Whole Wheat Muffins (No Sugar)

Reading Time: 6 min

This is the whole wheat muffins recipe you’ve been looking for: real food, simple ingredients, naturally sweetened, and lots of flavor variations!

Whole wheat muffins recipe pin

Whole Wheat Muffins

These are the whole wheat muffins you’ve been looking for. By that, I don’t mean these muffins are just cupcakes in disguise. Rather, these are the hearty, whole food, easy-to-make, no weird ingredients muffins that are sweet enough to eat for breakfast and savory enough to serve with a bowl of soup.

Whole Wheat Flour Tips:

Can I use Whole Wheat Flour in Muffins?

This recipe is pretty flexible and you can use what you have. But it’s made to use whole wheat flour and natural sweeteners. Whole wheat is a little different to work with than white flour, but it’s simple. I’ll show you how.

  • Use any kind of whole grain flour here. If you grind your own, this recipe is fantastic with all the varieties. Try hard red wheat for a heartier version. Soft white for a lighter version.
  • With store-bought whole wheat, you might be happiest with half whole wheat flour and half white flour.
  • Don’t overmix the batter.
  • You’ll get better results if you let the batter sit for 10-30 minutes before baking. This step isn’t necessary, but I liked how the batter thickend up after resting.
  • Feel free to play with it! Use almond flour instead of 1/4 of the flour.
  • If all you have is white flour, go for it! Keep in mind that each flour combination yields different results. I’ve shared my favorite versions, but feel free to use what you have and make it work for you. This recipe is very flexible.

Whole Wheat Muffins Recipe (No Sugar)

This whole wheat muffins recipe is naturally-sweetened, which means it uses honey instead of granulated sugar. Here’s what you need to know.

Honey

Honey is our favorite sweetener for this recipe. It’s roughly twice as sweet as maple syrup, so you muffins will turn out much sweeter if you stick to honey instead of substituting with maple syrup. That being said, if all you have is maple syrup, it works great too.

Half Sugar and Half Honey

Honey and maple syrup are expensive. If you need to ration your sweetener, you can use 1 cup sugar or brown sugar in the recipe instead. Or you can split the difference and use 1/4 cup honey and 1/2 cup sugar.

Whole wheat muffins recipe made with chocolate chips

How Does Whole Wheat Affect Baking?

Whole wheat flour absorbs more liquid than white flour. As a result, it creates a heavier dough that does not rise as high as baked goods that use white flour. Don’t let this stop you from trying it! Whole wheat (especially fresh ground) has a fantastic flavor and texture that you completely miss when you bake exclusively with white flour.

Use my whole wheat flour tips to help you get the best results with your muffins.

Freshly Ground Whole Wheat

This is next-level real food baking, but for what it’s worth, we love baking with freshly ground whole wheat. We save a lot of money on real food and high-quality whole wheat baked goods by using a personal flour grinder. From what I understand, it’s more nutritious than store-bought and the flavor is unparalleled. The grinder is easy to use, and I can buy the grain in bulk and keep it for a long, long time, so we have good, nutritious flour on hand anytime.

If you use freshly ground whole wheat to this muffin recipe, add 1/4 cup of extra flour.

I’ve used this grinder for nearly 10 years, and it’s still going strong.

Whole wheat muffins recipe in a red towel

How to Make Light & Fluffy Whole Wheat Muffins

Whole wheat and “light and fluffy” don’t usually go together, but here are some tips to help you acheive that.

Keep in mind that I am not a precise baker. I cook in my real life, and I have other things to do and cook, so I follow these tips maybe half the time. Don’t interpret this as something you have to do.

  • Do not overmix the batter (impossible when your toddler is helping you bake)
  • All ingredients should be at room temperature (this only happens when I forget I was baking)
  • If you add chocolate chips or fruit, fold it in gently with a spatula (but honestly, I’m not gonna dirty another dish)
  • Use freshly ground whole wheat flour (it’s the best! But again, not for everyone)
  • Whole wheat does better when you let it soak for 10-30 minutes before baking (I actually do this more often because it makes a big difference in my opinion)

Whole Wheat Muffins Recipe

To make whole wheat muffins, you will need:

Milk

This recipe uses a combination of milk and lemon juice. You can use almond milk or coconut milk with any kind of acid, like ACV or plain white vinegar. You can also use buttermilk or yogurt thinned with water or milk.

Whole Wheat Flour

You can use all whole wheat flour, a combination of white flour and wheat flour, or even spelt flour. If you use freshly ground whole wheat, add 1/4 cup of flour to the recipe.

Honey

Honey is our favorite sweetener for this recipe. It’s roughly twice as sweet as maple syrup, so you muffins will turn out much sweeter if you stick to honey instead of substituting with maple syrup. That being said, if all you have is maple syrup, it works great too.

Honey and maple syrup are expensive. If you need to ration your sweetener, you can use 1 cup sugar or brown sugar in the recipe instead. Or you can split the difference and use 1/4 cup honey and 1/2 cup sugar.

Melted Butter or Oil

Olive oil will taste too strong here, so I prefer melted butter or avocado oil or coconut oil for dairy-free muffins.

Apple Sauce

You can substitute the apple sauce with pumpkin puree or just more butter or oil.

Egg

For egg-free muffins, use a flax or chia egg from this recipe.

Baking Powder

If you’re out of baking powder, substitute with 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp cream of tartar for every 1 teaspoon of baking powder.

And then:

Salt

Baking soda

Old-fashioned rolled oats

Whole wheat muffins recipe made without any add-ins

This Whole Wheat Muffins Recipe Is:

Whole grain

Real food

Easy

Flexible

Dairy-Free (options)

Egg-Free (options)

Vegan (options)

Whole Wheat Muffins Recipe Variations:

Each of these variations has a slightly different taste and texture. Use these tips as a springboard to finding your favorite version!

Dairy-Free

For dairy-free muffins, use dairy-free milk and then use avocado oil or coconut oil instead of butter.

Egg-free

For egg-free muffins, use a flax or chia egg from this recipe.

Vegan

For vegan muffins, use the dairy-free and egg-free tips.

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Chocolate Chip is our favorite version. Mini chocolate chips work best! Start with 1 cup and add more as needed.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Use the naturally-sweetened recipe on this post and spread it on the muffins after they cool.

Blueberry Muffins

For blueberry muffins, stir in 1 tsp each cinnamon and nutmeg with the dry ingredients. Fold in 1 cup frozen or fresh berries. You can even add 1/ 2 cup white chocolate chips. Bake for an extra 5-10 minutes.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

For apple cinnamon muffins, stir in 1 tsp cinnamon with the dry ingredients. Fold in 1 diced or grated apple and bake for an extra 5-10 minutes.

chocolate chip whole wheat muffins

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag a photo #cheapskatecook and @cheapskatecook on Instagram.

Whole Wheat Muffins (No Sugar)

Whole Wheat Muffins (No Sugar)

Yield: 12 muffins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This is the whole wheat muffins recipe you’ve been looking for: real food, simple ingredients, naturally sweetened, and lots of flavor variations!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk (dairy-free works great!)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour*
  • ⅓ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ cup oil or melted butter
  • ¼ cup apple sauce
  • 1 egg

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 F. 

In a small bowl, stir together the milk and lemon juice. Set it aside to curdle. 

In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. 

Add the liquids, including the milk mixture, and stir just until mixed.

Fold in any additional ingredients.  

For the best results, let the batter sit for 10-30 minutes. This allows the whole wheat to absorb the liquid a little more.

Pour into greased or lined muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes. 

Notes

TIPS AND INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS

For tips on making light and fluffy muffins and for really helpful ingredient substitutions, see above on this post.

WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR


You can use all whole wheat flour, a combination of white flour and wheat flour, or even spelt flour. If you use freshly ground whole wheat, add 1/4 cup of flour to the recipe.


WHOLE WHEAT MUFFINS RECIPE VARIATIONS:

Each of these variations has a slightly different taste and texture. Use these tips as a springboard to finding your favorite version!

DAIRY-FREE

For dairy-free muffins, use dairy-free milk and then use avocado oil or coconut oil instead of butter.

EGG-FREE

For egg-free muffins, use a flax or chia egg from this recipe.

VEGAN

For vegan muffins, use the dairy-free and egg-free tips.

CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

Chocolate Chip is our favorite version. Mini chocolate chips work best! Start with 1 cup and add more as needed.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Use the naturally-sweetened recipe on this post and spread it on the muffins after they cool.

BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

For blueberry muffins, stir in 1 tsp each cinnamon and nutmeg with the dry ingredients. Fold in 1 cup frozen or fresh berries. You can even add 1/ 2 cup white chocolate chips. Bake for an extra 5-10 minutes.

APPLE CINNAMON MUFFINS

For apple cinnamon muffins, stir in 1 tsp cinnamon with the dry ingredients. Fold in 1 diced or grated apple and bake for an extra 5-10 minutes.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 194Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 364mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 15gProtein: 4g

Please note: The actual calories and nutrition of this dish will change depending on what ingredients you use. Nutrition information is not always accurate.

Whole Wheat Muffins Taste Great With:

More Whole Wheat Recipes:

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