Mini Pumpkin Applesauce Muffins {Toddler Approved}

mini pumpkin muffins

Lily has been very interested in – and excited about – helping me when I cook & bake. We both put on our aprons (she wears a toddler-size one that my grandmother made for me when I was a little girl), she climbs up into her Learning Tower, and she helps to mix whatever is in the bowl. Ingredients inevitably spill out onto the counter, but she has so much fun!

One of our more recent combined efforts yielded these mini pumpkin applesauce muffins, which we both loved. Their miniature stature makes the muffins perfect for little hands, kids love the way they taste, and the ingredients make parents happy. Win-win!

mini pumpkin muffins



Mini Pumpkin Applesauce Muffins {Toddler Approved}

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Keywords: bake breakfast bread snack pumpkin Halloween Thanksgiving fall

Ingredients (24 mini muffins)

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, preferably organic
  • 1/4 cup unrefined granulated sugar, such as evaporated cane juice
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 egg, preferably organic
  • 1/3 cup neutral flavored vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 2 mini muffin tins.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, applesauce, sugar, maple syrup, egg, and oil.

Add dry ingredients to wet and stir just until fully combined.

Using a mini ice cream scoop or small spoon, scoop batter into prepared muffin tins. You should have 24 muffin cups filled.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a wooden tester stick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Let cool completely before serving to your toddler.

Powered by Recipage

Orange Cranberry Ricotta Muffins


For those of you who celebrated, how was your Thanksgiving?

We hosted for the first time, and luckily everything turned out well!

John smoked the turkey, and I made a streuseled sweet potato casserole, sausage stuffing, fresh whole berry cranberry sauce, sauteed green beans, roasted Brussels sprouts, vegan pumpkin ice cream, apple pie, & pecan pie. We ate all of the veggies during the big feast and we’ve nearly polished off all of the sweet potatoes & stuffing. I’ve enjoyed a few gobbler sandwiches, and have plans for incorporating the remaining turkey into various meals. I sent my parents home with the pecan pie, and I steal little bites from the apple pie & pumpkin ice cream every now and then.

The dish that remains is the cranberry sauce. I made The Pioneer Woman’s recipe, and although it was delicious, it yielded much more cranberry sauce than we needed. It’s delicious spread onto toast or stirred into oatmeal, but I wanted to incorporate some of the leftovers into a new recipe for the blog.


These ricotta muffins are soft, light, and perfectly sweet with a hint of bright orange freshness.


I swirled cranberry sauce into the tops of half of the muffins, and hid the sauce in the centers of the other half. The former method results in prettier muffins, but the latter yields a fun surprise when you take a bite. It’s your call on which method to use… maybe use both in one batch like I did!


If you don’t have any leftover cranberry sauce, you can easily sub in any flavor of jam that you like.




Orange Cranberry Ricotta Muffins

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Keywords: bake bread breakfast snack fall winter

Ingredients (12 muffins)

  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup unrefined granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp grated orange rind (from about 1 medium-sized orange)
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 1 medium-sized orange)
  • 1 large egg, (preferably organic), lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup leftover fresh whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 2 Tbsp turbinado sugar


Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a 12-cup muffin tin or line with muffins liners; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the ricotta, water, oil, orange zest, orange juice, and egg.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in the wet; stir just until moistened.

Here’s where your options come into play. You can either a) fill the prepared muffin cups halfway with batter, spoon 1 tsp of cranberry sauce into the center, and fill muffin cups the rest of the way with remaining batter or b) fill muffin cups with batter, spoon 1 tsp of cranberry sauce on top, and swirl into batter.

Evenly sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the batter-filled cups.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Powered by Recipage