Healthy Apple and Dried Cherry Mini Muffins

The wonderful thing about kids is the fact that they are unpredictable. The challenging thing about kids is the fact that they are unpredictable.

There are times when I expect a negative reaction to a situation, and my girls will completely surprize me by showing a level of maturity that is beyond their years. Yes (smile), they are unpredictable.

One week something is an all-time favourite. The next week it is the worst thing ever. This is particularly the case when it comes to food. Yes (sigh), they are unpredictable.

But, I find that if you hold your ground, they eventually eat the dish or snack that you made for them. And I think they like it too . . . they just won’t admit it. (They get their stubborn streak from their father.) Otherwise they’d have a very unhealthy and boring food repetoire (think mac & cheese, pizza and grilled cheese). Somedays it wears you down, but it keeps me on my toes as I live in search of recipes that my ponytails will like.

These mini apple muffins went over well last week, which made me very happy since they are made with lots of healthy bits, such as apples, oats, dried cherries and sesame seeds. They were perfect to send to school for snacks, since they are nut-free, but still have some crunch to them from the sesame seeds. I guiltlessly ate quite a few myself because they are made with very little fat–only 2 tablespoons of canola oil for the entire batch. They ranked right up there with the Blueberry and Banana Muffins that I wrote about in my very first post.

I keep wondering how many more years until the girls become more adventurous about their food–the way they were when they were really little and weren’t influenced by the kids menu at restaurants? Is there cause for optimism?

Healthy Apple Breakfast Muffins

Slightly adapted from Style at Home Magazine

  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 cup plain fat-free yogurt (I used 1%)
  • 2 cups grated peeled apple
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fat-free milk (I used 1%)
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds


  • Preheat the oven to 375°
  • Combine the oats and yogurt in a medium bowl and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Whisk together the apple, eggs, milk, oil and vanilla in a separate bowl.
  • Add the apple mixture to the yogurt mixture and stir to blend.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  • Pour the yogurt mixture over the dry ingredients and sprinkle with the dried cherries and sesame seeds.
  • Stir until just combined.
  • Spoon the mixture into a mini muffn tin and bake for 15-18 minutes, until the tops are brown. If using regular sized muffin tin, bake for 35 minutes.


  • For tips on making mini muffins, see my original post.

54 Comments on “Healthy Apple and Dried Cherry Mini Muffins”

  1. Saskia (1=2) says:

    These look and sound delicious! I’m always on the look-out for lunchbox treats. Love the addition of dried cherries.

  2. Wow these look awesome! How healthy and utterly delicious my friend 😀
    I think it was quite predictable for you that your ponytails enjoyed these 😉

    Choc Chip Uru

  3. Eva Taylor says:

    What a great little recipe, Barb. I may have to whip up a batch for our upcoming trip! I love that there is so little oil; and I may reduce the sugar as well. Thanks.

    • I loved the fact that there’s so little oil too Eva. I found the sweetness just right, but everyone has different tastes in this regard. Don’t you leave on Wednesday? I’ll send you a note before you leave . . . the countdown is definitely on!

  4. Carol says:

    This is just what I need for school lunches! Thanks, Barb. I made banana bread for today but will make these this week.
    I hope your ponytails are settling nicely into their new year like Josh is.
    XO Carol

    • So nice to hear from you Carol — I always look forward to your early week emails! These muffins are another great option for school lunches — it’s hard to keep things fresh for the whole year isn’t it? The girls are settling in really nicely. I think my little JK ponytail is pretty tired by the end of the day . . . it comes out in tears for no reason at the end of the day.

  5. Ali says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! Getting a little stuck with my own work snacks and these would be awesome! I don’t have my own children, but I have two very unpredictable nieces and their mother is forever shaking their head at often they change their favourite food!

  6. Wow, these mini muffins are delicious and so healthy!

  7. They look so cute as well. When I was younger I was very fussy, I hardly ate anything healthy at all, but i grew out of it as soon as I hit college…. so…. good luck with the ponytails, I’m sure they’ll be adventurous with their food with a mum like you! xx

  8. These muffins sounds amazing and are perfect for after school snacks or for the lunch box
    I too suffer from my kids unpredictability and am always on the look out for new, interesting and healthy recipes. It does keep you on your toes 🙂

  9. These little muffins sound delicious.I really love the sophisticated but still family friendly combination of sour dried morello cherries and crisp sweet apple. Thanks for sharing the great recipe

  10. Fall is around the corner and muffins are calling. These look great!

  11. Karen says:

    Your little muffins sound very good besides being healthy. Our apples in the orchard should be ready to pick and this is a nice recipe where I can use some.

  12. Purely.. Kay says:

    I am a mini food lover and these muffins would be great to make. Especially when I need something quick in the morning to eat

  13. glamorous glutton says:

    Great looking muffins. The Glam Teens can still be picky about food and then decide its delicious. They don’t change even when they get older. GG

  14. Kristy says:

    These are perfect! I’ve been trying to make healthier and homemade snacks for Mr. N this year. These will be in his backpack next week (followed by the blueberry banana muffins next!). 🙂 And it is the best/most frustrating part about kids…unpredictability!

    • Thanks Kristy. If you make the muffins, I hope that Mr. N and Miss A like them. I guess it could go either way given the unpredictability factor. I always chuckle when I read the spoon ratings on your blog, as there are lots of times that I’m completely wrong about how your kids are going to like different dishes.

  15. Sissi says:

    Your mini-muffins sound fabulous and I love oats in cakes or cookies (not because they are supposed to be healthy, but I love their consistency and nutty flavour). A great idea for nutritious sweet snacks that won’t disappear in 5 minutes.
    I hope your daughters will change soon… Having a mother who is such an excellent and adventurous cook will certainly end quicker this stage of defensive food attitude 🙂

    • I like the texture and nutty flavour of oats too Sissi — I try to add them lots of things, even meatballs sometimes (after softening them with milk). Thanks for your kind comment — I hope that one day they will appreciate having an adventurous cook for a mom . . . right now it’s not always a good thing. 🙂 I also get strange looks because they have to wait for their meals while I take photos.

  16. Norma Chang says:

    This recipe is very timely as local apples are coming to market now.
    There is definitely cause for optimism. Your ponytails will become more adventurous about their food, the way they were when they were really little, before you know it. Went through it with my kids.

  17. I’m so happy to see “appley” recipes popping up now that it’s September and fall is underway! It’s so exciting to see the change in seasonal foods! Your girls remind me of myself and my brothers. We used to complain about breakfast, no matter what it was, I think it was just habit? Then Dad threw in the dishtowel (he used to make it) and we begged him to cook for us again but he never did, lol! And we sure wished we’d kept quiet! Your ponytails will be more adventuresome just by being in your kitchen, I’m sure of it!! These must have smelled wonderful when they were baking!!

    • Barb I find it hard to believe that you would ever complain about a meal — but I that does give me hope! I hope you are right and my kitchen will bring out the adventurous side of the girls. I asked my daughter tonight if she’d like to start helping in the kitchen more and she seemed quite excited about it, so maybe that will do the trick (fingers are crossed). The muffins did smell good and made me feel like fall was here! Thanks for sharing your stories.

  18. Tandy says:

    These sound fantastic! Perfect for me for a mid morning snack I think 🙂

  19. I love the addition of the sesame seeds! Thanks for the reminder to get some more healthy lunch snacks pre-made this weekend. Brilliant idea. I bet they freeze well too.

  20. Beth says:

    What a great recipe – I can’t believe how little fat is in them!

    And yes, there is cause for hope. Both of my girls used to be picky eaters. The 15-year-old still is, but my 18-year-old is a wonderfully adventurous eater. (I’m still waiting for her sister’s taste buds to develop….)

  21. Always love a delicious but healthy treat! Don’t get nearly enough of those. 😉

  22. I’m sure it’s the matter of time for your daughters to appreciate your cooking and baking! 🙂 I love apples and dried cherry in these muffins. I baked a quick pie with apples this morning and it suddenly brought “fall” feeling to our house. These muffins would be a wonderful breakfast menu!

    • Nami, I do hope that you are right! The muffins were a great way to start the day … I’ll be making them again soon for sure. There’s nothing like the smell of a homemade apple pie to make you feel like fall is here. I’m hoping to make one in the next couple of weeks too. Hope you enjoyed it!

  23. Bookmarked for near-future cooking, devouring, recooking, redevouring, reco….. 😉

  24. tmick says:

    If the baby doesn’t come this weekend I’m going to make these muffins – they sound great and great for Cooper’s lunches. Ah lunches…might be the death of me!

    • I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you Tara! You’ve been working so hard that I’m really hoping you get as much of a break as possible before baby #2. I hope Cooper likes the muffins if you make them. I’ve also discovered an amazing and healthy pumpkin muffin this weekend and the girls were eating them by the fistful. I’ll have to email you the link to the recipe.

  25. erika says:

    I love your blog! These ACTUALLY sound healthy and I will give them a try as soon as I get a chance! Love the photos as well 🙂

  26. […] must think I have a bad case of muffin fever, since it seems like only yesterday that I posted my Apple and Dried Cheery Mini Muffins. But I really just had to share.  The double-batch of these charming little pumpkin lovlies […]

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