These gluten free apple muffins are the perfect breakfast treat to eat year round. With a cinnamon swirl ribbon and chunks of fresh apples inside, they kind of remind me of apple fritters (only not fried, of course). They are perfect for a quick breakfast and so easy to make. They got my picky son’s seal of approval, so you know they must be delish!
Why you'll love this recipe
- It's filled with fall flavor but they're great any time of year.
- They make the perfect breakfast or afternoon snack.
- No mixer required.
- This easy recipe is gluten free and dairy free!
- Gluten-Free Flour – for almost all of my recipes, I use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour Blend. You can use your own favorite flour blend but keep in mind this recipe was developed with BRM, so your final product may be slightly different. For best results, weigh your flour. And if you're using another flour blend, make sure it contains xanthan gum .
- White & Brown Sugar – White sugar for the muffin and light brown sugar for the cinnamon swirl.
- Baking Powder – A little bit of baking powder helps the muffins grow nice tall muffin tops.
- Oil – I use olive oil or vegetable oil, but any light flavored cooking oil will do.
- Egg – Just one large egg to hold everything together.
- Vanilla Extract – Just a hint of vanilla to sweeten the flavor.
- Milk – I usually use unsweetened coconut milk (the kind in the carton) in my baking recipes. You can use any non-dairy or dairy milk in the same measure.
- Cinnamon & Apple Pie Spice – You can’t have cinnamon swirl without cinnamon.
- Apple – Just one diced apple, preferably Granny Smith or another good baking variety.
See recipe card for quantities.
Substitutions & Variations
- Not Dairy Free - use dairy milk in the same measure.
- Make it Vegan - Replace the single egg with 3 tablespoons of applesauce. The muffins will be a little denser, but have a nice apple flavor.
How to make gluten free apple muffins
The key to getting those amazing muffin tops like you see in a bakery comes from the mixing method. I always use what is known as the “muffin method” for my recipes.
STEP 1: Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Set aside.
STEP 2: Combine the gluten free flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and apple pie spice in a mixing bowl. Whisk together until well mixed.
STEP 3: Crack the egg into a small bowl. Whisk until it's frothy, like soap bubbles.
STEP 4: Add the oil, vanilla and non-dairy milk to the beaten egg. Mix until smooth.
STEP 5: Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Fold together with a spatula, about 10 strokes.
STEP 6: Add the chopped apples to the partially mixed batter. Fold together about 5 more strokes until it's evenly mixed.
STEP 7: Fill each muffin cup about half full with the apple muffin batter.
STEP 8: Top each half filled muffin with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Then fill each muffin cup with a second portion of batter and top the muffins with the remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake.
To check for done: gently poke the top center of one muffing with a finger. If it springs right back it is baked through. If it leaves an indentation, bake another 2-3 minutes and recheck.
Store leftover muffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Muffins will last up to 3 days.
Reheat individual for about 15-20 seconds in the microwave prior to serving.
These muffins can also be frozen. Simply place leftover, cooled muffins in a freezer bag and try to remove as much of the extra air as possible. Muffins can be stored in the freezer up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature or reheat before serving.
First, mix the batter just until it’s combined.
Second, fill the muffin cups right to the top.
Third, bake in a hot oven. This causes the tops to grow tall just like you see in a bakery.
No. Use paper liner cups in your muffin pan instead of greasing. Greasing actually makes the sides slick so the batter has nothing to hold on to as it grows. Using paper lines let the muffins grow tall and keeps the clean up easy.
Granny Smith are usually the preferred variety for baking because they do not become too soft after being cooked. However, I really like the sweetness of golden varieties.
More apple recipes to consider:
If you try this recipe, please leave a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 star rating and let me know how you liked it in the comments below.
Easy Gluten Free Apple Muffins
- 1 Cup Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend (148g) I use Bob's Red Mill
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Apple Pie Spice
- 6 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 3 Tablespoon Olive Oil or other light flavor cooking oil
- ⅓ Cup Non-Dairy Milk regular milk will work too
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 Cup Apple finely chopped
For the cinnamon swirl
- 2 Tablespoon Light Brown Sugar
- ¾ teaspoon Cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line 6 muffin cups with paper liners.
- Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.2 Tablespoon Light Brown Sugar, ¾ teaspoon Cinnamon
- In a large bowl, combine the gf flour, baking powder, salt, apple pie spice and sugar. Whisk together until well mixed.1 Cup Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend (148g), 1 teaspoon Baking Powder, ¼ teaspoon Salt, ¼ teaspoon Apple Pie Spice, 6 Tablespoon Sugar
- In a second smaller bowl, crack your egg. Whisk until it's frothy, like soap bubbles.1 Egg
- Add the oil, milk and vanilla to your whisked egg. Whisk a little more until the mixture is smooth.3 Tablespoon Olive Oil, ⅓ Cup Non-Dairy Milk, ½ teaspoon Vanilla
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold together with a spatula, about 10 strokes.
- Add the diced apple and fold about 5 more times until it's evenly distributed.1 Cup Apple
- Scoop about 2 tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup. It should be less than half full. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon sugar over the batter. Scoop the remaining batter on top of the cinnamon. The cups will be almost filled to the top. You can sprinkle the tops with any remaining cinnamon sugar.
- Let the batter sit about 10 minutes before baking.
- Bake for 25-27 minutes in preheated oven. Check for done-ness by gently poking the top of a muffin. If it springs right back, the muffins are done. If the indention stays, bake another 2 minutes and check again.
- Remove muffins from the tin within 10 minutes of the end of baking to avoid wet bottoms from the condensation in the pan as it cools.
Tiffany is the recipe developer, stylist and food photographer behind Well Fed Baker. As a lifelong baker who had to go gluten free and dairy free in 2016, Tiffany strives to share allergen friendly recipes that never feel like they are free from anything.