Back in the days when we lived in the California Bay area, we discovered the best apple muffins at our local farmer’s market. They were in fact the first vegan and truly light and fluffy cakes we had since we became vegan. They were so big that we used to split them in half for breakfast. I think that it was called Lydia’s bakery. She had all sorts of baked goods but her muffins were out of this world and you had to come early if you wanted to buy a bunch! We never tasted muffins that were so good. Truth be told, we have had a fair share of beautiful vegan cakes that ended up on the dense and heavier side over the past 20 years. It took a while for vegan bakers to find ways to find how to replace eggs in cakes to get that perfect texture. And so began our journey to recreate the perfect chunky apple muffins.
One of the challenges with vegan baked goods is to achieve a light, fluffy but firm enough texture that holds and rises during the baking process without using eggs. Luckily there are many ways to replace eggs and still get the binding like bananas, flax or chia egg, vegan powder egg-replacer, etc.
To create a light and fluffy texture you want to add air or carbonation with mineral water or better apple cider vinegar. Of course, you need the right amount of moisture. Too much and the cake won’t bake in the middle and droop and too little and it is too dry. This recipe uses just the right amount of apple sauce and chunks of apple, a chia egg, some oil, and cider vinegar to create moist muffins on the inside and a lightly crisp top. You can use more sweetener if you want but since we consume it as a breakfast muffin, we don’t like it too sweet.
So without further ado, here is the recipe.
Let us know how it turned out in the comment section!
Best Chunky Vegan Apple Muffins
- 3 cups All-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup raw sugar
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 2 lemon zest
- 1 cup apple sauce
- 1/4 cup oil (coconut, avocado or olive oil)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup raisin or dried cranberries
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 Tbsp whole or ground chia seeds
- 2 Tbsp water
Make the chia gel
- Mix 1 Tbsp whole or ground chia seeds with 2 Tbsp water. Stir and set aside for 1 minute.
Make the muffins
- Preheat oven to 375 F
- Oil muffin tins.
- Combine the wet ingredients and chia gel in a large bowl.
- Zest 2 lemons and add to the wet ingredients.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a smaller bowl.
- Fold dry ingredients into the wet ones and mix until the flour is fully blended. Taste and add more sweetener if you want.
- Fill muffin tins and smooth the top.
- Bake at 375F for 45-50 minutes. Use a toothpick to check the inside is cooked.
- Wait at least 10 minutes before removing the muffins from the form.