Hi, my name is Morgan and I’m a fall addict.
Okay, call me ‘basic’ (do the kids still say that?) but by the end of July, I’m itching for fall. I love being warm, but I hate being hot, so I have a weird love/hate relationship with summer. Add in the fact that we live surrounded by trees so we get a ton of unmanageable little buggies (read:gnats) and I’m ready for summer. It definitely doesn’t hurt that it’s been 70 here in NJ, meaning nights and early morning feel chilly and very much like fall.
Fall where I live means apples – we live near a few different orchards and starting in September the weekend traffic can get pretty annoying. On the bright side, it means that we get amazing apples galore! Come September, I’m itching to throw on some comfy boots and crank up the over to bake up alllll the apples and fill my house with the undeniable smell of fall.
Luckily, the boys (Alex included!) love all things apple, so they don’t complain when I start experimenting. And if I can make it a little fun? All the better. That, my lovely friends, if how we came to these adorable healthy apple muffins.
You may have seen these cute apple shaped cupcake around the internet by Make and Takes on Pinterest which is how I got the inspiration for these. She uses balled up tin foil placed between the paper liner and the metal muffin tin to shape cupcakes (or in my case, muffins) into apple shapes before frosting.
But, you see – I have a 3-year-old. 3-year-olds and cupcakes do not mix. It quickly turns into a sugar laced version of, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” and his memory is surprisingly resilient these days. Give him a treat on Monday and he’ll still be asking for another come Friday. It’s why I created my Healthy Cake Pop recipe – he had them once at Starbucks and then just.wouldn’t.stop.asking. Same goes for cupcakes which brings us to healthy apple muffins.
These muffins are simple and have a lot less sugar than a cupcake and are packed with grated apple. Feel free to substitute 1/2 cup of the grated apple for some grated veggies (carrots would work perfect!) to add even more healthy stuff! Once cooled, the muffins are topped with a refined sugar-free cream cheese frosting that I love to use for just about everything for the boys and decorated to look like adorable little apples!
If you’re looking for a fun snack to add to fall lunch boxes or as a morning treat, these healthy apple muffins with cream cheese frosting are exactly what you’re looking for!
Healthy Apple Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 TBS white sugar
3 TBS brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 1/2 cups of grated apples (with juice)
1 8-oz brick of cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup of thick Greek Yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 TBS of maple syrup, to taste.
Optional: red dye, red sprinkles
To make muffins:
Preheat oven to 350. Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Combine wet ingredients before folding into the dry ingredients until just combined.
Prepare your muffin tins by balling up a small amount of tin foil and adding to your muffin tin between the pan and paper liner. Spray your muffin liners with non-stick spray to ensure they don’t stick. Pour batter into the prepared cups and bake 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
To make frosting:
Whip cream cheese until light before adding yogurt, vanilla, and sweetener to taste and whipping until totally combined. If using food dye, add now – start with 15 drops and go from there.
Using an offset spatula (a butter knife would work as well, but its so much easier this way.) spread frosting thickly to the top of the muffin, being sure not to overlap the dip that will make the top of your ‘apple’. If planning to use sprinkles, top frosted muffin over a bowl and then dip any bare spots in the leftover sprinkles.
Add a small pretzel stick to the top of your muffin and a green candy (I used an M&M on it’s side) to make a ‘leaf’.
If desired add eyes to the ‘apple’ – I highly recommend it because omg so cute.
Okay, so tell me – favorite fall food? Are the kids still using ‘basic’? Let me know in the comments!
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