CEimB Apple Pecan Muffins

by Joanne on June 9, 2011

This week’s Craving Ellie recipe was my pick.  I was in the mood for something to do with Apples. Surprised?


On page 22 of the Ellie Krieger’s cookbook “The Food You Crave”, there is a delightful and guilt-free muffin recipe.  They are are moist, tender with just the right hint of sweetness. 


We all know Ellie’s recipes always turn out good so I decided to switch it up a bit and do my own recipe.  The reason for my changes:

  1. I always like to reduce sugar in a recipe.  Just …. because.
  2. I reduced the apple sauce because I used more Ricotta
  3. I didn’t want to buy the buttermilk and waste it. RIcotta was on hand so I thought I’d try it as a substitute.
  4. Can anyone EVER have enough apples?! I doubled the apples.

Makes 6 standard muffins


PLUS 6 large muffins


  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar + 2 TBS (I used 3/4 cup loosely measured brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce (I used 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk (I used 8 oz Part Skim Ricotta Cheese)
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple – peeled, cored, chopped (I used 2 GD Apples, diced)

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Line muffin tins with cupcake cups or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix 2 TBS of the brown sugar with the pecans, cinnamon  and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the flours, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the remaining brown sugar, oil and eggs.

Whisk in the applesauce, vanilla and ricotta.  Stir in the flour mixture. Gently stir in the apple pieces.

*If using buttermilk, whisk in the applesauce and vanilla then stir in the flour mix alternating with the buttermilk until well combined. Add the apples.

Divide the batter equally in the muffin / cupcake cups.  Top with the pecan-sugar mix.  Bake for 20 minutes (standard muffins) to 25-30 minutes (large muffins).


So tender. So delicious. Perfectly satisfying!  Hope everyone enjoyed this weeks recipe.

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  • At 2011.06.09 07:05, claudia lamascolo said:

    These are gorgeous shots did you get a new camera? Looks like your photos are getting better and better each time I visit and this recipe is awesome!

    • At 2011.06.09 08:39, Lisa said:

      This recipe rocks.. I love how you cut back here and there.. and still offer amazing taste… This looks like Saturday morning to me! I hope you have a wonderful Thursday… we are melting in my neck of the woods…
      Take care,

      • At 2011.06.09 08:56, peggy said:

        Well you will be so disappointed in mine! I really messed up on these. But yours look wonderful. And they tasted great. It was a great pick this week!! Love that you added more apples. We like almost all muffins.

        • At 2011.06.09 09:55, Marthe said:

          These look amazing, can’t wait to try them. Love your wrappers!!!

          • At 2011.06.09 12:33, Liz said:

            Great choice, Joanne! I am not usually enthusiastic about the baking recipes simply because I am not good at baking, but even I couldn’t mess these up. They’re delicious! Interesting swap using the ricotta; did you taste it in the baked muffin?

            • At 2011.06.09 15:27, Joanne said:

              No – didn’t notice the ricotta, unless that’s what made them so delicious?! 🙂

              • At 2011.06.09 12:55, Tori (Fresh Fruition) said:

                Oh boy do these look good. They look so moist, too! I love when things have crunchy bits on them, and the tops look like they’re right up my alley! 🙂

                • At 2011.06.09 17:21, Bri said:

                  Thanks, Joanne! You picked something I’ve made (and loved) a million times! I agree; this recipe is so versatile that every change I’ve ever made has been a success.

                  And it does make way more muffins than Ellie says it does.

                  • At 2011.06.09 23:37, Bela said:

                    Muffins look delicious. I also always reduce the sugar, sometime more than half. I find everything way to sweet now a days

                    • At 2011.06.10 06:13, Medeja said:

                      I usually use less sugar too.
                      And everything with apples taste great.. and these muffins with pecan should taste even better..

                      • At 2011.06.11 11:26, Margaret said:

                        I was in the mood for muffins when I saw your pick for this past week. And these were PERFECT!! Definitely one of Ellie’s Best. Thanks for this one.

                        Your top photo is beautiful.

                        • At 2011.06.12 10:23, Monet said:

                          My goodness…these look heavenly! I loved the substitutions you made too (or more like adjustments). I always tinker around with my recipes. Thank you for sharing such an inspired treat. I hope you are having a beautiful weekend. Love from Austin!

                          • […] originally picked for June 22nd. These were easy to make, and tasty too! The recipe can be found here at Joanne’s blog, and the links to the posts written by other Ellie-istas on the subject of […]

                            • At 2011.07.14 10:41, Marthe said:

                              Finally made these, soooo yummy!!!! Great pick!

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