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. Im very happy with finding your website. I have made so many of your recipes. This one did not disappoint either. The only thing I didn’t do was make the icing.
    So light and fluffy the texture and flavor are amazing. A++.

  2. Thank you this wonderful recipe as well as many others! This is by far the best muffin recipe. I’ve made it several times and it’s always a big hit. I did add a little oatmeal to the topping.

  3. Wow, just wow. My family loved these and I took some leftovers to our neighbors who love professionally made sweets. I am not a chef. But these made me look like an amazing chef! My neighbors said they were the best muffins they have ever tasted. I followed the recipe exactly and now understand the importance of room temperature with ingredients. Thank you so much for the recipe! 😉

  4. I don’t post to many reviews but I really needed to on this awesome muffin recipe. I’ve made this over a dozen times. I use apple, blueberry, or any other fruit on hand. This is a great recipe as written. I didn’t have yogurt a few times and used sour cream. Thank you for such a spectacular recipe.

  5. Was wondering if you could use apple pie filling instead of apples? Thank you very much. Love your recipes.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Audrey! We don’t suggest it as the apple pie filling will be more wet and sweet – it would take additional recipe testing to accommodate those changes.

  6. I shredded one apple on the big holes of a box grater. It really amped up the apple flavor. Great muffins

  7. I made these with my 8 year old granddaughter-they are her favorite to have before & after school.
    She loves to bake and has been helping me since the age of 2!! She also watches the cooking channel
    a lot and picks up baking tips for us-we followed your recipe as written-they are perfect!

  8. Jayne Crayton says:

    Could these be made with oil instead of butter?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jayne, we wouldn’t recommend it. The butter creates an incredible flavor and texture, and the muffins could taste quite rubbery without it. You could try solid coconut oil in its place (although we haven’t tested this ourselves) — but we strongly recommend using butter. Let us know if you give these a go!

  9. Very good but too fussy to make and too messy to eat.

  10. My kids are not fans of apple chunks in desserts. Would the recipy stay the same if I grate the apple in a box grater instead?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Klea, there may be another minute or two to add to the baking time using grated apples, but otherwise all should stay the same. Hope your kids enjoy these muffins!

  11. I will be making these for next week. What are the best apples to use for this recipe?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kimberly, any apples you love best will work. We like to use Granny Smith, Fuji, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady. Hope they’re a hit at work!

  12. Deborah Mclellan says:

    Hi Sally
    I am new to your site this recipe sounds amazing. I want to make jumbo muffins, would I need to make a ny changes to the recipe for 6 jumbo muffins?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Deborah! See recipe notes for jumbo muffin directions. Enjoy!

  13. I LOVE this recipe!!!!!!! I’ve used this recipe in so many different ways. I’ve made cranberry-orange, cranberry-apple, caramel apple, and will soon be trying blueberry muffins. All of them have tasted amazing (with some modifications to the recipe). I did have to decrease the baking time at 350° to 18 minutes instead of 22 for the ones that had cranberry (just to keep them moist).

  14. Laurel Hinshaw says:

    These turned out delicious!! However, they were more of a cake consistency than a muffin. I prefer my muffins to be more dense. Is there something I can do to the recipe to make it more dense?

    1. Hi Laurel! Definitely– to make a heavier muffin, replace all of the milk with yogurt. (So use 3/4 cup yogurt.) You could also try adding an extra 1/4 cup flour.

  15. Lisa Rowland says:

    These are the best muffins I have ever had! Just amazing! And I went to culinary school and have a food business. I will add one thing you should always do aside from the 425 for 5 minutes. After portioning the muffins, rest the batter for maybe 20 minutes to get more rise. I do it with all muffins that I bake. But again, seriously delicious recipe. This one is on frequent repeat now. Thank you! Wow!!

  16. This is THE best recipe I have come across for muffins. Ever. Just one question though, I was thinking about adding oats to the muffins and to the crumb. Do you think this can be done safely without any adjustments – or adjust the flour?

    Thanks!

  17. These turned out excellent!

  18. Have you tried replacing any of the sugar with honey or maple syrup? I am trying to reduce sugar. Thank You

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Gail! We haven’t tested honey in the recipe, let us know if you give it a try! You may also love these Morning Glory Muffins that are sweetened with honey and are super customizable with different add-ins.

  19. Joanne McGowan says:

    Can I substitute sour cream for the yogurt?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Definitely!

  20. Katie McConnell says:

    Do you have any tips for making this a loaf? One or two, cooking temp and time? Loaves are so perfect for traveling.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Katie! You can definitely bake this recipe in a loaf pan. We’re unsure of the exact baking time.

  21. Connie Wilson says:

    I confess when I read reviews that say “Your recipe is so delicious. I made it but substituted flax flour, stevia, and who-knows-what.” I just think it must not taste like the original. B-u-t I have my own substitute story! I didn’t know there wasn’t any milk in the refrigerator until I had started the recipe. I was looking for a substitute —-no sour cream, no yogurt, there was some lemonade, but then my husband said “How about that Jack Daniels Apple Whiskey?” So-o-o, I made your recipe but made one small substitute. They were DELICIOUS!!!!

  22. Sharon Yarowy says:

    Can I substitute some whole grain flour say a cup to mk them more healthy.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sharon, you can certainly try, but expect a denser, heavier muffin. Hope you enjoy them!

  23. These muffins are so good! However, I was wondering if I could leave the peel on?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Natalie, you can leave the peel on for some added texture if you’d like. Glad you enjoy these muffins!

  24. Baking in the oven as we speak…whole house smells wonderful. We make 12 instead of 14. We use Greek vanilla yogurt and omit icing altogether….great for lunch with coffee or tea. My son and I love them….like apple pie in a muffin. Thanks!!!

  25. Hi! What can I do if I have neither yogurt nor sour cream? Will it be fine if I just leave it out?

  26. My son and I LOVE these muffins. We do not put on any glaze and they are still delicious…I have used regular vanilla or greek yogurt. It makes 14 perfect moist muffins. We love them so much my son keeps bugging me to double the recipe.

  27. I have a question: can I bake the topping for use n other desserts?
    I have made these muffins many times and they are always great!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Donna! Yes, you can use the topping for other desserts if desired. We’re thrilled you love them!

  28. These muffins were great!! Whipped them up on a rainy day and now the house actually smells like a bakery. I love it. Thank you so much for this recipe ^o^

  29. Hello Sally,
    I was wondering what kind of apples you personally use for this recipe?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jessica, any apples you love best will work. We like to use Granny Smith, Fuji, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady.

  30. Annette Allan says:

    Fabulous muffins . Couldn’t believe that they turned out sooo good . The next day they were still soft and delicious which is great if I need to make them for the next day . Thank you for sharing such a great recipe .

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