Low Fat Coffee Cake Muffins


jump to recipe

I was in a state when I made these. It was the evening before a Day of Many Mishaps, and I think these are where it all started. Funny thing is, the muffins actually came out great, but the making of them was fraught with unnecessary difficulty, mood swings, and the lunacy of the moon. I think. Or Mercury in retrograde. Or solar flares. Or something!

They were, however, sweet and delicious.

First came the easy part, the making of the streusel. Brown sugar. Cinnamon. Straightforward. Simple. Sweet.


For the next step I welcomed the opportunity to use my beautiful new Kitchen Aid mixer. Butter, applesauce, yogurt, vanilla bean paste, cane sugar, and eggs all went in as separate entities and became one under the magic spinning paddle.

ingredients in mixer

ingredients, mixed

The yogurt left some lumps, but I’ve had that happen before, so I didn’t let it bother me all that much. Maybe some. A little.

I let the dry ingredients cheer me up. Whole wheat white flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. I whisked. Things were still under control.

dry ingredients

dry ingredients, whisked

I added the flour mixture to the liquid ingredients and beat on low speed. Despite the yogurt lumps, the batter started to take shape.




At that point, I was pretty sure I didn’t have enough batter to make 12 muffins. I looked at the recipe and couldn’t find information on how many muffins it made, so I pretended it was 12 and started filling the cups up halfway.

Then I decided I didn’t have enough batter.

Then I looked at the pictures in the recipe and noticed they were all of only six muffins.

Then I got mad because who wants only six muffins?

Then I scraped out the muffin cups I’d filled, swapped my pan out for a 6-cup one, and started refilling the cups. With each half full, I added the streusel.

adding streusel

I topped them off, and started adding more streusel.

topping with streusel

Once done, I still had batter left. This didn’t make sense. I pulled out a mini loaf pan and poured the last of the batter into it, then sprinkled the last of the streusel on top.

While everything was baking, I cleaned up everything, including the pile of scraped-out muffin cups I’d wasted when I thought the recipe made 12 muffins. I looked at the recipe again, and there it was, plain as day:

Serving size: 1 muffin • Servings: 12

Oy! I’d sabotaged my own muffins for no reason, I’d doubled the Weight Watchers points value, and I’d created muffin monsters. Fortunately they looked pretty good when they came out of the oven.

muffins with streusel

muffins and mini loaf

And when cut open, the line of streusel was lovely.

muffins with streusel

So I was left with 6 deliciously sweet muffins and a mini loaf, none of which came in a portion that I could eat without feeling guilty. But I was already feeling like an idiot, so I ate one, and enjoyed it, and brought the rest to work minus the one Dave ate and the one I put in Nathaniel’s lunch, which he ate half of and traded half of, at camp.

The next morning was full of more self-inflicted mishaps. I took my overpriced, tiny container of Aveda hair smoother and randomly spread it across my face. I took a brand new bracelet I’d just bought myself — and I almost never buy any kind of jewelry — and in my attempt to cut the tag off, I cut the bungee-like thread that held the whole thing together, destroying it before I even wore it.

It was that kind of a day. The baking that night was mishap-influenced as well, but that is another blog entry.

I think I’ll try these muffins again when I’m feeling less stupid. They were sweet and fluffy and delicious. Just…large.


My version of Low Fat Coffee Cake Muffins (adapted from 360 Family Nutrition)


1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup pure cane sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
2 tablespoons low fat milk
1 teaspoon (scant) vanilla bean paste
1 1/3 cup whole wheat white flour
1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt


If you want large muffins, line or spray a 6-cup muffin pan, and an additional mini loaf pan. If you want 12 muffins, line or spray a 12-muffin pan and stop fretting. Heat the oven to 375 degrees; you will reduce the temperature later.

In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon for the streusel.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, applesauce, sugar, eggs, yogurt, milk, and vanilla. Beat on low to medium speed until well mixed. If you have yogurt lumps, ignore them. Beat the batter a little more if it helps ease your mind.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the liquid ingredients, beating on low speed, just until incorporated. Finish by hand to avoid overmixing.

Fill the muffin cups halfway, then cover the surface of each with streusel. Fill the cups to the top and add more streusel.

Reduce temperature fo 350 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for another 5, then move to a wire rack.


  1. I’ve got these in the oven right now. The dough was more like cookie dough than I expected. I ended up with 8 muffins instead of 12 too. but the batter tastes good.

    • Let me know how they turn out! Yes…there is definitely something slightly off in the amount of muffins this recipe generates, although you wouldn’t think so looking at the ingredients. I hope they turn out great, please report back!

Speak Your Mind