August 27, 2018

Cinnamon Streusel Apple Muffins

Tender and flavorful bakery style cinnamon streusel apple muffins loaded with tart bites of fresh apple and spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla. They aren’t complete without the delicious brown sugar cinnamon streusel crumb topping and an easy vanilla glaze.

Cinnamon Streusel Apple Muffins via forkknifeswoon.com

Are you ready for Fall? Or still clinging to these last languid days of Summer?

I’m somewhere in the middle, excited to finally have a kitchen to get back to (and in turn start baking again), but also loving all the late-season produce still beaming from produce bins at the market. Peaches, plums, tomatoes, sweet corn… it’s all still calling my name.

…But apples – spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla, and folded into a buttery muffin batter and generously topped with a crumbly brown sugar streusel – sound pretty great too.

apple trees via forkknifeswoon.com

Photo credit: Laura Bolton

When I first baked these apple muffins, years ago now, the leaves were just beginning to change in the middle of Georgia; the fall foliage creeping in with vibrant bursts of crimson and golden yellow. Autumn beginning in fits and starts, flirting between the mid-eighties one day, and a full twenty degrees cooler the next. Summer’s last gasps in late-September.

I was however, quite stubbornly set to autumn, our little apartment kitchen filled with the aromas of fall baking, slow-braised stews, and hearty, simmering soups.

Cinnamon Streusel Apple Muffins via forkknifeswoon.com

Cinnamon Streusel Apple Muffins via forkknifeswoon.com

Inspired by the start of apple season, and tempted by the many lovely varieties, beautifully-stacked and practically glowing on display, I’d over-indulged at the market, and needed a new recipe to feature my hoard.

A few of the tart varieties made their way into these simple, but flavorful muffins, elevated beyond their humble appearance with a bevy of spices, an irresistible streusel crumb topping, and an optional (but recommended) vanilla glaze.

apple trees via forkknifeswoon.com

fresh picked apples in bin via forkknifeswoon.com

Photo credit: Laura Bolton

We were fortunate in Washington to have incredible apples nearly year round, and spoiled via the wonders of cold-storage, it’s easy to forget that apples have a season. But they are sweeter, fresher, crisper during the actual fall harvest season, beginning as early as August.

There was a community apple orchard in our first neighborhood in Tacoma, and I used to love to stop by this time of year in the early morning and pick a handful of different varieties of apples – bright, tart greens, and rosy pinks, and dainty, dark purple beauties – a few for snacking, but most destined to make their way into sweet muffins, or classic apple pie, apple cider cinnamon rolls, or gooey caramel crumb bars.

Because that classic combination of apples with cinnamon and sugar is hands-down my very favorite and just too hard to resist.

And decked with a chunky cinnamon streusel topping and bursting with apple flavor, these indulgent little apple muffins, somewhere between breakfast and dessert, are an especially sweet way to start the day.

Cinnamon Streusel Apple Muffins via forkknifeswoon.com

Cinnamon Streusel Apple Muffins via forkknifeswoon.com
Originally published on September 27, 2012. Updated with recipe photos by Laura Kasavan, of the lovely desserts blog Tutti Dolci.

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Cinnamon Streusel Apple Muffins via forkknifeswoon.com

Cinnamon Streusel Apple Muffins

  • Author: Laura Bolton - Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: Makes 12 Muffins
  • Category: Baking, Dessert, Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Tender and flavorful bakery style cinnamon streusel apple muffins loaded with tart bites of fresh apple and spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla. They aren’t complete without the delicious brown sugar cinnamon streusel crumb topping and an easy vanilla glaze.


Ingredients

for the cinnamon streusel topping:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (packed) light or dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp organic cane sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

for the apple muffins:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup organic cane sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups (about 2 small) tart apples, peeled and diced

for the vanilla glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1-1/2 Tbsp whole milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract


Instructions

Make the cinnamon streusel topping:
Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cane sugar, and cinnamon. Stir in the melted butter until incorporated, then use your fingers to form thick crumbs. Set aside.

Make the muffins:
Preheat the oven to 425℉. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or lightly grease with butter or nonstick baking spray. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.

Using a stand up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Turn the mixer down to low, and add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.

Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl along with the chopped apples, and use a spatula mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix. The batter will be very thick.

Use a cookie scoop to divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups. Top with the streusel mix, pressing the crumbs gently into the batter.

Bake at 425℉ for 5 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 350℉, and continue baking for another 12-15 minutes, until the muffin tops are golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes in the muffin tin, before transferring to a baking rack to cool completely.

Make the vanilla glaze:
Whisk together the confectioners sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle over the warm muffins. Enjoy!!

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Make this recipe? Let us know what you think!

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Melissa
    September 8, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Love this recipe! Just made these and they are so yummy and the crumble topping is the best. Full of flavor and the smell of these muffins throughout the kitchen was divine.

    • Reply
      Laura
      September 10, 2018 at 4:37 am

      Oh, I’m so happy to hear it! Thanks, Melissa!!

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    August 29, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    These are the best muffins! Love the warming spices, and the crumble + glaze puts these over the top for fall! 🙂

    • Reply
      Laura
      September 10, 2018 at 7:21 am

      Thank you, Laura!! You made them look even better 🙂

  • Reply
    Angelina
    August 28, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Sounds sooo yummy! Can I make this into a coffee cake, instead of 12 muffins? If so, what size pan, and how long to bake?

    • Reply
      Laura
      August 28, 2018 at 11:07 am

      Hi, Angelina!! I’m not sure, as I haven’t tested it as a cake (although the idea sounds amazing!). I’m guessing it would be something like 350 degrees F. for 45-60 minutes. I’d probably use a lightly-greased 9-inch pan. If you make it, I would love to hear how it turns out!! 🙂

      • Reply
        Angelina
        August 30, 2018 at 10:00 am

        Thank you, I’ll give it a try. I’ll do the old ‘tooth-pick test’ before taking it out of the oven. Your suggestion is appreciated, and I’ll definitely try it.

  • Reply
    Louise
    August 27, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    What a great way to greet fall!

    • Reply
      Laura
      August 28, 2018 at 11:03 am

      Thanks, Louise!!

  • Reply
    Kristina
    March 19, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Delicious muffins. Great pairing with a cup of tea on a cool morning.

    • Reply
      Laura
      March 20, 2013 at 1:57 pm

      Thank you Kristina! They are perfect for breakfast…