Kalyn's Kitchen

Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Apple Bran Muffins

I love these delicious from-scratch Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Apple Bran Muffins and they’re great with walnuts! 

PIN Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Apple Bran Muffins!

Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Apple Bran Muffins finished muffins on cooling rack

I’m happy to be giving you this recipe for Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Apple Bran Muffins  today, since I did promise on Twitter that I’d share this recipe over the weekend, and I’m a woman who keeps her promises. Besides, I like bran muffins, and my body reminds me that eating more fiber is a good thing!

When I saw a recipe for made-from scratch pear bran muffins (with no bran cereal) in the The South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook (affiliate link) it turned into one of those baking experiences where I have to make the recipe several times before I’m happy with it. Right away I switched pears for apples (because I never have pears in the house, but almost always have apples.)

I made these three times, with quite a few changes from the inspiring recipe, but I thought the final version was just right.  These muffins are just slightly sweet, and to my taste they’re much better than all those bran muffin recipes that use bran cereal as one of the main ingredients.

I originally used a mixture of sweetener and a little brown sugar in this recipe. But now I’m a fan of Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) to get that rown sugar flavor in baked goods, and that change makes them even lower in sugar. I also used a mix of Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (affiliate link) and Almond Flour (affiliate link) in my muffins, but if you don’t want to buy those I’m guessing white whole wheat flour would probably work.

What Size Muffin Cups Did I Use:

In my post on Low-Carb Muffins and Breakfast Muffins I show the three sizes of silicone baking cups I have. For this recipe I used my smallest size (affiliate link), which are about 2.75 inches across and holds about 1/3 cup. If your muffin cups are bigger you’ll get fewer muffins and may need to increase the baking time.

Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Apple Bran Muffins process shots collage

How to Make Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Apple Bran Muffins:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the whole wheat pastry flour, almond flour, wheat bran, Golden Monkfruit Sweetener, ground cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a smaller bowl, beat the two eggs, then add buttermilk, oil, and vanilla and stir to combine.
  3. Take an extra minute or two and make sure the apple is very finely diced before you add it to the liquids.  I used an apple corer, then peeled off the skin and diced up the apple pieces.
  4. I also took a couple of minutes to toast the walnuts in a dry pan before I chopped them, which also adds flavor. I don’t like big chunks of walnuts in cookies or bread, so I chopped them pretty finely.
  5. Mix the finely chopped apples and walnuts into the wet ingredients.
  6. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just enough that all the dry ingredients are moistened.
  7. Spray muffin cups or muffin pan with nonstick spray or oil, then divide the mixture among the muffin cups.  (If you use the small muffin cups like I did, they will be pretty full.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out completely clean. 
  9. Let muffins cool a little before eating. 
  10. You can keep these muffins in the fridge for quite a few days, and I am sure they will freeze well, although I haven’t frozen any yet because I keep eating them!

More Muffins You Might Like:

Sugar-Free Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffin 
Flourless Zucchini Muffins 
Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins with Lemon

Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Apple Bran Muffins finished muffins on cooling rack

Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Apple Bran Muffins

Yield 12 small muffins
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

I love these delicious Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Apple Bran Muffins!


  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup wheat bran
  • 6 T Golden Monkfruit Sweetener
  • 1 1/2  tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 3 T grapeseed oil (or any neutral flavored oil)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 apple, peeled and cut into very small dice (1/4 inch or less)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  2. Spray muffin cups or muffin pan with nonstick spray or oil.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together whole wheat pastry flour, almond meal, wheat bran, Stevia or Splenda (or sugar), brown sugar (or more sweetener), ground cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Beat eggs in smaller bowl, then stir in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
  5. Remove apple core and peel the apple, then finely chop apple pieces and add to liquid ingredients.
  6. Toast walnuts for 1-2 minutes in a dry pan over high heat, just until they start to become fragrant.
  7. Then finely chop walnuts and add to liquid ingredients.
  8. Add the wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just enough so that all the dry ingredients are moistened.
  9. Use a large spoon to divide the batter among the muffin cups.
  10. Bake at 350F/180C for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out completely clean.
  11. Let muffins cool for a few minutes before eating.  These muffins will keep well in the fridge for quite a few days.  I am sure they would freeze well, although I haven’t frozen any yet.  To reheat, microwave for about 30 seconds.


Use any nuts of your choice if you're not a fan of walnuts.

Recipe adapted with quite a few changes from Pear Bran Muffins in The South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook (affiliate link).

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 249Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 195mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 6gSugar: 5gProtein: 8g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-GlycemicDiet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
These muffins are pretty low in sugar (even though they have apple) and I’d eat them for phase 2 or 3 of the original South Beach Diet. Using almond meal makes the muffins lower in carbs, but they’re probably too high in carbs for a traditional low-carb eating plan.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Bread Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Pinterest image of Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Apple Bran Muffins

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    29 Comments on “Low-Sugar Whole Wheat Apple Bran Muffins”

  1. Can you substitute applesauce for the apple? If so, how much? Thanks!

    • I wish I could answer, but I’m just not a good enough baker to guess how this would work without texting it. If you decide to try it, one apple is probably less than 1/2 cup of applesauce. I worry the apple sauce will add a lot more liquid, but as I said, I am just not sure.

  2. I don’t have that information. I am currently not able to add nutritional information to the site. More than a year ago I switched my site to WordPress, which created the need to edit by hand to add more than 2,000 recipes to the preferred format for google. I have been working on that for more than a year, so there is no possibility of me being able to calculate nutritional information until that project is completed. And I know that once I start doing nutrition info on one recipe people will expect to see it on every recipe, which is why I have decided to keep these two projects completely separate.

    If you look after the recipe itself, I give two links (where it says “Nutritional Information”) for suggestions of two ways to get that information. That’s all I am able to do at this time.

  3. JoJo, so glad you like them!

  4. Hello Kalyn! I made these muffins today and they are wow, delicious! Since I started menopause I have been craving sweets like crazy. The problem is I have type 2 diabetes, so I
    am limited to my sugar intake.
    So I bake my own and your wonderful low sugar, high fibre recipes are just what I need.

    Thank you so much,

  5. Bonnie I'm trying to get a recipe that's as low in sugar as possible so adding either applsesauce or honey wouldn't work for me (or for anyone else who's following South Beach) but I'm sure your recipe is delicious.

  6. I make a similar recipe. I like to use less bran and substitute flax meal, whole rolled oats and/or buckwheat. You can also omit the brown sugar and reduce the buttermilk by adding 1/4 cup applesauce (they come in packs of six single serve containers, which are perfect for this recipe). If the muffins seem a little dry you can also substitute 1 Tbsp of honey instead of the brown sugar, as honey is a natural humectant.

  7. The phase is always given right after the printer friendly recipe. Grains aren't allowed for phase one, so these are phase 2 or 3. I haven't come up with any great ideas for phase one breakfasts without eggs, but some readers have shared ideas in the comments here.

  8. Hi are these good for phase 1? There are only so many eggs I can eat, and I need a breakfast recipe that is fairly easy as I work shifts and often have to take my breakfast in with me. If you have any other ideas I would be open to hearing them : ) thanks