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

Cinnamon streusel apple muffins

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 crumb 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

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.

Cinnamon Streusel Apple Muffins via forkknifeswoon.com

The ingredients you’ll need to bake apple streusel muffins

These ingredients list for these apple crumb muffins may seem long, but they’re mostly pantry staples. If you bake often, you probably have most of them on hand right now. Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

  • apples: these wouldn’t be apple crumb muffins without some fresh chopped apple mixed in. I most often use Honeycrisp apples, but any firm, sweet-tart variety will work. It’s worth the extra step to peel your apples, and dice them small so they incorporate evenly throughout the batter.
  • flour: regular all-purpose flour forms the base of these muffins. For the best soft and tender texture, be sure to measure your flour carefully (and if possible use a baking scale), and be sure not to overmix.
  • baking powder and soda: for just the right amount of lift and perfect, gently domed muffin tops.
  • salt: to intensify all the other flavors. My favorite Kosher salt is Diamond Crystal.
  • warming spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves are a match made in heaven with sweet apples and a buttery streusel. You could also use an apple or pumpkin pie spice blend.
  • butter: for lots of flavor. Creaming the butter with sugar also creates a moist, tender muffin crumb.
  • granulated sugar: for sweetness. We’ll also bring in some caramel and butterscotch notes from brown sugar in the streusel topping.
  • eggs: for lift and a tender crumb. See the recipe notes on making these egg free.
  • vanilla: always a splash of the good stuff.

…and all topped with a buttery cinnamon streusel crumb. It’s a classic streusel, made with flour, white and brown sugars, cinnamon, and melted butter, and really takes these apple muffins to the next level.

But we’re not done yet. You can stop there, of course, and you’ll have a perfectly delicious apple crumb muffin. But add a drizzle of simple vanilla glaze and you’ve got full blown apple cinnamon roll meets coffee cake meets spice cake or really just, the ultimate Fall muffins.

Find all the exact measurements and full recipe instructions below.

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.

Cinnamon Streusel Apple Muffins via forkknifeswoon.com

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. Happy baking!!

Cinnamon Streusel Apple Muffins via forkknifeswoon.com

Other easy and delicious apple recipes to bake right now:

If you make these apple streusel muffins, be sure to tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #forkknifeswoon and leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked them! ★★★★★ Star ratings are especially helpful because they help others find my recipes too. xo, Laura

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Cinnamon Streusel Apple Muffins via forkknifeswoon.com

Cinnamon Streusel Apple Muffins

  • Author: Laura Bolton
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: Makes 12 Muffins 1x
  • Category: Baking, Dessert, Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


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.



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, spooned and leveled
  • 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
  • 11/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 11/2 cups (about 2 small) tart apples, peeled and diced

for the vanilla glaze:


Make the cinnamon streusel topping:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cane sugar, and cinnamon until combined.
  2. Stir in the melted butter until incorporated, then use your fingers to form thick crumbs. Set aside.

Make the apple muffins:

  1. 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.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the mixer along with the chopped apples, and switch to a spatula to mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix. The batter will be very thick.
  6. Use a medium cookie scoop to divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups. Top with the streusel, pressing the crumbs gently into the tops of the muffin batter.
  7. 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.
  8. 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:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the confectioners sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle over the warm muffins. Enjoy!!


¹ I have made these apple muffins with flax eggs, and the recipe works, they still taste great, but they may not rise quite as high as the original version. To replace 2 eggs simply stir together 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed with 5 Tbsp water in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes while you’re getting the rest of the ingredients together (it will thicken up), and add to the batter in place of the eggs.

Adapted from Taste of Home.

Keywords: streusel muffins, apple muffins, apple crumb, crumb muffins, cinnamon streusel, easy, brown sugar, apple pie spice, bakery style muffins, fresh apple muffins, breakfast muffins

Originally published on September 27, 2012. Updated with recipe photos by Laura Kasavan, of the lovely desserts blog Tutti Dolci.