Apple Pie Muffin Clusters

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on January 21, 2011

Guess what I received in the mail last night? It was made out to Kevin, so it caused a bit of a ruckus when it first arrived. I let Kevin open it knowing darn well of what was inside. He looked disappointed and slowly lifted the object out of it’s box.

“A NEW COOKBOOK!” I yelled.

I’d ordered it for myself for Christmas, but due to everyone and their dog wanting the same Christmas present, shipping was delayed a month.

This baby is stocked with 1,000 recipes on 932 of its pages.

Why this cookbook? The Essential New York Times Cook Book is a compilation of over 150 years of recipes collected by the journalists at the New York Times. It shows the evolution of American cooking, going as far back as the eighteen hundreds. Totally inspiring! I’m so excited to work my way through this one!

I had a long day yesterday. I was absolutely exhausted when I got home. My muscles ached, my brain was fuzzy, and I was hungry…

So, I made some tuna + dill, spread over a rice tortilla, and lost myself in the kitchen for awhile.

I never thought I’d say this in a million years, but I’m enjoying my sugar free journey [at 9 days and counting!]. Read about why I made this decision here.

I understand that going sugar free isn’t for everyone, and I definitely don’t plan on doing this forever, especially with Valentines Day just around the corner. I just enjoy taking different approaches to my baking, learning new things, and challenging myself. And besides, variety has never killed anyone!

These clusters are perfectly sweet, soft on the inside, and sure to satisfy you after a long day.

Apple Pie Muffin Clusters

Oil free, Vegan, Gluten free, Sugar free, Dairy free

Are you an identity confused snacker? Not sure if you like cookies, or muffins? Well, now you don’t have to decide! These clusters have a cake-like consistency, with the shape of a cookie. Best of all, they’re 100% naturally sweetened with banana and apples!

Inspired by: Oh She Glows


  • 2 apples, diced – don’t peel!
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ¾ cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan rock salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 ripe medium banana
  • 8 medjool dates


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Place diced apples, apple juice, lemon juice, and 2 tsp of cinnamon in a small sauce pan. Cover and cook on medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Mix almond flour, quinoa flakes, walnuts, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Set aside
  4. Place vanilla, almond milk, banana, and dates in a blender. Blend until smooth
  5. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and add the cooked apples. Stir well until it is fully mixed.
  6. Drop 2 tbsp sized scoops onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes

Best part of making this recipe? Step #6 – dropping the dough onto the cookie sheet. I stood up on my kitchen stool and dropped them from 2 feet up in the air. It was a long day, I needed some fun.

These suckers are totally going on my porridge tomorrow morning.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Healthy Aging

They look yummy, and they are healthy! I’ll try them Sunday.

Love your blog, added you on twitter… not a stalker. Just the friendly neighborhood bouncer (Whaaa?) Will be back for more.




haha your comment made me laugh! Just the neighborhood bouncer haha LOVE IT!



What a great Christmas present for yourself! I admire you going sugar free…as I grew very groggy after eating a cookie yesterday afternoon, I remembered again realized my body was telling me to lay off the sweets! So hard to do!!! Maybe if I visit your blog enough, your healthy habits will rub off on me :)



It is really hard but, I like to just make small changes here and there when I can. Before I know it, I’ve made progress! It’s amazing how
Just a small cookie can impact your energy. Jeez!


Felice - All That's Left Are The Crumbs

It looks like a great cook book. I like that you were able to sweeten them naturally. I am always looking for these kinds of recipes. Thanks!


Spinneys Cauldron

Mmmmmm, I really could do with more recipes like this!! They sound & look deeeeeelicious.
Healthy & Tasty. Thank you :)

Abundant Blessings
Often A Toooooo Sweet & Spicy Cauldron :)



What a neat recipe. These look like they would make a great snack.


Kim-Liv Life

Woo Hoo! What an awesome book!! Worth the wait, I’d say.
Love these clusters, I’ve been on the lookout for dairy free desserts for my son and these will fit the bill. Thanks!



No worries Kim – all the recipes on my blog are dairy free, so you can have at ‘er!



Yum, those look good. Can’t wait to try them! I love fruit sweetened muffins.



These are absolutely perfect for my daughter to take to school! She likes to play so much at school that she “just doesn’t have time, Mommy!” to eat everything so what I put in her lunchbox needs to be healthy and give her energy.


The Flexitarian

Hi Leanne;
These cluster muffins sounds like my kind of cooking:-) Using the right ingredients, remind me of the mukies, (Muffin and a cookie:-) I will try them in one of my classes.



mukies, what a cute name!



Oh my gosh…awesome sounding recipe and perfect snack for my “detox!” I’m sick right now, but hopefully I’ll have enough energy to make them tomorrow. Thanks!



Thank you! They were gobbled up so fast, I’ll have to make them again this week! I hope you feel better really soon. Sucks being sick on a detox [but I guess that's part of the fun!]



Wonderful recipe, love the photos and your blog:)
Today I had guest blog post with interesting gluten free recipe….check it out….thank you:)



These look FANTASTIC! Glad I found your blog!



Thank you for these sugar free recipes. I have been trying to completely eliminate sugar from my diet. I have been at it for two months; I have done very well but I am craving baked goods. I do not like sugar substitutes so it has been hard to find suitable recipes. Many of your recipes fill the void. I am grateful.


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