Easy vegan apple muffins which use only 7 key ingredients and one bowl! These muffins are fluffy, moist and just like those from your local bakery.
This muffin recipe is adapted from my popular, tried and tested apple bread and apple cake with a pecan crumble.
What to expect from these muffins
These vegan apple cinnamon muffins are:
- Easy, no fuss and use common pantry ingredients
- Have a simple crunchy topping (chopped apple and granulated raw sugar)
- Look and taste like they're from a bakery
- Can be made gluten-free!
- Perfect as a morning or afternoon snack. They can also be frozen to enjoy weeks later!
Ingredients you'll need
These muffins use only common pantry ingredients including:
Notes about the ingredients
Plain or all-purpose flour. However, wholemeal and spelt flour also works well in these vegan apple muffins.
Brown, coconut, or cane sugar for sweetness and moisture. I used half coconut sugar (for flavor) and half regular sugar (for sweetness). Using all coconut sugar results in less sweet muffins.
Light-tasting vegetable oil, such as sunflower, avocado or a mild olive. I prefer using oil instead of vegan butter or solid coconut oil because it allows the muffins to stay tender for longer and moist at room temperature. In contrast, butter and coconut oil are solid at room temperature so can make cakes feel more 'dry'.
Apple, either roughly chopped or finely chopped. I used sweet apple varieties (Royal Gala and Fuji) which added some natural sweetness. However, if you prefer more 'sour' apples, you can still use Granny Smith apples or other varieties!
Baking powder. I included 3 teaspoons of baking powder to create really FLUFFY baked goods. But it isn't too much where you can taste it after baking.
Apple cider vinegar (optional but recommended). This reacts with the dairy-free milk to form vegan buttermilk which gives the muffins a fluffier texture! You can substitute this with lemon juice.
Even though these are eggless apple muffins, you don't need any store-bought egg replacers!
A complete list of ingredients, quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to make vegan apple muffins
I always prefer one-bowl recipes and these apple muffins are no exception!
So, simply add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and mix until there are no big lumps. Watch out for lumps of baking powder!
Then add all the wet ingredients (except the apple) to the bowl and stir until just BEFORE it's combined. There should be some pockets of liquid or dry ingredients. This helps prevent us from overmixing the batter :).
Add the chopped apple and fold the mixture until combined. The muffin batter should be quite thick - the apple leaks juice while baking so the batter needs to be a little more thick than usual.
Baking the apple muffins
One of my baking 'hacks' is using an ice cream scoop to divide muffin or cupcake batter. It's easier, neater and allows each muffin to be roughly the same size.
For a yummy and pretty touch, I'd recommend sprinkling some extra chopped apple and raw demerara sugar on top. The apple adds a little color to those brown muffins and the sugar adds some crunch.
If you'd like jumbo cafe-style muffins, this recipe will make 8-10 muffins. For average-size muffins, this recipe will make 12.
Customizing these muffins
Yes, you can use whole wheat flour or spelt flour instead of plain and coconut sugar instead of regular sugar. I've also listed a gluten-free option in the notes of the gray recipe box.
Some of my readers have substituted the oil with applesauce and said it worked well (I haven't tried it myself).
Instead of topping the muffins with apple and sugar, you can top them with an oat crumble, such as the one in my apple berry oat crumble muffins recipe.
You can also add berries, white chocolate chips, pecans or walnuts to the muffin batter!
For another Fall muffin, see my pumpkin muffins or for a Summery muffin, check out my blueberry muffins.
More cozy vegan apple recipes
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Easy Vegan Apple Muffins
- 2 ⅓ cups (290g) all-purpose plain flour, (note 1 for gluten free)
- ¾ cup (145g) packed brown sugar, coconut sugar or granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 1 (~180g) medium-sized apple, chopped roughly or finely
- 1 cup (250g) dairy-free milk
- ½ cup (125g) neutral flavored oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- ½ (~90g) medium-sized apple, chopped roughly or finely
- 2 tablespoons raw demerara sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a muffin/cupcake tray with liners. (note 2)
- Add all the dry ingredients to a medium or large bowl. Mix until there are no lumps. Add all of the wet ingredients to the bowl (except the apple) and mix until just before it's combined. Add the chopped apple and fold until the apple is evenly dispersed.
- Use an ice cream scoop or a large spoon to divide the batter into your muffin tin.
- Optional: Scatter the remaining chopped apple and granulated coarse sugar on top.
- Bake the muffins in the oven for 20-25 minutes OR until a skewer can be inserted into the middle and there is no wet batter on it, though some crumbs are fine (note 3).
- Cool the muffins in their tray for 10 minutes then allow them to cool on a wire rack.
- Enjoy the muffins warm or at room temperature! The muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days, in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. The crunchy raw sugar topping will soften after 1 day.
- To make gluten-free muffins, substitute the plain flour with 1 ½ cups (150g) almond meal and 1 cup (160g) gluten-free all-purpose flour
- This recipe will make 12 standard muffins or around 8-10 larger cafe-sized muffins.
- For cafe-sized muffins, bake them for at least 25-35 minutes (depending on the size of your muffins) or until a toothpick comes out clean.
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If 290g of all purpose plain flour is 2 1/3 cups, then how is 250g of dairy free milk 1 cup?
Flour has a different density to milk so a cup of both ingredients will weigh differently. If you look at https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/learn/ingredient-weight-chart, you'll see that 1 cup of flour weighs differently from 1 cup of every other baking ingredient.
I made these today. My very first vegan recipe and I am very impressed. The only problem I had is that the muffins were very crumbly and fell apart once I started to eat one. I wonder whether it's because I used gluten free spelt flour and therefore needed a binding agent? I also didn't add the apple cider vinegar as I didn't have any at home. Could this also have been the issue? In terms of binding agents for gluten free flours, I've read one could use flaxseed meal with water..would this be a good idea for this recipe? Thanks so much for your help and advice.
PS: I should have added that I used spelt flour because I could not almond meal. I wanted to make the recipe nut free too 🙂
Hi Gaby, that's cool that it was your first vegan recipe! I haven't heard of gluten-free spelt flour before but gluten-free vegan baking always needs a binder, whether it's xantham gum (which is usually in gf all-purpose flour), flaxseeds, psyllium husk or something similar. I hope that helps!
Made these with my grandchildren 1 of whom is dairy intolerant. Easy to follow recipe and the girls loved making them. Delicious.
These muffins were so delicious, fluffy and soft. I wouldn't change anything at all. Thanks so much!
That's amazing Breanna, thanks so much for your feedback, I really appreciate it 🙂
Easy to put together. A lityle heavy on the baking powder which leaves an after taste.
Glad you found these easy to prepare. That's interesting about the baking powder - I notice that only happens if the flour or sugar was under-measured. It actually contains less baking powder than self-rising flour so it shouldn't be too much.
This is a great tasting, very flavourful apple spice muffin! Moist and delicious!! I made the recipe as written and used coconut sugar and whole wheat flour/ half oat flour. I will probably not use as much sugar next time just for my taste, otherwise fantastic recipe! Thanks!
Oh that's wonderful to hear and I'm glad it worked with half oat flour too! That's totally understandable with the sugar - I get that everyone is different tastes :). Thanks so much for your feedback Andrea!
Made as mini muffins, baked for 15 min. Didn’t brown up quite the same but were great for the kids!
Ooh mini muffins sound amazing! That's interesting about the browning but I'm glad the kids enjoyed them. Thanks for your comment!
Hi. Had a question, a see that this recipe is roetty much equel to the apple bread. Expect the muffins have less sugar and a tad less flour. Is this because the bread version is more like a sweet cake and the muffins just a less sweet version of the bread?
Hi Claire, the recipes are slightly different for a few reasons. The apple muffins have less flour and sugar so the batter can comfortably fit in 12 muffin cups without overflowing. Also, the apple bread recipe has more flour because the grated apple can make the bread overly moist, compared to the chopped apple in this recipe. I hope that helps.