When it comes to baking at home, we hope our recipes will turn out as good, if not better, than the bakery down the street. It’s a fair expectation, and our homemade treats should be well worth our time and our efforts. Rest assured, these Apple Crumble Muffins will not disappoint, and they are worth every single moment in the kitchen. Not that you’ll need that many moments for this particular recipe. These beauties come together quickly.
Not only will we cover what it takes to whip up an incredible batch of apple muffins, we’ll also get you caught up on what it takes to make the perfect crumble topping, along with tips for freezing your muffins for make-ahead mornings on the go.
This is a sponsored written by The Anthony Kitchen in conjunction with Rodelle Vanilla. All opinions are entirely my own.
A (MOSTLY) GUILT-FREE BREAKFAST MUFFIN
Muffins are a great morning staple to have on hand, as they stay fresh for days and are freezer-friendly. It’s a breakfast staple you can serve to the whole family and expect to hear only thanks and gratitude in return. Yes. A complaint free morning. It’s practically every mother’s dream. Top it off with a perfect Apple Crumble Muffin and a quiet cup of coffee, and we’re essentially looking at pure bliss here, people.
I wanted an apple muffin recipe that wasn’t completely overloaded with sugar to serve to the little ones at least somewhat guilt-free, yet could still be considered a breakfast treat by all. Which leads me to our first question:
ARE APPLE MUFFINS HEALTHY?
Y’all ready to get real, here? Okay, then. This is a grey area. In comparison to a cupcake, yes, apple muffins could be considered healthy, because, by nature, a muffin contains less sugar than a cupcake. However, if you’re comparing an apple muffin to, let’s say, an apple, then no. It’s definitely not the healthiest option.
Are there healthy apples in the muffin? Absolutely. Is there a somewhat limited amount of sugar per serving? Yes, in this particular recipe, there is. But healthy isn’t necessarily a black-and-white term, and it doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. Therefore, I think we could get away with calling apple muffins healthy-ish, but probably due to the oil, flour, and sugar (limited as it may be), we can’t full-on call them healthy.
That’s not to say you couldn’t necessarily find a whole-grain or paleo apple muffin that could rightfully be coined “healthy,” but as I mentioned before, I still wanted these muffins to be a breakfast treat, one that could rival any bakery in town, and therefore, was happy to settle with healthy-ish.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST APPLE CRUMBLE MUFFINS
In addition to a healthy-ish muffin, other requirements for these Apple Crumble Muffins were:
- Must have a tender crumb on the inside.
- A delectable crumble topping.
- Must be easy to make.
To make apple crumble muffins with a tender crumb and a perfect crumble topping, you’ll begin with the crumble. Before you move into the batter, do yourself a favor and knock out that prep work first.
(1) MAKE THE CRUMBLE TOPPING
WHAT IS A CRUMBLE?
A crumble is a mixture of flour, sugar, and cold butter. Cold butter is key to a perfect crumble, and if your butter is at any other temperature, you’re essentially going to end up with a thick batter instead. Cold butter cubes are mixed into the flour and sugar mixture via a method called “cutting.”
A pastry blender is probably the most common and efficient tool out there for cutting butter, but you could also use a food processor or two knives to work the mixture into a proper crumble.
CAN YOU GUESS WHAT THE CRUMBLE SHOULD FEEL LIKE?
The crumble is good to go when the butter cubes have been broken up into teeny-tiny pieces, just a touch smaller than a pea. Another great way to tell if your crumble is ready is by the texture. Can you guess what it should feel like? The mixture should feel somewhat like damp sand. Not what you expected, huh?
(2) PREP THE APPLES [YOU’RE GONNA WANT THESE TIPS]
In most baking recipes involving apples, you might have noticed the common call for firm, tart apples. This is not the case with Apple Crumble Muffins. For muffins, you want to use a softer variety of apples. This doesn’t mean you want a battered and bruised apple, just not the apple with the crunchiest bite. Golden Delicious or yellow apples are perfect for this recipe.
Once you’ve got the right kind of apple in hand, peel and dice it…small, as in smaller than a 1/4″ cube. Trust me. This is what the people want. All the people…but, particularly the children. So a small dice on the apples, and we’re moving along. Look at us go.
(3) MIX THE DRY INGREDIENTS
Here comes the easy part: To mix the dry ingredients for the Apple Crumble Muffins all you need is a mixing bowl and a whisk. Don’t you just love the simple things?
(4) MIX THE WET INGREDIENTS
Guess what? Mixing the wet ingredients is just as easy as mixing the dry. Bonus! Whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla (we’ll come back to that vanilla in a moment), and the melted butter. Boom. Moving on…to the vanilla.
WHY I USE RODELLE VANILLA EXTRACT
Truth be told, the first time I purchased Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract, it was mostly because I liked the look of the bottle, but after just one round of baking, it was impossible to go back to any other brand of vanilla extract. In fact, you can actually see the difference in quality when compared to other brands — and, I’m not talking about the outside anymore, I’m talking about the inside. And as we all know, it’s what’s inside that counts.
Before I could pull the seal off of Rodelle’s Pure Vanilla Extract, I had about one teaspoon of vanilla leftover from another bottle to use up. The recipe called for two teaspoons. So that was one teaspoon of the old stuff, and one teaspoon of Rodelle’s. There was not only a difference in the scent of the vanilla but the color was a dead giveaway. Rodelle’s Vanilla was a rich, deep dark brown. Their competitor? An almost translucent amber. Clearly, we have a winner here, folks.
Rodelle Vanilla Extract is produced from the highest quality bourbon vanilla beans, and their percolation process produces a superior vanilla. A difference you can see, smell, and most importantly, taste.
(5) MAKE THE BATTER — GENTLE NOW!
Remember how easy it was to mix up all those ingredients? Well bringing it all home is just as easy. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and very gently, stir to combine. Be sure to stop as soon as the batter comes together. Overmixing the batter can cause them to be tough. Add in those apples, stir once more, and start scooping.
(6) SCOOP AND BAKE TO PERFECTION. BUT, DON’T FORGET…
Another great thing about these Apple Crumble Muffins, besides the fact that they’re so, so easy to make and 100% delicious, is they bake up fast. But, before they go into the oven, don’t forget to add that beautiful crumble topping. I may (or may not) be speaking from personal experience.
The muffins are ready when the tops are springy to the touch and the muffins are a beautiful golden brown. Can’t you just smell the cinnamon already?
We’ve covered quite a bit, so here’s a quick overview of your new favorite Apple Crumble Muffin recipe:
- Make the crumble topping.
- Prepare the apples.
- Whisk the wet ingredients.
- Mix the dry ingredients.
- Gently mix the batter together.
- Bake and devour…or freeze!
Oh yes, I said freeze.
HOW TO FREEZE APPLE MUFFINS
To freeze apple muffins simply allow them to cool completely and place them in either a freezer-safe, ziptop bag or an airtight, freezer-safe storage container. If using the plastic bag, remove as much as possible (without squishing the muffins) before sealing. If using a storage container, try to find a container that fits the muffin just right. You don’t want a ton of blank space in there.
So not only do you have an easy muffin recipe on hand, you have a make-ahead muffin recipe on hand. This means mornings just got a whole lot easier…and a whole lot tastier.
Apple Crumble Muffins are worth every second in the kitchen, but as I promised earlier, they’ll only take up a scant amount of your time. Just a small amount of prep and the scent of cinnamon will soon be wafting from room to room. They’re quick to make, and could easily rival any bakery in town in both taste and quality. A muffin you can serve to the family, and feel good about. Enjoy your Apple Crumble Muffins.
MORE APPLE RECIPES TO TRY
- If you want a festive apple dessert that everyone will thoroughly enjoy, yet doesn’t take all day in the kitchen, Apple Pudding is the perfect recipe to have on hand. It’s a quick-fix that’s decadently moist, loaded with big apple flavor, easy to make and tastes amazing. Think bread pudding meets cake. How amazing does that sound?
- Homemade Apple Pie doesn’t need to be complicated and you certainly don’t need an onslaught of ingredients. You can make perfect apple pie with nothing but the essentials…and this recipe!
- Easy Apple Pumpkin Butter is the perfect appetizer for entertaining, and looks particularly adorable on a cookie platter! Learn how to arrange a beautiful platter and make a stellar spread your guests will adore!
- Baked Brie with Apples and Walnuts is the perfect mix of sweet and savory, melty and crunchy. It features apples smothered in a cinnamon, caramel-type sauce, and melty baked brie. It’s easy to make and perfect for any party!
Perfectly tender and fluffy Apple Crumble Muffins, with a crumble topping and a hint of cinnamon.
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, separated
- 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups finely diced apple, from a peeled Golden Delicious or yellow apple
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, sea salt, and cinnamon.
Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the mixture until it starts to come together and has a texture similar to sand. Set aside until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 425° and have ready a greased, 12-cup muffin tin lined with muffin liners.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl whisk together 1 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, fine sea salt, and cinnamon.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together brown sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Whisk in melted butter. With a sturdy spoon, stir in dry ingredients just until the batter comes together. Do not overmix.
Toss the diced apples in the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour, add to batter, and gently to combine.
Fill the muffin liners 3/4 of the way full and top each with a scant tablespoon of the crumble. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, serve, and enjoy.
If you have leftover batter, reserve and add to muffin tin once the first batch of muffins has finished baking and the tin has cooled slightly.
Makes 14-16 muffins.
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