Apple Cinnamon Crumb Muffins

These apple cinnamon muffins start with an easy muffin batter that’s flavored with cinnamon, brown sugar, and plenty of juicy apples. We use the same base recipe when making blueberry muffins because the simple batter produces moist, soft, and cakey muffins with tall muffin tops. They’re always a favorite! Enjoy the muffins plain or top them with crumb topping before baking and smooth vanilla icing before serving. If you love apple cinnamon bread, you’ll enjoy these apple muffins!

apple cinnamon muffins with crumb topping

These crumb-topped apple muffins have been a personal and reader favorite since I published the recipe in 2014.

Tell Me About These Apple Cinnamon Muffins

  • Flavor: These are buttery muffins where apple and cinnamon flavors take over. It’s always disappointing when you bite into a muffin and there’s hardly any “stuff” like blueberries, chocolate chips, etc. Today we’re using extra apples so you get the delicious fruit in nearly each bite. If you’re looking for a fall baking recipe where apples shine, this recipe fits the bill!
  • Texture: The apple cinnamon muffins are moist because we add yogurt (or sour cream) to the batter. And because we start with creamed butter and sugars, the muffins are soft, light, and cakey like a cupcake. We don’t overload the batter with milk (use only 1/4 cup (60ml)), so you still have a slightly dense texture. I like to describe these muffins as having the perfect harmonious balance between soft and dense!
  • Ease: I categorize this recipe as a beginner baking recipe because you use simple ingredients and easy mixing methods. An electric mixer is key for creaming the butter and sugars together and if you decide to add the icing, you just need a whisk. Some crumb toppings require cold butter and a pastry cutter to mix, but we’re using melted butter here so you just need a fork. Easy! All of the ingredients used are baking staples, so there’s nothing new or difficult. Plus you have wiggle room with the yogurt and milk depending on what’s convenient for you. I love easygoing recipes that produce consistently delicious results and know you appreciate that too!

Apple cinnamon muffin with vanilla icing on top

Why This Apple Cinnamon Muffin Recipe Works

Today’s muffin recipe uses my all-star muffin batter. This batter can be used to create endless muffin varieties and you’ll see it again in my blueberry muffins, peach muffins, cranberry orange muffins, and more. In fact, this “Master Muffin Batter” has become such a hit with readers that I created a separate page dedicated to all its possibilities: 1 Muffin Batter for Infinite Muffin Recipes. It starts with basic dry ingredients like flour, baking powder + soda, and salt. More often than not, I add ground cinnamon and you’ll see its addition in today’s apple cinnamon version. The wet ingredients are just as straightforward– creamed butter with sugars, plus 2 eggs, vanilla extract, sour cream/plain yogurt, and milk. I use either plain Greek yogurt or sour cream based on what I have and the same goes for the milk. Use whole milk, 1%, almond milk, buttermilk, oat milk, etc. I’ve made these muffins what seems like 1,000x with various milks and trust me, they all work!

  • By the way, if you’re a muffin aficionado, you might also love my Bakery Style Muffins which are denser, jumbo in size, and have a distinctively tight crumb.

Overview: How to Make Apple Cinnamon Muffins

I like to make the crumb topping first so it’s ready as soon as the batter comes together. The crumb topping, while certainly optional, comes together with ingredients you use in the muffin batter– very convenient. (It’s the same crumb topping we use on peach muffins.) After that, you can peel and chop the apples into roughly 1/2 inch pieces. Pictured below is 1 cup plus several chunks on the side. You need 1 and 1/2 cups (about 165g) which is about 2 medium apples. Fold the apples into the batter.

chopped apples and muffin batter in glass bowl

crumb topping shown in bowl and on top of muffin batter

How to Create The Perfect Tall Muffin Tops

Press crumb topping into the tops of each muffin before baking. For tall muffin tops, there are 3 directions to follow closely:

  1. Make sure your muffin batter is THICK. (This one is!)
  2. Fill your muffin tins/liners all the way to the top with batter.
  3. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at an initial high temperature, and then lower it the temperature.

This initial high oven temperature quickly lifts up the muffin top. Once the temperature is lowered, the centers of the muffins bake. I recommend this in nearly all of these muffin recipes.

baked apple cinnamon muffins in muffin pan

apple cinnamon muffin cut in half on a white plate

And one more piece of advice before you start:

Best Apples to Use in Apple Muffins

Firmer apples are ideal for baking so avoid soft, mealy, and mushy apples. If you’re baking a recipe that calls for many apples such as apple crisp or apple crumble pie, use a mix of tart apples and sweet apples. These apple cinnamon muffins only need 1 or 2 apples, so it’s fine to use tart apples like Granny Smith or sweet apples like Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Pink Lady.

Print
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Apple cinnamon muffin with vanilla icing on top

Apple Cinnamon Crumb Muffins

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 14 muffins
  • Category: Muffins
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These apple cinnamon muffins start with an easy muffin batter that’s flavored with cinnamon, brown sugar, and plenty of juicy apples. Enjoy the muffins plain or top them with crumb topping before baking and smooth vanilla icing before serving.


Ingredients

Crumb Topping

  • 1/3 cup (67g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon (15g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup (84g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)

Muffins

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (219g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120g) yogurt or sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk (any kind), at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (165gpeeled & chopped apples (1/2 inch chunks; you need about 2 medium apples)

Vanilla Icing (Optional)

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream (or milk for a thinner consistency)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners. You may need a 2nd pan as this recipe makes up to 14 muffins, though you can always bake in batches using 1 pan. Set aside. *See note about jumbo size & mini muffins.*
  2. Make the crumb topping: Mix the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter, and then gently mix in the flour using a fork. Keep the mixture as large crumbles and do not over-mix. If over-mixed, this will turn into a thick paste. Set topping aside.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. Make the muffins: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, then turn up to high speed until the mixture is combined and mostly creamy. (It’s ok if it appears somewhat curdled.) Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer running on low speed, add the dry ingredients and milk into the wet ingredients and beat until no flour pockets remain. Fold in the apples.
  5. Spoon the batter evenly into each cup or liner, filling each all the way to the top. Spoon crumb topping on each, gently pressing it down so it sticks.
  6. Bake for 5 minutes at 425 then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 20-23 minutes, give or take. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the muffin pan, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.
  7. Make the icing: Whisk all of the icing ingredients together and drizzle over warm or cooled muffins.
  8. Iced or plain muffins stay fresh covered at room temperature for a few days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Freeze baked & cooled muffins for up to 3 months. It’s best to freeze the muffins without the icing and add the icing after thawing and before serving. (Freezing them with the icing on is completely fine, but the muffins taste better with fresh icing.) Thaw muffins in the refrigerator or at room temperature before icing/serving.
  2. Yogurt or Sour Cream: You can use either regular or Greek plain yogurt in this recipe (any fat content) or sour cream. The same amount of unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana may also be used if needed.
  3. Milk: You can use any milk, dairy or nondairy.
  4. For a jumbo muffin pan: 425°F for 5 minutes, then reduce to 350°F for 22-25 minutes for a total of 27-30. Makes about 6. For mini muffins: 350°F for 12-14 minutes. Makes about 36-40.
  5. Quick Bread: Here is apple cinnamon bread, which is close to the same recipe and baked in a loaf pan.
  6. Why is everything at room temperature? All refrigerated items should be at room temperature so the batter mixes together easily and evenly. Read here for more information.

Keywords: apple cinnamon muffins

255 Comments

  1. I just made these this morning, and they came out perfect! They had beautiful domed tops, and were so soft and fluffy on the inside! You’ve done it again, Sally 🙂

  2. I just pulled these bad boys out of the oven! The smell alone is fabulous!

  3. The Glazed Apple Crumb Muffins are PHENOMENAL! They are the best muffins I’ve ever had. I am so glad that I tried this recipe! It’s a keeper for sure! Thank you soooo much for sharing it! 🙂

  4. They’ve been in my to-do list for weeks and today was the day. I’ve just finished them, and according to my brother they are the best muffins I’ve ever made. So thank you for this wonderful recipe 😀

  5. Just wondering if I could use grated apple instead of apple chunks – do you reckon that would affect the baking time? Want to make these for my son but I know he won’t eat them with chunks of apple. Thanks!

    1. There may be another minute or two to add to the baking time using grated. Enjoy!

  6. You will never ever have a better apple muffin than these! If you don’t believe me, ask my 8,10 and 12 year old kids who believe they are experts since they come from a long line of bakers and cooks lol. Absolutely without a doubt, delicious!!!

  7. These were incredibly moist and delicious. I didn’t make it with the glaze because I plan to freeze. Can’t imagine how yummy they are WITH glaze.

    As always, followed your recipe to the tee. Thank you for sharing!

  8. I have never left a comment on a blog. These are THAT GOOD. Better than any bakery!

  9. Hi! I know it’s been a while since you posted this recipe, but I just made these with apples from a tree my parents have in their backyard. I’m not a fan of cooked fruit (no fruit pies, cobblers, or crumbles for me), but I liked these. I added mini cinnamon chips after folding in the apples, which made them just a bit sweeter. I love how nice the dome is on top too. My muffins sometimes turn out flat, but these were perfectly shaped. Oh, and of course I shared with my parents since I used their apples, and they loved them too!

  10. I tried these muffins and they are really amazing, and the ingredients are simple to find! Thank you so much for sharing, from a french girl who wants to try every muffin recipe of your “repertoire”!

  11. I made the apple ones this morning- so delicious! I only added a little bit of nutmeg to the batter. Great recipe. Definitely saving for future use.

  12. These were the most delicious muffins I have ever made! They disappeared fast! They were so moist, flavorful and delicious! I’ve made them twice already!

  13. I made these for the second time today because they were easy and delicious. I added rum-soaked raisins and instead of the glaze stuck a walnut-half in every top pre-baking. I also bake the dough in the mini muffin pan (24) and it yields over 2 pans full. Fill only 2/3rds and bake at 350F for 11 mins. Perfect to bring to work, since they are only 2-biters. The streusel are not enough for the look on the photos of the mega muffins of the original receipe, but just enough for the great taste.

  14. I just made these muffins as we have been blessed with an abundance of apples. I love muffins…but these were outstanding! I already have requests from my husband’s co workers to make some for tomorrow for work! Thank you for such amazing recipes…I always know that your recipes will be great!

  15. I like how these muffins turned out. I’m eating one right now! They are moist, not too sweet, and have good apple cinnamon flavor. I substituted applesauce for the sour cream and non-dairy milk for the milk because we are lactose intolerant. And I didn’t add the glaze to make it healthier. The only thing I’d change is the crumb topping. I like my crumb more buttery and sweet and this one had too much flour for my taste, and seemed more sandy to me. Overall though a great muffin I’d make again.

  16. I made these for company and they are just amazing. I used gala apples, and it was the perfect sweet and tart combination for the recipe. Thanks so much for sharing! This is defiantly my new muffin-go-to now.

  17. These muffins turned out beautifully! I’m obsessed with all things apple and cinnamon. I’ve already linked one of your recipes on my blog, and I will link this one, too! The jumbo size makes them just like a bakery! Your blog is my fav – keep the yumminess coming!

  18. My goodness, this was a seriously fantastic muffin…so tender! I used sour cream instead of yogurt and omitted the glaze. I managed to pack in two very large honeycrisp apples. The crumble is a beautiful thing 🙂 Thank you for sharing, this is a keeper!

  19. Can these be made into a loaf? I would think so, but wanted to check.

    1. Definitely– but I am unsure of the bake time.

  20. I brought these in to work today and I got TONS of compliments, many saying it was the best muffin they’ve ever had! Very moist and not overly sweet. Normally I avoid making crumble because it’s usually a hassle, but you made it so easy and delicious. Doesn’t need the glaze, it’s perfect without it.

  21. Hi Sally!
    Thank you for another delicious recipe! Tried these muffins yesterday and they were amazing!!
    The combination of apple and spice was delicious and not overly sweet- perfect for breakfast. This was my first time making crumb topping like that and it was easy and delicious 🙂 We made these muffins without the glaze and they were awesome like that and I’m sure they would be good with it as well !
    Looking forward to trying your peach muffins and chocolate muffins soon 😀
    Thanks again!

  22. Tried these today, delicious!!!!

  23. The smell of the crumble is a good enough reason to make it first:put the bowl somewhere in nose-range, because those wafts are gorgeous. Seriously, these muffins are the real deal. They’re so perfectly moist and brown sugar-y, I just want to build my house out of them.

  24. OMG THEY ARE THE BEST MUFFINS IVE EVER MADE! EVERYONE LOVES THEM.

  25. Omg!! I just made these for breakfast this morning and they are AWESOMED loved them.. Perfect texture.. Strussel on top was crunchy.. Mmmmm someone rescue this yummy deliciousness because I will devour it all!!

  26. i just took these out of the oven.  How long should they cool before taking out of pan?  Should I pour glaze on before that or after?  I’m leaving them into cool now so they don’t fall apart but not sure when to glaze.  They smell yummy!  Thanks for the recipe. 

    1. You can remove them from the pan to enjoy while they are warm. I recommend glazing while they are warm as well.

  27. Amazing!!!!! Made for  a brunch and people were fighting over last few! It must be a forgiving recipe bc between a two year old running around and a 3 month old on my hip we got these made and they were amazing!!!!! Thank you!

  28. When my teenage boys high five me and call me “da bomb,” I know I’ll be making these muffins again very soon!!!  Didn’t have yogurt in the house, so used sour cream instead – made the muffins super moist.  Another winner, Sally – thanks!

  29. Katie Clark says:

    I’ve never left a comment before, but oh my god, these were so so so good. My fiance asked for muffins this morning, and we had some apples that needed to be eaten. I found this recipe and he is in love with them! He told me that they’re better than any of the muffins from his favorite childhood bakery. So delicious!

  30. Shelley Schuck says:

    I used half and half dark brown sugar and light in both topping and muffin.  For glaze I used coffee creamer Cream Brûlée flavor!  AWESOME!!!!!!

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