The Best Apple Cinnamon Muffins

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These easy bakery-style muffins will satisfy all your apple pie cravings! Soft and fluffy cinnamon muffins are filled with homemade apple pie filling and topped with a buttery brown sugar pecan streusel. No one can resist these festive Apple Cinnamon Muffins!

A stack of two apple pie muffins with brown butter pecan streusel on top

Easy Apple Muffins with Pecan Streusel

These moist and tender muffins are bursting with cinnamon apple goodness in every bite! They’re made using a super simple apple pie filling that tastes like a dream. Then you have a crumbly pecan streusel to top it all off! I am a firm believer that all muffins are better with streusel, and this fall-tastic recipe illustrates why.

The heavenly combination of flavors and textures will keep you coming back for more. These bad boys will blow all other apple muffins away! People will be asking you what bakery you got them from. Just wait for the reactions you get when you say you made them yourself!

Why I Love This Recipe

Anyone who knows me knows that muffins are my weakness. I will eat them all day long if no one stops me! I’ve been wanting to make muffins that incorporate homemade apple pie filling for quite some time now, but never did I expect them to turn out this good. They taste just like my all-time favorite Apple Crumble Pie in the form of a fluffy muffin!

Unlike other apple muffin recipes, the batter isn’t dry and dense to compensate for the moisture of the apples, and the muffins don’t get soggy either! It’s all thanks to the fool-proof ingredient lineup below. And that’s not all – they’re whipped up in just over 30 minutes, which is a huge win for holiday baking!

Six apple cinnamon muffins in a muffin tin on top of a striped kitchen towel

What You’ll Need

Everything required for this recipe is easily accessible at your local grocery store. But I’m willing to bet you already have it all on hand!

For the Apple Pie Filling

  • Apples: Peeled and sliced.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: 1 lemon’s worth.
  • Light Brown Sugar
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Cinnamon
  • Apple Pie Spice: To make your own apple pie spice, simply mix 2 tablespoons of nutmeg and allspice with 3 tablespoons of cinnamon. You only need 1 teaspoon for this recipe, so store the rest for later use!
  • Maple Syrup

For the Cinnamon Muffins

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Baking Powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Unsalted Butter– Browned, it takes these muffins to the next level
  • Egg
  • Milk
  • Sour Cream

For the Pecan Streusel

  • Flour
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Pecans

Which Apples are Best for Baking?

Not all kinds of apples are ideal for baked goods, but there are definitely a lot of great options out there. Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Fuji, and Gala will all fare well in these muffins.

Generally speaking, anything that’s on the firmer, crisper side is a good choice. Softer varieties will become mushy or release too much liquid when baked. If you prefer a softer, sweeter apple pie filling, go for Golden Delicious apples.

A single apple pie muffin on a table with a full muffin tin in the background

How to Make Apple Cinnamon Muffins

There are a few steps involved with making these muffins, but they’re all very easy and straightforward. First, you’ll make the apple pie filling and allow it to cool slightly before adding it to the muffins. Next, you’ll make the muffin batter, stir in the filling, add the quick-fix streusel topping and bake!

Make the Filling

  1. Combine Apples & Lemon Juice: Slice the apples into small pieces, squeeze a lemon overtop and stir to combine.
  2. Add Dry Ingredients: Combine the dry ingredients together and toss with the prepared apples
  3. Cook: Heat the apples on the stove over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until soft, stirring occasionally. Set the filling aside and let it cool while you prepare the muffin batter.

Make the Muffins

  1. Brown Butter: Melt the butter in a shallow saucepan and stir until it starts to turn light brown and release a nutty flavor. If you’ve never done this, check out my full tutorial.
  2. Prep for Baking: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease a muffin pan with Crisco or baking spray.
  3. Combine Dry Ingredients: Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Set the mixture aside.
  4. Beat Egg: In a separate bowl, beat the egg with a whisk until it’s light and fluffy.
  5. Add Butter: Add the browned butter and whisk it together with the egg.
  6. Add Milk & Sour Cream: Continue to add milk and sour cream, whisking everything together until the mixture is smooth.
  7. Combine Wet & Dry Ingredients: Slowly pour the wet ingredient mixture into the prepared dry ingredients. Use a wooden spoon to mix after each addition until just combined. Add in the apple pie filling about halfway through the combining of the mixtures.

Make the Streusel & Bake

  1. Combine Ingredients: Combine the butter with all of the dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter or fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until no large chunks remain.
  2. Fill Muffin Tin: Fill your muffin tin all the way to the top with batter. Add 1-2 tablespoons of streusel to the top of each muffin.
  3. Bake: Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F, then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for another 16-20 minutes. Do not open the oven for at least 15 minutes – you will see how nicely the muffins rise. Baking times will vary by oven. You can test if these are done by inserting a toothpick into the center. It should come out clean.
  4. Let Cool: Allow the muffins to cool in the pan
An apple pie muffin with a bite taken out of it stacked on top of another muffin

Tips for Success

Let me share a few trade secrets with you. These tips and tricks will help you make the ultimate apple cinnamon muffins!

  • Cool the Filling Faster: Feel free to pop your apple pie filling into the fridge while you prepare the muffin batter. This speeds up the cooling process and saves you time, though it’s not required.
  • Fill the Muffin Cups All the Way: When I say fill the muffin cups all the way to the top, I am not joking! Then top them off with the buttery brown sugar streusel and bake them. This makes for the perfect ratio of muffin top to bottom!
  • Press the Topping Down: After you add the streusel topping to your muffin cups, go ahead and apply some gentle pressure on it with the back of a spoon. This will help it stick to the batter so it stays secure on top of the finished muffins. Just be careful not to push it down under the surface of the batter.
  • Bake Accodring to Directions: When you preheat the oven to 425°F and begin baking your muffins at this higher temperature, it helps them rise. After 5 minutes, just reduce the temperature to 350°F without opening the oven door and let them bake for the remaining time.

How to Store Leftovers

You can keep these muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. If you still have leftovers after that, transfer them to the fridge for up to 5 more days.

Can I Freeze Homemade Muffins?

Sure! These apple cinnamon muffins can be frozen for up to 3 months. Be sure to keep them in a freezer-safe container. Thaw out frozen muffins in the fridge before enjoying. Once thawed, you can bring them to room temperature for best results.

Three apple cinnamon muffins lined up on a white serving platter
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The Best Apple Cinnamon Muffins

  • Author: Julianne
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12

Description

These easy bakery-style muffins will satisfy all your apple pie cravings! Soft and fluffy cinnamon muffins are filled with homemade apple pie filling and topped with a buttery brown sugar pecan streusel. No one can resist these festive Apple Cinnamon Muffins!

Ingredients

For the apple filling

  • 34 medium green apples, sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (17.5g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (5g) ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (2.5g) apple pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup

For the muffin batter

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, browned
  • 2 1/4 cups (315g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (190g) granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons (16g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (2.5g) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (236ml) milk 
  • 1/4 cup (48g) sour cream

For the streusel

  • 6 tablespoons (52.5g) all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons (70g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (2.5) ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons (70g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup (60g) chopped pecans

Instructions

Make the Filling

  1. Peel and slice your apples into small pieces; about the size of a dime. Place in a medium-size saucepan. Squeeze the juice from a whole lemon over the apples.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients together and mix into the apples until the apples are coated. Then add the maple syrup and toss to combine.
  3. Using a saucepan on medium-high heat, cook the apples for about 15-18 minutes until they begin to brown and bubble, and they have softened. Remove from heat and cool completely. Refrigerate if necessary.

Make the Muffins

  1. Brown the butter: Turn stovetop on to medium/medium low heat bringing the butter to a boil, stirring occasionally. As the milk solids start to turn golden brown, stir constantly and don’t take your eyes off it! Butter can go from brown to burn very quickly. Once the solid start to go from golden brown to darker brown, remove from the heat immediately and  pour into a heatproof bowl. Allow the butter to cool. 
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Generously grease a muffin pan with Crisco or baking spray.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Set aside. 
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg using a whisk until light and fluffy then add melted butter and whisk to combine. Next add the milk and sour cream and whisk everything together until well combined. 
  5. Slowly pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to mix just until combined. Add apple pie filling when about half of your flour is mixed into the wet ingredients.
  6. Prepare streusel topping: Combine the dry ingredients. Chop the butter into small cubes and use a pastry cutter or fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until no large chunks remain.
  7. Fill your muffin tin all the way to the top with batter. Add 1-2 tablespoon of streusel to the top of each muffin.
  8. Bake for 5 minutes at 425° and then reduce heat to 350° and bake for another 16-20 minutes. Do not open the oven for at least 15 minutes. 
  9. Check your muffins for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the muffin. If your toothpick comes out clean, your muffin is done. Allow muffins to cool completely in the pan. 
Nutrition Information:
1 muffin
395g
32g
123g
16g
59g
3g
5g
48mg
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: apple muffins, apple and cinnamon muffins, cinnamon muffins

More Apple Treats to Try

Need a few more festive recipes for fall? These apple dishes are sure to fit the bill!

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36 Responses
  1. Alyssa

    These are the perfect muffin. A little bit of everything, apples and a cinnamon streusel top. I made them with whole wheat flour and they were so moist and delicious. My family loved. Can’t wait for the morning to have one with a cup of coffee.

  2. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking

    I don’t know how you do it all, girl! Seriously…catering too! And you still have time to dream up and make gorgeous apple pie muffins!!

  3. Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen

    Catering events are defo best when over, I have an afternoon tea catering event coming up and I am dreading it lol!! So much to do!! These apple pie muffins sound awesome, apples are for sure one of my fave kind of muffins!

  4. Heather @ Shards of Lavender

    Catering a wedding sounds like a ton of work, but so satisfying! These muffins truly do look like they came from a bakery and I’ll be trying them soon:) Thanks for sharing the recipe…

  5. Graham @ Glazed & Confused

    Streusel is a must!
    These muffins look so delicious. Love that you guys are doing an Apple Week! So excited to see what’s next!

  6. Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar

    I completely agree that muffins are better with streusel – love the stuff! These look absolutely perfect for fall! Yum!

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