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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. 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: Best Muffin Recipe. 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 180g), 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 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

By the way, if you want to skip the mixer, try these applesauce muffins, pumpkin muffins, & healthy apple muffins.

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 (just like apple cupcakes), 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 1x
  • 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

Scale

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 (180gpeeled & 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. Make the muffins: Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. 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°F, 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. 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: Bake at 425°F for 5 minutes, then reduce to 350°F for 22–25 minutes, for a total of 27–30 minutes. Makes about 6. For mini muffins: Bake at 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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I love anything apple so these should please me well. Going to add some walnuts tho gotta have them too. Thank you for all the good recipes, have enjoyed all I’ve made. Have a real sweet day… Smile

  2. I just made theses apple muffins. Wow, they are delicious.
    Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. The Apple-Cinnamon Crumb Muffins are delicious! They’re now my husband’s favorite.
      Do you have any tips on how to use this recipe for a sheet cake?

  3. These were amazing !!! Wondering if you have frozen them and how does the crumble stand up?

    1. Hi Judy, we’re so glad you loved these! The crumble is still great after freezing the muffins, but it’s best to freeze the muffins without the icing and add the icing after thawing and before serving.

  4. These are the best muffins I’ve ever made. Just so light and delicious. Thank you!

    1. I made these yesterday and it is a GREAT recipe.The best I have ever made!!!

  5. Sally’s Baking Addiction is my go-to stop for the best baking recipes! However, I have noticed that on several recipes the info is correct on the webpage, but when I go to print the recipe it leaves out ingredients or quantities. I’d rather cook following a printed recipe, but on this site it’s best to use it directly from the web format.

    1. Hi Lynette, that definitely shouldn’t be the case! Can you please send an email to sally@sallysbakingaddiction.com to let us know which recipes this is happening with so we can look into it? Thank you!

  6. I’ve made these many, many times! They are my go to recipe for muffins, especially in the fall. These are always a hit with everyone!

  7. I’ve recently made these muffins and they were a huge hit with my young kids as well as my husband! Will make again and again

    1. This recipe is delicious. The muffins were light and moist. I will defitely bake these again!

  8. I made this a few different ways and each way turned out great! I followed the recipe as follows for the first batch, grated the apples instead of cubed them for the second, and used oat milk and a plant based butter (for a dairy free family member) and all 3 ways were successful. The dairy free batter was thinner but still turned out!

  9. This is a great recipe! I have a lot of left over crumb topping. Can I save this? For how long? Fridge? Freezer? Thanks!

  10. I had planned to make muffins for my family this weekend but found I was missing some ingredients for the recipe I was planning to use so I looked for a different option. This recipe is the one I settled on and man, oh man am I glad I did. I’ve made a lot of muffins over the years but these may be the best I’ve ever cooked. Perfectly moist, sweet but not too sweet (I opted not to use the glaze). So yummy Definitely saving this one!

  11. They were delicious but definitely the most work I’ve ever put into muffins. I didn’t have eggs so I used flax seeds and it turned out great. I’d imagine it’d even tastier with eggs.

      1. Hi Liza, In a pinch you can try to substitute BOTH the yogurt and milk with buttermilk – so you would use 3/4 cup of buttermilk in place of the yogurt and the milk. Let us know if you try it!

  12. Love your recipes and get your emails and follow you on Facebook the only think I would love to see is nutritional information at the end of a recipe so as a Weight Watcher I can check my points and tweak the recipe some to fit my lifrstyle. The one thing I will never change your chocolate chip cookie. The best ever!!!!! Thankd

    1. Thank you so much for making and trusting our recipes, Ida! We don’t usually include nutrition information as it can vary between different brands of the same ingredients. Plus, many recipes have ingredient substitutions or optional ingredients listed. However, there are many handy online calculators where you can plug in and customize your exact ingredients/brands. Readers have found this one especially helpful: https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076

  13. Just tried these yesterday, minus the icing. Excellent muffins, will pin on my “Great Recipes” board. Thanks for sharing your recipes and love of baking.

  14. These are delicious. I doubled the recipe, and it made 32 muffins. I also used pumpkin flavored greek yogurt, just because I had some. Yum! Oh, do read the recipe and add the flour AFTER you add the butter to the crumb topping. I didn’t add the glaze – muffins were great without it.

  15. Sally, another wonderful recipe! I added some pecans and a little oats to the crumble for extra crunch. I love your recipes and I’m not afraid to make them for company even if I haven’t tried them before. Thanks!

  16. These muffins were absolutely amazing! I omitted the cinnamon in the muffin mix & the vanilla & apple flavour was gorgeous, the crunchy cinnamon topping made them special. Another family favourite curtesy of Sally- thank you!

  17. Hi Sally, I’ve made 4 or 5 of your recipes so far and every single one has been absolutely PERFECT. Pardon me for thinking this, but at first I thought your reviews must be fake because almost every recipe you have has a near rating of 5 out of 5 stars, but I now realize that your recipes are indeed tested and true and that is why you have such high ratings!!! Haha
    So thank you for another fantastic recipe. These muffins were sooo delicious. Not too sweet, perfectly moist and very well-spiced!

    1. I can’t wait to try these! When making the mini muffins, do you still do a shot of high heat for 5 minutes and then lower to 350 for the remaining 9-11 minutes?

      1. Hi Erin! Skip the high heat blast for mini muffins – bake at 350°F for 12-14 minutes.

  18. THESE ARE AMAZING!!!!! The best muffins I’ve ever had! I get tired of basic muffins like blueberry so I decided to make these and OH MY GOSH they are delicious!!! I’m about to make them again this morning!

  19. I made the jumbo muffins (6). They do not have the moistness that other reviewers have described. I baked at 425 for 5 min then lowered the temp to 350 for another 23 minutes. Too long? I believe I did everything else as recipe instructs.

    1. Hi Sharon, it sounds like the muffins may have been over baked if they were a bit dry. If you wish to try again, we’d recommend reducing your bake time by just a minute or two and use a toothpick to test for doneness. Thank you for giving these a try!

  20. Made these into jumbo muffins yesterday, and halved the crumb mixture and they still had plenty on each one. Also made them by hand as I didn’t feel like pulling out the mixer and got an arm workout, still turned out amazing and totally worth it. As always you are my go to when it comes to baking.

  21. Sally thanks for the great recipes, you are also my go to site!❤️ I found you when I started to make bread in the last couple years, your videos were a great help. I made this recipe yesterday but substitute pears for the apples since a friend dropped off a bag of pears. Tasted great even without the vanilla frosting! Looking forward to making more of your great fall recipes!

  22. I have made these several times and they are amazing! Thank you so very much. One quick question for your team… Could I shred the apples like the recipe for your healthy apple muffins? Would I alter any of the other ingredients? Thank you to all of you… Have an incredibly blessed week!

    1. Hi Helen! We recommend sticking with apple chunks for this recipe. So glad you love them!

  23. These are amazing!! I added a 1/4 Teaspoon each of Cardamom and Coriander to both the batter and the crumb topping. These will be a go to!

    1. Hi Carolyn, we wish we could help, but we have no experience baking at high altitude. Some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html

  24. Made these gluten free using bob’s red mill 1 to 1 and there were absolutely amazing! So perfect and delicious. Thank you!

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