Healthy Pumpkin Muffins with Applesauce

Sharing is caring!

Who says muffins have to be laden with heavy fats. With my Healthy Pumpkin Muffins with Applesauce you replace the oil normally used with applesauce and pumpkin puree.

healthy pumpkin muffins with applesauce 2 shows 2 muffins on a pumpkin shaped doily with candy corn as the pumpkin stem

Healthy Pumpkin Muffins with Applesauce

This is my favorite time of year. I love everything about it–the cooler weather, cozy sweaters and pumpkin spice everywhere. I like the taste of pumpkin, but I am not a big fan of a strong pumpkin flavor. That is why I am such a big fan of this recipe; the pumpkin flavor is relatively mild. In addition, this is a healthier recipe because I have used applesauce instead of oil in the batter. This, along with the pumpkin, adds so much moisture to the muffins.

These are the BEST healthy pumpkin muffins, and here is why:

  • By using a chunky applesauce in the batter, you occasionally get an apple chunk in the muffins.
  • The muffins have a lightly sweetened topping.
  • The pecans add texture to the muffins.

To make Healthy Pumpkin Muffins with Applesauce, you will need:

  • yellow cake mix – I like the extra moist variety
  • pumpkin puree
  • applesauce – I prefer the chunky variety
  • eggs
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • pecans – rough chopped works best
  • brown sugar – light or dark
  • flour
  • butter
  • candy corn – optional

healthy pumpkin muffins with applesauce 3 shows the ingredients used

How to easily make Healthy Pumpkin Muffins with Applesauce:

  1. Mix by hand the cake mix, pumpkin, applesauce, eggs, pumpkin pie spice and pecans until well combined.
  2. To a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and flour. Cut in the butter.
  3. Spray the pumpkin tins well with cooking spray.
  4. Spoon one-half tablespoon of topping mixture in the bottom of each pumpkin tin.
  5. Fill the tin almost to the top with the batter.
  6. Bake; immediately after baking invert into a tray to release the muffins.
  7. Enjoy!

healthy pumpkin muffins with applesauce 4 shows the texture of the topping mixture by using 2 knives to cut in the butter

The topping should resemble course crumbs when the butter is cut in with a pastry blender or two butter knives as shown above

Optional add-ins:

  • raisins or dried cranberries – these would add chewiness to the muffins
  • chocolate chips – milk, dark or white would be delicious in the batter
  • oatmeal – add 3/4 cup to the topping ingredients

The three most important things about this recipe:

  1. I call this recipe healthy because you do not use oil in the batter; pumpkin and applesauce provide the moisture. However, it does have some sugar and butter in the topping as well as whatever sugar is in the cake mix.
  2. For a chewier texture, the above-mentioned oatmeal could also be added to the batter ingredients.
  3. I have added the candy corn to the top of each muffin to simulate a pumpkin stem, but you could leave those off.

When should I serve Healthy Pumpkin Muffins with Applesauce?

These muffins work well for breakfast or a snack. They would also be great for brunch. Pop one or two into lunchboxes for a special treat!


healthy pumpkin muffins with applesauce 5 shows a tray of muffins with candy corn for stems

Can I freeze Healthy Pumpkin Muffins with Applesauce?

Yes, you can. In fact, I froze most of mine for another day. They should keep for up to two months, although mine will not last that long.

If you like this recipe, please like and share it–Thanks!

5 from 2 votes
healthy pumpkin muffins with applesauce 1 shows 2 muffins on a paper doily with candy corn all around
Healthy Pumpkin Muffins with Applesauce
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

You can skip the oil in this recipe because pumpkin and applesauce provide the moistness.

Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy recipe, fall, Thanksgiving
Servings: 24 muffins
Calories: 177 kcal
Author: Renea
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/4 cups applesauce (I used chunky)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
Mapley Topping
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 handfull candy corn (optional)
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine all the muffin ingredients and mix well by hand.

  2. To a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and pumpkin pie spice. Using a pastry blender or two butter knives, cut in the butter until it resembles small crumbs.

  3. I used pumpkin-shaped tins, but you could use regular muffin tins. If you use regular tins, only fill them about 2/3 full. Spray the tins very well with cooking spray.

  4. Spoon about one-half tablespoon of the topping into the bottom of each tin. Fill the pumpkin-shaped tins close to the top.

  5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. After removing from the oven, immediately invert upside down on a serving tray while hot in order for the topping to release.

  6. Optional--After cooling slightly, you can add the candy corn stem to the center of each muffin.

If you made this recipe, please let me know what you thought in the comments and give it a star rating.–xoxo Renea

After you try this muffin recipe, you will understand why I call it a BEST. For another great muffin recipe, try my Cherry Muffins with Coconut Topping. The Wholesome Dish has a Standard Muffin Recipe where you can pick your add-ins.

Click HERE for more about Inspire a Creation.

4 thoughts on “Healthy Pumpkin Muffins with Applesauce”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.