These delicious, high-protein muffins are easy to make in 1 bowl and are gluten-free, oil-free and vegan!

A stack of 3 small muffins on a counter beside a cooling rack.

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.

An overhead image of 8 chocolate chip muffins on a counter with a dishcloth beside them.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1. Mix the oil or almond butter, applesauce and maple syrup together in a large mixing bowl until smooth.

Almond butter mixing with applesauce and maple syrup in a mixing bowl with a spoon.

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.

Dry baking ingredients being mixed into wet ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Step 3. Mix in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

Chocolate chips being added to a mixing bowl of muffin batter.

Divide the batter into 12 muffins tins, bake and enjoy!

6 chocolate chip muffins on a cooling rack.

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.

A stack of 3 chocolate chip muffins with a bite taken out of the one on top.

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A stack of 3 small muffins on a counter beside a cooling rack.

Vegan Apple Oat Protein Muffins

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • 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.


Scale

Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Add the applesauce, almond butter (or melted coconut oil) and maple syrup to mixing bowl and mix until smooth and creamy.
  3. 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.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
  5. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with a light coating of non-stick cooking spray or use muffin liners.  
  6. Spoon the mixture into the 12 cups. The batter should come just slightly below the top of each cup.
  7. 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.
  8. After baking, use a knife to gently pop the muffins out of the pan and onto a cooling rack.
  9. 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.

Notes

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.

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.