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!

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

4.84 from 18 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
Cuisine: American
Keyword: grain free, muffin, oil free, paleo
Servings: 12
Calories: 172 kcal
Author: Megan Gilmore
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.

Calories per muffin: 172, Fat: 12g, Carbohydrates: 13g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 5g

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

Judy

Can I use peanut butter instead of almond butter? I run out of almond butter. BTW, your blog is absolutely awesome!!
Gracias!!

Rachel

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!

Jules

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!!

Sarah

Would these work with sun butter? Toddler’s school is nut free.

    Jillian haines

    I made them withsun butter! Really good!

Michelle

Made these last night – my daughter loved them. Actually all of us did! Delicious…

Heather

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!

Teresa

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.

Newbie GF DF PALEO

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!

    Newbie GF DF PALEO

    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.

MRS_h

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.

Mia Banks

Hi! I followed the instructions exactly (except for subbing cashew for almond butter) and it is not cooking! It has been in their for over half an hour and is still batter.
Help!
I also decided to bake it in a brownie pan instead of a muffin tin. Could that be my mistake?
Thank you in advance!

    Megan Gilmore

    Sorry to hear that! I think the brownie pan probably made a big difference; muffins cook much faster because of how small each portion is. Hope they eventually did cook through in the brownie pan.

Sherry

Wow these muffins are AMAZING! Definitely my new favourite recipe. I love how they stay fresh even after an few days keeping in the fridge. Will definitely be making these again! Thank you so much!

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