Apple Hemp Muffins (vegan, wheat-free, and oil-free)

If you eat vegan or raw, you know that hemp is hot!  I’ve been using hemp seeds in my recipes for years (before it was um, ‘hip to eat hemp’).  When I started using hemp seeds and talking about them in my recipes, I got that “ohhhh, you are hippity dippity!” sort of reaction. People didn’t know that hemp seeds were a highly nutritious food – a ‘superfood’ if you will. No, instead they thought they’d get high from my brownies. Of course they wouldn’t! Because I saved it all for muffins. 😉

Jokes aside, it took a few years for the worth of hemp – high in protein, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants – to be recognized in the world of healthy eating.  Thank goodness it has, because it has made these virtuous bitty seeds widely available (and accepted)!

These Apple-Hemp Muffins I first created for my second cookbook, Vive le Vegan!.  That book came out in ’04… told you I’ve been a hempster for a while!  They are tender, moist, just-sweet-enough, and fragrant.

Recently I switched up the recipe to make them wheat-free and also oil-free.  These are recipe requests I am receiving so frequently that I want to oblige.  Wheat-free modifications are usually pretty easy, adjusting with spelt and oat flour (and usually needing slightly more).  Oil-free can be a little more challenging, because we want to keep those muffins MOIST and tender.  These muffins are still beautifully moist and tender – not to worry!  The other tricky thing with oil-free muffins is not having them stick to the muffin liners.  You can do a couple of things.  First, you can use silicone muffin pans.  I do not use them myself, but know they are particularly useful for oil-free baking.  If, like me, you don’t have silicone bakeware, the best thing to do is to let the muffin cool.  Completely.  If it is still somewhat warm, the liner is harder to peel away from the muffin.  And, if you are okay with using just a smidgen of oil – I mean just a little – you can add say 2 teaspoons to this batter.  That amount is pretty insignificant overall for 12 large muffins, and will help with that ‘sticky’ situation!

I make these muffins often for school lunches, because they are substantial, healthy, and of course nut-free.  If you want to perk them up for the kiddos, try adding… what else?… sprinkle of mini chocolate chips.  (Do I add this to every recipe?  Well, not to hummus – yet.)  😀

Enough of my rambling, right?  Here are the muffins!

Apple Hemp Muffins wheat-free, oil-free, soy-free

RECIpage link to print/share

Moist, lightly spiced muffins with the added nutrition of hemp seed nuts. These are easy and quick, and sure to please both kids and adults!

1 1⁄2 cups whole-grain spelt flour

1 cup oat flour

2/3 – 3/4 cup hemp seeds

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1⁄4 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 – 1 3/4 tsp cinnamon

1⁄4 tsp ground cardamom (can substitute freshly grated nutmeg)

1 cup unsweetened organic applesauce

1⁄2 cup pure maple syrup

3⁄4 cup plain or vanilla non-dairy milk

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup raisins or chopped raw banana spears (use kitchen shears or knife to cut in small pieces about size of raisins)

Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients, sifting in the baking powder and baking soda. Stir through until well combined. In another bowl, combine applesauce, maple syrup, non-dairy milk, and vanilla, and mix together. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, and gently fold and mix through, until just combined (do not overmix). Spoon the mixture into a muffin pan lined with cupcake liners (this will fill 12 muffins quite full).  Bake for 21-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.   (See notes above about cooling to help remove from liner.) Makes 12 large muffins.  Hemp, Hemp, Hooray!  Enjoy, friends! 😀

Are hemp seeds new to you, or do you use them often?  What is your favorite way to eat them?


  1. Julie Sediq says

    Just bought my first bag of hemp seeds. I think My two year old will love these muffins. Can you confirm how much whole wheat flour I should use? And can I sub rolled oats for the oat flour, or just use more w/w flour? Also if I add the 2 tsp of oil should I adjust something else, like the applesauce? Would you do chopped apple in addition to the raisins or banana or instead of? Thanks!

    • Dreena says

      Our little one loves these, I think they’ll be a hit with your 2 yr old! Wheat flour: use a little less, maybe 1 1/4 cups. If the batter seems a bit loose later, just sprinkle in another few teaspoons. Rolled oats: you can blitz them in a food processor or blender to make a flour, I’d do that! If you add any oil, I’d reduce the milk equally. Yes, you could add chopped apple, but not too much as it’s very moist, maybe 1/2 cup for whole recipe.

    • Dreena says

      Hi Jeannie, do you mean help flour and flax seed? I’ve never tested it with it, but suspect those two alone will be a little too dense/heavy. You can try other flours to blend in, maybe oat. (Is it a GF thing?) If you’re familiar with alternative blends and know how they differ (ie need more milk, less milk, etc) then I say go for it. But, if it’s experimental you might waste the batch… and hemp seeds a little pricey for that. :)

  2. Alex says

    These look divine! Really want to try hemp seeds, alas i have not seen them around ( and heard they are REAL expensive). :(
    despite the lack of hemp, i would like to try making your muffins, is there a good substitute for hemp seeds in this recipe?
    Thank you!

    • Dreena says

      Hi Susan, you can, but use less. I’d use w/w pastry, as it’s a softer flour, less grainy. Generally, you need a little more spelt when substituting for w/w, so when subbing the other way, use a little less. Here, I’d probably use about 1 1/4 cups of w/w pastry. Hope that helps!

  3. Barbara says

    How did you make them gluten free ?
    Just going gluten and dairy free due to medical issues with my 3 year vold so very new at all.this nut he lkes muffins ! Shalom

    • Dreena says

      Hi Barbara, do you need them strictly gluten-free or simply free of wheat (the two are confused often). I haven’t made these gluten-free, but they are made without wheat flour. For more gluten-free recipes, you can link to my recipes page and search “gluten-free” under the dietary category. Also, over 1/2 of my cookbook “Let Them Eat Vegan” is gf, and my PP15 ebook is all gluten-free. Both are here: Good luck! :)

  4. says

    Love this! I made some tweaks and made these as Pumpkin Hemp Muffins! Mine are gluten free, too. Never would have been able to get that far with them without this recipe – I wrote about it in my blog and credited you as my inspiration. :-) Now that I’ve found you, I have lots of reading to do – your recipes look great! Thanks again!!

    • Dreena says

      Hi Anna, no not in this case. The applesauce is needed for texture and there is a lot used in this particular recipe. Best to wait until you have some!

  5. wendy says

    Dreena, these are amazing! What’s the best way to store them? I live alone so it takes me a couple of weeks to get through a batch. Thank you!

    • Dreena says

      Wendy, you can keep some in the fridge for 2-4 days, or put some directly into the freezer in an airtight container. Glad you love them. 😀

  6. Sferd says

    One place for folks in the US to check for cheaper hemp seeds is Costco. I just purchased a HUGE bag there last week along with a giant bag of pine nuts to get ready for pesto season!

    • Dreena says

      Kim, I wouldn’t in this recipe, they create a different texture and with how much hemp seeds I’ve used that would be a lot to swap (in some recipes the sub is fine). I do have a chia muffin recipe in LTEV though, if you have that book – the “Chia Banana Muffins”, p.8. :)

    • Dreena says

      Kim, I wouldn’t here – sometimes you can, but for the amt in the recipe, it will throw off the texture/taste. I do have a muffin recipe in LTEV using chia – “Chia Banana Muffins”. If you have the book, they’re on p.8. :)

  7. Harriet says

    I don’t use processed sweetener, and use raisins/dates or other dried fruit for sweetener. Could I substitute water for the maple syrup?

    • Dreena says

      Harriet, the muffins will be very bland if you sub just water. Do you use date syrup? You could try that.

      • Liv says

        I’ll try banana and dates instead of maple syrup. Will tell you how it turns out! Thanks for the great school snack recipes, we love nuts but for school needs to be nut free.

  8. Jessica says

    I made these tasty moist muffins today. I subbed the maple syrup for agave syrup as I didn’t have enough maple syrup for the recipe. They turned out great. It was the first time I had used cardamom in a recipe too. Thanks! :)

  9. Kat says

    These look so delicious and I’ve been looking for other ways to use my hemp seeds but I don’t need this to be wheat free…..can I use regular all purpose flour in the same quantity? Thanks!

    • Dreena says

      If you use AP flour, Kat, you’ll want to use bit less, b/c it is denser/more absorbent. I’d say try 2 cups, and if you need a little more after combining the ingredients you can sprinkle in another tbsp or so. Also, you can use w/w pastry flour – much healthier than AP flour. And, I’d prob use about the same, 2 cups of w/w pastry. Hope that helps!

  10. Brandie says

    Just one.more thing. Following your parchment paper cooking, I found parchment paper muffin liners. These muffins pop right out. No left over muffin chucks on the liner :)

  11. Amber says

    I just made these muffins, and they are FANTASTIC!!! Thank you for the recipe. I have one question. It says on my hemp seed bag to try toasting the hemp seeds but not above 325 degrees to preserve the EFAs. I’m wondering if cooking these muffins at 350 degrees impairs the EFAs. Any thoughts Dreena?

  12. Leslie Paquette says

    Hi Dreena, I’ve made two batches of these muffins since you posted them. They are delicious!!! I subbed 1 diced apple for the raisins so my husband wold eat them and also doubled the amount of cardamom. Definitely our new favorite snack. I just received LTEV in the mail and made the falafel tonight. My husband and I both enjoyed it! I can’t wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you, Leslie

    • Dreena says

      Yay! Marvelous, Leslie! I love adding a little diced apple too – adds more moisture and just beatiful texture/flavor. So pleased you are trying recipes from LTEV too – thanks, hope you enjoy many more. 😀

  13. Diane says

    Do you know if chickpea flour would work instead of the spelt flour? This recipe sounds great but I don’t have spelt on hand. Thanks!!

    • Dreena says

      Diane, I wouldn’t sub that much chickpea flour for the spelt flour. You could sub some, but it’s usually used in lesser amounts and in combination with other flours. Here, because there is no added oil, I think the muffins would be a little dry and maybe not palatable using 1 1/2 cups of chickpea flour. Do you have other flours on hand – barley, w/w pastry??

  14. Sarah says

    Just made these…awesome! Just wanted to note that If You Care brand liners would amazing with fat-free baking…the liner peels right off with no stickingvor losing most of your muffin. I find them great for this purpose as they come off on their own for anything else baked with oil!

  15. Tiffany says

    Yum! These muffins look great! I’m looking forward to your miso scented patties recipe too :)

    Thank you so much for all your hardwork!

    By th way, do you have an easy recipe for vegan yogurt and cashew milk?

    I’ve looked into vegan yogurts but I can’t find unsweetened version and the sweetened variety is too sweet.

    Thank you, Dreena! Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend!

    • Dreena says

      Thanks Tiffany. :) I have a vegan ‘yogurt’ recipe in LTEV, it has a base of raw cashews and unsweetened applesauce. As for cashew milk, you can simply soak about 1 cashews for about 4 hour, whiz with about 3-4 cups water, then season if you like with vanilla/sweetener – and if you want to strain you can, but you can also just go with it as is. Hope that helps out! :)

  16. Rebekah says

    Whole Foods often has their bags of hemp hearts on one-day sales for $5 or $6. It’s a really good deal if you get there on the right day.

  17. says

    These look fantastic! Like others have stated already, hemp seeds are very expensive where I live as well. It’s too bad really because I also found a recipe for hemp seed cookies this week that I would like to make along with these muffins!
    Herbivore Triathlete recently posted..Homemade Veggie WashMy Profile

    • Dreena says

      You are in the US as well, right? I’ve heard a lot about how pricey they are in the US. I usually buy large containers for a better price, and have bought online bulk from the companies too. Hopefully we can score some hemp seeds at a decent price for you soon, that’s unfortunate.

  18. Danielle says

    These look delicious! I just might have to make them when it’s my son’s turn to bring in his preschool’s snack! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Dreena says

      Great, thanks Danielle! I make them for school snacks often, just switch up the dried fruits, etc in them – kids love them. Hope your wee boy does too. :)

  19. Lisa says

    Dreena, I’ve made a few of your recipes and have enjoyed looking at all of them, but just wanted to point out that this recipe is NOT wheat free. Spelt flour IS wheat flour, just a different type. I am vegan and GF and always get excited when I find a good recipe for both…but this isn’t one of them.

    • Dreena says

      Hi Lisa, thanks for your note. Spelt is a *relative* to durum wheat, and so many people that cannot eat wheat can indeed eat spelt – and also kamut. Traditional wheat has been so manipulated and modified in mass commercial production that it has been speculated to be linked to the mass wheat (and gluten) intolerances. I am fully aware of the differences between gluten free and wheat free, I elaborate on the classifications in the baking section LTEV (if you have it, have a look), and have also blogged about it before. Even with oat-based recipes I specify they might be optionally gluten-free if people can use certified gluten-free oat products. The recipe isn’t classified here as GF, so I’m sorry you interpreted it that way.. I certainly did not label it GF.

  20. Cat says

    Those muffins do look great! I can’t eat spelt, so will play around with things that I can eat to try them. And I’m thinking… sweet potato hummus might be pretty tasty with chocolate chips. :-)

    • Dreena says

      Thanks Cat. What flours can you eat? I’ve had a few people ask for a GF modification for this – do you also need it GF, and can you eat GF oat products? And, haha, yes, sweet potatoes and chocolate actually have the wheels in my brain churning right now!!! 😉

  21. Rebecca Stucki says

    As others said, hemp seeds are just too ridiculously expensive here in the USA because we have to import them from Canada. It is crazy that hemp is illegal here! People think it is the same as marijuana…sigh. Hemp might be the push I need to move to Canada! (Where’s the warmest weather? – LOL!)

  22. Faith says

    I’ve never used hemp seeds before in a recipe, but this post has inspired me to try them! Also, I agree with you about adding chocolate chips to everything and I think you just issued yourself a challenge to create a hummus recipe with chocolate chips:)

  23. Becky says

    The whole spread in the picture looks yummy! Is that just plain yogurt sprinkled with hemp seeds behind the muffin?

      • Jane says

        like matthew we suffer from ‘ridiculously over priced hemp seed syndrome’ and it’s a very serious condition!!
        and illegal too! Australia what is going on here!

  24. Bea says

    Do you have a substitute for spelt flour to make these muffins gluten free? They sound delish! Thanks for the hemp seed education.

    • Dreena says

      Bea, can you use gluten-free oats at all… or not? Let me know, I might try a test or two to make them gluten-free. 😀

  25. Eve L. says

    Yay — thanks for a new oil-free muffin! And I agree with you that pretty much anything on earth can be improved with chocolate chips.

Add Comment Register

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge