Tuesday 6 February 2018

Recipe: Magic apple cinnamon muffins

First off, a disclaimer, these aren't really magic apple muffins. However, if I called them "use up the leftover apple from my school child's lunchbox" muffins, they don't sound as appealing.

I like to think of that old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon when I'm making these... watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat... nothing my my sleeve. Except in this case, I have half apples that my daughter has brought home (her school sends home all uneaten lunch so we can track what gets consumed) with various reasons so far:
  • She was too busy playing to finish it
  • Biting the apple made her teeth hurt
  • She remembered she didn't like apples anymore
  • No one else was eating an apple
I smile, grit my teeth (because of course when helping me plan her lunches before grocery shopping, she told me apples were what she really wanted so we bought them) and resolve to use them up somehow because I hate waste.

I figured muffins would be a good addition to lunch boxes, and who would honestly turn down a muffin right? So, previous days half eaten apples now get grated up, mixed with pantry staples and turned into delicious lunch box friendly snacks that freeze perfectly, and seem to be a lunch box hit. Winning!

I've made these both with and without sugar, and honestly, I like them better with a tiny amount of coconut sugar added. The spices make it extra flavoursome, so I think we're onto something here - at least I haven't had any muffins coming home!

Magic apple cinnamon muffins
(makes approximately 18 mini muffins)
printable link

  • approximately 2 apples, skins on, grated coarsely
  • 1 1/2 cups self raising flour (wholemeal or plain)
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut (shredded would also work well)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 cup milk (I like almond, but any would suit)
  • splash of almond essence (or vanilla)
  1. Preheat oven to 180C degrees. 
  2. Add everything into a mixing bowl and combine.
  3. Spoon mix into a mini muffin tray.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cooked.
  5. Let them cool slightly before popping them out of the tray and allowing them to cool.
  6. Store in an airtight container.
  • You could mix up the spices, and add some ground nutmeg and/or ginger. I've also used some pumpkin pie spice, just because I have some on hand.
  • I know vanilla essence is more traditional, but the almond essence is yummy.
  • I like using wholemeal flour because I like to squeeze in more fibre when I can. I think it would also work with plain and maybe a couple spoonfuls of wheatgerm or bran flakes instead though.
  • For a richer muffin, you could add in a tablespoon or two of coconut oil, but I honestly don't find it necessary.
  • These muffins freeze really well - I just wait for them to cool and then freeze them in a container, separated with baking paper (or reusable equivalent) so I can grab one and pop it in a lunchbox as is. I try not to use any glad wrap or plastic when making school lunches.


  1. I would love these in my lunchbox - and I love the magic of giving new life to leftovers. Maybe I need a recipe for overenthusiasm in buying peaches at the moment - it is not great when there is a lunchbox preference for the crunchy just ripe ones.

    1. Thanks Johanna. I have to admit, a few of them may have found their way to my lunch box too :-)
      I'm also loving peaches at the moment - they are just so good (although my fondness is for the softer ones, so much easier to repurpose).

  2. I like the school policy of sending food home, and your inspired approach to not wasting the half apples! What a great outcome with the muffins, they look delicious.

  3. ooh yes i like coconut sugar - not too sweet if i remember correctly:)



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