These apple butter muffins are perfectly moist and packed with our favorite fall spices! Use homemade or store bought apple butter in the batter, and finish with our quick cinnamon crumble topping. Ready in under an hour!
Buckle up, friends, because these apple cinnamon muffins are about to be your new autumnal BFFs.
You'll need the usual suspects for this muffin batter (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder/soda) plus a healthy dose of our favorite cozy fall spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, etc) and a big scoop of our favorite homemade apple butter.
We’re also adding a quick crumb topping (just butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and flour) to these apple muffins for some extra texture.
This recipe is simple enough for a lazy weekend breakfast, but impressive enough for your next holiday brunch (kicking off Thanksgiving or Christmas with a batch of cozy apple spice muffins? YES, PLEASE).
Choose your apple butter
We developed this recipe to work with both our original stovetop apple butter recipe and this slow cooker version. You can use fresh, refrigerated, or previously frozen apple butter (so if there's a jar hiding in the back of your freezer, you can definitely defrost it and use it here!)
This recipe has also been tested with store bought apple butter and plain ol' applesauce. It's pretty forgiving, so use what you have on hand!
How to make apple muffins
These homemade apple muffins have three main steps:
- Make the crumb topping. Mix room temperature butter with brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour to form your crumble topping. Set this aside until you’re ready to bake!
- Mix the dry ingredients. Mix all of your dry ingredients and spices together in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients. Whisk some melted butter, apple butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a small bowl or measuring cup, then stir this mixture into your dry ingredients until you have a smooth batter. Then just assemble, bake, and enjoy!
Pro tip: Use a kitchen scale!
Measuring flour by volume (with cups) is notoriously unreliable: everyone measures a cup of flour a little bit differently, so it’s easy to accidentally use too much (which results in dry, dense muffins!)
But when you measure flour with a kitchen scale (using gram measurements) you measure flour perfectly every time, ensuring a light, moist muffin (or cake! or cookie! or any baked good!) So if you have a kitchen scale, please use it!
No kitchen scale? Measure your flour with the scoop and level method for best results!
Swaps and substitutions
These apple crumble muffins are fairly forgiving - dial up the flavor and make them your own! Some of our favorite riffs and adjustments:
- Use store bought apple butter or applesauce instead of homemade apple butter if you like! We’ve tested this recipe with our stovetop and slow cooker apple butter recipes, as well as with Eden Organic Apple Butter and store-bought applesauce.
- Drizzle a cream cheese glaze over these muffins! Whisk a bit of softened cream cheese with powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and a few teaspoons of milk to form a thin glaze.
- For extra texture, fold chopped walnuts or pecans into the batter before baking! You can also fold in chopped apples, pears, or peaches here.
- Swap the melted butter in the batter for liquid coconut oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil. You can also use solid coconut oil instead of room temperature butter for the crumble topping if you like!
A Few FAQs
Yes! These muffins freeze very well. Let them cool completely, then store in a Stasher Bag or airtight container (or wrap with plastic wrap) and freeze for 2-3 months. Reheat in the oven at 325° F for 10-15 minutes until warmed through.
Yes - you can easily make these apple muffins without butter! Just swap the butter for coconut oil (use solid coconut oil for the crumble topping, and melted coconut oil in the batter).
More ways to use extra apple butter
Don't forget to check out our full collection of recipes that use apple butter! Here are a few of our favorites:
- Apple Butter Spice Cake with Maple Frosting
- Apple Butter & Brie Crostini
- Apple Butter Coffee Cake
- Apple Butter French Toast
Easy apple butter muffins with a quick crumble topping!
For the crumb topping
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons butter (at room temperature, softened)
For the muffin batter
- 200 grams sugar (about 1 cup)
- 210 grams flour (about 1 ¾ cups when measured correctly by scooping and leveling)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (6 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (5 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (5 grams)
- 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon (10 grams)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 200 grams apple butter (about ¾ cup)
- ½ cup melted butter (113g)
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven & prepare your muffin tins:
- Heat oven to 425° Fahrenheit. NOTE: you will reduce this temperature part way through baking.
- Line muffin tins with paper liners or silicone liners.
Mix the crumb topping:
- Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, and softened butter in a small bowl to form a sandy, lumpy mixture. Set aside while making the muffin batter.
MIX THE MUFFIN BATTER:
- In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
- In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together apple butter, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until no lumps remain.
- Spoon batter into your prepared muffin tins. Fill tins about ⅔ full. (We like to use a cookie scoop to make sure all muffins are the same size).
- Top each muffin with 1 or 2 teaspoons of the crumb topping.
- Put muffins into the oven. Bake for 5 minutes at 425° F, then reduce the temperature to 375° F and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Transfer muffins to a wire cooling rack. Serve warm or let cool completely before storing.
Which apple butter should I use? We recommend using our Stovetop Apple Butter or our Slow Cooker Apple Butter for this recipe! You can also use apple butter made with a different recipe, store-bought apple butter, or applesauce - just keep in mind that sweetness and flavor can vary across brands and recipes!
Let your apple butter come to room temperature before using it if you can: when the apple butter is too cold, it makes the butter seize up a bit and you end up with a thicker batter that’s a little more difficult to stir. Not the end of the world, but it saves some time and effort if the apple butter isn’t cold!
Additions and substitutions. Replace the butter in the muffin batter with coconut oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil. Use plain applesauce in place of apple butter if you like. Fold toasted nuts (walnuts, pecans) or diced fruit (apples, pears, peaches) into the batter before baking for extra texture. Use a pinch of turbinado sugar instead of the crumb topping if you like. Drizzle a quick cream cheese glaze over the top of the muffins when they’re cooled (use this in place of or in addition to the crumb topping).
If you have a kitchen scale, please use it here! Measuring flour by volume (with cups) is notoriously unreliable – for best results, grab your scale and use the gram measurements provided! If you need to measure the flour here with cups, use the scoop and level method for best results. Flour is the most unreliable ingredient to measure by weight, which is why we’ve listed the gram measurement for the flour first in the ingredients list above. The rest of the ingredients here are fairly consistent when measured by volume, so you can follow the volume measurements for those if you prefer – but we’ve also included gram measurements if you’d like to measure everything by weight! For small amounts (1 teaspoon and less) we recommend just using a volume (teaspoon) measurement because many kitchen scales aren’t reliable in such small amounts.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 276
- Sugar: 24.1 g
- Sodium: 316.6 mg
- Fat: 10.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 42.8 g
- Protein: 3.4 g
- Cholesterol: 56.4 mg
Keywords: fall, autumn, thanksgiving
The photos for this recipe were taken by Casey at The Mindful Hapa!
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