Healthy Apple Muffins with Pecan Topping

When I’m looking for a healthy recipe, one of the first places I usually look is at Ellie Krieger’s recipes.  I needed to make some muffins last week, and of course, I wanted them to be healthy.  I found this recipe and gave it a try.  The muffins turned out very delicious and the apple kept them extremely moist.  The pecan crumb topping was an awesome extra little something texture and sweetness.  These are great for breakfast or a snack!

The only thing I did different from Ellie’s recipe was adding more cinnamon (into the batter itself).  I made some regular sized and some minis because I had a lot of muffins to make and I knew I could get them done more quickly that way.  So I can vouch that these are good both ways.

This recipe is really easy too…you don’t even need to break out the mixer!

Healthy Apple Muffins with Pecan Topping



  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup natural applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch pieces


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, pecans, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon for the topping.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk 3/4 cup brown sugar with the oil until combined.  Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, and then whisk in the applesauce and vanilla.  Whisk in half of the flour mixture, the buttermilk, then the other half of the flour mixture.  Stir in the apple pieces.

Line a muffin pan with liners.  I do recommend using liners here – it just makes clean up so much easier.  I didn’t use them this time, and I regretted it.

Fill muffin liners about 2/3 full with batter.  Tap the pan gently on the counter to remove any air bubbles.  Sprinkle the brown sugar/pecan/cinnamon mixture on top.  For regular sized muffins, bake about 20 minutes.  For minis, bake about 13 minutes.  Let cool on wire rack.

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