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Pumpkin Apple Muffins


Pumpkin Apple Muffins are a delicious blend of fall flavors with a fruit and veggie in each muffin! Wait – is pumpkin a fruit or a veggie………..keep reading to find out!

Is Pumpkin a Fruit or a Veggie?

There are a few fruits/veggies that fall into both the fruit camp and the veggie camp. But how does that work? What defines a fruit? And what defines a veggie? And does it even matter?

There are two ways that fruits and veggies are classified: botanically and from a culinary standpoint.

Botanically, fruits and vegetables are classified depending on which part of the plant they come from.

  • A fruit develops from the flower of a plant, while the other parts of the plant are categorized as vegetables.
  • Fruits contain seeds, while vegetables can consist of roots, stems and leaves.

The culinary standpoint defines fruits and vegetables based on taste.

  • Fruits generally have a sweet or tart flavor and can be used in desserts, snacks or juices.
  • Vegetables have a more mild, savory or bitter taste and are usually eaten as part of a side dish or main course.

So – what is pumpkin? A fruit or a veggie?

Botanically, pumpkin is a fruit because it’s a product of the seed-bearing structure of flowering plants.  From a culinary perspective, pumpkin is less sweet and more savory and so it is generally categorized as a vegetable.

Does it really matter? Fruit is higher in sugar and calories than vegetables, but both fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Specific types of fruits and vegetables provide different nutrients. In the end, the classification of fruits and vegetables isn’t as important as eating a variety of both to take advantage of the diverse nutrients they provide.

What are the Best Apples for Muffins?

When you are adding apples to a muffin, you need to keep in mind that texture is really important. Good baking apples should hold their shape and not turn into mush. The flavor of the apple will depend on what you are making. If your muffin is less sweet, then a sweeter variety of apple like golden delicious might be a good choice. The opposite is also true – when you are making a sweet muffin, then a Granny Smith with a very tart flavor would be a delicious contrast in flavor. Here is a list of apples that we like to use in muffins:

  • Braeburn
  • Cameo
  • Fuji
  • Gala
  • Golden Delicious
  • Granny Smith
  • Honeycrisp
  • Jonagold
  • Jonathan
  • Melrose
  • Pink Lady

Here are a few tips for enjoying great apples:

  • Pick: Select apples that are firm to the touch and free of bruises.
  • Store: To maintain freshness, apples should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.
  • Prep: Thoroughly wash apples in water before using. Apples can be enjoyed in salads, smoothies, and breads.
4 pumpkin apple muffins on a plate with sliced apples next to them and apples in the background

Health Benefits of Apples

Apples are a great thing to add to your kids menu! An apple a day, really might keep the doctor away (although, I’m not sure that anyone has ever tried it!) These are some of the health benefits to your kids that you might find interesting:

  • A lot of the nutrition in an apple is in the peel. So make sure you keep the peel on when you give your kids apples!
  • Apples are great for your kid’s digestive health because not only do they have a lot of fiber, but they have two different kinds! Apples contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Together they help support regular bowel movements for your kids by softening and bulking up their stool and helping it move along the intestines which helps prevent constipation.
  • Apples contain pectin which is a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic. This means it feeds the good bacteria in your gut.

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree

Did you know that you can make your own pumpkin puree rather than buy it?? We have an entire post on how to make your own pumpkin puree in 3 Simple Steps!  We’ve got more pumpkin recipes for you also if you are the pumpkin loving type:


More Healthy Muffin Recipes:

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4 from 90 votes

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 18 muffins
Calories: 170kcal



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Chop apples (will need 1 cup).
  • Mix flour, sugar, pumpkin spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Beat eggs in separate bowl. Mix in pumpkin puree and oil.
  • Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in chopped apple.
  • Line muffin pan with baking cups or spray each tin with cooking spray. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full and bake 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in muffin comes out clean.


Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 90mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 11g
Keyword : Pumpkin Streusel Oat Muffins


Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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Recipe Rating


How is sugar healthy? It is one of the worse products out on the market. You should practice what you preach.

There’s raw, unbleached sugar; Sucata, which is basically dried sugar cane juice; coconut sugar, which is also minimally processed and still contains all the nutrients from the coconuts..
It’s just the white bleached processed table sugar that is so bad, because all the nutrients have been removed, leaving only empty calories to spike your blood sugar!!

The hard thing with baking with honey is that it browns and burns more quickly than regular sugar. NOT that it wouldn’t work… just watch your cooking time! I think the taste would be great if you can get that perfect point between just cooked, but not yet burned! 🙂

Hi Sara- We have always said excessive added sugar is toxic. But our brains actually use 25% of the glucose in our body. To eliminate sugar wouldn’t be smart either. In the 1800’s we ate about 5lbs of sugar per year- which would be very appropriate. Now, we are eating 120+lbs of sugar per person, per year! We’ve never said sugar is the worst product on the market, but always have practiced what we preach that excessive (more than 5% of calories from sugar) is not healthy.

I just made these…they are SO good. Hubby and I already ate 2 fresh out of the oven. Hope there are some left when the kids come home from grandmas 🙂 Awesome muffin for the fall weather we are having.

Thanks SO much

I too have never heard of apples turning super sweet once it gets cold. But if your friend grew up on an apple orchard, I think she knows best!

Apples and pumpkins are the perfect fall combinations. This is something that I will be definitely making soon. There’s a lot of fibre in this recipe, so it’ll definitely keep me full!

I think having it with some apple cider would be even better!

We can’t forget that the best about baking with kids is that they love to help out and you can make an activity out of it!

I made these this morning and they are delicious! My kids scarfed them down – thank you!

I made them with my own pumpkin puree (1 3/4 cup) and they turned out great!

The only thing I found confusing was the mention of the Crunch Pak of apples. I found myself scouring this blog post and then having to Google search the Crunch Pak to make sure I could use one of my apples (and leave the skins on). Just wanted to throw that out there. 🙂

Thank you so much for this delicious recipe!

Glad everyone liked them Meg- and sorry about the Crunch Pak of Apples. I don’t even know what those are- they must be a sponsor of Produce for Kids or something.. I printed this recipe with their permission, so I was trying to keep it close to the original as possible. 🙂

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These were great! I used 1/2 C honey instead of sugar and applesauce instead of canola oil. I will make them again for sure!

I just saw your pumpkin apple muffin recipe for kids and was wondering you said it made 16 muffins is that reg size or the mini muffin tins I would use. They look so good. And could I use Splenda instead of sugar as I am diabetic.

Love, love, love your site! You do a great job of providing healthy recipes with normal ingredients and doing things in moderation. Please don’t let people like the first poster ever get you down!

On to my question…

I have leftover basic “muffin mix” that I made from the recipe on your site. Do you think if I use, say, 2.5 cups of that (to cover the bulk of dry ingredients) that it would work for this recipe???

Yes Stacy- We’ve done this with a flax/water mixture. I think we use 1 tablespoon of flax to 3 tablespoons of water, and whip until frothy.

Rachel- when I sub with applesauce, I do replace it 1:1. But generally only half the oil. So for this I would likely use 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup applesauce.

16 regular size muffins- not mini (although I made mini of course in the photos.. that would definitely be misleading. Sorry!!) I’m going to edit to reflect that.

LOL! Thanks Kara- People DO get intense around here 🙂
You should be fine doing that! I will try it too. I need to make some new master muffin add-ins soon.

Christine- I find those at the party store- they are the little treat cups for filling with candy and stuff. But I use them for muffins because they are stronger than muffin papers.

What temp and time do I use for mini muffins? I’m planning on using paper muffin liners unless you think they would be too hard to remove. Can I use other flours without changing the other ingredients?

You are just using chopped apples, right? What’s a Crunch pak? We live overseas….I don’t know anything American anymore 😉 BTW, I love your recipes! Hey peeps if you don’t like the stuff, don’t make it. Some people need to learn, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

I just made these and replaced the canola oil with coconut oil and the white sugar with organic coconut palm sugar and they turned out perfect!!

Yes Heidi, others have said it works just fine. I would definitely start doing that- and we should replace more of our recipes with other oils!

@Sally- same temperature, but about 10-12 minutes ont he cooking time. I haven’t tried it with other flours. Paper muffins are OK- but you are right, they are tougher to remove from muffins. I would even just use no paper at all, and grease up your muffin tin well.

Hi Amy:
I just made these muffins and used Stevia instead of sugar and coconut oil instead of oil….and they are dark brown and a tad on dry side…why? Is it the whole wheat flour maybe? There is no orange color to them at all and I used a whole can of pumpkin…any tips?

HI Amy:
I just made these and they are dark brown and a tad on dry side..I used coconut oil and sunflower oil and then replaced the sugar with Stevia…but htey aren’t orange at all..they are dark brown..any tips for me?

Hi! Recipe looks great! I don’t have a mini muffin pan… but I have the liners. Can I just fill them and set them on a baking sheet?

Hi! Recipe looks great! I don’t have a mini muffin pan… but I have the liners. Can I just fill them and set them on a baking sheet?

If they are strong liners like the ones in my photo, yes- you don’t need a muffin tin. You could just arrange them on a baking sheet.

Hmm.. I wonder if Stevia is a moisture sucker for some reason?? I’m not sure because I’ve never baked with it before. Maybe add a little more pumpkin next time to enhance the moisture?

Fantastic fall recipe! I made them gluten free by substituting with my homemade all-purpose GF flour 1:1 and they turned out perfect! I will be making them again!

Fantastic fall recipe! I made them gluten free by substituting with my homemade all-purpose GF flour 1:1 and they turned out perfect! I will be making them again!

Made these this morning & they are absolutely delish!!!! My three year old LOVES them also! Please ignore the people that are tripping out over sugar. Your recipes are healthy and any normal, sane minded person knows that if we want to change the sugar out to something more suitable for our needs, then we can. BOOM,.. it’s that easy! I happen to love coconut oil & prefer brown sugar (& less of it) over white, so we used that instead.
Anywho,… I absolutely love your site! I find myself here almost daily. I follow you on facebook and Pinterest also. Thank you SO much for all that you do!!! My entire family is truly grateful.
Lisa S.
Royal Oak, Michigan.

Just made these – consistency turned out great but I only used 1/2 cup sugar as stated. I honestly don’t think they have enough flavor – next time I will use the entire 3/4 cup of sugar…as it is, maybe my son would have eaten them plain but I already made a cream cheese glaze to drizzle on top. (guess that defeats the purpose of me trying to add less sugar!) 🙂

Hi there! I was so excited to make these, and just as I was about to add the pumpkin I realized my box of puree had expired. 🙁 I was too far into the recipe to turn back, so searched around to see what I might be able to do, and actually substituted a 15 oz can of yams (drained water). The batter was a bit dry so I added 2-3 TBS of milk to get the right consistency.

I don’t know what this does to the nutritional value, but I just wanted to post to say it WORKED (to my surprise). And they are delicious!! 🙂 My toddler ate one right up.

Just in case anyone was lacking pumpkin in their cupboards!

Are you aware of any pumpkin spice that has no ginger or an alternative homemade recipe? My son is allergic but I’d love to make these….look so good!

I purchased a large cushaw squash at a pumpkin farm and have been trying to do different things with it. I replaced the pumpkin puree with the cushaw puree and it was really good. Read that cushaw has more liquid so I used a little less than 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup canola and it worked. I also sprinkled some cinnamon on top right before putting in the oven. Kids just ate several!

These were very…..um, healthy-tasting. My kids took one bite- no more. I think half whole wheat and half white flour would have been a bit more palatable, plus more spices some vanilla, and a full cup of sugar… unless you want it to taste like plain bread.

These look great and I wanted to make them today however the ingredient list looks like it is not loading correctly. For sugar it is showing 3⁄4 cups sugar  and oil is 1⁄2 cup canola oil. I can’t imagine 4 cups of sugar and 2 cups of oil is correct. Can you please let me know the correct amounts for these? Thanks!!

Did you bake your mini muffins in the treat cups or put them in the cups after baking to dress and photograph them? If you did bake them in the cups, did you spray the cups with non-stick baking spray first? Did the muffins come out easily? I know I’ve asked several questions, but I never thought of doing that before, and I LOVE the idea!

Right Amy- I cooked them in a regular mini muffin tin without liners, and THEN put them in the treat cups for the photo. I always spray my muffin tin LIBERALLY 🙂 If I’m making regular size muffins, I use silicone liners, and they pop out beautifully.

5 stars
These were wonderful! The kids and I loved them! Tip: An ice cream scoop is perfect for scooping just the right amount of batter into the cupcake liners ?

Hi Amy,

I just found this recipe today and am in the process of making it. I noticed it only called for 1/2 TBSP of olive oil, and the mix seems super dry. I am wondering if it should read 1/2 cup of oil based on suggestions from the comments. I have added further applesauce and oil combo (my fav way of doing it) to make it 1/2 cup……I will see how it turns out as I added it during the mix of wet and dry.

5 stars
Thanks for sharing this amazing ppumpkin apple muffins recipe with all of us. I really like this amazing pumpkin apple muffins recipe. Even i have a special pumpkin apple muffins recipe as well. Check out the recipe here:

Making these tomorrow with a few changes for an experiment. Instead of eggs I will use flax meal and water and instead of oil applesauce. Can’t wait to try them!

5 stars
Went apple picking and made these with Autumn Crisp apples. My daughter loves them so much and wants to eat them all! Took some in to her teachers as a proud treat.

5 stars
We absolutely love these muffins! Simple ingredients we almost always have on hand and they are easy and fast to make!

These are great! I substituted the sugar with 6 tablespoons of monk fruit natural sweetener and apple sauce for the oil. They are great!

5 stars
Delicious! My daughter said “this tastes like cake!” So I will cut back a little on sugar+honey next time. I did half the sugar and honey for the other half. Also substituted unsweetened applesauce for the oil. And I didn’t quite have the full 15oz of pumpkin purée as I was using what I had leftover from a larger can, but I just added about 1 tablespoon or so of milk and they turned out nice and fluffy! Oh & I used King Arthur organic unbleached all-purpose flour. I guess it’s not “whole wheat” but perfectly yummy! Superhealthy kids, it sure would be awesome if you guys could compile recommended substitutions (maybe with * for reader-recommended) within your ingredients lists, or at least noted below. Seeing them in the comments is super helpful, but it’s so time-consuming, lol!

I found this recipe very straightforward and easy to follow, the pumpkin really does go well with the apple.

After finding this online I thought we would try making it for the removal company we had booked to transport our belongings a few weeks back.

2 vans and 4 hungry men, wow did they love these muffins!

P.S they ate 3 each!