These easy Spiced Paleo Muffins have a light & fluffy texture, and will make your home smell like Fall as they bake. You don’t need any flour or oil to make them, so they’re naturally gluten-free, and totally delicious!
These muffins are inspired by my Paleo Pumpkin Muffins, only this version uses applesauce instead of pumpkin. The applesauce taste isn’t too noticeable, so if you want even more added apple flavor, try adding in some finely diced apple.
Note: My family didn’t care for the added chopped apple texture, so I’ve left them out of this recipe, but personally I liked it! If you want to give it a try, I added half of a Honeycrisp apple when I tested it that way, which was roughly 1/2 cup diced & peeled.
Ingredients You’ll Need
What’s in a Paleo muffin?
- Almond butter
It never ceases to amaze me how almond butter can act as a flour substitute in baking. It provides both the structure, and the healthy fat, so you don’t need to add oil to this recipe. These muffins turn out perfectly tender, with a light and fluffy texture!
If you don’t have almond butter on hand, you can swap it for peanut butter (which isn’t paleo, but it is still grain-free), cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter, as a nut-free alternative.
How to Make Paleo Muffins
1. Mix. Add the almond butter, applesauce, eggs, honey, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt to a large bowl, and mix well.
Note: Some baking powders are made with cornstarch, and would not be considered “Paleo” while other brands are made with arrowroot starch, which is considered grain-free. Be sure to look for the arrowroot variety, if you need to stick to a strictly Paleo diet.
Alternatively, you can swap the baking powder for a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda + 1 teaspoon of vinegar, for a similar effect.
2. Bake. Use a 1/4 cup to scoop the batter into a lined muffin pan.
Sometimes I only get 11 muffins from this batch, but you can distribute the batter evenly to make 12 smaller muffins, if you want to. These muffins are so nutrient dense, they don’t need to be as large as a “bakery muffin” to be satisfying.
Top the muffins with chopped pecans, if you like, then bake at 350ºF for 25 to 30 minutes.
3. Cool. Let the muffins cool for at least 1 hour in the pan, then they are ready to serve. Paleo muffins can sometimes stick to the muffin liners, so that’s why I recommend using them (rather than merely greasing the pan), so you’ll guarantee that the muffins will release from the pan.
You can use silicone muffin liners, if you’d like an easy reusable option. I use them for Egg Muffins all the time, too!
Frequently Asked Questions & Tips
Prefer to use Almond Flour? Check out my Almond Flour Muffins, for guidance on the flour ratio to start with.
Can I make these without eggs? Flax eggs don’t work as well with grain-free baking. If you try it, expect that the muffins won’t rise, and might be gooey in the middle. Delicious, but gooey.
Can I substitute the honey? If you don’t like baking with honey, you can use a 1/2 cup of maple syrup instead. Or, you can try using 2/3 cup coconut sugar, for a slightly different texture.
If you have more questions I can help with, be sure to ask them in the comments below!
More Grain-Free Recipes
Interested in more Paleo ideas? Try these!
- Grain-Free Granola
- Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
- Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Coconut Flour Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- Healthy Pumpkin Bars
- Almond Flour Banana Bread
- Coconut Flour Banana Bread
Paleo Spice Muffins
- 1 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 whole eggs
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (see note)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional; for topping)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a 12-cup muffin pan with parchment liners. In a large bowl, combine the almond butter, applesauce, eggs, honey, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Stir well, until the batter is very smooth.
- Use a 1/4 cup measure to distribute the batter among the baking cups. (When you use the 1/4 cup measure, sometimes you may only end up with 11 muffins instead of 12. Or, you can simply fill each muffin cup about halfway full, and get 12 small muffins.) Sprinkle chopped pecans on top, and gently press them into the batter, for a topping.
- Bake the muffins at 350ºF for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the muffins rise and don't look soft in the center. Let them cool for at least 1 hour in the pan, then you can serve them.
- These spice muffins are very moist, so they are best kept in the fridge for the best shelf life. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or you can freeze them for up to 3 months. To thaw, place them in the fridge overnight.
If you try these grain-free muffins, please leave a star rating and comment below letting me know what you think!
Reader Feedback: Do you have any other baking recipe requests? Let me know!
Questions and Reviews
Wow, I can’t believe a batter that is mostly nut butter can turn into such a fluffy muffin! I totally have to try these. I’m partial to coffee cake, but I think blueberry muffins, or any sort of muffin with pumpkin and/or cinnamon always reign supreme in my books!
Great recipe! It definitely is quite the challenge to make grain free treats also low calorie! I do love this recipe though and can’t wait to give it a try!
Yay! Another delicious looking recipe to try! Good thing it’s a grocery trip day~ just added some more things to my shopping list!
These sound delicious! I’m always looking for new grab and go grain-free foods because of work travel. Yum.
You think peanut butter could be replaced for almond butter!?
I used half peanut butter and half almond butter b/c I’m cheap. 🙂 They came out excellent and fluffy!
I made these muffins tonight and the are absolutely wonderful. Full of taste and very moist!
I love the simplicity of the ingredients in these, I’m def going to sneak in a few extra spices and call them chai flavoured! 🙂
Have you tried these with cashew butter…I’m getting ready to make some..Linda B
I haven’t tried it, but I bet it will be delicious! Yum!
I tried them with cashew & they were fantastic – even better than the almond ones x
Can’t wait to try this recipe! In terms of food combining, in what category do you consider these and can you pair them with something else?
Your simple food combining tips have literally changed my life! I finally realized that my stomach doesn’t have to hurt after every meal!!
I would consider these to fall in the general “protein” category. Due to the nuts and eggs that this recipe calls for, these are not strictly combined, but I’ve found that as long as you don’t combine overall proteins with overall starches, these muffins should digest pretty easily.
I would keep the rest of the meal simple though! Either a fresh veggie juice beforehand (if you’re having these for breakfast), or a leafy green salad, or neutral veggies would work best to keep the meal lighter on your system.
I made these last night and they are DELICIOUS!! I was low on some ingredients so I made the following adjustments.
Didn’t have the full amount of almond butter so supplemented with crunchy peanut butter. The crunch in the peanut butter gave these an extra kick. Also I didn’t have any applesauce so I “vitamixed” an apple. An apple turned out to be exactly 1/2 cup of mushy goodness. I didn’t have ground ginger but had fresh ginger and I threw it and blended with the apple. I used almonds as a topping instead of walnuts. (I know I know I gotta get to the market Lol)
Oh and I’m doing the vegan thing and used Ener-g egg replacement. And still these muffins rose beautifully.
-Man the texture and the flavor of these muffins are sooo good. So much so that this morning I went to grab one and there were only #3 left… Err it’s only my husband and me so I know where the others went.
I’m so glad you both enjoyed them, Marlyn! I can definitely relate to them disappearing quickly! Even with only two people in my house, too. LOL 😉
Got them in the oven now! Smell so good!
Tried the basic recipe with some variations. Loved it!!
I only had organic berry applesauce available and I had some frozen berries (a blend of blue,black and ras “berries”)so I omitted the nutmeg, and added 1 1/2 tbsp. very berry cheesecake blend from wildtree, mixed all the ingredients, and folded the frozen berries in last minute. It took a bit longer to bake but the results were fabulous! The pan of 12 was gone by the afternoon! I have a family of five btw..
Thank you for this awesome recipe! I will be using it again and experimenting with it too! 🙂
Can’t wait to make these. I may replace the applesauce with pumpkin or butternut squash!
These look great and are perfect for fall! I am excited to try a peanut butter banana version. Have you heard of anyone trying to substitute banana for the apple sauce? Great blog by the way. I really enjoy reading it.
Here’s the recipe for my Peanut Butter Banana version: https://detoxinista.com/2012/08/flourless-peanut-butter-banana-muffins/
I can’t wait to try these! But I was wondering if you happen to have the nutrtitional information on them? Mainly calories? I count my calories daily, so it would be helpful to me to know how much to take out for my daily calorie intake. Thank You!
Hi Kelly! I personally find calorie calculations very tedious, but you can easily calculate the nutrition info yourself using a free website like Fitday.com. Simply add in all the ingredients, then divide by the serving size. Hope that helps!
wonderful muffins tried them today! the texture was so fluffy you would never guess there was NO flour in them! your PB and banana ones are good too but these are a new favorite!
What an amazing recipe!!! I love that it is grain-free — how fun! 😀
Kelly, there’s about 177 calories per muffin, but they are so much richer in nutrients than your average flour-based muffin!
Can these be made with a flax/egg instead? Thanks!
Please see my FAQ page for substitution questions.
Megan … Big Happy Christmas:) I am totally confused about the way you use fruit. Where I have always, religiously kept fruit apart from EVERYTHING else you use it in muffins smoothies and apple puree in muffins. I would really appreciate some guidelines on the use of fruit in food combining. I think I am probably being far too restrictive on myself but I am a bit edgy about making any changes to the status quo.I have whole life of gut pain behind me and Barrett’s esophagus involving lifelong need for proton pump inhibitors as a result of lack of knowledge. Correct food combining has given me a pain free life where I feel I have some control over my body. I realise I am being demanding but considering it’s my body at stake here if you are happy to provide information I am happy to receive it. It is purely selfish but, bottom line, no one else is going to take responsibility for me except me.
You’re right in the fact that fruit should be eaten alone, on an empty stomach. The exception to this rule is bananas, which can also be properly combined with nuts and seeds, or with avocados.
For people with severe digestion issues, I think food combining 100% of the time is a good idea. Personally, I don’t suffer from any of these issues, so I find that keeping to an 80/20 rule works well for me and many of my clients. If I have a client who is craving a traditional apple-spice muffins, this recipe is still better than a traditional muffin from a bakery, even if it is a bit mis-combined. For me, it’s all about “upgrading” the foods we consume, and in my opinion, these all-natural baked goods fall into that category. If you are suffering from severe issues, many of these heavier baked treats may not be appropriate for you! Ultimately, it’s up to you to figure out what’s best for you and your body.
Hope that helps!
Thank you for this recipe! These were awesome and a big hit with the family! I couldnt beleive how fluffy they were without the flour! I substituted applesauce with a regular apple, i just threw in vitamix!
Looking forward to more great recipes of yours:)
Wow! These muffins are incredible! I’ve made 2 batches in 2 days – my guests who are here for Christmas are crazy for them. We can’t believe how fluffy they are given there is no flour. And SO easy to make. I am considering trying a batch with grated zucchini in the place of applesauce. Great recipe!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed them! I bet the zucchini version would be great, too!
Dear Megan, I found your website yesterday by chance and I couldn’t be happier, I have made already the coliflower pizza (OMG;))!!!! And I’m trying the muffins now, I just wonder if I could replace the nut butter or take it out? Is there a special purpose more then flavour or does it mean to keep the muffins fluffier or ….? Could I add xanthan gum instead ? I’m on a no flour no banana no nut nutrition but would love to try some muffins and this recipe seams delicious , thanks in advance for your help!
Hmmm… that will definitely take some experimenting on your part! The nut butter is essential to the texture of these muffins– without it, you’ll just have eggs baked in a muffin cup. You could try another vegetable puree maybe, mixed with xanthum gum? I have no idea how that will turn out, so please let us know if you have any success!
Ok I’m making them today, the variances are instead of nut butter I added chia, a tbsp of xanthan gum and I was allowed to eat bananas so added a very brown banana to the mix and a small apple grated , lets see how they turn out hope they taste ok. I will keep you posted but thank you so much for existing 😉
These muffins are great. A real cakelike texture and taste fabulous. I only made 1/2 of the recipe in case we didn’t like them but now I wish I’d made the whole thing. Thanks for the recipe keep them coming!!
Hi, a friend of mine made these muffins and they were absolutely delicious! I want to make them but my daughter is allergic to nuts. Her alternative is sun butter, which is made from sunflower seeds and tastes almost exactly like peanut butter. Could I substitute that? The texture of the butter is pretty close.
Yes, the flavor might be slightly different, but sunflower butter bakes very well. Be warned– the resulting muffins will turn green, when the sunflower butter reacts with baking soda, but they are safe to eat! 🙂
Awesome muffins! Made them today using pumpkin instead of applesauce and the texture and consistency was PERFECT! My husband said they tasted even better than with applesauce. I love your site. Thank you!
I just made these & they are amazing! I eliminated the honey & used hazelnut liquid stevia instead. Also I did not have walnuts, but I did have raw, shelled sunflower seeds & I sprinkled that on top. These muffins are so good! Thank you Megan! 🙂
Tried this on sunday and they are THE best! I have tried some of your other muffin recipes, this is my favorite! Thanks so much for delicious clean recipes!
🙂 Hope your pregnancy is going well!
Just made these yesterday and was so surprised with the amount of flavour in them – they are delicious!
I didn’t have the full amount of almond butter so added a bit of organic peanut butter (a couple of tablespoons). Also since I’m on a low fodmap diet I used canned pumpkin puree instead of the applesauce and doubled the amount of cinnamon – because I LOVE cinnamon haha. Honey is not recommended on the fodmap diet and I didn’t have stevia or anything similar, so I used golden syrup. Not as healthy but it did the trick!
Thanks for your wonderful recipes, they make my life so much easier!
is the inside supposed to be really moist?
i tried making these and the inside of the muffin was really moist even though the outside was already crispy. the cinnamon taste was really strong too.
also, should the batter be mixed by hand? this is my first time baking so i am kind of confused haha sorry for all the questions.
Loved these! Taste just like regular muffins. Thank you!
These are yummy. I added chocolate chips. I just can’t get the cooking time down. They stay pretty doughy for me after 17 minutes. Hrmmm
I made the lower sugar muffins and they are great!! My kids love them too which is even better 😉 Just wondering if you have ever made them with coconut oil instead of applesauce? Do you know how much I would use…not sure if it’s a 1:1 sub or not? (I am trying to increase the fat) Thanks!!
Made this muffins yesterday night… so quick, easy and yummy! 🙂 Will definitely try out the other recipes soon. Thanks!
I made this recipe and it’s delicious!!!!
Didn’t have walnuts so I left them just like that. Asimov
Whipped these up last night and had a couple for breakfast this morning. Wow! So moist and delicious! I’ve been looking for a yummy alternative to eggs that is paleo and easy to grab on my way out the door in the morning. These will definitely be a staple. It is an added bonus that they are ridiculously easy to make.
We love these! I like to add raisins for myself and chocolate chips for the kids :). They freeze well too!
I absolutely loved these muffins. They were moist and flavorful. I added more cinnamon and ginger because I love those spices. However, I would advise that if you do not like the taste of almond butter, you won’t like these. My family said they tasted too healthy and they did not enjoy the nutty/spicy flavor. Oh well, I had them all to myself!
I also thought the muffins tasted better after the first day, and while they are warm. I will be baking these again!
These are delicious — My kids devoured them!
Can I use peanut butter instead of almond butter? I run out of almond butter. BTW, your blog is absolutely awesome!!
I can’t tell you how many times I have made this recipe! It is by far one of the best muffins I have ever made (including grain/sugar filled ones.) And the fact that there’s no fancy flours included? Amazing. Thank you for a great recipe!
Hi Megan, When going the lower sugar route, about how much liquid stevia would you suggest? Thank you, and I love you website and recipes!!
Would these work with sun butter? Toddler’s school is nut free.
I made them withsun butter! Really good!
Made these last night – my daughter loved them. Actually all of us did! Delicious…
Thanks for these! I made these for a family brunch and they were a huge success. I was out of almond butter so I used peanut butter. Several family members asked me for the recipe-which is a big deal since they usually make faces and refuse to try my “healthy stuff.”
I had hoped to snack on them all week, but there are only two left. I look forward to tasting them with the almond butter!
This is one of my favorite recipes. I find if you use 1/2 of cup of cashew butter and 1/2 cup of almond butter in these type of recipes, it turns out much tastier. I also take some liberties with spices, sometimes I use 1 T of pumpkin spice and 1 T of cinnamon. Apple pie spice would be great, but I don’t have any at the moment. I like to sprinkle the tops with Pepitas seeds and a small sprinkle of Turbinado sugar for a little crunch on top. When I do this I tend to use 1/4 cup of honey instead of 1/3 cup of honey. Date paste works well as well instead of honey.
I have tried a number of your recipes with great results, and my husband loves them as well. When I first tried one of these type of recipes I was sure there was no way this wacky science project would work, but these recipes consistently work and turn out great.
This is one of my favorite websites for recipes for sweet treats.
FINALLY! Thankfully!!! A paleo recipe that is light and fluffy and airy! These muffins baked up beautifully! I was so surprised considering there is no grain or flour of any sort! I added an extra egg cause I only hadn’t small eggs on hand. And I didn’t have quite enough almond butter on hand so I threw in some hazelnut and peanut butter too. Most paleo recipes have terrible texture, but these are great! Even though the centres appeared to sink after they came out of the oven, they’re totally fluffy in the middle, not heavy or wet!
Oh and i had to bake them longer than the receip says, but I find all the recipes from this site need a few more minutes when I make them.
These are delicious! My muffins did sink a little bit in the middle (not sure what I did wrong); it didn’t effect the taste. They kind of remind me of your gluten-free almond butter based pancakes, but sweeter. This will make it to my breakfast switch-up rotation when I can’t stand any more toast/cereal/plain oatmeal and have a little extra time.