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Muffin Top Cookies

by on April 16, 2009 · 27 comments

Late yesterday afternoon, Fuzz fell asleep in a chair by the kitchen. She looked so cute that I was inspired to make a nutritious cookie in her honor. I called these “muffin-top cookies” to set expectations…they’re cakey!  Fuzz loved them and they’ve got enough protein and fiber to make a good snack or if you’re in a hurry, breakfast.

These aren’t vegan because of the egg and honey, but I think vegan egg substitute and maple syrup would work well as alternates.

Muffin Top Cookies Muffin Top Cookies

Apple & Oat Muffin Top Cookies

1/4 cup (50 grams) packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons (45 ml) honey
1/4 cup (60 ml) oil
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla
1 egg (medium or large)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon plus an extra pinch (1 ml) salt
1/2 cup (100 grams) grated apple
1 1/4 cups (160 gram) white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (40 grams) oats
1/4 cup (20 grams) whey protein powder**
3 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
3 tablespoons raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Have ready a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Mix the brown sugar, honey, oil, vanilla, egg, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium size mixing bowl; Stir in the apple, then gently stir in the flour, followed by the oats. Stir in the protein powder and raisins if using – don’t overbeat.

Scoop tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle tops with pecans. Bake for 13 minutes or until edges are browned and cookies look “done”. Let cool on a rack.

Makes 16 cookies

**I haven’t tried omitting it, but I think you could omit the protein powder and add in 3 T. flour.

Mastercook Values for 1 cookie

(These values are from Mastercook and they seem fairly accurate because each cookie weighs a little over an ounce)

WITH NUTS AND RAISINS 136 Calories; 5g Fat (32.8% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 20g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber


WITHOUT NUTS 128 Calories; 4g Fat (29.4% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 20g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber


WITHOUT RAISINS 133 Calories; 5g Fat (34.3% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 19g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber

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Published on April 16, 2009

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl April 16, 2009 at 1:18 pm

**substitutes duly noted**

DessertObsessed April 16, 2009 at 1:28 pm

muffin tops are always the best part of muffins!

Heather - Ghost Baker April 16, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Hey Anna – I’m confused, what are the asterisks for after the oil?

YUM, looking forward to making them soon!

Anna April 16, 2009 at 2:11 pm

I was going to make note about how you could try melted butter or use olive oil in place of the vegetable oil, but I decided not to add the note.

Natanya April 16, 2009 at 2:17 pm

These look fantastic. I bet you could sub walnuts and dried cranberries for the pecans and raisins for a slightly different taste. I’ll have to try these as a treat for my co-workers soon.

snooky doodle April 16, 2009 at 2:30 pm

really interesting ! and its healthy too! yeah!!!

dawn April 16, 2009 at 3:11 pm

I really want to start making more grab & go healthy cookies/muffins. These sound good. I love my whey powder.

bakingblonde April 16, 2009 at 3:28 pm

I love the look of these!
I made some cookies that reminded me of muffin tops as well, just not with as light of crumb!

Cookie April 16, 2009 at 3:44 pm

I love these! They look just like Muffin Tops and so healthy too so you don’t feel guilty about eating 2 or a dozen! hehe Thanks for the recipe! I can imagine the sky is the limit with different variations like how about Carrot Cake Muffin Cookies?

clumbsycookie April 16, 2009 at 3:51 pm

I always think of Seinfeld when I see Muffin top something! They have a lot of nutricion packed into them, good job! You should have snapped a picture of Fuzz sleeping in the chair!

Katrina April 16, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Yeah for a healthy, yummy thing! I made the HBE oatmeal cookies today–big, full fat ones for my friend’s birthday and the lower fat, whole grain ones, in a much smaller size for me! BL said I could have an oatmeal cookie today. I was so excited! ;)

Barbara Hahn April 16, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Anna, all your pictures of cookies are so tempting, but this one really speaks to me. I have one question though. Why would you have more calories if you left out the raisins than if you added the raisins and nuts?

Sarah April 16, 2009 at 6:18 pm


Anna April 16, 2009 at 6:21 pm

Barbara, I’m going to fix that. I had a glitch with my ingredients on Mastercook. It’s too long to explain, so let me just fix the numbers.

C L April 16, 2009 at 6:44 pm

These look so good, and I am needing to make something I can carry in my purse when my family and I fly back East next week. Your muffin cookies sound so much healthier than the mass-produced granola bars I usually carry. :) Thank you, Anna!

C L April 16, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Anna, I forgot to ask…do you think this would work if I use chocolate-flavored whey protein powder and substitute some bananas for the apple? :) I have several bananas to use, and my freezer is full of banana bread already. :)

Elyse April 17, 2009 at 12:22 am

Fuzz is quite the inspiration! These muffin-top cookies look great. I love a cakey and nutritious cookie from time to time. Mm, and what great flavors you ahve going on!

Jen @ MaplenCornbread April 17, 2009 at 4:14 am

I am so making these! I LOVE muffin tops!!!

Anna April 17, 2009 at 6:12 am

Thanks for the substitution suggestions. If you plan to experiment, you can halve this (for the egg, use 1 1/2 T.)

I was thinking shredded pineapple and well-drained pineapple might be a good sub for the apple, as would carrot or zucchini.

Here are some things I’m planning to try.

1) swap out the 4 oz of apple with 4 oz of another fruit

2) use dried blueberries in place of the dried raisins or maybe try dried cranberries

3) swap the honey with a one or more flavorful syrups (golden, maple, corn, molasses)

4) See what happens when the egg is omitted

5) Somehow make it lemon blueberry. Cut the apple and replace with 4 oz of zucchini, then add lemon and blueberries? Not sure.

Just thinking out loud ;).

Natalie April 17, 2009 at 7:52 am

LOVE muffin tops! I gotta try these :)

beth April 17, 2009 at 11:11 am

There is something so sweet about seeing your child nap, especially as they get older and you realize how quickly time is passing. These look great. Perfect for my kids, who according to school rules, are supposed to be bringing in only “healthy” snacks in their lunch boxes. Your site never disappoints! Thanks again.

hanamik April 17, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Is the grated apple dry or more like applesauce? I’m wondering whether I could chop the apples into tiny pieces instead of grating or just use applesauce instead?

Anna April 17, 2009 at 2:55 pm

The grated apple was like wet, grated apples. I grated it by cutting off the peel and just rubbing it across the plastic cheese grater — it was fairly simple…probably easier than chopping the apple. But if you don’t have a grater, I think you’d be fine chopping the apple.

Kat April 17, 2009 at 5:03 pm

I just made these and they’re very good! Just like the top of a muffin. Instead of oil I used apple sauce and instead of grated apples I used more apple sauce. :) It made it a little too runny so I just threw in more oats and it was fine. I also used dried cranberries instead of raisins.

I’ve never made anything like these before. Their really great. I know I’ll be making these again. I want to try using pumpkin next time instead of apples. I love anything pumpkin.

Jenn's Baking Chamber April 18, 2009 at 7:20 am

I love breakfast cookies, they are such an easy way to grab a snack on the go (and taste really good)

Fiona April 19, 2009 at 6:16 am

I made these, and they were really good – exactly like muffin tops!

I veganised mine, and made the following substitutions:

1 pureed banana instead of the oil
Rice malt syrup instead of honey
Egg replacer instead of egg
Walnuts and dates instead of pecans and raisins
Soy protein powder instead of whey protein.

Soo tasty – mine turned out really sweet.

I chucked the banana, syrup and 2 medium apples (cored, with skin on) into the blender and pureed until smooth, then mixed into the dry ingredients.

Anna April 19, 2009 at 6:28 am

Hi Fiona!

Thanks for testing out a new vegan version. I guess the banana added a little extra sweetness because with the oil, they aren’t too sweet. You mentioned they were good, but it might be worth trying your banana version with slightly less brown sugar….maybe 3 1/2 tablespoons? It might throw the recipe off, but it’s worth a try.

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