Delicious healthy muffins made with 100% whole wheat and refined sugar-free. Sweetened with applesauce and spiced with cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.

two stacked muffins on a napkins with muffins in background

Who out there needs a muffin to get their Monday morning started off right? I certainly do! But let’s make it a healthier muffin so we can get a jump start on our healthy eating goals for the week, too! These Healthy Spice Muffins are just the recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth without sacrificing your nutrition goals.

muffins from the oven that just finished baking on a muffin pan

I’ve got an addiction to baking. I’ll have no intention whatsoever of baking on a particular day, but then all of a sudden I’ll think of a muffin or a snack I want to bake. The next thing I know, I’m in the kitchen getting out the mixing bowls and baking healthy zucchini muffins, banana muffins, pumpkins muffins or blueberry muffins. Some days, I make way too many recipes and then I’m kicking myself later when I’m exhausted (and my sink is full of dishes)!

I never regret making a batch of these Healthy Spice Muffins, though. Many a Monday morning I’ve found myself whipping up some of these easy muffins. Muffins are the perfect thing to bake with kids, and my William loves to help me measure and whisk the ingredients for these.

I did add some chocolate chips to these Healthy Spice Muffins because I sort of have an addiction to chocolate, too. Who doesn’t? I like dark chocolate chips which are lower in sugar and their bittersweet chocolate flavor pairs really nicely with the spices. In the photos I used mini chocolate chips, but any kind that you have on hand will work. Enjoy!

three muffins on wood background with chocolate chips stylized

Why You’ll Love These Healthy Spice Muffins:

  • They are 100% whole wheat, and whole grains are packed with fiber and other nutrients.
  • Unsweetened applesauce replaces most of the butter in this recipe, giving the muffins a great texture without lots of added fat. You can omit the 2 tablespoons of butter if desired, but I like a little butter for flavor.
  • The hint of orange zest makes the spice flavor of these muffins really pop.
closeup of two spice muffins stacked on a napkins

Healthy Spice Muffins

Servings: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
An easy healthy muffin recipe that is 100% whole wheat and refined sugar free. Sweetened with apple sauce and deliciously spiced with cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½-1 teaspoon cardamom*
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • zest of one orange
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips, optional (omit for no refined sugars)


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, allspice, and orange zest.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together applesauce, honey, milk, vanilla, and egg until well combined. Whisk in the melted butter.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry and stir until barely combined. Do not overmix. Fold in optional chocolate chips.
  • Scoop batter into the prepared muffin pan, dividing it evenly among the 12 muffin cups. Add a few extra chocolate chips to the tops of the muffins, if desired.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • I like to freeze any muffins that I won't eat within the first two days. After the muffins are cool, place them in a zip-top plastic bag, and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator or on the defrost setting in the microwave. Enjoy!


*Adjust the amount of cardamom depending on if you want lightly spiced or more spiced muffins.
Serving: 1muffin, Calories: 128kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 156mg, Potassium: 159mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 103IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 49mg, Iron: 1mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
Cuisine: American
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Tried this recipe?Mention @kristines_kitchen on Instagram or tag #kristineskitchenblog.

This site contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Kristine's Kitchen!