Golden Raisin Almond Crumble Muffins

Apolinaras and I have a similar outlook on life and agree on all major issues that couples tend to fight over (family, money, politics, etc), but sparks always fly over desserts! I like to indulge in treats laden with butter and sugar since I don’t bake very often and feel like one real cookie satisfies my cravings more than several more healthy imitators. Apolinaras, on the other hand, is a health nut and is always trying to convince me to lighten things up. Unfortunately, this means I usually end up baking something only one of us actually enjoys. This needs to change! So, I decided to challenge myself this weekend and see if I could whip up a batch of muffins that weren’t completely bad for you that I would actually still gobble up with a smile.

I had a bunch of golden raisins left after making a Moroccan Beef Meatball Tagine from a recent issue of Bon Appetit, so I decided to center my muffins around them. Although applesauce is commonly added to low fat baked goods to keep them moist, I didn’t want to buy a jar just for one recipe, so I decided to puree a pear instead. In addition, I reduced the amount of sugar I normally use, used low fat sour cream and white whole wheat flour, and topped the muffins with an almond meal crumble topping. These muffins tasted like coffee cake AND Apolinaras wasn’t completely disgusted by the nutritional profile – problem solved! Well, for muffins at least…

Golden Raisin Almond Crumble Muffins
Printable Recipe


Crumble Topping:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2/3 cup almond meal

1 medium Barlett Pear, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped golden raisins

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cups. To make the crumble topping, mix the melted butter, brown sugar, and almond meal in a small bowl.

To make the muffins, pulse pears and sour cream in a food processor until smooth (I had 1 cup of liquid after pulsing); place in a large bowl and stir in butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in golden raisins.

Scoop muffin batter evenly into the 12 prepared muffin cups. Top muffins evenly with the crumble topping. Bake at 350˚F for 20 to 25 minutes or a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.

Nutrition: 260 calories, 14.2g fat, 2.2g fiber, 3.3g protein per serving
Cost: $0.34 per serving

36 Responses to Golden Raisin Almond Crumble Muffins

  1. These look so great, and if they taste like coffee cake, I’m in :) Glad you found a compromise with these muffins. I agree with you, if lightening something alters the taste too much, I’d rather have nothing. Pureed pear sound amazing, and I love low fat sour cream – I’m sure it makes for a very moist muffin.

  2. My husband doesn’t typically eat dessert, but when he does he goes for decadent & rich treats… I’m the one who prefers healthier goodies in our marriage! These muffins sound like the perfect compromise, and I love that you used a pureed pear in place of applesauce – so creative!

  3. Dessert is definitely a much more worthy thing to fight over than bills. I am passionate about dessert. I usually bake something once a week and, yeah, it’s not very healthy. But it’s one day. Out of a whole week. In the long run – not so bad.

    These muffins looks fabulous! I am definitely bookmarking them. Raisins are one of my favorite things to put in baked goods.

  4. These are the sweetest little muffins! They look too pretty to eat. I love that you used almond meal in the crumbs. The pear and raisins sound delicious in it!

  5. Haha- I love that dessert is the only real source of arguments- too cute :) The muffins look like they turned out awesome. I’m LOVING the crunchy topping. Have a good week!

  6. excellent–i love golden raisins. red raisins? not so much.
    incidentally, it’s a shame you can’t convert apolinaras into a butter-lover. it’s a much more blissful life, wouldn’t you say? :)

  7. They look delicious!! Any healthy is always a plus! Though I agree with you, I don’t make desserts often, so when I do I like to go all-out! This looks like a great recipe, definitely one that Z would enjoy.

  8. Ok cool,i love to bake and baking healthy instead of jus healthy dinners would be a fantastic option…lovely creation….
    love is in the air and i wish u loads of it…..

  9. Oh yum! These are so wholesome and look so good! I want one right now… The crumble topping sounds divine and I like how you used pureed pear. You are so creative! And I’m so glad Apolinaras approved :)

  10. That’s so funny. I’m like you–if I’m going to indulge, I’m going whole hog. The problem is that Ben only likes certain desserts, and I tend to like really rich ones…These look fabulous! I love crumbly toppings!

  11. Thanks everyone! You actually can’t taste the pear in these though – they just taste like normal coffee cake :) I’m sure a pureed apple would work just as well too. Apolinaras calls them his cupcakes and eats them for dessert.

    Grace – I know! But he won’t listen!

    Ingrid – Have you tried golden raisins? They’re much better than regular ones!

  12. Wow, this sounds like the ultimate muffin! I love golden raisins, pears and almonds so finding a recipe with all of them combined is a winner in my book!

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