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Recipe – Apple Strudel Muffins

I’m starting to get bored of my regular meals, so that means it’s time to start experimenting in the kitchen again. When choosing new recipes I look for two things:

1) Nothing too complicated or complex. If it involves separating egg whites or getting out the sifter it’s a no go. Do I even own a sifter?

2) No weird ingredients. I’m not adverse to buying one or two new spices or veggies for a recipe, but if it turns into a grocery store scavenger hunt that requires me to find eye of newt, it’s out. No toil or trouble.

Lately, I’ve been surfing this thread at a South Beach diet site which has links to tons of recipes. Today I tried:

Apple Strudel Muffins

Makes 12 muffins


1/4 cup Splenda

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon or to taste

1/8 cup melted margarine


2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup Splenda

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup apple juice*

1/3 cup Canola oil

1 egg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup apples – peeled, cored and diced


Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray bottom and sides of cupcake pan with cooking spray or use baking cups.

For topping:

In a medium bowl, combine Splenda, flour, cinnamon and margarine. Stir until well blended. Separate mixture into small clumps, approximately 1/4 teaspoon each and place on cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Crumble into fine, uniform texture (can be done by smashing chunks with the back of a fork). Set aside.

Once you’ve done the topping, increase oven temp to 400.

For muffins:

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; mix well. In a small bowl, combine apple juice, oil, and egg; blend well. Add dry ingredients all at once; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened (batter will be lumpy.) Stir in chopped apples.

Fill cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle with topping, pressing it in a little so that it sticks. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 1 minute before removing from pan. Serve warm.

These were scrumdiddlyumptious. Granted, they took a little bit more prep work than I like. Three bowls? Geez. But I’d say they were worth it. I ended up with 15 muffins, which is 3 more than the recipe says. I think I was just conservative filling up the cups because I hate spillovers. In the future I’ll probably double the recipe and save these muffins as breakfast items for the week. Assuming I don’t scarf them down during the week, which is probably a more likely option.

Conclusion – Definitely a keeper.

* 1/24/06 – I ran out of apple juice while making these last night and substituted Crystal Light instead. Couldn’t tell the difference! I would recommend using Crystal Light instead since it has much less calories.

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Veronika • October 23, 2005 at 9:16 pm

That sounds yummy. I’ve never used Splenda but I think I’ll give this a try.

P.S. I found your blog through hopefulloser


PastaQueen • October 23, 2005 at 10:06 pm

I do not now how I survived without Splenda! I would even rank it as a more important foodstuff than sugar-free pudding.

My brother came by to snitch some of the muffins and said they tasted like a box mix, which is probably the best compliment I’ve ever had on something I’ve cooked.


Mark • October 24, 2005 at 12:44 am

Are you sure you want to start down the baking-with-Splenda road? It could be a “recipe for disaster.” :-)

My theory is that in the end, diets that have bad-food-good-food rules but don’t require you to explicitly limit calories work because you can only get yourself to eat so much of the good food. How many sausages can a person take?

Once the dieter figures out how to game the system with substitutes for the bad foods, calorie intake skyrockets.


Kirsten • October 24, 2005 at 4:38 am

I think it all depends. Not that I’d put myself forward as a great success story, but some days it helps that I can have (for example) a Boots’s raspberry jello cup, which is vegetarian and yes, artificially sweetened. I know that apart from the whole raspberries in it, it’s not fulfilling any great nutritional purpose. On the other hand, it does deal with a dessert craving, because it’s nice, and does it at a “cost” of 100 calories, not 200-plus for a bar of chocolate.

Then again, I know some people who have had much more success with bad-food-good-food rules. It’s what works for you…


PastaQueen • October 24, 2005 at 10:06 am

I think if I were going through a cookbook and simply making whatever I wanted by subbing Splenda for sugar it would be reason for concern. Snickerdoodles are great, but even with Splenda they’d be too un-filling and high-cal for me right now.

Instead I’m sticking to South Beach Phase 2 recipes that have whole wheat flour, veggies or fruits with a lower glycemic index. Basically, stuff that will make me feel fuller longer and ward off the need to binge on a whole tray of muffins :)

I think you have a point though and it’s duly noted.


scfrogprincess • December 23, 2008 at 4:03 pm

Those sound good. I use crystal light or the diet peach mango tea in my smoothies instead of juice. Also, when I bake muffins/quick breads I just use apple sauce instead of the butter/oil. The outside does not form as hard of a crust, but it sure is moist!


Dana • July 26, 2009 at 12:43 am

I don’t get why so many people are opposed to “bad food/good food” rules. If you have allergies, you must live by BFGF rules. If you’re religious with dietary restrictions, you have to. If you’re diabetic, you definitely have to. What’s the difference? If a food demonstrably causes weight gain and you don’t need to eat it for some reason, why not avoid it?

I notice there’s some overlap between people who object to BFGF rules and people who say, “You’re fat because you eat like crap.” One or the other, people… pick a side.


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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