Gingerbread Apple Muffins
In the rush between pumpkin-spiced October and cookie-studded December, November can be easy to miss. Before the month passes me the way that most have lately—in a total blur—I’d like a take a moment to celebrate November with Gingerbread Apple Muffins.
These sky-high muffins are moist, healthy, and an ideal bridge between the fall that is still here and the holidays that are to come. Made with molasses, whole wheat flour, and a heap of holiday spices, their flavor is rich, warm, and even tempted me to turn on the Christmas music (too soon?).
At the same time that these muffins ring a holiday bell, however, they also honor fall. I squeezed every bit of sweet, crisp apple into the batter that it could possibly hold. The result is a fruit-studded, cinnamon-spiced muffin that’s part harvest, part holiday, and wholly November.
Making Gingerbread Apple Muffins
The recipe for these Gingerbread Apple Muffins are based off of my favorite Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Muffins. Although I fully support muffins studded with melting puddles of dark chocolate at breakfast, that extra indulgence feels a little more December to me. It’s still November, so for now, I’m still all about the apples.
I *did*, however, keep the sparkly sugar muffin topping. Although it is optional, the muffins themselves are not very sweet, so I find it provides the right balance. I’m also completely smitten with the way the sugar turns into a yummy, lightly crunchy “lid” that I can pull apart with my fingers.
Also, the sparkle. ? The holidays are coming, after all.
These Gingerbread Apple Muffins are freezer friendly, so if you are baking a batch (or a double batch), you can easily stow some away for quick, healthy breakfasts later on and for holiday guests too. I have everything you need to know about storing and freezing muffins in my guide How to Store Muffins, so be sure to check it out as well.
Recommended Tools to Make Gingerbread Apple Muffins
- Muffin tins: I love these for their handy lid and these for their even baking.
- Large scoop: My secret to tall, extra-fluffy muffins.
Gingerbread Apple Muffins
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 3/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt — at room temperature
- 1/2 cup nonfat milk — at room temperature
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar — or substitute light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses — not blackstrap
- 1 large egg — at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1/2 cups finely diced sweet-crisp apples — such as Pink Lady or Honeycrisp, peels on (about 1 medium)
- Optional: Sparkling or turbinado — raw sugar, for topping
Place a rack in the center of your oven, then preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a muffin tin with nonstick spray or line with paper liners. In a small bowl, melt the coconut oil in the microwave, then set aside to cool to room temperature.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, milk, coconut sugar, molasses, and egg. Let rest 5 minutes for the coconut sugar to dissolve slightly. If the mixture is not yet at room temperature, wait for a few additional minutes, then add the coconut oil. (If the wet ingredients are much colder than the coconut oil, the oil will resolidify and not incorporate properly. If this happens, gently warm the bowl in the microwave in 30-second bursts, just until it melts.)
In a separate, large bowl, whisk together the white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and cloves. Fold in the diced apples, stirring gently to coat.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir gently by hand, just until the flour disappears. The mixture will be lumpy and thick, but do not overmix.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups (I like to use a large scoop like this, as it helps the muffins rise the best), then sprinkle the tops with sparkling sugar, if desired. Bake the muffins for 16 to 18 minutes, until the tops are dry to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 muffin) — Calories: 223, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 16mg, Sodium: 223mg, Carbohydrates: 38g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 19g, Protein: 5g
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