Stacked muffins on a cutting board with sliced apples

Healthier Apple Banana Streusel Muffins

October 27, 2020

These muffins are low-fat, dairy-free, and can be made gluten-free. All the deliciousness of banana and apple in a fall twist!



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Healthier Apple Banana Muffins with Crunchy Pecan Streusel – these muffins are my favourite thing to bake right now! Fluffy, moist, and without butter or dairy, these muffins combine the best apples of fall with banana bread. Topped with a delicious crunchy streusel topping, you’ll be thinking these muffins came straight out of a bakery oven!

What are Apple Banana Streusel Muffins?

Healthier Apple Banana Streusel Muffins

October is 100% the best month for apples. Whenever October comes around the first thing I do is mark my calendar to go apple picking. There’s nothing like picking your own apples, and they really do taste better than store bought!

This fluffy moist muffin combines my love of bananas with apples, uses apple sauce instead of butter, is dairy-free, AND has a crunchy bakery style topping. Best of all, it’s healthier than anything you’d buy at a store!

Apple Banana Streusel Muffin Ingredients

Ingredients You’ll Need

Apples: Gala, Honey-crisp, red delicious…YOU CHOOSE! These muffins have so much apple taste, so use your favourite!

Ripe Bananas: Bananas are STILL having their moment. Like I always say, make sure your bananas are rip: mostly speckled with brown/black spots and should be easily mashable.

Apple Sauce: Who needs butter when you can have apple sauce?! The apple sauce substitutes butter in a 1:1 ratio; yet, still leaves these muffins super moist!

Yogurt: For a zesty zing, yogurt makes these muffins so fluffy and moist.

Brown Sugar & Granulated Sugar: This recipe is “healthier”, so I still use brown and white sugar to sweeten up the recipe, but in small amounts.

Whole Wheat Flour: Nutty and healthier, I use only whole wheat flour, but you can substitute for your fav gluten-free flour or All-purpose.

Baking Powder & Baking Soda: You’ll need both for this recipe. Baking powder will do the majority of the “lifting”, but since this recipe has acidic ingredients (yogurt, bananas), you’ll need baking soda for an extra oomf.

Plant-Based Butter: The ONLY time you’ll be using “butter” in this recipe. This is key for getting that crispy, bakery-style streusel topping.

Cinnamon, Cloves & Nutmeg: This trio of spices is the superstar of this recipe. For all the tastes of fall, and spices up the apple and banana.

Pecans (optional): I love a nutty crunch on my muffins, so i always include a handful of crushed nuts in the topping batter.

How to make Apple Banana Streusel Muffins

How to Make Healthier Apple Banana Streusel Muffins

The Muffin Method: A traditional muffin recipe separates the wet and dry ingredients, where all the liquids and butter is creamed together first in one large bowl and the dry-ingredients in another, then combined at the very end. This recipe uses this method as a base.

1.Stir together Dry Ingredients: Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and all the spices in one bowl.

2. Chop the Apples: Peel/ cut the skin off the apples, then core and dice them into small cubes. Toss them in the dry ingredients bowl until the apples are coated in a thin layer of flour.

3. Combine the Liquids: When making traditional muffins, the “butter” is creamed with the sugars until combined and fluffy. Since this recipe uses apple sauce instead, whisk to combine all the liquids: apple sauce, mashed banana, yogurt, vanilla extract with the brown sugar, granulated sugar and the egg in another larger bowl.

4. Fold the Dry into the Wet: Add the dry ingredients into the wet in two batches, folding just until there are no more streaks of flour. Be careful not to over mix or the muffins will be tough!

5. Make the Streusel Topping: Combine flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar and melted plant butter into a small bowl and, just like making pie crust, use your fingers to press together the flour with the melted butter. Tiny clumps of flour should form in a crumble-like consistency. It’s should not be too wet.

6. Divide & Bake: In a muffin tin lined with liners, divide the muffin batter equally filling each muffin liner 3/4 of the way full. Top with the streusel topping and bake first at 400°F (this seals the muffin top and makes it crunchy), then lower the heat to 350°F and bake until done!

Closeup Shot

Can I Make Substitutions in these Muffins?

Absolutely! You can make substitutions; however, I can’t guarantee that the results will be the same. Here are the ingredients that you can easily make changes to without any result issues.

Flour: I use whole wheat flour in this recipe, BUT, you can substitute for gluten-free flour or All-purpose. I’ve baked with both alternatives and they taste great!

Apple Sauce: I wanted to make these muffins (mostly) non-fat, and also boost the apple flavour, so apple sauce was the clear winner. However, if 1) you don’t have apple sauce; or 2) you WANT butter (I get the craving heh), you can use replace apple sauce 1:1 with butter.

I hope you enjoy these muffins as much as I do – as well as my family & friends. The crunchy streusel topping is THE BEST and since a lot of my fav bakeries are still closed, this has been the closest thing to a bakery muffin I can get my hands on!

Happy Baking!


Stacked muffins on a cutting board with sliced apples

Healthier Apple Banana Streusel Muffins

Sharon | WhiskfullySo
Fluffy and moist, these apple banana muffins use apple sauce instead of butter, is dairy-free, AND has a crunchy bakery-style topping. Best of all, it's healthier than anything you'd buy at a store! 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Category Muffins
Servings 12 muffins


for the muffin batter

  • 1 3/4 cup (216 g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp (4g) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (3g) baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp (5g) cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp (2g) ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp (1g) ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp (1g) kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) Apple Sauce unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (61g) yogurt room temperature
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 small eggs room temperature
  • 2 small apples peeled, cored, diced into small cubes
  • 2 medium ripe bananas mashed to a pureed consistency

for the streusel topping

  • 1/2 cup (64g) whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp (41g) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (57g) plant-based butter melted
  • 1/2 cup pecans (optional) finely chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 400F and line a 12 cup muffin tin with liners. or butter the sides of the muffin tin cavities to prevent the batter from sticking.

for the muffin batter

  • In a medium bowl, combine whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and kosher salt. Stir with a spoon to fully incorporate.
  • Wash, peel, core, and dice the apples (of your choice) into small cubes. Toss them into the dry ingredients bowl until each apple cube is coated in a thin layer of flour.
  • In another large bowl, whisk to combine apple sauce, brown sugar, granulated sugar, yogurt and vanilla extract. Whisk until the ingredients are combined, the sugar is dissolved and the batter is smooth. Whisk in the eggs one-by-one until fully incorporated. Lastly, whisked in the mashed banana.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet in two batches, folding with a spatula or spoon until no streaks of flour can be seen.

for the streusel topping

  • Melt the butter by slicing into small cubes, placing in a bowl and microwaving at 10 second increments until full melted.
  • Add the melted butter into a bowl with whole wheat flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and the finely chopped pecans (if desired). Using your hands, create clumps of dough by squeezing the ingredients in your fingertips and mixing with the melted butter. Small clumps of dough should form. The clumps should be pea to almond sized and just holding together.

assemble and bake

  • Divide the muffin batter into the prepared muffin tin filling each liner 3/4 of the way full. (TIP: to ensure each muffin liner gets the same amount use a cookie scooper) Top each muffin batter with some of the streusel topping, pressing the topping into the muffin batter to prevent it from sliding off while baking.
  • Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 400°F to allow a crust to form on the topping, then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 20-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from the muffin tin and enjoying!

did you make this recipe?

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