It’s a fact that the vast majority of the recipes we love at home eventually make their way to the pages of this blog.  However, there are some recipes that I make time and time again and somehow never think to share them with you.  A few weeks ago I shared a photo on Instagram of some Saturday morning muffin baking and people were instantly asking for the recipe.

I don’t blame you. Who doesn’t love a good muffin?  In our house on busy weekday mornings, they are a breakfast staple.  It is so helpful to be able to pull one out of the freezer, thaw quickly in the microwave and serve with some fruit or a green smoothie.  Since these are an everyday sort of muffin as opposed to the dessert-for-breakfast variety that are more of an occasional splurge, I do what I can to make them a bit healthier.
 As with so many baked goods, I swapped out the all-purpose flour for white whole wheat to make them whole grain.  I also cut down the sugar, replaced part of the butter with applesauce.  Thanks to these changes, these aren’t the sickly sweet, oversized calorie bombs you find in coffee shops, but rather a version we feel okay eating on a fairly regular basis.

  • Prep 15 minutes
  • Cook 25 minutes
  • Yield about 12 muffins*


  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. (2 oz.) unsalted butter, melted*
  • ½-¾ cup sugar*
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups fresh (or frozen) blueberries
  • 2 tbsp. coarse sugar such as turbinado for topping (optional) 


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir briefly to blend, then set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Whisk until evenly combined. Whisk in the applesauce, then the eggs one at a time. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, vanilla and lemon juice.  Add half of the dry ingredients into the bowl with the egg mixture and whisk just until incorporated. Add in the buttermilk mixture and whisk again. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and stir gently just until evenly combined.  Very gently fold in the blueberries with a spatula.

  • 02

    Divide the batter between the prepared liners, filling each about 3/4 of the way full.  In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest and the coarse sugar (regular sugar is okay too).  Sprinkle a bit of the sugar mixture on top of the batter in each liner.

  • 03

    Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 24 minutes total.  Let cool in the pan a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • 04


    • I almost always make a double batch of these to keep in the freezer at all times.  For more info on freezing, see this post, specifically the section about baked goods. The gist – freeze after baking.
    • If desired, you can further reduce the amount of fat in the recipe and substitute an equal amount of applesauce. However, this will result in a chewier muffin and they stick to the liners more. I usually don’t go lower than 50/50, but that’s just personal preference.
    • The amount of sugar is also a bit flexible. Try both types to see what you prefer.