These Cinnamon Apple Muffins with streusel topping are such a breakfast treat! They’re made with bits of real apples and warm spices making them perfect for a Fall morning! I happen to be in Florida so I’ll just have to pretend that our weather is getting cooler for now!
The first step is to make the streusel topping. You’ll want to make this first because it needs to sit in the freezer for a few minutes while you prep the muffins. The most important tip for making the streusel is to make sure you very gently stir the butter in with the tip of the fork. If you press into the mixture to hard, you’ll make a paste and it won’t be that nice crumbly streusel you’re looking for.
Tips for making streusel topping
- Mix all of the dry ingredients first before adding butter
- Drizzle the melted butter in VERY slowly while simultaneously stirring with the fork
- Don’t press the fork into the mixture. Just very gently fluff the ingredients together
- Once mixed, place everything in the freezer for 15 minutes to harden the butter
How to make cinnamon apple muffins:
Once you’ve made the streusel and placed it in the freezer, you can start the actual muffins. It’s an easy recipe and you only need ONE BOWL…yay! You’ll want to make the wet mixture first in a large bowl. It’s just melted butter, milk, vanilla, white and brown sugar, and eggs.
After the wet ingredients, you can add in the dry ingredients. I despise having to use 2 bowls for wet and dry so we’re going to do this the easy way. I’ve made these multiple times and it works perfectly! You’ll want to make sure you sprinkle the dry ingredients and don’t dump them. This will just help everything distribute evenly.
Do a quick mix just until you see no more flour and you’re good to move on to the apples.
What apples are best for baking muffins?
You want an apple that won’t turn to mush when baked. Granny smith (my favorite), gala, honey crisp, and fuji are all great options.
My grocery store had some massive granny smith apples so I actually just used 1 apple. But you might need 2 if you have small ones. You’ll want about a cup and a half of diced apples.
Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 of the way up. You should have exactly enough for 12 muffins. Then you can take the streusel topping out of the freezer and break up any big chunks with your fingers and top each muffin.
Now it’s baking time! But you might be wondering, how do people make muffins rise so high and not stay flat?
What is the secret to high muffins?
You want to put them in a very hot oven (425 degrees) to give them an initial burst of heat for about 5 minutes. Then you can lower the heat back to 350 and bake for the remaining time. This will give you a nice high rise.
Other recipes you’ll love:
- Mini Mocha Muffins with Cream Cheese Spread
- Overnight Cinnamon Rolls – with heavy cream
- Cream Cheese Apple Pie Dip
- Sweet Cinnamon Applesauce
Cinnamon Apple Muffins (with streusel topping!)
- ½ cup melted butter
- ⅓ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar (dark or light is fine)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 and ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 and ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 and ½ cups diced granny smith apples (1 large apple or 2 small ones)
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- You'll want to make the streusel topping first so the butter can firm up while you make the muffins.
- Combine everything but the butter in a small bowl and mix together.
- Melt the butter then slowly drizzle it into the bowl with the dry ingredients while mixing very gently with a fork and breaking up any large chunks. (Tip: you just want to use the tip of the fork and do more of a fluffing motion. You're just looking to make lumps and not a paste.)
- Once you've mixed in the butter, you'll still see a bit of white flour and that's ok. Don't over-mix. Place the streusel topping in the freezer while you prepare the muffin batter or at least 15 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 425° and spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray or use muffin tin liners.
- Add your butter to a large bowl and melt it in the microwave. Usually about 50-60 seconds then just stir to melt any solid bits.
- Add the cold milk to the melted butter. (This also will help cool down the butter)
- Add the vanilla, white sugar, brown sugar, and lastly, beat in 2 eggs.
- Evenly sprinkle the flour over the top of the wet mixture. Then sprinkle in the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Mix everything together just until you see no more white flour.
- Peel your apples and throw away the core. Then dice into small cubes that are about ¼ to ½ inch. Add these to the muffin batter and fold in gently.
- Scoop the batter into the muffin tin and fill each cup about ¾ of the way up.
- Take the streusel topping from the freezer and use your hands to break up the butter pieces or any large chunks. Top each muffin with streusel.
- Bake at 425° for 5 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 350° and bake for 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs on it.
- Allow the muffins to cool for about 15 minutes then enjoy!