Apple Cinnamon Muffins: Cinnamon and apples make these fluffy muffins irresistible! The best part of waking up is finding coffee in your cup…and a muffin on the plate!
As a kid, I really didn’t appreciate them like I should have. When I’d open my cat lunch pail (yes, I really did have a lunch pail with cats playing with yarn on it) and find a baggy of apple slices instead of a fruit rollup, it was always a sad day. I definitely would’ve preferred opening up my cat-lady lunch pail (for the record, I’m totally more of a dog person now) to find a peanut butter pretzel brownie or some banana bread.
Oh, little Michelle, you knew so little when you were a child. My eyes have now been opened (to the wonders of apples–I’ve always been on the right track when it comes to chocolate and dessert breads 🙂 ).
These muffins are light and fluffy yet dense. I know, I know–how can they be both fluffy and dense?
But these muffins are a complete paradox because they really are fluffy and dense. When you bite into them, they hold their shape entirely (no crumbs falling apart on you), but the muffin is completely soft and fluffy. It’s amazing.
And, you then get the crunch of the apple pieces that are packed inside of the muffins and it’s just an out-of-this-world muffin experience.
Breakfast is so much more fun when muffins are involved. 🙂
These muffins begin with 1 cup of diced apples. I used Honey Crisp because they are SO delicious, and they’re only available around this time of year so I use them any chance I get. However, feel free to use any apple you have on hand as long as it’s tasty.
Let me tell you, un-tasty apples mixed with sugar taste like sugary, un-tasty apples. I’ve made a few apple pies in my day that are ridiculously disappointing because I made the mistake of using tasteless apples. Thank goodness there was pumpkin pie to drown my sorrows in.
Side note: See how fluffy they are?!
Okay, so back to the recipe. You cook the apples on the stove with cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, cloves, a little brown sugar, and a lot of love until they start to soften. Pull them off the heat and allow them to cool while you make the batter.
Begin by whisking flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar, salt, and lemon zest together.
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, buttermilk, greek yogurt, and vanilla extract.
With the dry ingredients, make a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Add in cooled apples. Mix gently until combined.
Scoop muffin batter into a 12-cup muffin tin, sprinkle with a little brown sugar and cinnamon-sugar, and bake* for about 14-16 minutes or until golden brown.
*I have a tip for you that I learned from a local bakery: If you want to get the dome-shaped top, bake for five minutes at a 425 degree oven. Lower the temp to 375 and allow to finish cooking.
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- 2 c all purpose flour
- 1/4 c sugar
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 3/4 c buttermilk
- 1/3 c vegetable oil (or canola)
- 1/4 c greek yogurt (plain or vanilla--regular yogurt can be substituted)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 c diced apples
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp all spice
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan (or use muffin liners).
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, cloves, and brown sugar until the apples begin to soften. Pull off the heat and allow to cool.
- In a bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract, and greek yogurt. Pour into the well of the dry ingredients.*
- Stir until the batter is just combined.
- Add in the apples, and mix until incorporated.
- Scoop batter into the muffin tin.
- Mix the topping together, and sprinkle a little over each muffin.
- Cook at 425 for 5 minutes, then lower the temp to 375 and finish baking them off for the remainder of the time (total time should be about 14-16 minutes).
*It's easy to over mix batter, which creates tough and dry muffins. By making a well in the dry ingredients and pouring the liquid into it, you minimize the amount of mixing because you are maximizing the contact of wet to dry ingredients.
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