Making the most of autumn and delicious apple season with some irresistible muffins! These apple cinnamon muffins are PERFECT for lunchboxes or just a tea time snack. They are beautifully moist, perfectly spiced with a delightful crumble topping for a fabulous yummy texture!
Why this apple cinnamon muffin recipe works
- Seasonal baking. Make the most of delicious seasonal apples to create a wonderful warming bake.
- Widely available ingredients. It uses no unusual or hard to get hold of ingredients, making it brilliantly easy to make at any time.
- Perfect results always. Bake up a moist, fluffy and perfect apple spice muffins each and every time.
- Wonderful contrasting textures. The contrast of the moist, delicately flavoured apple muffins with the crunchy cinnamon crumble topping make these muffins too good to resist!
What is the difference between a cake and a muffin?
There are a few differences between cakes and muffins. Cakes tend to be more of a sweet bake, whereas muffins can be either sweet or savoury. Cakes tend to have icing or frosting, but muffins are enjoyed as they are baked (often with toppings baked into them, such as nuts, sugar or a crumble topping). With a muffin, they tend to be a single portion size and shaped more like a cupcake, however you can find cakes in all shapes and sizes.
Is frosting the only different between muffins and cupcakes?
Sure, cupcakes tend to be topped with a beautiful crown of icing (and sometimes even sprinkles or additional toppings), where muffins are not. However, the other difference between the two is also in making them. Unlike a cupcake, when making muffins the wet and dry ingredients are mixed separately before being gently combined. Cupcakes, by contrast, are beaten longer to give a more even crumb and add air to the batter. And as far as ingredients go, cupcakes tend to also contain more fat (butter or oil) and sugar than muffins do.
What is the secret to a good muffin?
The secret to a good muffin is not to over mix the batter. This is why the dry ingredients are mixed in towards the end. Unlike with a cake, you do not want to beat the mixture when adding dry ingredients, but rather fold it together, and that too until only just combined. The final muffin batter should be lumpy, thick and with streaks of flour throughout.
What ingredients do I need to make apple cinnamon muffins?
- Sugar: I use brown sugar in the topping of these moist apple cinnamon muffins, and both brown and caster sugar for sweetness and a light caramel flavour in the muffins themselves.
- Flour: I use plain (all purpose) flour in this apple muffins recipe. This is to allow me to control the amount rising agent used in my recipe.
- Butter: I prefer using unsalted butter as it means I can control how much salt goes into my muffins.
- Baking powder/bicarbonate of soda: the raising agent for these muffins.
- Cinnamon: gives these apple spice muffins a beautiful warm flavour profile.
- Salt: enhances the flavour of the bake, but it will not be so much that you taste it.
- Oil: use a flavourless oil here such as vegetable oil. It helps keep the muffins moist when they bake.
- Eggs: helps with the structure of the muffins.
- Yogurt: keeps the muffins moist and tender.
- Vanilla: for delicious flavour, enhances the sweetness.
- Milk: the liquid content needed in this recipe.
- Apples: the star of the show! Use a tart variety of apples for best flavour in these apple crumble muffins.
What equipment do I need to make apple and cinnamon muffins?
- Cupcake/muffin tin*: you will need twelve hole cupcake/muffin tin to make these easy apple cinnamon muffins in.
- Muffin cases*: I used large muffin cases to bake these in, but you could also use tulip style cases too.
- Digital kitchen scales*: my recommended method of measuring ingredients is to weigh them out using grams rather than cups. I do provide cup measures too, if you prefer working with this method.
- Measuring spoons*: for measuring smaller quantities such as tablespoons (tbsp) and teaspoons (tsp). A set of dedicated measuring spoons are far more accurate than using everyday eating spoons, so is a small investment well worth making.
- Mixing bowl*: used to mix up the apple strudel muffins batter in before baking. I like to use a large bowl to give me plenty of room to work with.
- Sieve*: to remove lumps from the flour, ensuring it all mixes together as evenly as possible.
- Whisk*: useful to mix the wet/dry ingredients together when making muffins.
- Spatula*: for the final folding of the muffin batter before baking.
- Ice cream scoop*: I find this tool invaluable to help scoop out the muffin mixture evenly into the cases.
- Cooling rack*: to cool the apple cinnamon muffins on once baked.
How to make apple muffins
First, make the crumble topping and set aside. Then the muffin mixture is made up before dividing between the cases. Finally, top each muffin with some of the crumble mixture and bake!
Step 1: Line the muffin tin with liners then set it aside. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F whilst preparing the muffins.
Step 2: In a small bowl, tip in the crumble topping ingredients and rub them all together until the mixture forms into clumps. Set aside whilst making the muffin mixture.
Step 3: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the oil, butter and sugars until well combined, pale and creamy.
Step 4: Add in the eggs one at a time, beating in to combine, then tip in the yogurt and vanilla and mix through.
Step 5: Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), cinnamon and salt. Fold in until combined, then add in the milk and fold until just combined.
Step 6: Finally, add in the chopped apples and fold to distribute evenly.
Step 7: Divide the muffin mixture evenly between the prepared cases. Sprinkle the tops of each muffin generously with the streusel topping, pressing down slightly so it sticks to the batter.
Step 8: Bake the muffins in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 180C/350F for 15-18 minutes until baked, risen and golden. Cool in the tin for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool. Enjoy!
What can I do if I have no muffin liners?
If you have no muffin liners, it is really simple to make your own. Find a glass that fits snugly in the muffin tin you are using. Press a square of parchment around the bottom of the glass to shape it to a size that will fit in the tin. Then place the freshly shaped “muffin liner” in the tin and continue with filling and baking as per the recipe. I would highly recommend using a liner for these apple crumb muffins as it makes removing the muffins from the tin much easier!
How to tell when muffins are baked
These easy apple muffins are baked when they are risen, golden and firm to touch. A wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the muffins will come out clean too. Try not to overbake these apple cinnamon muffins or they will end up being dry.
Best apples to use in apple muffins
For a strong apple flavour, I would recommend using Bramley apples. If you cannot find these, any tart variety such as Granny Smith will work well in these muffins too.
How long do apple muffins last?
These delicious muffins are best eaten within 3-4 days of being baked to be enjoyed at their best.
Do apple muffins need to be refrigerated?
First, always allow the muffins to cool completely on a wire rack. Place the muffins in an airtight container and keep in a cool place at room temperature out of direct sunlight. There is no need to refrigerate these apple cinnamon muffins.
Can you freeze apple muffins?
Yes! First make sure the muffins are completely cool and at room temperature. Arrange the muffins in a single layer on a baking tray and place the tray in the freezer for 30-60 minutes to freeze completely. Once frozen, place the muffins in a large sealable freezer bag and push out all the air before sealing. Place this bag in another sealable freezer bag, again pushing the air out and seal shut. This double bagging helps prevent freezer burn or dry muffins. Label and freeze for up to three months.
How to thaw muffins
When you are ready to enjoy the muffins again, you can unwrap and thaw them at room temperature for a couple of hours. If in a bit of a rush (yes, we have those crazy mornings too!), simply pop it in the microwave from frozen for a few seconds to thaw before enjoying!
Additional tips for making these apple cinnamon muffins
- I like to use cases to bake these muffins in because they are very moist! They will be easier to remove from the pan and easier to store if baked in cases
- Use a tart apple variety such as Bramley or Granny Smith for a really sharp flavour which will cut through the sweetness of the streusel topping.
- When making muffins, it is really important to remember not to over mix the batter. Over mixing muffin batter will lead to tough and chewy muffins, not light and fluffy ones. So, once you add the dry ingredients in with the wet, keep the mixing to a minimum to get the best results.
- Fill the muffin cases to near the top with the mixture. This will give you beautiful tall muffins. Heavenly!
- Press the crumble topping down gently on the muffin mixture to help it stick to the tops. And be generous for that delicious crunch!
- Baking the muffins at a higher temperature for the first five minutes gives them a large heat boost, resulting in a big rise and beautiful dome shaped muffins.
If you have any other questions about this apple cinnamon muffins recipe, please leave me a comment below, I will do my best to help you. And if you do make this recipe for cinnamon apple muffins, please do consider leaving me a rating and review below, I would love to hear from you! Additionally, you can find me on Instagram and tag me in your photos when you share it with the world!
More recipes from my blog for you to enjoy
Do check out these other recipes on my blog too:
Blueberry banana oatmeal muffins: These muffins are gorgeously chunky and deliciously satisfying, not to mention a brilliant way to use up overripe bananas! They are easy to make, wonderfully spiced, and always go down a treat!
Lemon blueberry doughnuts: These doughnuts are absolutely delicious! A soft fluffy lemon donut with beautiful pops of blueberry topped with a stunning blueberry glaze. These taste every bit as good as they look, a real showstopper!
Coconut pecan cookies: soft and chewy cookies packed with desiccated coconut and chopped pecans, these beautiful coconut pecan cookies are the best you will find!
Thanks so much for joining me today, friends. Happy baking! x