These Apple Cinnamon Muffins are fluffy and moist on the inside, with beautifully golden crumb-covered muffin tops and a vanilla bean glaze to go on top.
This post is sponsored by Domino® Sugar. All opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for continuing to support the brands who help make ‘Mike Bakes NYC’ possible!
Table of contents
- Apple Cinnamon Muffins
- What Kind of Apples Should You Bake With?
- Ingredients for Apple Cinnamon Muffins
- How to Make Apple Cinnamon Muffins
- Quick Tips for Making the Best Muffins
- Apple Cinnamon Muffins Recipe Troubleshooting & FAQ
Apple Cinnamon Muffins
There’s just something oh so delicious about apples and cinnamon; like they just belong together, ya know? And since summer is officially over and we’re now into fall, it was a no-brainer to combine these two delicious flavors for the perfect easy muffin recipe – Apple Cinnamon Muffins.
They’re fluffy and moist on the inside, with beautifully golden crumb-covered muffin tops and a vanilla bean glaze to go on top. The muffin has a delicious buttery flavor, a hint of cinnamon, and little delicious pockets of apples. HELLO PERFECTION.
I made these muffins with a new product from my friends at Domino®: Golden Sugar. It’s made from pure cane sugar, is less processed than white sugar, and yet works cup-for-cup just like white sugar. It also imparts just a hint of molasses flavor and has the perfect golden color. You can grab Domino® Golden Sugar on Amazon here!
What Kind of Apples Should You Bake With?
Selecting the right apples for these muffins is half the battle, honestly. Generally speaking, you want apples that will hold their shape and not become a mushy mess in the heat of an oven. These types of apples are typically referred to as “baking apples” and include varieties like:
- Granny Smith
- and Pink Lady
To add depth of flavor to your muffins, try mixing a variety of baking apples. My favorite combination is Honeycrisp and Granny Smith.
Ingredients for Apple Cinnamon Muffins
These apple cinnamon muffins don’t require a ton of ingredients despite the seemingly long recipe; a lot of ingredients get repeated amongst the various muffin components. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter: You’ll need it for the crumb topping and the muffin base.
- Dark brown sugar: To sweeten both our crumb topping and muffins.
- Domino® Golden Sugar: You can use an equal amount of granulated sugar in its place!
- Cinnamon: These are apple cinnamon muffins, after all…
- Salt: Baked goods without salt taste a little plain, so don’t forget it!
- All-purpose flour: You’ll need 3 cups total!
- Large eggs: 2 large eggs for the perfect textured muffin.
- Sour cream: This helps keep these muffins super soft and moist!
- Vanilla: I use both vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract in this recipe; use whatever you have on hand!
- Baking soda & baking powder: For a little leavening action.
- Buttermilk: Similar to sour cream, this helps keep the muffins nice and moist.
- Apples: Make sure you use a good baking apple variety!
- Heavy cream: Just a little for the vanilla bean glaze; feel free to replace with an equal amount of milk!
How to Make Apple Cinnamon Muffins
There are three essential parts to this apple cinnamon muffin recipe. The brown butter crumb topping, the apple cinnamon muffin, and then the vanilla bean glaze that you’ll drizzle over the top!
1. The Brown Butter Crumb Topping
Ahhh, sweet and buttery crumb topping… You’ll need six ingredients for this crumb topping: Domino® Golden Sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, flour, and butter. Not just any butter though, this crumb topping uses brown butter. The brown butter adds a warm, nutty flavor and it compliments the apples and cinnamon perfectly. (I’m also obsessed with it).
To make the crumb topping, brown the butter first. Place the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until the butter turns golden brown and smells nutty. Once the butter is brown, immediately pour it into a heatproof bowl to prevent it from burning and set aside to cool slightly. Then combine the sugars, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Add the slightly cooled brown butter and simply stir in the flour until the mixture forms crumbs. Ta-da! Delicious brown butter crumb topping… try not to eat it all.
2. The Apple Cinnamon Muffin
These muffins are super moist… the secret? I use both sour cream AND buttermilk; I guess that’s not really a secret anymore, is it? But they’re both so crucial to the texture of the muffins. If you don’t have any sour cream on hand, you could always substitute it with Greek yogurt. You can also substitute any type of milk for the buttermilk, but you’ll be missing out on *some* of the moistness.
To make these delicious apple cinnamon muffins, you’ll start by creaming butter, Domino® Golden Sugar, and brown sugar together until smooth and creamy. Then add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract and mix until evenly combined. Finally, you’ll add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk and apple chunks, and mix until just incorporated. From there, you just gotta fill your muffin tins and it’s off to the oven!
3. The Vanilla Bean Glaze
The vanilla bean glaze drizzled on top really gives these muffins their wow factor. And you only need 3 ingredients… could this BE any easier?! Simply whisk powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla bean paste together until smooth. A fork or mini whisk is helpful since the mixture is so small. Give it a taste and add a pinch of salt if desired. (I usually add a small pinch.) Then you’re ready to drizzle as much as you want on top of your freshly baked muffins!
Quick Tips for Making the Best Muffins
Here are a few tips for making the best muffins possible:
- Don’t overmix your batter. Overmixing causes the muffins to get tough, which nobody wants. Mix just until everything is combined.
- Use a cookie/ice cream spring-loaded scoop to fill the muffin tins. This helps you to get even amounts of batter in each tin.
- Bake muffins in a greased muffin tin or with paper liners to ensure your muffins come out of the pan in one piece.
- Press the crumb topping down into the batter so it sticks when the muffins rise in the oven.
- Bake these muffins at an initial high temperature, then reduce to a lower temperature. This guarantees a tall, high domed muffin.
- Don’t overbake your muffins. Bake them just until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, or once you can touch the top of the muffin and the muffin springs back.
Apple Cinnamon Muffins Recipe Troubleshooting & FAQ
APPLE CINNAMON MUFFINS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I halve this recipe?
Yes! You can easily halve the recipe and make these small batch. You can adjust the ‘servings’ slider from 12 to 6 in the recipe card to get the proper measurements.
How do I store these apple cinnamon muffins?
The muffins stay fresh stored at room temperature for 2-3 days.
Can I make these into jumbo muffins?
Absolutely! For 6 jumbo muffins using a jumbo muffin pan, increase baking time to 28-29 total minutes: 5 initial minutes at 425°F (220°C) and 23-24 minutes at 350°F (180°C).
APPLE CINNAMON MUFFINS: TROUBLESHOOTING
Help! My muffins are too dark on top but undercooked in the middle! What did I do wrong?
Your oven might be too hot. Keep in mind that not all ovens are the same. Sometimes you may need to lower your oven temperature a bit even if it’s not what the recipe suggests. Another possible explanation for this muffin problem is that you may place your muffin tins too close to the top of the oven. To prevent the muffins from browning too quickly, place the tins on the middle rack instead of the top rack.
Help! My apples sunk to the bottom of my muffins! What went wrong?
Don’t you hate it when all the fruity goodness congregates on the bottom instead of spreading throughout the muffins? Sometimes this can happen with super moist/juicy apples. To avoid this issue, lightly dust the diced apples with flour before adding them to the muffin batter at the end.
Help! My muffins have a soggy bottom! What did I do wrong?
This usually happens when you leave your muffins in the tins for too long. To avoid soggy-bottomed muffins, don’t let your muffins rest in the tins for more than 5 minutes after baking.
Help! My muffins are dry and dense! What did I do wrong?
This is a classic outcome of an over-mixed batter. Sometimes, however, it could also be due to overbaking, or too much flour in the batter.
*Originally posted on October 10, 2019*
*Recipe and blog post updated on October 7, 2021*
Apple Cinnamon Muffins
For the Brown Butter Crumb Topping:
- 115 g unsalted butter
- 55 g Domino® dark brown sugar
- 50 g Domino® Golden Sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp coarse sea salt
- 125 g all-purpose flour
For the Apple Cinnamon Muffins:
- 115 g unsalted butter softened
- 110 g Domino® dark brown sugar
- 100 g Domino® Golden Sugar
- 2 large eggs (100 g)
- 120 g sour cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp coarse sea salt
- 60 g buttermilk
- 350 g chopped apples (about 2 medium apples)
- 250 g all-purpose flour
For the Vanilla Bean Glaze:
- 120 g Domino® powdered sugar
- 45 g heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Brown the butter for the crumb topping: Cube the butter and place in a light-colored skillet. (Light colored helps you determine when the butter begins browning.) Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Keep stirring. After 5-8 minutes, the butter will begin browning; you’ll notice lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan and you'll begin to smell a nutty aroma. Once browned, immediately remove from heat, pour into a medium heat-proof mixing bowl, and set aside.115 g unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners.
- Make the crumb topping: In a medium bowl, combine the Domino® Golden Sugar, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and melted brown butter. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the flour. The crumb topping will be thick and crumbly. Set aside.55 g Domino® dark brown sugar, 50 g Domino® Golden Sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp coarse sea salt, 125 g all-purpose flour
- Make the muffins: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, Domino® Golden Sugar, and dark brown sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Beat on high speed until the mixture is combined and uniform in texture. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.115 g unsalted butter, 110 g Domino® dark brown sugar, 100 g Domino® Golden Sugar, 2 large eggs, 120 g sour cream, 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, add the buttermilk and chopped apples, and mix on low speed until everything is combined.1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1½ tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp coarse sea salt, 60 g buttermilk, 350 g chopped apples, 250 g all-purpose flour
- Spoon the batter evenly into each cup or liner, filling each to the top. Press a handful of the crumb topping into the top of each; crumble it with your hands to make some bigger chunks.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F (220°C) degrees, then keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and bake for 15-17 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Make the vanilla bean icing: whisk all of the ingredients together and drizzle over warm muffins.120 g Domino® powdered sugar, 45 g heavy cream, 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
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