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Cinnamon Spice Muffins (Grain-Free, Oil-Free)


You know you’re on to something when a new batch of muffins happens to disappear within a matter of 3 days.

cinnamon spice muffin

I’ve had quite a few requests for a lower-calorie muffin that is still grain-free, naturally sweetened, and calls for only whole, unprocessed ingredients. That is definitely easier said than done! After a few experiments, though, I found that you can easily use unsweetened applesauce to replace the coconut oil that is often called for in grain-free baked goods, which reduces the overall calorie count and fat content in the resulting muffins.

As an added bonus, they are also unbelievably moist!

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These sweet and spicy muffins remind me of my favorite cinnamon coffee cake–> the kind with a buttery crumb topping. To get a similar effect, I topped these muffins with a sprinkling of gently ground walnuts. I love the added texture, but to keep the fat and calories lower, feel free to omit the topping!

Either way, I think these muffins are sure to be a new favorite.

Cinnamon Spice Muffins (Grain-free, Oil-Free)
makes 12 standard muffins

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup almond butter (store-bought or homemade)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 whole eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup honey

Optional: ground walnuts, for topping

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350F, and line a standard muffin tin with 12 paper cups. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix until a smooth, runny batter is formed.

*For a lower-sugar option, reduce the honey to just 2 Tablespoons and add liquid stevia, to taste. When baking with stevia, be sure to add a little extra sweetness, as some of the sweetness will be reduced with heat. You’ll also want to increase the applesauce by an extra 3 Tablespoons to balance out the moisture.

Using a 1/4 cup, distribute the batter evenly among the 12 baking cups. Sprinkle the tops with ground walnuts, if desired.

(I pulsed the walnuts in my mini food chopper to create a mix of fine powder and chunky walnut pieces for topping.)

pan of cinnamon spice muffins

Bake at 350F for about 15 minutes, or until the muffins firm in the center and lightly golden.

pan of cinnamon spice muffins in the oven

Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and serve warm, or at room temperature.

These muffins should keep loosely covered on the counter for up to 3 days, but for best shelf-life, keep them in a sealed bag in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you’d like to make these ahead of time for an event, they also freeze and thaw well!

top view of a cinnamon spice muffin

4.83 from 17 votes
Cinnamon Spice Muffins (Grain-Free, Oil-Free)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

This low-calorie muffin is grain-free and naturally sweetened and makes the perfect flavorful breakfast!

Course: Breakfast
Servings: 12
Calories: 172 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond butter (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • Optional: ground walnuts , for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F, and line a standard muffin tin with 12 paper cups.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix until a smooth, runny batter is formed.
  3. Using a 1/4 cup, distribute the batter evenly among the 12 baking cups.
  4. Sprinkle the tops with ground walnuts, if desired. (I pulsed the walnuts in my mini food chopper to create a mix of fine powder and chunky walnut pieces for topping.)
  5. Bake at 350F for about 15 minutes, or until the muffins firm in the center and lightly golden.
  6. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and serve warm, or at room temperature.
  7. These muffins should keep loosely covered on the counter for up to 3 days, but for best shelf-life, keep them in a sealed bag in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you'd like to make these ahead of time for an event, they also freeze and thaw well!
Recipe Notes

For a vegan variation, you can substitute pure maple syrup for the honey, and flax eggs for the whole eggs. It should be noted that flax eggs will not rise the same way that whole eggs do! Your muffins may sink in the middle, but they will definitely still taste delicious. For a lower-sugar option, reduce the honey to just 2 Tablespoons and add liquid stevia, to taste. When baking with stevia, be sure to add a little extra sweetness as some of the sweetness will be reduced with heat. You'll also want to increase the applesauce by an extra 3 Tablespoons to balance out the moisture.

Note: For a vegan variation, feel free to substitute pure maple syrup for the honey and flax or chia eggs for the whole eggs. It should be noted, however, that flax or chia eggs do not produce the same “fluffy” results as real eggs– the middles will often sink! If you don’t mind sunken middles, they will still taste delicious!

Reader Feedback: Are you a fan of coffee cake? Any other favorite muffin flavors?

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Comments

Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

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!

Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness

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!

chelsey

Yay! Another delicious looking recipe to try! Good thing it’s a grocery trip day~ just added some more things to my shopping list!

Casey

These sound delicious! I’m always looking for new grab and go grain-free foods because of work travel. Yum.

Megan

You think peanut butter could be replaced for almond butter!?

    Cathy V

    I used half peanut butter and half almond butter b/c I’m cheap. 🙂 They came out excellent and fluffy!

Rachel

I made these muffins tonight and the are absolutely wonderful. Full of taste and very moist!

Ash

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! 🙂

Linda

Have you tried these with cashew butter…I’m getting ready to make some..Linda B

    Megan

    I haven’t tried it, but I bet it will be delicious! Yum!

    Laura

    I tried them with cashew & they were fantastic – even better than the almond ones x

Chirpiebird

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!!

    Megan

    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.

Marlyn

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.

    Megan

    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 😉

chelsey

Got them in the oven now! Smell so good!

Maureen

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! 🙂

Erin

Can’t wait to make these. I may replace the applesauce with pumpkin or butternut squash!

Maia @ MaiTreat

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.

Kelly Ashton

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!

    Megan

    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!

Becky from MI

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!

Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner

What an amazing recipe!!! I love that it is grain-free — how fun! 😀

Sarah@studiofood

Kelly, there’s about 177 calories per muffin, but they are so much richer in nutrients than your average flour-based muffin!

A

Can these be made with a flax/egg instead? Thanks!

Kim

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.

    Megan

    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!

Beck

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:)

Sara

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!!

    Megan

    I’m so glad you enjoyed them! I bet the zucchini version would be great, too!

Barbara

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!

    Megan

    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!

Barbara

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 😉

Maryann

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!!

Jasmeen

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.

    Megan

    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! 🙂

Rhonda

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!

Diana

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! 🙂

Jacci Chambers

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!

Anneli

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!

Sam's Mom

Wow. Amazing.

will wonks

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.

Courtney Grace

Loved these! Taste just like regular muffins. Thank you!

Carly

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

selena

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!!

Emanuela

Made this muffins yesterday night… so quick, easy and yummy! 🙂 Will definitely try out the other recipes soon. Thanks!

Sara

I made this recipe and it’s delicious!!!!
Didn’t have walnuts so I left them just like that. Asimov

Kasey

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.

Mama654

We love these! I like to add raisins for myself and chocolate chips for the kids :). They freeze well too!

TheOne

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!

Sherri B

These are delicious — My kids devoured them!

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