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Apple Cider Donut Muffins

I just whipped up a batch of these incredible apple cider donut muffins, and I’m absolutely in love!

Guys, these treats are no joke. They’re the perfect fall treat you can feel good about enjoying any time of year. Plus, your kitchen will smell AMAZING while they bake!

Bunch of apple cider donut muffins in a white plate.

And the cinnamon sugar topping is just to die for. I’m already planning to make another batch to share with my friends.

Trust me, once you try these apple cider donut muffins, you’ll be hooked, too!

Why You’ll Love These Apple Cider Donut Muffins

Fall Flavor Explosion: These muffins capture the spirit of fall perfectly. You’ll love their warm spices, apple cider reduction, and cinnamon-sugar coating. 

Taste of Nostalgia: These will remind you of the apple cider donuts at orchards and fall festivals. If fall is your favorite time of year, these will happily transport you there. 

Easy Prep: Apple cider donut muffins are some of the easiest muffins you’ll ever make. The recipe is straightforward and doesn’t require any special equipment. 

Versatile: Serve them warm for breakfast or as a snack with afternoon tea. They’re even fancy enough for a cozy brunch spread. Pair them with an apple cider cocktail for the ultimate indulgence. 

Bunch of apple cider donut muffins arranged on a white plate.

Ingredients

  • Apple Cider: Reduce it to concentrate its sweet, tangy flavor. 
  • All-Purpose Flour: The structure-providing foundation for the muffins. 
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda: The leavening agents.
  • Salt: Just a pinch will help balance all the other flavors. 
  • Spices: A combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. They’re warm, comforting, and totally fall-forward. 
  • Large Egg: For holding everything together. 
  • Sugars: A mix of granulated and light brown sugars. They add sweetness and a molasses-like depth. 
  • Unsweetened Applesauce: The secret ingredient! It adds extra apple flavor and additional moisture. 
  • Sour Cream: For tenderness and a tangy complement to all the sweetness. 
  • Canola Oil: Or any neutral-flavored oil. It adds moisture without weighing the muffins down. 
  • Unsalted Butter: Melt and brush on top for a rich, buttery finish. It also helps hold the cinnamon-sugar coating. 
Apple cider donut muffins coated with cinnamon sugar arranged in a white plate.

How to Make Apple Cider Donut Muffins

You won’t believe how easy these steps are to follow.

1. Prepare. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin. 

2. Reduce the cider. Boil the apple cider in a small saucepan until it reduces by half. Set it aside to cool. 

3. Make the batter. Combine the flour, baking soda and powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Then, whisk together the egg, sugars, applesauce, sour cream, oil, and cider in a separate bowl until smooth. Finally, add the second mixture to the first and stir until just combined. 

4. Bake. Divide the batter between the muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full. Then, bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until done. 

5. Make the topping. While the muffins bake, combine the sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl. 

6. Coat and serve. Let the muffins cool in their pan for 5 minutes. Then, brush the tops with melted butter and roll the muffins in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve, and enjoy! 

Apple cider donut muffins stacked on a white plate.

Tips for the Best Apple Cider Donut Muffins

Apple cider donut muffins are probably my favorite fall muffins. As a result, I have quite a few tips for you.

  • Quality is key. If you can find a locally sourced cider batch from an orchard, that’s best. Otherwise, select a brand you already know you love. 
  • Give the batter a rest. After mixing the dry and wet ingredients, let the batter rest for about 20 minutes. Doing so will help create beautifully domed muffins. 
  • Butter them up while warm. If you let them cool down, the butter and coating won’t stick as well. Give them about 5 minutes to cool, then coat them immediately after. 
  • Give them a healthy twist. Substitute whole wheat flour for about half of the all-purpose flour. You can also reduce the sugars somewhat. 
  • Add apples. Fold in diced fresh apples for extra apple flavor. They’ll also dial up the muffins’ texture. 
  • Add a sweet surprise. Add a dollop of apple butter or caramel sauce to the center of each muffin before baking them. Trust me. It’ll knock them out of the park. 
  • Have fun with variations. Use canned pumpkin instead of applesauce. Or drizzle the finished muffins with caramel sauce or apple butter. A powdered sugar glaze on top works nicely, too. 
Bunch of apple cider donut muffins coated in cinnamon sugar arranged in a white plate.

How to Store

Because these muffins store well, they make excellent on-the-go breakfast items!

To Store: Transfer cooled muffins to an air-tight container. Keep them at room temperature for 3 days or in the fridge for up to a week. 

To Freeze: Wrap the muffins individually in aluminum foil. Then, place them in a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. 

To Reheat: Let frozen muffins thaw in the fridge overnight. Reheat for 15 to 20 seconds in the microwave. You can also heat them in the oven on a baking sheet for 5 to 7 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. 

More Bakery-Style Muffins You’ll Love

Banana Blueberry Muffins
Triple Chocolate Muffins
Lemon Cranberry Muffins
Strawberry Muffins

Apple Cider Donut Muffins

Course: Dessert, SnackCuisine: American
Servings

12

servings
Prep time

25

minutes
Cooking time

22

minutes
Calories

196

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These apple cider donut muffins are the perfect anytime treat! They’re quick, delicious, and so easy to whip up!

Ingredients

  • For the Muffins
  • 1 cup apple cider, reduced to 1/2 cup

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/3 cup sour cream

  • 1/4 cup canola oil

  • For the Topping
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
  • In a small saucepan, boil the apple cider until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, granulated sugar, brown sugar, applesauce, sour cream, oil, and cooled reduced cider until smooth.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • While the muffins bake, mix the sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  • Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes. Then, brush the tops with the melted butter. Roll each muffin in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat.
  • Serve the apple cider donut muffins warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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