Spiced Applesauce Quinoa Muffins

By • August 27, 2013 7 Comments

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Author Notes: Quinoa gives this classic muffin a bit of extra protein, as well as a fun texture. I like to use red quinoa for this, as it makes the muffins rather pretty. This recipe can also be made in mini loaf pans, making it easy to freeze some for another day, or in a standard loaf pan if you prefer. The basic ratios are loosely based on my go-to banana bread recipe, from The Tassajara Bread Book. Be sure to use chunky applesauce for this. Enjoy!! ;o)AntoniaJames

Food52 Review: These muffins are 1970s meet the 21st century. And I mean that in a good way! In addition to protein, the quinoa adds moisture and textural interest without adding the grassy or soapy quality that quinoa can sometimes have. The spices blend together really well, making the muffins -- which are delicious on day one -- taste even better on the second day. An excellent recipe from a great cook! drbabs

Makes 1 dozen

  • 1/2 cup canola, sunflower or similar neutral oil
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup cooked red quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups chunky applesauce
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon \ground cloves (or ground cardamom, if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup pecan or walnut pieces, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, raisins, or finely chopped dried apricots
  • 2 teaspoons raw sugar
  • A few good dashes of cinnamon for the topping
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a regular muffin tin (or a standard loaf pan or three mini-loaf pans, if you prefer).
  2. Beat the oil and brown sugar together; then add the eggs, the flaxseed, and the vanilla and beat well until the batter is glossy and smooth.
  3. Add the applesauce and the quinoa. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  4. Stir together the flours, wheat germ, soda, salt and spices, to combine well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients, the nuts, and the dried fruit to the wet ingredients. Swiftly stir with a large spoon, taking care not to overbeat.
  6. Pour the batter in the prepared muffin tin or loaf pan(s).
  7. Combine the raw sugar and a few good dashes of cinnamon to make the topping. Sprinkle it on the muffins or loaf (or loaves).
  8. Bake for 25 minutes if making muffins; if making the standard loaf, bake for about 50 to 55 minutes, and the mini-loaves for 30 minutes. In each instance, test by gently pressing your index finger in the middle of the loaf or a muffin. If it quickly springs back, remove from the oven. If you create a little depression, continue to bake for another 5 minutes in the case of a standard loaf, or 2 minutes for either the mini-loaves or muffins. Check and repeat again if necessary.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least ten minutes before removing.
  10. Enjoy!! ;o)

More Great Recipes: Fruit|Rice & Grains|Bread, Rolls & Muffins|Breakfast & Brunch|Quinoa

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Comments (7) Questions (0)


5 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

This recipe works well as mini loaves, too. Bake 25 min at 350. I didn't have 1 1/2 cup of chunky applesauce; I used 1 1/8 c of regular unsweetened + half a medium apple, finely chopped. ;o) https://instagram.com/p...


over 1 year ago Zo

Hello and thank you for the wonderful recipe. I love it.
However, i wonder if you could assist me with a gluten free version of it. I did not dare substituting because i am afraid of an unsuccessful result. I live in an area where we do not have GF mixes starches available in the market. All we have is: corn flour, buckwheat flour, white and brown rice flour, almond flour, coconut flour, chickpea flour...how can i substitute these for the white and whole wheat flours? Thank you so very much.


almost 2 years ago sarah

I made these, and even though I had to use white sugar and flour, they were still great--lots of different textures and flavors 'cause of the nuts and fruit...I put them in the freezer and just microwave one whenever...thanks for the recipe!


almost 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

sarah, so glad you liked them! Glad to hear that they freeze well. We don't need an entire dozen in the house at the time. I've made this in mini-loaves, but will try a batch of muffins next time I make a batch. Thanks for posting this comment! ;o)


almost 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

OMG, I'm making this asap, AJ. They look perfect for the season too. Tomorrow if at all possible they are going in the oven, and then into my tummy.


almost 2 years ago Sherry

I made these and my family absolutely LOVED them! I hope that you will try these because they are delicious. They will become a regular treat in my home.


almost 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks, Sherry. I actually made the first batch because I found a bunch of jars of homemade applesauce and apple conserve from the year before, which I needed to use up. This year, I'm canning extra applesauce to have on hand for this recipe. ;o)