Kissed with cinnamon and full of juicy apples, these apple strudel muffins are tender and terrific. And let’s not forget the heavenly streusel crumble.
They taste just like apple strudel, but in fluffy muffin form!
I mean, why would you bother lining up at your local bakery when you can make these easy and delicious muffins at home?
They’re inexpensive, fall-infused, and perfect for any occasion.
So make a big batch for breakfast or brunch, or serve them at your next book club.
Either way, if you’re craving a fall-tastic dessert or breakfast on the go, these apple strudel muffins are for you.
Apple Strudel Muffins Recipe
From top to bottom, apple strudel muffins are the complete package.
Made with sugar, butter, cinnamon, and bits of apples, they’re sweet, tart, rich, buttery, and simply delightful all at once.
Aside from the apples, you’ll add sour cream and milk to the batter to ensure these babies are moist and tender.
And the streusel on top is just as to-die-for as the muffins themselves.
Featuring butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, it’s sweet, crumbly, and oh-so-buttery.
These muffins are the ultimate fall treat. And as luck would have it, we’re firmly in fall baking season!
- All-Purpose Flour – It’s the base of the batter that provides the muffins their structure.
- Baking Powder and Soda – The leavening agents that make the muffins rise nice and tall.
- Cinnamon – For that sweet, heavenly aroma and warming flavor we all know and love.
- Salt – Just a pinch, to intensify the flavors of the rest of the ingredients.
- Granulated Sugar – For sweetness. Some recipes use brown sugar, which is fine, too. You can also use a combination of both.
- Butter – It moistens the muffins and provides richness and flavor. Use unsalted butter. But if all you have is salted, omit the salt in this recipe.
- Eggs – They bind the ingredients together.
- Sour Cream – The key ingredient responsible for making these muffins extra rich and moist. You can also use Greek yogurt or applesauce as healthier alternatives.
- Vanilla – Flavor enhancer.
- Milk – To help moisten the thick batter. Any kind of milk will work, whether whole-fat or dairy-free. Just keep in mind vegan milk alternatives may change the flavor, so try to pick something unsweetened.
- Chopped Apples – My go-to apples for baking are Granny Smiths because they hold up well when baking. I also like their tartness, as they balance out the sweetness of the muffins well.
For the Streusel Topping
This buttery and crumbly topping is a simple mix, but the ingredients are important:
- Brown Sugar – The molasses in brown sugar brings a depth of caramel flavor that’s not overly sweet.
- Flour – Since the structure here isn’t too important, you can use any flour. You could even use almond flour if you like.
- Cinnamon – The cinnamon in the batter ensures the muffins are warm, but the spice in the streusel is much more pronounced.
- Cold Butter – You need cold butter; otherwise, the streusel will just melt as it bakes, rather than turning crunchy,
It should look like wet, lumpy sand when mixed.
Best Apples for Muffins
Choose firm apples that can hold up well when subjected to extreme heat. Soft apples will only fall apart or turn into mush when baked.
That said, stick to Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Pink Lady for this recipe.
You can also mix and match if you like a combination of flavors. Granny Smith apples are tart while Honeycrisps are sweeter.
How to Make Apple Strudel Muffins
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
For crisp edges, grease the muffin tin with nonstick spray. If you prefer the edges soft, line the tin with muffin liners.
This recipe makes 12 standard-sized muffins.
2. Sift or whisk the dry ingredients.
Sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
This ensures everything is well combined, so you don’t get any pockets of cinnamon or baking soda in the batter.
3. Cream the butter and sugar.
Creaming is a method performed to ensure baked goods are light and airy. It also ensures the sugar is evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Simply beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer or paddle until smooth and creamy.
That’ll take about 4 to 8 minutes, and it should be quite pale when it’s done.
4. Add the wet ingredients.
To the creamed butter and sugar, beat in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.
Do this in a few additions, mixing between each addition to keep the batter from splitting.
5. Add the dry ingredients and milk.
Gradually add the flour mixture (about 1/4 per addition), alternating with the milk. Continue beating until the batter is smooth and creamy.
This method also keeps the batter from splitting.
Gently mix in the apples using a rubber spatula, then spoon the batter into the muffin tin.
For domed muffins, fill the cups all the way to the top.
6. Make the streusel topping.
Whisk together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon.
Cut the butter into cubes and add it to the bowl. Using a pastry cutter or butter knife, cut the butter into the sugar mixture until it resembles wet sand or coarse crumbs.
You can also do this in a mixer with a paddle attachment on low. Or use your hands and rub the butter and dry blend between your fingers.
Sprinkle the streusel over the muffins before baking.
7. Bake and enjoy!
Bake the muffins for 20 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when you insert a toothpick into the center, and it comes out clean.
Let the muffins cool first in the tin for 5 minutes. Then transfer them onto a wire rack, and let them cool completely.
If you can’t wait anymore, though, go ahead and enjoy them warm!
Tips and Tricks
- Measure the flour accurately. Otherwise, the muffins will be dry and rubbery. Use the kitchen scale for the most accurate measurement.
- If you don’t have a scale, measure the flour using the spoon-and-level method. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with the back of a knife. Do not pack it in.
- Be sure all the dairy ingredients, namely the sour cream, milk, butter, and eggs, are at room temperature. This is so they mix well with the rest of the ingredients.
- Don’t overmix the batter, especially once the wet and dry ingredients are already combined. Overmixing will yield dense muffins. Stop mixing as soon as the batter is smooth and you no longer see streaks of flour.
- Dice the apples finely so that they’ll get more evenly distributed. Bigger chunks leave wet patches in the baked dough.
- Use a combination of 1/2 cup shredded apples and 1 cup diced for the best results.
- The same batter can be used to make jumbo muffins. Just use a larger muffin tin and bake for 27-30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. One recipe makes 6.
- Use this batter for mini muffins, too. Bake for 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. One recipe makes 36 to 40 muffins.
- I only use cinnamon in my recipe, but feel free to experiment with other fall spices. Nutmeg, ginger, and cloves all pair well with apples.
- For extra moist muffins, use a mix of granulated sugar and brown sugar. The molasses in the brown sugar will make the muffins super moist. It’ll give them a deeper flavor, too.
How to Store Apple Strudel Muffins
Transfer the muffins to an airtight container and store them at room temperature. They’ll stay fresh and moist for up to 5 days.
If you want to keep them around longer, pop them in the fridge. They’ll last for up to 7 to 10 days in there.
Can I Freeze Apple Strudel Muffins?
Wrap each muffin tightly with plastic wrap, and place them in freezer-safe bags. Label the bags accordingly and freeze them.
Apple strudel muffins will keep well in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Thaw the muffins in the fridge the night before you plan to serve them. Or warm them in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds to give them that freshly-baked appeal.
More Muffin Recipes You’ll Love
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