Apple Walnut Spice Muffins

It’s a tragedy that I’ve been sitting on this recipe since the beginning of apple season (oh, let’s say September) and it’s now full-fledged winter around these parts.  Fortunately, I’m happy to report that despite my belief that the fall is strictly the best season for apples (which it really is), I’ve been informed that apples are truly a season-less fruit thanks to international shipping and year-round growing seasons!  (Shhh! Don’t tell the local eaters about my apples from New Zealand!)  That slightly lessens my guilt over not sharing this recipe sooner.  Carbon footprint guilt?  Well, that’s another story.

Apple Walnut Spice Muffins

With a yogurt base, these apple muffins are moist, tender and spotted with diced apples that truly melt in your mouth.  Topped with toasted walnuts, spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, these make a delicious quick breakfast or afternoon snack.  Made with whole wheat flour, low-fat yogurt and olive oil, these muffins land much closer to the Good-For-You side of the scale rather than the Just-Kill-Yourself-Now prepackaged muffins from most chain coffee shops.  Healthy-ish and delicious?  Ok, sign me up.

group of muffins

Originally, I just used shredded apples in the muffins but I found that I ended up craving a bit more apple flavor.  With this recipe, I use half shredded apples and half finely diced apples.  This results in small bites of diced apple that, when served warm, melt in your mouth like bits of apple pie.  Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself.

shredded apples

I’ve been thinking about tossing the diced apples in cinnamon before mixing them into the batter to increase the apple pie-esk effect, but have yet to test it out.  Give it a try and let me know how it turns out. You can use whatever variety of apple you prefer, but I’ve found that a combination of Granny Smith (for that tart apple flavor we all know and love) and Fiji or Gala (for added natural sweetness) works best.

broken open apple muffin


Apple Walnut Spice Muffins

Yield: 21-24 muffins


3 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar*
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup lowfat plain yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup grated apples, drained and patted dry**
1 cup finely diced apples
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (plus some extra to sprinkle on the top)


- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a standard muffin tin, spray with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and all the spices).
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (yogurt, eggs, oil, vanilla).
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour the wet ingredients into this well. Using a large wooden spoon or spatula, stir until the ingredients are just combined.
- Stir in the grated and diced apples and chopped walnuts. Be careful not to overmix. You want the batter to be lumpy and it might even have some streaks of flour that haven't been completely mixed. This is fine.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Top with chopped walnuts if you are so inclined.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the tops are slightly browned.
- Remove to a wire cooling rack. Let them rest before serving but serve them warm.

* A very flavorful muffin, this recipe is well-suited to use a sugar substitute (like Splenda) in place of the granulated sugar if you are looking for a low-sugar option.

** I use a combination of half Granny Smith apples and half Fiji or Gala apples for the best flavor combo, but feel free to experiment with apples you like.

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6 Responses to “Apple Walnut Spice Muffins”

  1. 1
    CaSaundra — December 14, 2009 8:27 am

    I love any kind of muffin–but one’s with apple always seem so much more moist & better flavors!!

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  3. 2
    Carsten — February 3, 2010 10:08 am

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I really feel hungry!


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  4. 3
    kellyanne desensi — August 6, 2010 2:21 pm

    can you give me the calorie count on this recipe it sounds so good

    • kate replied: — August 10th, 2010 2:22 pm

      Kellyanne — I don’t usually work up the calorie count for my recipes (if they are good, I figure they are worth the calories ;-) but there are few good calorie calculators floating around the internet. This one from CalorieCount looks pretty reliable:

  5. 4
    Helen — November 22, 2012 5:34 am

    Even though I forgot to toss the apple in the cinnamon, didn’t have enough walnut to sprinkle them with, had to top up the yoghurt with a bit of milk as I didn’t have enough and the tops were a little too brown…they are still yummy! Yours look a bit better than mine though. I got excited after making your apple scones and was rushing to finish the muffins before my toddler woke up. Thanks for a recipe that was good even when I made it badly!

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