no sugar blueberry muffins (sweetened with honey)

JUST IN TIME FOR BLUEBERRY MUFFINS! I love summer food. All those berries, sweet peaches and juicy cherries are so easy to serve as snacks (minus the juicy cleanup) but there’s an even better side effect: When I see my three rascals lined up on the counter stools, eating all that fresh goodness I feel like I’m doing something right. If you want to split hairs, this bounty is really Mother Nature’s amazing idea but I’ll totally take credit today. (Hey, when Mother Nature shows up with a broom after lunch, that’s when I’ll really start deferring the high praises.)

So as both of my readers know, we’ve made a lot of muffinschocolate zucchini muffins, banana oat mini muffins, carrot cake muffinsstrawberry muffins, even orange pound cake muffins–but never the old classic, blueberry muffins. And like alllll those muffin recipes before it, this one is full of the good stuff, like oat bran and applesauce but there’s even more something special going on here: not a single crystal of sugar. And these blueberry muffins are still delicious. Here’s how we did it.

  1. Went to a farmer’s market and bought a big box of blueberries, per Estelle’s request for “blue blues”.
  2. Rinsed ’em.
  3. Updated this recipe for perfect blueberry muffins from Smitten Kitchen.
  4. And came up with these.

And while all the kids ate their share of muffins, the one who said, “MMMMM” with every bite was a little face who’s new to the solid food scene. The big guy.

Note, a few of you had trouble with the batter not cooking through so it’s been revised below. It worked well for us, so I hope it does for you too!

no sugar blueberry muffins (sweetened with honey)
NOTE: This isn't a big batch, it only makes 1 dozen regular size muffins, so double if you want more to freeze. And if you're using frozen blueberries, dust them in flour before adding to the batter. This will help soak up the extra juices frozen berries will have.
Serves: 12 muffins
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup plain yogurt
  • zest of one lemon, plus juice
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup oat bran, whole oats, wheat germ or ground flaxseed
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (or more)
  • optional: 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Heat oven at 375. Grease muffin tins or use liners.
  2. Mix butter, applesauce and honey together until slightly fluffy. Add egg and mix. Last, stir in yogurt, lemon juice and zest.
  3. Add all dry ingredients--flour, oat bran (or whatever you're using), baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix until not quite incorporated. When you still see flour in the dough, gently fold in the blueberries. Finish mixing by hand then fill muffin cups almost to the top, a little more than ¾ full.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins spring back into place when pressed. Cool on a rack.



  1. Lisa says

    Hi Charity –
    Your posts have officially turned me into a muffin cheerleader! With twin two year old boys and a newborn, I’m always on the lookout for healthy, easy snacks and breakfast ideas. I love to cook and always have, so your recipes are a great way to help keep me on the right path despite how crazy our house has become. Typically, everything I bake is gone in a few days so I’ve never really needed to worry about storage, but I’d like to start making extra and freezing them. Do you have any tips for storing and defrosting?
    Thanks in advance!

    • charityc says

      Hi Lisa! So great to hear from you. I just use the thick plastic bags, the ones that say “freezer” on them, and throw ’em in. One thing. I cool them completely before putting in the bag and also try to keep them flat and all in one layer in the freezer until all the muffins freeze (an hour or so?), then you can get more flexible with shifting muffins around to fit in the freezer for longer storage. (That keeps them from getting squished ASAP.)

      For defrosting, I’ve tried a couple of things: 1. The night before, take a couple from the freezer and put them into an airtight plastic container, letting them thaw out overnight so they’re ready in the morning.
      2. You could certainly microwave them right out of the freezer, just be careful if they’ve got any chocolate chips or big pieces of fruit in them — explosions possible!
      3. Instead of the microwave though, I think a toaster oven is the perfect device for re-heating frozen muffins.

      I probably do the first method most. When I can remember to… 😉

    • charityc says

      Hi Julia! I haven’t tried it but I would think so. The thing is, regular oats don’t have quite as much nutrition going for them as the oat bran. (Oats are more processed, so they lose a bit of their fiber and more in the process.) If you don’t have oat bran though, try wheat germ? And if neither of those are around, just throw in some old fashioned oats. And by all means, let us know how it goes!

      • says

        I tried these with regular oats (I soaked them first in the yogurt for about 1/2 hour) and they turned out great! Thanks for the recipe!

        • charityc says

          That’s great, Lindsay! Good idea to soak the oats. I have another recipe that calls for oat soaking (and one that calls for bran cereal soaking) and think I’ll add it to my directions going forward. Thanks for the feedback!

  2. R C says

    Are these supposed to be gooey in the middle? I tried it with rolled oats the first time, because that’s what I had on hand. I baked them at 375 for 30 minutes just like it says. They came out and immediately started to look deflated and were still very gooey in the middle. So I baked them longer then let them cool and tasted them in the morning and they were still gooey in the middle. I figured maybe it was the rolled oats and tried again with the oat bran. Same results. So I let them bake for another 5 minutes and checked again. Still gooey. So I baked them for ANOTHER 5 minutes. If I let them go any longer they would burn. I let them cool and the outside was definitely cooked, almost crispy, but the middles were STILL gooey. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but I think I’m giving up on this recipe. Frustrating.

    • charityc says

      Hi RC — I’m so sorry this recipe didn’t turn out for you! We made them again today and while they weren’t gooey inside, they did stick to the paper liners A LOT. The first time I made them I greased the muffin pan because it’s a wet batter and those never work well with paper liners. That’s the first thing. Second, I’ll make them one more time tomorrow with two more changes–and report back! Thanks for letting me know about this. More soon!

  3. Sarah says

    We love your muffin recipes! Do you add the lemon juice with the lemon zest? Not sure when it gets added, but maybe I’m missing it when I read it.

    • charityc says

      Hi Sarah! Yes, add the lemon juice and zest with the wet ingredients. Thanks for calling this to my attention — I’ve updated the recipe above. Let us know how they turn out!


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