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You don’t need advanced baking skills to whip up amazing, bakery-style muffins – just follow my proven and uncomplicated steps. Packed with applesauce and autumnal spices, your loved ones will be asking for seconds of these Apple Muffins!

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applesauce muffins arranged on wood background with apples and fall foliage

The Apple Muffin Recipe of your Dreams

I spent half a year trying out and improving muffin recipes. Now, I’m showing you how to make tasty applesauce muffins with tall, bakery-like tops in six simple steps.

You don’t need to repeat the baking errors I made during the process. I’ve tried and refined this recipe for apple muffins so that you can enjoy delicious muffins with bakery-style tops that will impress your friends and family.

You can have these homemade muffins for breakfast, brunch, snacks, or my personal favorite—late-night treats! With my muffin tips, they are baked perfectly, resulting in an irresistible bakery-style muffin.

muffins in metal muffin pan

What You’ll Need for Applesauce Muffins

These simple ingredients make the best applesauce muffins! Keep scrolling to get the full measurements and instructions in the recipe card below.

  • all-purpose flour
  • granulated sugar
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground nutmeg
  • applesauce
  • eggs
  • vegetable oil
  • vanilla extract
3 muffins stacked on top of each other on wooden plate

How to Properly Measure Flour

The most accurate way to measure flour is to use a kitchen scale, weighing it in grams. 

If you don’t have a kitchen scale, follow this method. 

  • Aerate the flour with a whisk or spoon. Flour becomes heavy and compact as it sits. Aerating is the same as fluffing the flour, but not the same as sifting it. Do not sift the flour unless the recipe specifically calls for it.
  • Use a spoon to sprinkle the flour into the measuring cup. Do not tap the cup against the counter, as this will compact the flour.
  • Use the back of a butter knife to level off the excess.
muffin with bite removed on wooden plate

How to Make Applesauce Muffins

  1. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir together and set aside.
  2. In a larger mixing bowl combine the applesauce, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
  3. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing just until combined. The batter will be very thick.
  4. Cover the bowl with a towel and allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes. During this time, preheat the oven to 425ºF / 220ºC. 
  5. For bakery style muffins, line a 12 count muffin pan with 6 muffin liners, meaning you’ll only fill every other muffin well with batter. Fill the liners with 6-8 heaping tablespoons of batter. Sprinkle the tops with sanding sugar.
  6. Place one pan in the center of the oven and bake for 7 minutes at 425ºF / 220ºC, then keep the muffins in the oven, turn the temperature down to 350ºF / 180ºC and bake for 13-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan. Repeat with the remaining batter, bumping the temperature back up to 425ºF / 220ºC.
metal muffin pan filled with muffin batter

How to Create Bakery Style Muffins

Bakery style muffins are known for their domed tops. Plus who doesn’t love them? I used a few techniques to help “lift” these muffins so they would have large, domed tops!

1. The Rest Period

Let the batter rest for 15 minutes after it’s mixed and before you scoop it into the muffin pan. During the resting period, starch molecules in the flour are absorbing the liquid in the batter, causing them to swell and giving the batter a thicker consistency (ref the kitchen whisper). Our 15 minute rest is just a quick rest. 

2. Fill Every Other Muffin Cup

This tip has been a game changer! For bakery style muffin tops, line a 12 count muffin pan with 6 muffin liners, meaning you’ll only fill every other muffin well with batter. Filling every other cup allows the muffins to spread and dome without running into each other. This technique also encourages the muffins to brown, creating a golden muffin top.

3. Fill Them To The Top

Fill your muffin liners to the top with batter. Yes, this goes against everything you’re heard but it’s important in helping the muffin gain that height.

4. Bake at High Temperature Initially

Bake the muffins at a high temperature (425ºF) initially, then lower to 350ºF. Starting the muffins off at a higher temperature causes the batter to rise rapidly, setting the outer surface of the muffin, producing a dome shape.

applesauce muffins arranged on wood background with apples and fall foliage

How To Make Gluten Free Muffins

I’ve made these muffins with both regular and gluten free flour with AWESOME results on multiple occasions. I recommend King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour. Use it as a one for one substitute for regular flour.

Storing and Freezing Muffins

Muffin Storage

If you’ll be eating the muffins within 24 hours of baking, you can leave them uncovered on the counter. The muffins will not dry out while left at room temperature for 1 day. 

In fact, muffins are so moist they can become soggy and those crunchy, sugary tops can disappear when stored in an airtight container.

But I have a trick to help that – paper towels. 

For longer storage, 2-4 days, line the bottom of an airtight container with paper towels. Place the muffins in a single layer in the container then cover the muffins with any additional layer of paper towels. The paper towels will act like a sponge, absorbing the moisture they release while they are stored. 

If the paper towels become too moist around day 2 or day 3, replace them with fresh paper towels. 

How To Freeze Muffins

Individually wrap each muffin in plastic wrap. Then place them in a ziploc bag or airtight container and place in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To thaw, leave them at room temperature until defrosted, about 1 hour. Or unwrap them and microwave at 20 second intervals until defrosted.

muffins displayed in metal muffin pan

Tips for Making Bakery Style Apple Muffins

Here are a few tips to make the perfect muffin even better:

  • Allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes in the mixing bowl.
  • Top the muffins with sanding sugar for a true bakery style muffin.
  • Filling every other cup allows the muffins to spread and dome without running into each other. This technique also encourages the muffins to brown, creating a golden muffin top.
  • Bake at a higher temperature initially to cause the muffins to rise quickly.
3 muffins stacked on top of each other on wooden plate

More Fall Recipes

4.52 from 43 ratings

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Applesauce Muffins

By: Beth
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins
You don't need advanced baking skills to whip up amazing, bakery-style muffins – just follow my proven and uncomplicated steps. Packed with applesauce and autumnal spices, your loved ones will be asking for seconds of these Apple Muffins!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, 360 grams
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, 200 grams
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups applesauce, unsweetened or regular, 378 grams
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil, 177 ml
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • sanding sugar, for topping muffins

Instructions 

  • In a mixing bowl combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir together and set aside.
  • In a larger mixing bowl combine the applesauce, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
  • Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing just until combined. The batter will be very thick.
  • Cover the bowl with a towel and allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes. During this time, preheat the oven to 425ºF / 220ºC. 
  • For bakery style muffins, line a 12 count muffin pan with 6 muffin liners, meaning you’ll only fill every other muffin well with batter. Fill the liners with 6-8 heaping tablespoons of batter. Sprinkle the tops with sanding sugar.
  • Place one pan in the center of the oven and bake for 7 minutes at 425ºF / 220ºC, then keep the muffins in the oven, turn the temperature down to 350ºF / 180ºC and bake for 13-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan. Repeat with the remaining batter, bumping the temperature back up to 425ºF / 220ºC.

Nutrition

Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 313mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2mg
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About Beth

I believe that everyone should have a go-to dessert to bring to parties! With hundreds of recipes, I'll help you find yours!

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4.52 from 43 votes (35 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




21 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    These were delicious and just the right amount of sweet. My only issue was that they stuck very badly to the muffin liners, next time I might spray the liners and see if it helps.  Also thank you for the hint on dome tops it’s working with all my recipes. Have you tried it on bread loaves ?

  2. 5 stars
    Scrumptious! I made some homemade applesauce and then used it for these delicious muffins. I used bob’s redmil gluten free cup for cup flour and they turned out perfect! Love your baking method for beautiful domes. Will definitely make again.

  3. Hi! These are delicious. However mine only made 10 muffins instead of the 12 in your description. That was it being full in each muffin liner also and it seems there would be no way to make it to twelve without having WAY less in each liner! Does this recipe actually make 10?

    1. Hi Savannah! Most of my muffin recipes makes 10-12 muffins. It really just depends on how full you fill them. Sometimes I get 10, sometimes 11, sometimes 12! But it sounds like you did everything correctly and got super domes!!