Big, buttery cinnamon apple muffins with a brown sugar crumb topping and sweet vanilla icing. Better than a bakery, trust me!
These giant, bakery-style apple crumb muffins aren’t really a summertime recipe, but oh well. Apple anything makes my heart skip a beat!
On top of the stunning and surreal sites we saw in the Rocky Mountains the other week – we ate some pretty darn incredible food too. For example, a “cookie dough delight” cookie sandwich so rich that it took two days to finish. (Seriously.)
Kevin and I also visited a couple little bakeries each morning for breakfast. The first day, a giant melt-in-your-mouth apple crumb muffin stared me in the eye. A sucker for anything apple flavored, I bought it intending to share with him. Somehow the muffin disappeared before he got a bite. Whoops?
And here I am two weeks later… still thinking about that glazed apple crumb muffin! I tried my hand at a few test batches this past weekend and after two bland disappointments, came out with a winner. Third time’s a charm!
Ohhhhh my lanta, these have to be the best muffins I’ve ever made.
I use the same basic muffin recipe as my blueberry muffins. I wanted a light textured, buttery muffin reminiscent of the bakery’s muffin I had in Colorado. If you’ve tried the blueberry streusel muffins, you know today’s apple version will be mouthwatering. Plus, there’s icing. (!!)
Eggs and yogurt leave each muffin fabulously moist. I call the two my “power ingredients” in this recipe. They are both crucial to the muffin’s texture! If you do not have yogurt on hand, sour cream is an easy substitute.
Buttery and soft, the center of the muffins are bursting with warm, juicy apples. Apples in every single bite. I sweeten the muffins with mostly all brown sugar. In my eyes, brown sugar is an essential flavor when baking with apples. There’s a whole lot of cinnamon too – both in the muffin batter and the crumb topping.
Let’s talk about that crumb topping. I can’t even type “crumb topping” without my stomach growling. It’s THEE best part about this muffin recipe! It’s made from melted butter, brown sugar, a touch of white sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Mix it all up and crumble with your hands over the muffin batter before baking. I made sure some crumbs stayed in larger chunks. Those were the best bites!
Helpful tip: after topping, make sure you press the crumbs down into the batter so it sticks when the muffins rise in the oven.
Another helpful tip: pick off and eat the crumb topping off the baked muffins first. 🙂
Bake these muffins at an initial high temperature, then reduce to a lower temperature. Why do I do this? This hot burst of air will lift the top of the muffin up quickly, then the inside of the muffin can bake for the remainder of the time. This guarantees a tall, high domed muffin like the kind you love from the coffee shop.
And don’t forget to top with vanilla icing!
Go ahead, indulge. I promise you’ll still be dreaming about these brown sugared, cinnamon apple muffins weeks after one taste. I cannot sing enough praises for them; without a doubt a new favorite muffin recipe!
Glazed Apple Crumb Muffins
- 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
- 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, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (60ml) milk (any kind), at room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 cups peeled, chopped apple (2 small apples)
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners' sugar
- 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream (or milk for a less creamy texture)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make the crumb topping: In a medium bowl, combine both sugars, the cinnamon, and melted butter. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the flour. The crumb topping will be thick and crumbly. Set aside.
- 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 muffins.
- 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 uniform in texture. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, add the milk and apple, and mix on low speed until everything is combined.
- Spoon the batter evenly into each cup or liner, filling each all the way to the top. Press a handful of the crumb topping into the top of each; crumble it with your hands to make some big chunks.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F (218°C) degrees, then keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C) and bake for 15-17 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 20-22 minutes.
- Make the icing: whisk all of the ingredients together and drizzle over warm muffins.
- Muffins stay fresh stored at room temperature for a few days-- then transfer to the fridge for up to 1 week.
Make ahead tip: For longer storage, freeze glazed or unglazed muffins for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature or warm up in the microwave if desired.
For 6 jumbo muffins using a jumbo muffin pan, increase baking time to 28-29 total minutes: 5 initial minutes at 425°F (218°C) and 23-24 minutes at 350°F (177°C).
*Use your favorite yogurt; I prefer low fat plain Greek yogurt but regular (not Greek) would be just fine. Try with apple flavored, vanilla, honey, nonfat, or full fat. Sour cream works as well.
*Why is everything at room temperature? room temperature makes a BIG difference!
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For a blueberry version, try my Blueberry Muffins!