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 themÂ 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 triedÂ to replicate those doughnuts many times without success. The recipes have been okay; IÂ just haven’t found that perfectÂ 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!Â 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!
For the Cinnamon Sugar Crumb Topping
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
For the muffin dough:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups chopped apples
For the Cream Cheese Glaze
- 1 cup apple cider, plus extra to get desired consistency
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 4 oz room-temp cream cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
For the Cinnamon Sugar Crumb Topping:
- In a small bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Add butter, stirring until incorporated.
- Using your fingertips, finish working butter into flour mixture, squeezing until a nice crumbly mixture forms.
For the dough:
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
- Beat sugar and the butter in a mixer bowl on medium speed until sandy.
- Add in the eggs 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. (NOTE: I made the dough ahead of time and refrigerated overnight. I baked the muffins the next day after allowing the dough to sit out for about 15-20 minutes.)
- Add cupcake liners to a muffin pan 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, make the Cream Cheese Glaze:
- Simmer 1 cup cider in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 10-15 mins).
- In a mixing bowl, blend cream cheese with the sugar and then add in the reduced cider. Mix thoroughly so it's smooth, set aside.
- Cool muffins slightly on a wire rack then drizzle with the cider cream cheese glaze.