The Best Apple Cider Muffins
If you love a spice apple baked good, you’re going to love these super easy apple cider muffins. For this easy recipe, we’ve taken some inspiration from the ever-so-popular apple cider donut.
With the cozy fall flavors of apple spice and a buttery streusel topping, these muffins are a must-try! Add them to your fall baking lineup of apple recipes for a simple and delicious treat.
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Apple Cider Donuts vs Apple Cider Muffins
Apple cider donuts have become a fall favorite with their signature spiced apple flavor and cinnamon sugar coating. These fried cake donuts generally incorporate traditional apple cider flavors and spices.
An apple cider muffin is a baked quick bread made with apple cider that also has traditional apple spice flavors. This muffin recipe features a cinnamon streusel topping that adds additional flavor and texture.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
The reasons to love these apple cider muffins are countless, but here are just a few.
- They’re simple! This recipe is a great bake no matter how much experience you have
- The apple flavor is cozy and tastes like fall but can be enjoyed any time of year
- They are just as good (if not better) than bakery muffins
- Muffins are easy to share and a great treat for family events or parties
- They make the perfect snack, dessert, or even breakfast
- No mixer needed! All you need is a whisk and a wooden spoon to combine all of the ingredients
All-purpose flour: Using the right flour is essential for baking. We recommend using all-purpose flour for the best results with this recipe.
Cinnamon: Apples and cinnamon are an age-old duo that is a fall flavor staple. In this recipe, ground cinnamon is used in both the muffin batter and the streusel topping.
Spices: The blend of nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, and cloves in combination with the warm cinnamon flavor in these muffins perfectly captures the essence of autumn.
Baking powder: Adding baking powder is essential for the muffin batter to rise. It’s key to achieving fluffy muffins!
Salt: The salt adds depth of flavor and accentuates the sweet elements of the recipe.
Egg: The egg acts as a binder to hold the ingredients together. It also provides structure and helps the muffins to rise.
Granulated sugar: The granulated sugar sweetens the muffins and helps achieve the right flavor and texture. You’ll find granulated sugar in both the batter and the streusel topping.
Brown sugar: Not only does brown sugar provide sweetness, but it also adds moisture and contributes to the soft, tender texture of these muffins.
Oil: Adding oil provides moisture and helps ensure that the muffins come out soft and fluffy. We like to use canola oil in this recipe, but any unflavored cooking oil will work.
Unsweetened applesauce: Along with providing additional apple flavor, applesauce adds another moisture component to the batter.
Reduced apple cider: As you might have guessed, apple cider is a key ingredient in this apple cider muffin recipe. You can use spiced or plain apple cider. We highly recommend reducing it over the stove to really bring out the apple flavor.
Buttermilk: Buttermilk adds flavor and moisture to the muffin batter.
Pure vanilla extract: A splash of vanilla extract gives these muffins a rich and warm flavor that pairs perfectly with the warm spices.
Butter: Melted butter is used for the cinnamon sugar streusel to bind together the dry ingredients. We prefer using salted butter because it adds more flavor to the topping.
How To Make This Recipe
reduce the apple cider
In this recipe, we highly recommend reducing the apple cider before adding it to your muffin batter. The reduction process involves lowering the water content of a liquid by boiling it. This is done to create a more concentrated flavor.
Start by adding 2 cups of apple cider to a saucepan and bringing it to a boil. Let the cider simmer for 20-30 minutes on medium-high heat until it’s reduced to ½ cup. Remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool before adding it to the batter.
make the muffin batter
Start by combining the dry ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, salt, and baking powder. Set it aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add the egg and beat it thoroughly with a whisk or electric mixer. Then, mix in the granulated and brown sugars until combined.
Next, stir in the buttermilk, vanilla extract, and oil.
Add the applesauce and the reduced apple cider and mix until fully incorporated.
Finally, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to gently mix the batter just until the ingredients are fully combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter or else your muffins may have a tougher texture.
Set the batter aside to rest for 10 minutes before scooping it into the muffin tin. This allows time for the dry ingredients to fully absorb the wet ingredients.
make the streusel topping
While the batter is resting, make the streusel by combining the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Melt the butter completely in the microwave and set it aside for 1-2 minutes to cool slightly.
Then, drizzle the warm melted butter over the flour mixture. Use a fork to gently incorporate the butter until the streusel forms. It will have a sandy appearance with lots of chunks.
bake and cool
Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin. Scoop about ¼ cup of muffin batter into each cup, filling them about ¾ of the way full.
Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of cinnamon streusel on top of each muffin. Then, put them in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes until they test done with a toothpick. Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
Use room temperature ingredients. Be sure to use room-temperature ingredients when making these muffins. This will ensure the ingredients combine evenly for a smooth, uniform batter.
Spoon and level the flour. To accurately measure flour, use a spoon to scoop the flour into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess flour with a straight edge.
Reduce the apple cider. We strongly recommend reducing the apple cider in this recipe for a stronger apple flavor. Just be sure to let it cool to room temperature adding it to the batter.
Don’t overmix the batter. Combining the wet and dry ingredients with a wooden spoon or spatula (rather than an electric mixer) is a good way to avoid overmixing. Mix just until the ingredients are fully combined to ensure your muffins are soft and fluffy.
Don't overmix the streusel. The streusel should have a sandy texture with lots of large chunks. If it gets overmixed, it will start to turn into a paste. If you accidentally overmix your streusel, put it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes and then fluff with a fork until chunky.
How To Store Leftovers
These apple cider muffins store very well and taste great! For short-term storage, keep the muffins in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag at room temperature. They will stay soft and moist for 2-3 days.
For long-term storage, store in an airtight container in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat them, thaw them to room temperature and then reheat them as desired.
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Easy Apple Cider Muffins with Cinnamon StreuselNovember 15, 2023
FOR THE MUFFINS
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg large
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar packed
- 2 tablespoon oil
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup applesauce unsweetened
- ½ cup apple cider reduced
FOR THE STREUSEL
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar packed
- 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 tablespoon salted butter melted
REDUCE THE CIDER
- Add 2 cups of apple cider to a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes on medium-high heat until it’s reduced to ½ cup. Remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool.
MAKE THE MUFFIN BATTER
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, salt, and baking powder and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg thoroughly with a whisk or electric mixer. Mix in the granulated and brown sugars until combined.
- Stir in the buttermilk, vanilla extract, and oil. Add the applesauce and reduced cider and mix until fully incorporated.
- Finally, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to gently mix the batter just until the ingredients are combined. Be careful not to overmix.
- Set batter aside to rest for 10 minutes before scooping it into the muffin tin.
MAKE THE STREUSEL
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Melt the butter completely in the microwave and set it aside for 1-2 minutes to cool slightly.
- Drizzle the melted butter over the flour mixture and gently incorporate it with a fork until the streusel forms. It will have a sandy appearance with lots of chunks.
BAKE AND COOL
- Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin. Scoop about ¼ cup of muffin batter into each cup, filling them about ¾ of the way full. Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of streusel on top of each muffin.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes until they test done with a toothpick. Let muffins cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- Reduce 2 cups of apple cider to ½ cup and let it cool before adding it to the batter
- You can use plain or spiced apple cider
- Be sure to use room temperature ingredients
- Take care not to overmix the batter to avoid a tough, chewy texture
- Store at room temperature in a plastic bag or airtight container for 2-3 days