesauce: I used applesauce in these easy apple muffins, even though the recipe doesn't rely on the applesauce for most of the apple flavor. Apple muffins with applesauce are a little healthier than other muffins because the applesauce takes the place of some of the oil that would otherwise be required for moist, tender muffins.
- Apple juice/cider or milk: Most apple oatmeal muffin recipes call for milk as the liquid, but I decided that as long as I had plenty of apple cider in the fridge for apple cider donuts, pumpkin juice, and a creamy apple cider chicken skillet, I might as well use it in the muffins to see if I could get even more sweet apple flavor. It was one of those duh moments and I'm so glad I made the switch. But you can just use milk if you don't have any apple cider or apple juice on hand.
How to Make Apple Oatmeal Muffins
- Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, apple cider (or apple juice or milk), applesauce, oil, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir just until combined and no streaks of flour remain.
- Stir in apples. Use a spoon or spatula to gently stir or fold in the diced apples. The chunks should be small so there are some in every bite of muffin and the muffins don't fall apart when torn open.
- Fill the muffin pan. Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray, then fill all 12 muffin cups full of batter - it should pretty much go almost right to the top and divide perfectly into 12 muffins.
- Make the topping. In a separate bowl, make the oatmeal streusel topping by stirring together the oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, melted butter, and cinnamon. Then sprinkle a spoonful over each muffin.
- Bake the muffins in a 400 degree F. oven for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the muffins comes out clean with just a few crumbs sticking to it.
The muffins will stay fresh on the counter in an airtight container for about 4 days, if they last that long in your house. Ours never do.
Yes, you can freeze any leftover muffins for 2-3 months and just thaw them in the microwave for 30 seconds or so for a quick and easy breakfast. I will sometimes double the batch to make sure to have extras on hand.
Yes! The muffin base would be excellent with pears, cranberries, blueberries, and other fruits.
- You can use paper muffin liners or baking spray on the pan. Personally I like muffins made directly in the pan best, but either way works.
- Don't overmix the muffin batter. You will get lighter, fluffier, more tender muffins by just mixing everything together but not stirring too hard. It's why you should always mix muffins by hand with a spoon rather than using a hand mixer.
- You could even concentrate the apple cider by reducing a larger amount in a small saucepan for a bit, just like I do when making apple cider donuts. But unlike apple cider donuts which are a sweet, once-a-year treat that we enjoy on weekends, apple oatmeal muffins are something that I will whip up in 10 minutes in the morning on a school day while my girls are still waking up and have them ready for breakfast, so I like keeping things easy here.
- Try adding some chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter or streusel topping for extra crunch!
More Apple Recipes
- Apple Pie Ice Cream
- Apple Salad with Candied Walnuts and Poppy Seed Dressing
- Homemade Apple Fritters
- Secret-Ingredient Baked Apples
- Apple Crisp
- Crockpot Apple Butter
Apple Oatmeal Muffins
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk or apple cider
- ½ cup applesauce
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup finely chopped apple
- ¼ cup quick cooking oatmeal
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 12 count muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper liners and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, applesauce, oil, and vanilla.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients, stirring just until combined. Fold in the chopped apple, then divide evenly between the 12 muffin cups.
- Combine all of the streusel ingredients together in a small bowl, then sprinkle over each muffin. Bake the muffins for 15 to 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.