Easy Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Prep 30 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 55 mins
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Old-fashioned Apple Cinnamon Muffins with a light, sweet crumb are made with freshly peeled and diced apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon. The crumbly, buttery cinnamon topping makes them even more tempting.

Soft, Cakey Muffins with Fresh Apples and Streusel Topping

After the summer heat fades away, I always look forward to apple season. Even down here in Florida, where sweater weather is often a myth, there’s still a change in the air – and in the produce section. Fall and winter apples are just superior, and it’s incredibly rewarding to grab a bunch of shiny, firm, juicy apples for snacking and baking.

Whether you make Apple Streusel Cake, Cinnamon Apple Empanadas, a batch of Homemade Apple Pie Filling, or these sweet and simple apple cinnamon muffins, you can’t go wrong! Those beautiful flavors and aromas will fill up your house, and you’ll feel like it’s really fall. 

You’ll Love This Recipe Because…

  • It’s sweet from the brown sugar, but tangy from the apples.
  • Simple, old-fashioned ingredients are all you need.
  • The baking method is really easy.
  • You can serve these apple cinnamon muffins for breakfast, a snack, or a dessert.
  • Buttery crumb topping? Perfection!
  • Apple cinnamon muffins freeze well, so you can bake ahead and save them for later.
A cinnamon muffin with a large bite cut away to show the texture of the interior.

The Ingredients

The ingredients for apple cinnamon muffins are so wholesome and old-fashioned! It’s really a perfect fall and winter baking recipe. Just measuring out all of the brown sugar, whole milk, and cinnamon is a treat – and wait until your house fills up with that warm apple-cinnamon fragrance. 

From top left: Flour, chopped apple, vegetable oil, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, baking powder, eggs and an extra egg yolk, milk, sour cream, brown sugar, vanilla,

For the Muffins

  • Flour: Your favorite all-purpose flour.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Using both together helps the muffins get a really nice, light texture.
  • Cinnamon: I like to be generous with the amount of cinnamon, but you can reduce it a little for a more subtle cinnamon flavor.
  • Salt
  • Sugar: Both granulated sugar and brown sugar. The brown sugar adds a nice hint of warm molasses.
  • Vegetable Oil: If you’d prefer to use a different oil, that’s fine! Look for one that’s good in baking, such as coconut oil (refined coconut oil will have a more neutral flavor than unrefined). Butter would also work, but the muffins would not be quite as moist.
  • Eggs: You’ll need two large, whole eggs, plus an extra yolk for richness.
  • Milk: Whole milk is my favorite here, but substitute reduced-fat milk if you prefer!
  • Sour Cream: Sour cream works with the baking soda to give the muffins some loft and lightness. Plain yogurt (or plain Greek yogurt) would also be fine.
  • Vanilla
  • Apples: Peel, core, and dice enough apples to make about 2 ½ cups.
From top left: Flour, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, granulated sugar, salt.

For the Topping

  • Flour: Again, all-purpose flour is all you need.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar and brown sugar.
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Butter: Softened to room temperature.

Tools Needed

What Are the Best Apples to Use in Muffins?

In general, you want an apple that’s somewhat tart. Granny Smith apples are famously good in baking, but Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, and McIntosh are also great. Avoid apples that are very sweet or bland, like Red Delicious – they won’t pack as much flavor when baked.

Crumb-topped muffins in a basket lined with a red tea towel.

Ready, Set, Bake!

Although there are a few steps involved here, this is a really simple bake that any beginning baker can easily pull off. First, you’ll mix the topping in one bowl, the dry muffin ingredients in a second bowl, and the wet muffin ingredients in a third bowl. From there, it’s just combining and baking. Here’s the skinny:

  • Make the Topping. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the dry topping ingredients (flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt). Remember the dry muffin ingredients are different! Add the softened butter to the bowl, and mix until you get a crumbly streusel-like texture. Set this aside for now.
  • Get Ready to Bake. Next, make sure to preheat the oven to 350°F, and line your muffin tin with paper liners. Lightly spray the liners with baking spray, and set the muffin tin aside as well. 
  • Combine the Dry Muffin Ingredients. Take out another small-to-medium mixing bowl, and whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Set this bowl aside. (We’re almost done setting things aside, I promise.)
  • Mix the Wet Muffin Ingredients. In a larger mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, brown sugar, eggs, milk, sour cream, and vanilla. Whew! Mix those ingredients well with a whisk or spoon.
Muffin batter with chopped apples.

Finish Making the Muffin Batter. Now you can add the dry muffin ingredients to the wet muffin ingredients. Gently mix them until just combined, and then fold in the diced apples. I find that a rubber spatula works well for folding in the fruit without disturbing the batter too much.

Make the First Batch of Muffins. Fill each prepared muffin liner about ¾ of the way full with muffin batter, and then top each one with some of the topping mixture. Bake the muffins for 24 – 26 minutes. You’ll know they are done when a toothpick inserted into one of the center muffins comes out clean, or with just a few crumbs clinging to it.

Cool the Muffins and Bake the Second Batch. Take the baked muffins out of the oven, let them cool on a wire rack, and then re-line the muffin tin with more liners and baking spray. Fill with the remaining muffin batter, top with the streusel mixture, and bake. 

Enjoy!

A wire basket filled with apple cinnamon muffins.

Recipe Notes

What else should you know about these apple cinnamon muffins? Aside from the fact that they have a tendency to disappear, I do have a few helpful recipe notes. Happy baking, everyone!

  • The Tall Muffin Hack: When lining the pan, space out the liners so that they are in every other well. Spacing them out will make the muffins rise taller, with more rounded tops.
  • Mixing Help: Once the flour mixture is added to the wet mixture, be careful not to over mix. Over mixing can cause the gluten to overdevelop, resulting in tough or crumbly muffins.
  • Easy Does It: Using a cookie scoop is an easy, mess-free way to add the batter to the muffin liners. I like this cookie scoop
  • Double Up: As written, this recipe is for baking one batch of muffins at a time. However, if you have two muffin tins, you can definitely line them both and fill them both, and bake all the muffins at once. If you do this, it can be helpful to rotate the muffin tins or swap their positions halfway through the bake time.
Three apple cinnamon muffins stacked on top of each other on a small plate.

Yummy Variations

Many muffin recipes are flexible and versatile, and this cinnamon-spiced recipe is no different. Here are some fun ways to change it up. You’ll want to make muffins every week!

  • Fruit Substitute: This basic muffin batter also goes nicely with other fruit, from peaches to blueberries to pears. Yum! Make sure the fruit is drained well and patted dry, if you’re using frozen or canned fruit.
  • Add Crunch: I am sure some of you guys were wondering, where are the walnuts? Because yes, walnuts (or pecans, or slivered almonds, or crushed macadamias…) would be fantastic sprinkled right on top with the streusel topping.
  • Apple-Banana Muffins: Kids especially love the combination of apples and bananas, and these cakey muffins are great when you substitute some of the oil for a ripe, mashed banana. So good! I recommend mashing the banana well, scooping it into your measuring cup, and then topping off with oil to get to the ¾ cup line.
A muffin with the paper liner peeled away from the sides.

Storing and Freezing

I like to keep these muffins on the counter in an airtight container, so they’re easy to grab for a quick snack. They also freeze well. Here’s how to do it:

  • To store: Muffins may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • To freeze: Cool the muffins completely and wrap them individually in freezer paper or plastic wrap. Then place the wrapped muffins in a freezer bag or airtight container, and store in your freezer for up to 3 months.
Yield: 22 Muffins

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Close-up shot of muffins in a wire basket with a red cloth napkin.

Old-fashioned Apple Cinnamon Muffins with a light, sweet crumb are made with freshly peeled and diced apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon. The crumbly, buttery cinnamon topping makes them even more tempting.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

For the Muffins:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups peeled and diced apples

For the Topping:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened

Instructions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the dry topping ingredients: flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the softened butter, and mix until crumbly in texture. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners, and lightly spray them with baking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  4. In a separate, larger mixing bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil, and brown sugar. Add the eggs and mix to combine. Add the milk, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix until incorporated.
  5. Add the dry muffin ingredients to the wet muffin ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the diced apples using a rubber spatula.
  6. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each liner about ¾ of the way full. Top each with a tablespoon of the topping mixture. (This will use up about half of both mixtures. The remaining half can be baked after the first batch of muffins is done, or in a second prepared muffin tin.)
  7. Place the muffin tin in the preheated oven, on the middle rack. Bake for 24 - 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
  8. Remove the muffin tin from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  9. Once the muffins are cool to the touch, remove them from the muffin tin. Reline the tin with paper liners and baking spray, and repeat the baking process with the remaining batter and topping.

Notes

  • When lining the pan, space out the liners so that they are in every other well. Spacing them out will make the muffins rise taller, with more rounded tops.
  • Once the flour mixture is added to the wet mixture, be careful not to over mix. Over mixing can cause the gluten to overdevelop, resulting in tough or crumbly muffins.
  • Using a cookie scoop is an easy, mess-free way to add the batter to the muffin liners. I like this cookie scoop


Storage:

  • To store: Muffins may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • To freeze: Cool the muffins completely and wrap them individually in freezer paper or plastic wrap. Then place the wrapped muffins in a freezer bag or airtight container, and store in your freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

22

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 235Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 219mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 3g

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Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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