Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Baking with Whole Wheat Flour:
What Makes These Apple Cinnamon Muffins Different:
These apple cinnamon muffins are prepared with Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour. I always have a bag of this flour in my pantry.
While I often turn to Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, which has a lower protein percentage, for baked goods, it can be harder to source and find. For that reason, I wanted to create and share an easy muffin recipe using regular whole wheat flour!
Many whole wheat recipes use a combination of whole wheat and all purpose flour. This muffin recipe uses 100% whole wheat flour.
What is Whole Wheat Flour?
Wheat kernels are comprised of three basic parts: germ (the embryo), bran (the kernel shell), and endosperm. Wheat germ and wheat bran are high in natural oils, nutrients, fiber, and minerals.
Whole wheat flours are produced from the milling of the entire wheat kernel (germ, bran, and endosperm). Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour is made from certified organic stone ground dark red wheat.
Due to the presence of wheat germ and bran, whole wheat flour has a slightly darker color, stronger more nutty flavor, and higher nutritional content.
All of these factors play a role in gluten development, liquid absorption, and texture. This recipe was developed with all of these in mind.
How to Store Whole Wheat Flour: Since whole wheat flours contain the whole wheat kennel, they have a tendency to have a shorter shelf life than all-purpose flours. Unless I am going through a bag of whole wheat flour in a short period of time, I like to store my whole wheat flours in the freezer to preserve more nutrients and prolong its shelf life.
Apple Cinnamon Muffin Ingredients:
- Whole Wheat Flour – this muffin uses Bob’s Red Mill Organic Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour for a boost in nutrition and flavor.
- Coconut Sugar – the batter forgoes refined sugar in exchange for Bob’s Red Mill Organic Coconut Sugar, which is made from the nectar of coconut palm tree blossoms. It has a mellow caramel, molasses flavor and lower glycemic index than traditional granulated sugar. It produces a flavorful, lightly sweetened muffin that is suitable for breakfast or an afternoon snack, and doesn’t leave you crashing.
- Chopped Pecans – apples and pecans are a perfect match, and add some lovely texture to these muffins!
- Grated Apple – for this recipe, we’ll be using coarsely grated Granny Smith apples, which are naturally tart and lower in moisture than other apple varieties. Grating the apple helps distribute it evenly in the batter and provides added moisture to these whole wheat muffins.
- Buttermilk – the addition of tart, tangy buttermilk helps tenderize these muffins and produce a fluffy, moist texture! The acid in buttermilk helps breaks down gluten strands.
- Avocado Oil – the addition of oil adds moisture and helps these muffins store better. Avocado oil is rich in healthy fats, and has no discernible flavor, which makes it a great choice for baking. Feel free to substitute with another neutral vegetable oil, if you prefer.
How to Make Apple Cinnamon Muffins
These muffins are fluffy, moist, and can be thrown together in less than 30 minutes. You’ll need just two mixing bowls, a whisk and spatula, and a standard muffin pan. Be careful not to over mix the batter.
I prefer to use muffin liners for this recipe, as it helps the muffins stay extra moist after the day of baking. When scooping the batter into the muffin tin, the batter will be slightly rounded and reach the very top of each cup.
While the muffin batter uses coconut sugar, I like to add a sprinkle of turbinado sugar just before popping these muffins into the oven. It adds shine, a touch of added sweetness, and some lovely texture to the muffins.
I don’t recommend sprinkling coconut sugar as an alternative, as it doesn’t lend itself to quite the same effect or look.
How to Serve and Store These Muffins:
These apple cinnamon muffins are best enjoyed warm out of the oven (or even warmed for roughly 10-seconds in a microwave). Fragrant and fluffy, they are extra fantastic with a little spread of salted butter!
While these muffins are best the day of baking, they store well for up to 2 days after baking.
Muffins can have a tendency to develop a gummy exterior when stored (this is the moisture escaping the muffin and sitting on the surface). To prevent this, line your container with a paper towel, add the muffins in a single layer, and top with an additional paper towel layer. It works perfectly each time!
Be sure to watch the apple cinnamon recipe video, included above, for more behind-the-scenes of the baking process!
Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins
- 2¼ cups (280 g) Bob's Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour
- ¾ cup (110 g) Bob's Red Mill Organic Coconut Sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ cup (65 g) whole pecans, chopped into small pieces or ½ cup pecan pieces
- 2 small Granny Smith apples coarsely grated, but not squeezed (*see notes for easy tips)
- 1½ cups (360 mL) cold buttermilk
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ⅓ cup (80 mL) avocado oil or vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- turbinado or demerara sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat an oven to 400°F (205°C) with a rack in the center position. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners or grease with baking spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the chopped pecans. Add the grated apple and stir to combine, until the apple shreds are distributed evenly and lightly coated with the dry flour mixture.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the cold buttermilk, egg, avocado oil, and vanilla extract until well combined. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry mixture, and stir with a spatula until the dry ingredients are just absorbed. Be careful not to over mix.
- Using a spoon or large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly among the muffin pan. The batter will be slightly rounded and go to the very top of each cup. Generously sprinkle the batter tops with turbinado or demerara sugar.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway, or until the muffins are domed and the tops spring back slightly when gently pressed.
- Allow the muffins to cool in the pan on a wire rack for a minute or two, then carefully remove and transfer to a rack to cool. These muffins are best enjoyed warm out of the oven or at room temperature (*or later warmed for roughly 10-seconds in a microwave). Leftovers can stored in a container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Place a paper towel on the surface of the muffins to prevent gumminess during storing.
Tips for Success:
- Muffins can have a tendency to develop a gummy exterior when stored (this is the moisture escaping the muffin and sitting on the surface).
- To prevent this, line your container with a paper towel, add the muffins in a single layer, and top with an additional paper towel layer.