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Crunchy-Top Cinnamon Pecan Applesauce Muffins

Crunchy-Top Cinnamon Pecan Applesauce Muffins

Thursday means it’s one day until Friday! The best day of the week! 😉 Then it’s the weekend.

What are you up to? Party time? Netflix binge-watching? Sleeping all day? Celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving with your family and friends?

Whatever you’re doing, I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I’ll be spending Thanksgiving with the family as well as participating with Scott and his mom in a charity walk for the local Alzheimer Society in memory of Scott’s grandpa.

Why not enjoy the weekend with some Applesauce Muffins?

These muffins were a big hit! They are warmly spiced and not-too-sweet. In addition, they’re soft and tender with a little crunchiness from the chopped pecans on the inside.

The topping has a nice crunchy texture from the coating of sweetened and spiced pecan streusel. So so good!

Side view of a cinnamon pecan applesauce muffin on a white plate.

Besides the taste, these applesauce muffins are awesome because:

  • They are bit more healthier than regular muffins: Each muffin is around 190 calories and that includes the very tasty, crunchy, spiced brown-sugar pecan topping!
    • Why? No butter or eggs are used this recipe. Instead, there is a good amount of applesauce, which cuts down the fat and keeps the muffin nice and fluffy. It’s also great for those that who allergic to eggs.
  • The unsweetened applesauce adds a nice sweetness and slight apple flavour to the muffins, but the spices are the most dominant flavour.
  • No stand mixer/electric mixer is required: Besides the ingredients, just a few mixing bowls, a whisk, a muffin pan or two, and of course, a heated oven, and a little patience. Not that much though, they only need to bake for around 20 minutes.
  • It is so shareable: It’s really easy to pack up and bring to a get-together or to work.
    • To prevent myself from sitting down at home with a cup of coffee and a glass of milk and then going to town on eating all the muffins, I made Scott bring them to work. I heard that they were successfully delivered to work and given a big thumbs-up.

It’s simple to put together.

Bowls of applesauce, sugar, spices, pecans, milk, and baking soda.

All the ingredients for these scrumptious muffins. (Exact amounts are listed below in the “Ingredients” list).

Measure out the ingredients into separate bowls. (Full instructions in the recipe card down below).

Pre-baked cinnamon pecan applesauce muffins in a muffin baking pan.

After the ingredients are combined together and the topping is placed on top, bake for 18-22 minutes until ready.

Overhead view of a dozen cinnamon pecan applesauce muffins in a muffin pan.

Let cool slightly before devouring one!

Here are a couple of helpful tips!

An important tip when baking these muffins is to use silicone cupcake/muffin liners. I almost always use silicone liners since I find that the muffins can be easily removed using them. They also tend to be inexpensive (I got a pack of 24 at IKEA), reusable, and easy to clean.

If you opt to use a paper liner, spray the inside of the liner with cooking spray or a light coating of oil before placing the batter into the cups.

It will make it easier to peel the liner away from the muffin without the muffin sticking to the liner. If you don’t, half of the muffin will stick to the liner making it not fun to eat at all. Believe me.

A cinnamon pecan applesauce muffin cut in half on a white plate.

Want to check out more muffin recipes?

Side view of cinnamon pecan applesauce muffins with a crunchy pecan topping on a cooling rack.

I hope you enjoy this recipe for applesauce muffins! If you make it, please comment below and let me know what you think of them! Or share with me on any of my social media.I’d love to see a picture!

Crunchy-Top Cinnamon Pecan Applesauce Muffins

Crunchy-Top Cinnamon Pecan Applesauce Muffins

Yield: 18 muffins
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 34 minutes

Check out these easy and delicious spiced muffins with crunchy pecan-brown sugar topping. It's made with applesauce and no butter or eggs! No electric mixer required and ready in under 35 minutes too.


For the muffins:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¾ cup pecans, chopped

For the topping:

  • ¼ cup pecans, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large muffin pan with baking cups (liners). If using paper liners, spray the insides of the liners with cooking spray.*
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the applesauce, brown sugar, oil, and milk until uniform in appearance. Then, pour the applesauce mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth.
  4. Fold in the pecans into the batter. Scoop the batter into each muffin pan cup until the cup is ¾ full.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients together. Then evenly sprinkle the tops of each muffin with the topping.
  6. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a wooden skewer (or cake tester) comes out clean in the center. Let cool slightly before eating.


  • *Due to the nature of the batter, the muffin will stick to paper liners after it's baked unless you grease the insides of the liners with cooking spray or oil. I recommend getting silicone liners (they don’t need to be greased). They're inexpensive, reusable, and easy to clean.
  • To store muffins 2-4 days: Completely cool the muffins, line an airtight storage container or a large Ziploc bag with a paper towel, place the muffins in a single layer, and then top with another paper towel before sealing. Store the bag at room temperature.
  • To store muffins for longer than 4 days: Completely cool the muffins, wrap each muffin with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and place in a freezer bag before freezing. Thaw at room temperature or reheat in the microwave before eating.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 185Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 142mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 2g

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Friday 6th of October 2017

Oh my gosh, where to start... the top of a muffin is the absolute best but I my opinion so the fact that you’ve crunchified it is awesome. They look great 😀 Friday really is the best day of the week and we’ll probably be binge watching Homeland on Netflix. I also send lots of goodies to work with my husband, Scott too 😆 have a great Thanksgiving weekend Marie

Marie | Yay! For Food

Friday 6th of October 2017

Thank you so much Marie! I hope you have a wonderful weekend too!


Thursday 5th of October 2017

Can you sen some of these over here, please? :) I love that you don't need a mixer to make them! :)

Marie | Yay! For Food

Thursday 5th of October 2017

Sending it your way! ;) Thanks Julia.


Thursday 5th of October 2017

Oh wow! These look like an absolutely perfect fall-flavored treat! Will definitely have to make a batch this weekend!!

Marie | Yay! For Food

Thursday 5th of October 2017

I hope you enjoy them! Thanks Sarah.


Thursday 5th of October 2017

Love the crunchy top on these muffins. I bet that adds a delicious touch

Marie | Yay! For Food

Thursday 5th of October 2017

It's my favourite part of the muffin! :)

Corina Blum

Thursday 5th of October 2017

These look delicious and I'm so pleased you mentioned spraying paper liners with a little oil as in the past I've made muffins where half of it was left inside but just never thought to do this!

Marie | Yay! For Food

Thursday 5th of October 2017

Yep! I made them before with paper liners without spraying and they stuck so much! The oil really helps.

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