In this post: These apple cinnamon muffins are a delicious fall treat perfect for a light breakfast or a quick snack! They’re gluten-free and can be made dairy-free too.


Fall is the best time to enjoy warm, lightly spiced baked goods! But fall is also the busy start of the school year. That’s why I made this recipe for apple cinnamon muffins that you can batch-bake ahead of time! This recipe is gluten-free and can be made dairy and nut-free – perfect for packing in school lunches! Learn to make this recipe for yourself with the step-by-step instructions below.

Close up of apple cinnamon muffin.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

These apple cinnamon muffins:

  • are quick and easy to make
  • don’t include complicated instructions or hard-to-find ingredients
  • can be made free from the most common food allergens

Ingredients

  • Apples: Fuji apples, granny smith apples, gala apples, and Cortland apples are best for baking.
  • Lemon juice: adds a tart flavor and preserves the apples (so they don’t turn brown!).
  • Cinnamon: adds a warm and spicy-sweet flavor.
  • Nutmeg: optionally add this for a nutty, woody flavor.
  • White rice flour: or your favorite gluten-free flour (or flour blend).
  • Baking powder: gives the muffins a lighter texture and more volume.
  • White sugar: adds sweetness and assists in lightening the texture.
  • Brown sugar: adds moisture along with sweetness.
  • Eggs: bind the muffin batter together.
  • Milk: you can use dairy or your favorite non-dairy substitute (see ideas below).
  • Butter: creates a richer flavor and moister texture.
  • Apple sauce: optionally add if your batter is too dry or sticky.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Apples: try other delicious fruits like pears, strawberries, or cherries (you may need to adjust the spices in this recipe depending on which fruit you use).
  • Flour: instead of white rice flour, you can use wheat flour (unless you have a gluten allergy), almond flour, coconut flour, or brown rice flour. Just keep in mind that different flours will give you slightly different textures.
  • Eggs: substitute the eggs for flax eggs, chia eggs, or egg replacer.
  • Milk: try dairy milk, coconut milk, oat milk, almond milk, soy milk, or even chickpea milk!
  • Butter: switch for a vegan butter substitute or oil.
Gluten-free apple cinnamon muffins on a medium plate.

How to Make Apple Cinnamon Muffins

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Line your muffin tins with paper liners.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the grated apples with lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir to coat then set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, brown sugar, and white sugar. Mix well!
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and melted butter.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until it’s blended.
  7. Add the apple mixture to the other ingredients and combine.
  8. Optional: Add apple sauce to the batter if it seems too dry or too sticky.
  9. Spoon the muffin batter into the prepared muffin pan.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes. Remove the muffins when they’re browned or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  11. Let the muffins cool for at least 5 minutes on cooling racks.

What to Serve with Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Serve these apple cinnamon muffins with savory breakfast items like:

Or have your apple muffins alongside a delicious smoothie:

Recipe Tips

  • Avoid overmixing your batter! This will make your muffins tough and chewy.
  • Make sure you let your muffins cool in the muffin cups and on the racks for a few minutes each so they don’t fall apart.
  • If you want taller muffins, make sure your batter is thick. However, don’t expect them to get too tall – this is a gluten-free recipe after all!
  • Add applesauce if your muffin batter is too dry or sticky.

Storage and Making Ahead

  • Counter and fridge storage: place the muffins in an airtight container and store them on the counter for 2 days or in the fridge for 1 week.
  • Freezer storage: wrap each individual muffin in plastic wrap and then place them all in a freezer bag for 1-2 months.
  • Reheating: thaw the frozen muffins overnight. Reheat either in the microwave (15-45 secs) or a 300°F oven for 5-8 minutes.
Close up of four apple cinnamon muffins on a plate.

FAQs

What apples should I use for apple cinnamon muffins?

You can use any apples you want, but the best apples for apple cinnamon muffins are Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Cortland, and gala apples. 

What’s the best gluten-free flour blend?

That’s a matter of opinion! I often use only one or two kinds of flour instead of buying a gluten-free blend. However, if I make a recipe that requires a generic gluten-free flour blend, I use Bob’s Red Mill.

Can I use other fruits besides apples?

Absolutely! Try blackberries, bananas, pears, strawberries, etc. Just keep in mind that different fruits will leach different amounts of liquid so you may have to adjust portions.

Is this apple cinnamon muffin recipe dairy-free?

These apple cinnamon muffins are not dairy-free but can easily be made so by substituting milk and butter for non-dairy alternatives.

Is it better to grate or chop the apples?

I like to grate the apples so they cook through in less time. It’s also super yummy to get a little bit of apple in every bite.

Why are my muffins soggy?

It’s very likely your muffins are soggy because they cooled in the pan for too long! The pan traps steam and the muffins absorb all that moisture. I recommend leaving your muffins in the pan for no more than 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack!

Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

These gluten, dairy, and nut-free apple cinnamon muffins are perfect for a quick breakfast or a light snack.

Ingredients

  • 1 large apple, grated
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg, optional
  • 2 1/2 cups white rice flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup butter substitute of choice, melted
  • 2 tbsp apple sauce, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Line your muffin tins with paper liners.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the grated apples with lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir to coat then set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, brown sugar, and white sugar. Mix well!
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and melted butter.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until it’s blended.
  7. Add the apple mixture to the other ingredients and combine.
  8. Optional: Add apple sauce to the batter if it seems too dry or too sticky.
  9. Spoon the muffin batter into the prepared muffin pan.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes. Remove the muffins when they’re browned or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  11. Let the muffins cool for at least 5 minutes on cooling racks.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 247mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 4g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily via Nutrifox.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Do you batch-bake and freeze muffins for later?

shannon photo and sig oct 2022