Vegan Apple Oat Protein Muffins
These delicious, high-protein muffins are easy to make in 1 bowl and are gluten-free, oil-free and vegan!
Why Make this Recipe
- high-protein – each muffin has 9 grams of plant-based protein
- dietary restriction-friendly – this recipe can be made gluten-free and is completely egg-free and dairy-free
- oil-free option – make them with coconut oil or almond butter
- quick and easy – make these in 1 bowl in 30 minutes
What You’ll Need
- flour – use regular or gluten-free all-purpose flour
- oats – rolled oats or quick oats are both suitable
- protein powder – use a pea protein-based vegan protein powder, it’s ok if it has other plant proteins mixed with pea protein
- coconut oil or almond butter – both work great, see the notes section for which to use
- applesauce – I recommend unsweetened applesauce but if you want to use sweetened that will work too
- maple syrup – this can be subbed with agave but the recipe has not been tested with a dry sweetener
- chocolate chips – use any chocolate chips you like but to keep the recipe vegan, choose dairy-free chocolate chips
Other than that, you’ll just need your everyday baking basics such as cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1. Mix the oil or almond butter, applesauce and maple syrup together in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
Step 2. Add the dry ingredients. While they’re sitting on top of the wet ingredients gently mix them together a bit to help distribute the salt and baking powder, then mix it all up until everything is wetted.
Step 3. Mix in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
Divide the batter into 12 muffins tins, bake and enjoy!
Tips and FAQs
- When filling the muffin cups, the batter should come just slightly below the top of each.
- Depending on how hard and crispy you want the outside, bake for 25-30 minutes. They should be fairly browned after 25 minutes but you can leave them up to 30 if you want them a bit crustier. Baking time may vary based on your oven temperature.
- For best results, use a kitchen scale to measure ingredients as volume measurements can vary greatly. You can grab one on Amazon for under $15.
Should I use coconut oil or almond butter?
This recipe was originally published in 2015 and called for coconut oil. I updated the recipe in 2020 to include an almond butter butter. I prefer almond butter nutritionally and texture-wise, but coconut oil works fine too.
I wanted to provide both options since some readers love the original coconut oil version. They come out fairly similar either way, so use whichever you have on hand or suits your preference.
The coconut oil version does get hard in the fridge though as the coconut oil hardens, another reason why I preferred the almond butter version. Almond butter also reduces the fat and adds a bit more protein.
How should I store these?
After baking, let the muffins cool completely then store in a sealed container at room temperature for 3-4 days, in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
What kind of protein powder should I use?
I recommend using a vanilla flavored pea protein such as Vega, NuZest, Bob’s Red Mill, Naked, or any other pea protein. Pea protein is finer, lighter, and more absorbent than other proteins. It’s okay if it’s a blend of pea protein and other plant proteins.
I haven’t tested the recipe with an alternative plant protein but it should work with a blended plant protein such as North Coast Naturals or Iron Vegan. I do not recommend using whey protein in this recipe.
Can I make these without protein powder?
This recipe is based around protein powder so I can’t make a suggestion for replacing it. I suggest trying my healthy blueberry muffins, vegan buckwheat muffins, skinny zucchini chocolate muffins or banana chocolate chip muffins instead.
Here are some more yummy vegan muffins you’ll love:
- Vegan Blueberry Muffins
- Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Gluten-Free Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Vegan Buckwheat Muffins
- Applesauce Muffins
Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.
Vegan Apple Oat Protein Muffins
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
- Category: Snack
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
These vegan apple oat muffins with protein powder and chocolate chips make a yummy snack any time of the day, healthy dessert option or quick breakfast on-the-go.
- 1 cup (240 g) unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup (120 g) drippy almond butter (or melted coconut oil, see notes)
- 1/2 cup (160 g) maple syrup
- 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose gluten-free or regular flour
- 1.5 cups (150 g) rolled or quick oats
- 1 tsp cinnamon, optional
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp (14 g) ground flaxseed
- 1/2 cup (50 g) vanilla vegan protein powder
- 1/2 cup (90 g) dairy-free chocolate chips
- Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
- Add the applesauce, almond butter (or melted coconut oil) and maple syrup to mixing bowl and mix until smooth and creamy.
- Add everything but the chocolate chips. While the dry ingredients are sitting on top of the wet ingredients, gently mix to help distribute the baking powder and salt. Mix into the wet ingredients until all of the dry ingredients have been wetted.
- Fold in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
- Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with a light coating of non-stick cooking spray or use muffin liners.
- Spoon the mixture into the 12 cups. The batter should come just slightly below the top of each cup.
- Bake for 26-30 minutes. Check at 26 minutes, they should be baked through, it just depends how hard and crusty you want the outside. They should be fairly browned after 25 minutes but you can leave them up to 30 if you want them a bit crustier.
- After baking, use a knife to gently pop the muffins out of the pan and onto a cooling rack.
- Let cool completely before storing. Once cool, muffins can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for 3-4 days, in the fridge for at least 1 week or frozen for 3 months.
The original recipe from 2015 called for coconut oil. I updated the recipe in 2020 and tried an almond butter version. I prefer almond butter nutritionally and texture-wise but coconut oil works too. I wanted to provide the option since some readers love the coconut oil version from 2015. They come out fairly similar so use whichever you have on hand or suits your preference. The coconut oil ones do get very hard in the fridge though as the coconut oil hardens.
I recommend using a vanilla flavored pea protein-based protein powder such as Vega, NuZest, Bob’s Red Mill, Naken or any other pea protein. Pea protein is finer, lighter and more absorbent than other proteins. I haven’t tested the recipe with an alternative plant protein but it should work with a blended plant protein such as North Coast Naturals or Iron Vegan.
Nutrition facts are estimated using almond butter, not coconut oil. The coconut oil version is 270 calories with 13 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein and 33 grams of carbs.
For best results, use a kitchen scale to measure ingredients.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 253
- Sugar: 16 g
- Sodium: 100 mg
- Fat: 9.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 35 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 9 g
Keywords: vegan protein muffins, oatmeal protein muffins
UPDATE NOTE: This recipe was originally published on March 24, 2015. It was updated with new photos and text on April 30, 2020.
My partner and I love these! If you do not have a muffin tin, these cook up great as cookies/muffin tops. I drop and lightly flatten individual scoops of the batter onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. I decrease the maple syrup by half and replace the volume with water because the vanilla protein powder I use (True Nutrition Vanilla Soy Protein Isolate) has enough sweetness for us. For the oil/nut butter, I use 60 grams vegan yogurt, 30 grams coconut oil, and 30 grams fresh ground peanut butter. Thanks for the great recipe to play with, Deryn! These are great for snacks on the go!
That’s such a fun idea! I’d love to try that. Thanks for the feedback on the sweetness and I’m so glad you enjoy the recipe!
We have a young family member (9 yrs old) who has several severe food allergies (eggs, dairy, all nuts…flaxseed is a “no”). I’m trying to find high protein muffin recipes to use at breakfast. Your “Vegan Apple Oat Protein Muffins” sound good, I just need to tweak a couple of ingredients.
Do you have a suggestion for the 2 T of ground flaxseed?
I meant to ask for a REPLACEMENT for the 2 T of ground flaxseed.
The flax acts as egg in this recipe and I haven’t tested it with any other egg replacer. Psyllium would be my first choice then possibly dairy-free yogurt or soft tofu. I haven’t tried it though so I can’t guarantee how they’ll turn out! There’s also my zucchini protein muffins without flax, which you could use a gluten-free flour blend in if you can’t do wheat.
These are delicious! I make them often and gift them too. Highly recommend. Thanks for this great recipe!
Thank you for this recipe! How did you calculate the sodium as 100 mg? It seems like it should be at least twice that, estimating roughly from the amount of salt and baking powder, though I’m not sure how to calculate it accurately.
The nutrition facts are provided as a curtesy and are a best estimation made using an online calculator (Nutrifox). The numbers may vary based on brands, exact amounts, etc. but I did recalculate and once again it came out as 100 mg per muffin for sodium. For more precise measurements, you’d have to do your own calculation based on the exact ingredients you use. Thanks!
These are delicious! So easy to make and keep you full for a while. They freeze brilliantly as well. They have become a staple in our home. I would love if you had any other vegan protein muffin recipes as well. Thanks so much!
You’re welcome! I don’t have any other protein muffin recipes at the moment but I can definitely work on some for fall. You might like my protein brownies in the meantime!
love this recipe!! thank you for sharing!! finally made this morning and took out the chocolate, added dried cranberries and sprinkled a tiny bit of raw sugar crystals mixed with cinnamon on top. perfect! did them in mini bite sized muffins. perfect for breakfast or anytime.
I have made these muffins about twenty times. Or more! They are my go-to muffin recipe because I love their taste and their texture. They are low in sugar and high in protein which make them perfect for me after workouts too (and as a Type 1 diabetic they never make my blood sugars spike. Added bonus!)
That’s so awesome! I’m so glad you enjoy them. Love these for a pre or post-workout snack too.
It was love at first bite! These immediately became part of my morning ritual with hot water and lemon. I will always try to keep stocked in the house because they’re that tasty and a guilt-free crowd pleaser. I have made both versions with the coconut oil and the almond butter – didn’t notice a huge difference, they’re perfectly moist either way but I’m a nut butter girl so almond butter will always be my first choice.
These were so yummy, easy to make, and toddler approved!! Thanks!
Glad you enjoyed them and they got the toddler seal of approval…it’s always the toughest one to get! 🙂 Thanks for letting me know!
What can I use if I don’t have protein powder?
I can’t recommend a replacement for this recipe as it’s based around the protein powder. I have some other muffins you might enjoy though! Try my blueberry muffins, chocolate chip banana muffins or buckwheat muffins.
I made these at high altitude (Denver, 5280′) by using a scant cup of applesauce and baking them for the 30 minutes at 385 degrees. They were delicious! I used kosher sea salt and was a bit surprised to find they had a salty taste, but for me that blended well with the chocolate chips. Let’s see how my dairy-free kids like them!
Okay, good to know! Thank you so much for the feedback. I hope your kids like them!
I was wondering if there would be an alternative to adding the protein powder? I have a number of food allergies and haven’t been able to find a protein powder I can use. These look delicious!
Thank you!! These are delicious and you are so fabulous! Please keep accepting and tending and loving yourself, you’re doing beautiful things!!! Xoxox
Aww, thanks so much, Jenna! Your comment means a lot. All the best. 🙂
Thanks for sharing this great recipe. I already baked this muffins several times and still love them. Last time I added blueberries and it gives them a great fruity taste.
Great recipe as always, Deryn – always love cooking with coconut oil, myself – immediately makes food taste healthier and more nutritious, even if it’s in my head.