I know I am the minority on this one, but pumpkin spice everything is not my favorite thing about fall. Although I do like pumpkin bread and chai tea, my fall obsession is apples. My daughters and I love apples so much we go through about 15 pounds of them every week!
We try to make it to the local orchard at least once every fall. The kids love it! We have so much fun riding the hay ride, picking apples, drinking hot apple cider, and of course, eating apple cider doughnuts. We always end up bringing a couple of dozen home with us. I’ve tried to replicate those doughnuts many times without success. The recipes have been okay; I just haven’t found that perfect one yet.
On my last attempt, the doughnuts were just too dense and kind of dry, but they had great flavor. With a few minor tweaks, I found the recipe makes amazing apple muffins! The texture is a bit like a corn muffin, but very moist and flavorful. And when you add the apple cider cream cheese glaze, watch out! You won’t stop at just one!
Add the sugar and butter in a mixing bowl.
Beat on medium speed until sandy.
Add in the egg and vanilla, scrape the bowl, then stir in apples.
Gradually blend in the flour mixture.
Beat to make a sticky dough, scraping sides occasionally; do not over mix.
Add cupcake liners to a muffin tin and fill 2/3 full with dough.
Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar crumble liberally on top of each muffin. The dough will expand as it bakes so use more than you think you will need. The first time I baked the muffins, the kids complained I didn’t get enough of the crumble on each muffin.
Bake for 6 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for an additional 4 minutes to ensure even baking (may take more or less time depending on your oven). Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Meanwhile simmer 1 cup cider in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 1/4 cup.
Add the cream cheese and powdered sugar. (This time I used the plastic mixing bowl and double beater on my Ankarsrum Original mixer.)
Blend until smooth.
Add in the reduced cider, and beat until combined thoroughly. Add extra cider, as needed, to desired consistency.
Cool muffins slightly on a wire rack then drizzle with the cider cream cheese glaze.