Bear Muffin Nostalgia

When I was born, a friend of my mom’s brought over applesauce muffins — along with the recipe. These muffins quickly became a family favorite. Not only are they delicious (I’ve never met anyone — child or adult — who hasn’t liked them), but they’re also great for a family to have around. The batter keeps in the fridge for about three weeks, so you’re able to make muffins as you need them. You can make a whole batch at once, or make just a couple of muffins at a time.

To make these muffins even more fun at the Swindle house, my mom often baked them in a cast iron pan that generated bear-shaped muffins. As you might imagine, “bear muffins” were always a huge hit. (Of course, you can make any type of muffins in this pan — as well as cornbread — but the brown applesauce muffins always seemed especially appropriate.)

(If you’re interested in a bear muffin pan of your very own, I was able to recently find one on eBay and gave it to Susan as a birthday gift.)

As for the muffin recipe itself, here goes. (It’s so easy!):


  • 2 sticks margarine or butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups (1 pound) applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cloves


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Cream together sugar, vanilla, eggs, and butter/margarine
  • Fold baking soda into applesauce and add to mixture
  • Sift together flour, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves
  • Add flour mixture to creamed ingredients and combine
  • Spoon into greased muffin tin
  • Bake for about 15 minutes
  • Batter keeps in refrigerator for up to three weeks

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