Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Apple Cinnamon Muffins lightly sweetened with coconut sugar and studded with chopped pecans.  This easy whole wheat muffin recipe gets its light and fluffy texture from buttermilk, grated apple, and avocado oil. 
 
Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins
 
Popping in this Labor Day weekend to bring you a brand new fall muffin recipe! I’m still in denial that summer is almost over (Midwest life) but these Apple Cinnamon Muffins are helping ease the transition. 
 
I can’t get on board with pumpkin baked goods just yet, but I’m perfectly happy to snack on these moist and fluffy apple muffins. Bursting with cinnamon and studded with pecans, these are the muffins that I’ll be enjoying all season long.
 
Prepared with 100% whole wheat flour and lightly sweetened with coconut sugar, these are true breakfast muffins that you can feel good about. 
 
To achieve a fluffy and light crumb, I turned to my favorite baking staples and tricks! 

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Baking with Whole Wheat Flour: 

I love baking with whole wheat flours whenever possible. Not only are they naturally more flavorful, but they are a rich source of dietary fiber, protein, and nutrients.
 
While I’m not a stickler to whole grain baking, particularly when it comes to celebration cakes and cookies, whole wheat flour is my go-to choice for everyday baking, especially for quick breads and muffins. These are easy swaps that any home baker can make! 
 
Whole wheat baked goods have gotten an unfair reputation for being dense and dry. These Apple Cinnamon Muffins are the exact opposite. 
 
To achieve a fluffy and tender texture, I turned to my favorite whole grain baking staples from Bob’s Red Mill. I’ve been working with them for years, and am so excited to partner with them again this year. 
 
Bob's Red Mill Organic 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. 

How to Make Apple Cinnamon Muffins

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.


Here’s what makes these apple cinnamon muffins special…

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. 

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

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! 

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Be sure to watch the apple cinnamon recipe video, included above, for more behind-the-scenes of the baking process! 

If you’re looking for more whole grain staples, be sure to try these easy blueberry muffins or my favorite whole wheat banana bread recipe

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Yield: 12 Muffins

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins get their fluffy and moist texture from the addition of buttermilk, grated apple, and avocado oil. Lightly sweetened with coconut sugar, infused with ground cinnamon, and studded with chopped pecans, this whole wheat muffin recipe is sure to be a hit during the fall season!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/4 cups (280 grams) Bob's Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3/4 cup (110 grams) Bob's Red Mill Organic Coconut Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans, chopped into small pieces or 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 2 small Granny Smith apples, coarsely grated (*see below for easy tips) - you do not need to squeeze out any moisture
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (350 mL) cold buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) avocado oil (or other neutral vegetable oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Instructions

    1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 C) with a rack in the center position. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with liners or grease with baking spray. Set aside.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together thoroughly. 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.
    3. In a separate bowl, combine the cold buttermilk, egg, avocado oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk 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.
    4. 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 tops of each muffin with turbinado sugar.
    5. Bake at 400 degrees (205 C) for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway, or until the muffins are domed and the tops spring back slightly when gently pressed.
    6. 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 even warmed for roughly 10-seconds in a microwave) or at room temperature. Leftovers can stored in a container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.

Notes

These muffins are best enjoyed warm out of the oven (*or even warmed for roughly 10-seconds in a microwave) or at room temperature. Leftovers can stored in a container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.

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.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 177 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 16mg Sodium: 241mg Carbohydrates: 20g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 6g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 4g
A Beautiful Plate provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.

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