Marion Cunningham’s Raw Apple Muffins


Three recipes, that’s where I draw the line when it comes to sharing recipes from a cookbook. Anything beyond that, and I’m no longer advertising a book that you should buy and I’m just poaching recipes for my own gain. So it’s with great sadness that I post my third and final recipe from Marion Cunningham’s wonderful Breakfast Book. Together we’ve made her raised waffles (a recipe I actually got from Kim Severon’s SpoonFed but it comes from The Breakfast Book) and her Last Word in Nutmeg Muffins. Now comes another muffin recipe, but a peculiar one; a muffin that’s more fruit than muffin. And that’s what makes it great.


I’ve never been much of a muffin man (muffin man the muffin man) mostly because they’re best hot out of the oven and once they cool you’re left with a bunch of muffins that won’t be nearly as good the next day. That is until I got the idea (from Cunningham’s book) to freeze the uneaten muffins and to reheat them whenever we want a hot muffin. So those nutmeg muffins actually lasted several weeks; and I imagine these muffins will too. Popped straight from the freezer on to a cookie sheet and placed in a 350 oven you have a hot muffin in 10 minutes. That’s a good deal.


These particular muffins are so fruit-filled, they feel positively wholesome. You’ll spend most of your time chopping apples but if it’s a sunny morning and you’re sipping fresh coffee, there are worse things. You can even leave the skin on (per the recipe) but I prefer mine peeled. Up to you.


You stir the apple chunks with sugar, then pour in a liquid mixture of egg, oil, and vanilla extract, and a flour mixture that contains baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. The last two ingredients really round things out: raisins and walnuts. In its uncooked state, it reminded me of that famous Passover mixture, Haroset (which I once made here). The batter just binds all the fruit together.


I use an ice cream scoop to get the batter into the muffin tin and once that happens, you’re done. 25 minutes later you have hot fruity muffins (“Hot Fruity Muffins” is the name of my band, by the way) (that’s a joke) and whatever you don’t eat, you can freeze.

Well, Marion Cunningham, we’ve had a good run here on the blog. I enjoyed blogging your Breakfast Book recipes and maybe if I get another one of your cookbooks, I can blog more down the road. Until then, thanks for the waffles and all these wonderful muffins.

Recipe: Marion Cunningham’s Raw Apple Muffins

Summary: A muffin that’s mostly fruit, not so much muffin.


  • 4 cups diced apple (peeled or unpeeled)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1/2 cup oil (corn oil is very good)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup broken walnuts (leave in large pieces)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease 16 muffin tins.
  2. Put 3 mixing bowls on the counter. Mix the apples and sugar in one bowl and set aside. Put the eggs, oil, and vanilla in the second bowl and stir to blend well. In the third bowl, put the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and stir the mixture with a fork until blended.
  3. Stir the egg mixture into the apples and sugar, and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the apple mixture and mix well. (Marion uses her hands because “this is a stiff batter.”) Sprinkle the raisins and walnuts over the batter and mix until they are evenly distributed. Spoon into the muffin tins.
  4. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a straw comes out clean when inserted into the center of a muffin. Serve warm.

Quick notes

I used Granny Smith apples which offer up a nice amount of tartness. I’m pretty sure any apple will work here, though. A variety from the farmer’s market might be best.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 25 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8