Kissed with cinnamon and full of juicy fruit, 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!
Apple Strudel Muffins Recipe
From top to bottom, apple strudel muffins are the complete package. They’re inexpensive, fall-infused, and perfect for any occasion.
Each muffin is full of sugar, butter, cinnamon, and juicy apple bits – just like the real thing. And the streusel on top is just as to-die-for!
Sweet, tart, rich, and oh-so-buttery, these baked goods are simply delightful.
The best part is, they come in portable form. So grab one to-go for a quick breakfast or snack.
Or simply savor this fall-tastic dessert!
You won’t find a boxed mix here. Just some standard baking ingredients to make this scrumptious muffin batter from scratch!
Here’s what you need:
- 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.
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
Craving these warm, fall flavored muffins? Then grab your muffin tin and let’s bake!
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
Baking from scratch doesn’t have to be intimidating. Just follow these tips and tricks and your muffins will turn out heavenly!
- Measure the flour accurately. Otherwise, the muffins will be dry and rubbery. Use the kitchen scale for the most accurate measurement.
- No kitchen scale? No problem. 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.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Be sure all ingredients are at room temp so they mix well. This includes the sour cream, milk, butter, and eggs.
- Don’t overmix the batter. Overmixing will yield dense muffins. Stop mixing as soon as the batter is smooth. You should no longer see streaks of flour.
- Finely dice the apples. That way, they’re evenly distributed leaving little bits in every bite. For the best results, use 1/2 cup shredded and 1 cup diced apples.
You don’t have to follow the directions precisely. Add your own twist with these variations:
- Go big with jumbo muffins. Just use a larger muffin tin and bake for 27-30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. One recipe makes six.
- Make cutesy mini muffins. Bake for 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. One recipe makes 36 to 40 muffins.
- Experiment with other fall spices. I use cinnamon. But nutmeg, ginger, and cloves all pair well with apples.
- Create extra moist muffins. Just 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
Got leftover muffins? Excellent!
These tender muffins freeze well. You can also store them at room temperature or refrigerate.
To Store: Transfer the muffins to an airtight container and store at room temperature. They’ll stay fresh and moist for up to 5 days. You can also refrigerate them and they’ll last for 7-10 days.
To Freeze: Wrap each muffin tightly with plastic wrap. Place them in a freezer-safe bag. Label the bags accordingly and freeze. The muffins will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To Reheat: Warm the muffins in the microwave for 10-15 seconds for a freshly-baked appeal. If frozen, thaw the muffins in the fridge overnight, then reheat.
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