These muffins are made with applesauce; you can use a smooth store bought version, but they taste much better with chunky homemade applesauce. Delicious with nuts although I usually make them without.  Makes 12 regular muffins or 24 mini ones.

Ingredients for muffins:

  1. 1 & 1/2 C all purpose flour
  2. 1 & 1/2  tsp. baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  4. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1/2 tsp. ground all spice
  6. 1/2 tsp. Freshly grated nutmeg
  7. 1/4 tsp. salt
  8. 2 large eggs
  9. 1 C. packed light brown sugar
  10. 1 stick (1/2 C.) unsalted butter, melted
  11. 1 C. unsweetened chunky applesauce
  12. 1 C. coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Ingredients for topping:

  • 2 T granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground all spice
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Center oven racks, preheat oven to 400 degrees & grease muffin pan.
  2. Stir together first 7 ingredients and set aside
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and brown sugar until combined, then slowly add butter blending as you go until creamy.
  4. Stir in applesauce.
  5. Gently fold in flour/spice mix just until combined.
  6. Stir in nuts (if using) and spoon into muffin tin.
  7. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle on top (you may not need it all)
  8. Bake until muffins spring back to touch and are lightly browned. About 20 minutes for regular size (12), or 10 minute for mini-muffins (24)

Lessons Learned/Advice:

  • The night before:  If I’m making weekday muffins, I almost always do some of the prep the night before.  For this recipe, complete step 2 (combining all the dry ingredients) and make the topping as well.  I put the butter in a bowl, ready to microwave, and I leave the eggs out to warm to room temperature because warm eggs will help the warm butter blend.  Don’t take the brown sugar out — it will develop a crust that will make it hard to blend.
  • I almost always make mini-muffins instead of the full size. I find them easier to eat — and 3 minis seems like the right number (much easier than eating 1.5 muffins)
  • As I said in the intro, home made chunky applesauce makes these muffins much better – the apple chunks are soft and flavorful.
  • I have yet to use all of the topping — it’s just too much sugar but I can’t seem to reduce it. You could likely use it for 2 batches!
  • if you have some who like nuts and some who don’t, it’s easy to add 1/2 C. nuts to the batter after you’ve spooned out 1/2 the muffins.  If I do this, I always place a few chopped nuts on top of the muffins (along with the topping).  Not only does it look pretty, but it helps everyone identify which muffin to eat.
  • These muffins will keep for a few days. I’ve tried freezing them and they really don’t survive well.  Best to make a batch and give some away.


Original recipe from Gourmet Magazine November 2003 &