Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins

2 cups (226g) whole wheat flour* (spoon & leveled)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (64g) Diamond of California chopped pecans**
3 large eggs
2/3 cup (160ml) pure maple syrup (not breakfast syrup, the real stuff)***
1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable, canola oil, or melted coconut oil
1/3 cup (60g) smooth unsweetened applesauce****
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (240g) shredded/grated apple (about 2 apples)*****

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C)******. Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or use cupcake liners. This recipe makes 15 muffins, so prepare a second muffin pan in the same manner.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and pecans together until combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, maple syrup, oil, applesauce, and vanilla together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stir a few times, then add the grated apple. Fold everything together gently just until combined and no flour pockets remain.
  3. Spoon the batter into liners, filling them all the way to the top. Bake for 5 minutes at 425 then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 23-24 minutes, give or take. Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool until ready to eat.
  4. Make ahead tip: Muffins stay soft, fresh, and moist in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Muffins freeze well for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat up (if desired) before enjoying.

Recipe Notes:
*2 cups of white whole wheat, whole wheat pastry flour, or all-purpose flour work too.
**Instead of pecans, try chopped walnuts or even sunflower seeds. Or leave out completely. If using the nuts, feel free to toast them for 10 minutes at 300°F (148°C).
***You can use honey for the maple syrup, just expect a small loss of flavor. Maple works so well with the apple cinnamon!
****Instead of applesauce, use an extra 1/3 cup of oil. 1/3 cup mashed banana works instead too, but I found the muffins to be a little dry.
*****Use a sweeter variety of apple that you love. I've used Pink Lady and Fuji. Both fantastic in these.
******Why the initial high temperature? The hot burst of air will spring up the top of the muffin quickly, then the inside of the muffin can bake for the remainder of the time. This helps the muffins rise nice and tall.

Original Recipes visit: Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins @ sallysbakingaddiction.com

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