Can you believe we’re already halfway through August? While I look at my calendar in slight disbelief, I also can’t help but feel the excitement rise up in me at the thought of fall and all things fabulous (at least in my book!). You see, in my opinion, fall is the best season, and these apple muffins with streusel topping are just one of the many examples to prove my point.
Every fall, I go apple picking in a local town called Julian, which is famous for its apples and month-long festivities surrounding it. One of my favorite baked goods to make with my hand-picked apples are these apple muffins.
I love sharing these apple muffins with family and friends, especially with those have little ones because these muffins are a great back-to-school treat. Looking for a nice way to show your kid’s teacher that you guys care? These apple muffins are perfect!
They’ve got a generous dose of cinnamon in both the muffin batter and the streusel topping, making these apple muffins a prime symbol of what fall baking is all about.
Oddly enough, the French have never really understood the American obsession with cinnamon. They don’t really use it in their baked goods the way we Americans tend to.
As much as I love France and French food, this is one point we’ll just have to agree to disagree on. For me, cinnamon is major. As in, I can’t imagine a world where cinnamon didn’t exist in my baked goods.
In these apple muffins, they provide tremendous flavor, warmth, and aroma. They go perfectly with the tart, diced apples that you’ll find nestled inside these moist little cakes.
You can use any kind of apple that you like, but I love using apples that are more on the tart side, like granny smith. Sometimes, I’ll do a mixture of granny smith and something sweet like a gala apple, similar to the way I do when I’m making an apple pie.
These apple muffins are entirely fuss-free, even with the streusel topping. I make the muffin batter in one-bowl, then fold the diced apple into the batter. The batter will look more like cookie dough than runny cake batter, so don’t be alarmed. There will also seem like there are a lot of apple chunks, but these will soften and blend in once they bake.
The streusel topping is just a quick mixture of sugar, flour, and cinnamon. I then use my fingers to rub some cold butter into this mixture until the mixture starts looking like moist sand. This gets sprinkled on top of the muffins right before they go in the oven.
If you wanted, you could mix in some chopped nuts into the topping. Nuts like pecans or walnuts would be delicious! Otherwise, simply follow the recipe as is and enjoy some supremely moist and flavorful apple muffins that you can take with you to work, school, or as a morning treat!
Apple Muffins with Streusel Topping
Sweet and moist muffins with apple chunks nestled inside and a deliciously crunchy sugar topping.
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (100 grams)
- 3/4 cup grape seed or vegetable oil (161 grams)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (4 grams)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (240 grams)
- 1.5 tsp baking powder (6 grams)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (3 grams)
- 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon (12 grams)
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice (3 grams)
- 2 cups peeled and diced apple (about 1 very large apple) cores and stems removed
for the streusel topping
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour (15 grams)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (50 grams)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon (6 grams)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter (28 grams) cold and cut into 8 pieces
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 12-mold muffin pan with cupcake liners. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, oil and extract together.
To the bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, and ground allspice. Swap out the whisk and instead use a rubber spatula to gently stir everything together until you no longer see any flour streaks in the batter. The batter will look stiff like cookie dough - this is OK. Try not to over-mix the batter.
Add in the apple cubes and gently give the batter a stir to incorporate the apple into the batter. It doesn't have to be perfectly mixed in, you can always distribute the apples better as you're scooping the batter into your liners.
Create the streusel topping by mixing the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Then drop in the butter pieces and use your fingers to rub the rubber into the dry ingredients until you get a moist, sand-like looking mixture.
Divide the batter among the 12 cupcake liners, filling the liners to the top. Use your fingers to gently smooth out the batter into each liner to create somewhat smooth, flat tops. Sprinkle some of the streusel mixture over the top of each muffin. Bake the muffins for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
To include nuts into the streusel topping, simply mix in 1/4 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts after rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients.