Cinnamon-Streusel Apple Muffins

The leaves are beginning to change here; the fall foliage creeping in with vibrant bursts of crimson and golden yellow. Autumn has begun in fits and starts. It was in the mid-eighties today, a full twenty degrees warmer than just a few days ago. Summer’s last gasp. My culinary mind, however, is quite stubbornly set to autumn. The Swoon kitchen is filled with the aromas of fall baking, slow-braised stews and hearty, simmering soups.

Inspired by the start of apple season, I over-indulged at the market this week, tempted by the many lovely varieties, beautifully-stacked and practically glowing. Spoiled with apples year-round through 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 in early-September.

While apples are incredibly versatile in both sweet and savory dishes, the classic combination of apples with cinnamon and sugar is hands-down my very favorite. Sprinkled with a cinnamon-streusel topping and bursting with apple flavor, these indulgent little muffins are somewhere between breakfast and dessert and a sweet way to start the day.


 

Cinnamon-Streusel Apple Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe by:
Yield: Makes 12 Muffins
Ingredients
Muffin Batter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 8 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups apples, minced
Streusel Topping
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbs all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbs unsalted butter, cold
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease twelve muffin cups.
  2. For the streusel: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Using a fork, cut in the butter, until combined, forming small pea-shaped pieces. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves until evenly combined. Set aside.
  4. Using a stand-up or hand-held electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about two minutes. With the mixer on low-speed, slowly add the eggs, and then the vanilla until combined.
  5. Stir the apples into the wet ingredients. Slowly add the apple-mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. The batter will be very thick.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins and top with a sprinkling of the streusel mix. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown and a cake-tester comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool for five minutes in the muffin tin before removing and cooling on a baking rack. Serve warm.

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