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Apple Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar

These easy Apple Muffins are made from scratch with plenty of grated fresh fruit, warm autumn spices, and a cinnamon-sugar topping.
Course Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword apple cinnamon muffins, apple muffins
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 237kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and coarsely grated (about 1 cup total)


  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and spritz with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  • Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl; mix on medium-low speed just until combined. Add the buttermilk; mix just until combined. Add the remaining flour mixture; mix just until combined.
  • Fold in the grated apple.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups.
  • Place the muffins in the preheated oven, then immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. Bake the muffins for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Transfer the muffins to a wire rack.
  • When the muffins are cool enough to handle (but still warm), prepare the topping.
  • Place the melted butter in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon.
  • Brush the top of each warm muffin with the melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon-sugar.


  • Don't have buttermilk? While the buttermilk gives the muffins a slightly tangy, moist, tender crumb, you can substitute with regular milk in this particular recipe. The baking powder doesn't need the acid in the buttermilk in order to activate.
  • Mix-Ins: A handful of chopped walnuts or pecans would be a great addition to this recipe. Dates, raisins, or dried cranberries would also be delicious. Try dried cherries or shredded coconut, too.
  • Swap out the spices for about 2 ½ teaspoons - 1 tablespoon of apple pie spice (a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, and sometimes cardamom and ginger). So convenient!
  • Make Apple Crumble Muffins by swapping the cinnamon-sugar topping for a streusel topping that you add before baking.
  • Properly measure the flour. Always spoon and level the flour or weigh it on a kitchen scale -- do not scoop it out of the package. Incorrectly measuring the flour packs it too tightly into the measuring cup and results in dense, dry muffins.
  • The key to a perfect muffin is just barely mixing the ingredients. You want them to come together, but a few lumps are fine. This way they’ll stay moist and tender!
  • Fill the muffin cups nice and full. I like to use an ice cream scoop to make sure that each cup has an equal amount of batter, ensuring that the muffins bake evenly in the oven.
  • To check if the muffins are done, insert a toothpick into the center and make sure it comes out clean. Don’t cook them for too long, or they can dry out.
  • Recipe adapted from AddaPinch.com


Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 187mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 302IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg