02/01/2013 03:25 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Applesauce Walnut Muffins

Laura Kumin

When I saw leftover applesauce in my refrigerator, my thoughts turned to applesauce muffins. It seemed like a good idea, but within a few minutes I realized that this was not a well-trod path.  I couldn’t find a recipe in any of my cookbooks or online for applesauce muffins, nor could I find one that would easily accommodate my key ingredient.  After all, applesauce is not quite liquid or solid, so you can’t easily substitute it for a liquid ingredient like milk, or a solid ingredient like dried fruit or chocolate chips.  


I suppose I could have gone for a banana bread muffin recipe, figuring that mashed bananas and applesauce aren’t too different in texture.  Or I could have taken a cue from Liam, turning my banana bread recipe into muffins with applesauce instead of bananas.  But I was in a more adventurous mood after all that searching through recipes. 

As I gathered ingredients for my experiment, I considered texture, taste and size.  The muffins should be generous enough to enjoy singly, but not so big as to be intimidating.  They should have a hint of apples and cinnamon, but not an overwhelmingly fruity or sweet taste.  And finally, I aimed for a muffin that is firm enough to cut, but still moist. 

My first attempt was too moist and not tasty enough -- not disastrous, but disappointing.  Although I was prepared to go for several more rounds, I got it right on the second try.  Homemade muffins are usually best soon after they are baked and many recipes recommend re-heating them if you’re serving them later.  But I tried one of these muffins the next day, cold and it was still good – quite good I’d say. 

Applesauce Walnut Muffins

Serving – 12 muffins

Cost - approximately $4 for 12 even if you have to buy the applesauce and use expensive flour and (cage free) eggs



  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup milk (I use skim. Whole or low fat are fine too.)
  • ⅓ cup applesauce (unsweetened)
  • ⅓ cup canola or other oil without strong taste (not olive oil)
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts



  • 2 bowls
  • Sifter (I use wire colander with small holes) 
  • Knife or other straight edge (not pictured)
  • Fork
  • 2 spoons
  • Measuring cups for solids
  • Measuring cup for liquids
  • Measuring spoons
  • Bowl/chopper or cutting board/knife (to chop nuts)
  • 12 cup muffin tin (“regular” size muffins)
  • Muffin cup liners 


For step-by-step directions, including photographs, click here.