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Apple Muffins

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These wholesome apple muffins are full of spice and everything nice.

Apple Muffins

Adapted from King Arthur Flour, these apple muffins are made partially with whole wheat flour, which gives them a wholesome, nutty flavor and toasty-brown color. They’re also chockfull of tart apples and enriched with low-fat yogurt, so no one could ever accuse them of being cupcakes pretending to be muffins.

The recipe calls for a full tablespoon of cinnamon along with a hint of nutmeg and cloves, so your house will smell amazing while the muffins bake. But the best part of these apple muffins might just be the simple brown sugar topping, which gives the lids an irresistible crunch. If you’d prefer something that you can slice and share, my cinnamon swirl apple bread is chock-full of apples, has similar flavors, and is equally alluring.

“I made these gorgeous muffins, they are easy to make, so very light and tasty. Perfect for the autumnal or winter season.”

Patricia

What You’ll Need To Make Apple Muffins

how to make apple muffins
  • Butter: Provides richness and flavor to the muffins.
  • Granulated Sugar and Brown Sugar: Sweeten the muffins while adding moisture and subtle caramel-like flavor.
  • Egg: Binds the ingredients together and provides structure to the muffins.
  • Plain Low-Fat Yogurt or Greek Yogurt: Adds moisture and richness to the muffins and interacts with the baking soda to help them rise.
  • Whole Wheat Flour and All-purpose Flour: The foundation of the muffins. The use of whole wheat flour provides a wholesome, nutty flavor and lovely color.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda: Leavening agents that help the muffins rise and give them a fluffy texture.
  • Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Cloves: Infuse the muffins with warm, aromatic spices that complement the apples.
  • Apples: Provide moisture, sweetness, and texture to the muffins. Make sure to use baking apples that are firm enough to hold their shape when baked. See the FAQ’s for what brands of apples are considered best for baking.
  • Brown Sugar: Adds a crunchy, sweet topping to the muffins enhancing the flavor and texture.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-by-Step Instructions

To begin, combine the butter, sugar, and brown sugar.

creaming butter and sugar

Beat until light and fluffy.

how to make apple muffins

Add the egg.

how to make apple muffins

Then beat again.

how to make apple muffins

Add the yogurt.

how to make apple muffins

Beat again.

how to make apple muffins

Add all the dry ingredients right to the bowl.

dry ingredients

Mix until just combined. Note that the batter will be very thick.

how to make apple muffins

Add the diced apples.

diced apples in batter

Then stir them in.

batter with apples

Use an ice cream scoop to transfer the batter to a muffin tin.

apple muffin batter in muffin pan

Sprinkle the tops generously with brown sugar.

apple muffin batter and brown sugar topping in muffin pan

Bake for about 25 minutes.

apple muffins fresh out of the oven

Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are baking apples?

Baking apples, such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Gala, Jonagold, Jonathan, and Golden Delicious varieties, are firm and tart, making them ideal for baking because they hold their shape and retain their texture during the baking process. Their tartness balances the sweetness of baked goods, and their firmness prevents them from turning mushy, ensuring a pleasing texture in baked treats. They’re also ideal in apple pie and apple crisp.

Can I use all whole wheat flour?

Using all whole wheat flour may make the muffins dry. If you have white whole wheat flour, that would work nicely. If not, I’d suggest using 1½ cups of whole wheat and ½ cup all-purpose flour. 

Can I make apple muffins ahead? And how should I store apple muffins?

Because the apples help to keep them moist, the muffins will keep nicely for several days. Store them at room temperature in an airtight container lined with a sheet of paper towels. Arrange the muffins in a single layer and cover them with another sheet of paper towels to absorb any excess moisture.

Can I freeze apple muffins?

Absolutely! The muffins can be frozen in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag for up to 3 months. Thaw for 3 to 4 hours on the countertop before serving. To reheat, wrap individual muffins in aluminum foil and place in a preheated 350° oven until warm.

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Spiced Apple Muffins

These wholesome apple muffins are full of spice and everything nice.

Servings: 12 muffins
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with back edge of knife
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with back edge of knife
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups peeled, cored, and finely chopped baking apples (you'll need 2 large apples)

For Topping

  • 6 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with butter or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  3. Add the egg and mix well, stopping to scrape the bowl if necessary.
  4. Beat in the yogurt. The batter will look grainy.
  5. Add the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Beat on low speed until just combined. The batter will be very thick.
  6. Add the chopped apples and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix.
  7. Use an ice-cream scooper or large spoon to divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. The cups should be full. Sprinkle the 6 tablespoons of brown sugar evenly over top.
  8. Bake the muffins for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  9. Remove the muffins from the oven, cool them for 5 minutes in the pan, then turn them out onto a rack to finish cooling completely.
  10. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The muffins can be frozen in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag for up to 3 months. Thaw for 3 to 4 hours on the countertop before serving. To reheat, wrap individual muffins in aluminum foil and place in a preheated 350°F oven until warm.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 muffin
  • Calories: 221
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 33g
  • Sugar: 16g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Sodium: 207mg
  • Cholesterol: 37mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • Hi Jen, what size portioning scoop would you recommend?
    Thanks

    • — Renatta Salada on December 23, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Renatta, You’ll need a #20 (3 tablespoon) scoop. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 24, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Can I use turbinado sugar rather than dark brown sugar for the muffin topping?
    Thank you!

    • — Leslie on November 11, 2023
    • Reply
    • Yep!

      • — Jenn on November 13, 2023
      • Reply
  • I made these and they are so light and fluffy. Used AP flour only, full fat yogurt and grated the apples (Honeycrisp). So good. Definitely a keeper!!!!

    • — Renee P on November 4, 2023
    • Reply
  • The muffins were very delicious. Thank you. I added chopped walnuts to the brown sugar mixed with melted butter. Great flavor. And the muffins were very moist.

    The only problem I had is that ,at 375F, the brown sugar burnt a little. Is it okay to lower the temperature to 350F?

    Thank you Jenn.

    • — Lucy Sim Conway on October 20, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Lucy, Glad you liked them! You could lower the temperature and keep them in the oven a bit longer or, when you see the sugar starting to burn, gently lay a piece of foil overtop of the muffins.

      • — Jenn on October 23, 2023
      • Reply
  • Delicious! A great fall muffin recipe. Thank you Jenn 🙂

    • — Sabrina Amaral on October 19, 2023
    • Reply
  • Can I use light brown sugar instead of dark, maybe use all light for both kinds of sugar. Do you think this we’ll work?

    • — Heather on October 1, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure, Heather, that will work. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 2, 2023
      • Reply
  • Wow, are these good! So fluffy and light! I made muffins and a 8×8 pan. Now, I had to adjust for a low sugar/high altitude home, but these rock! We love big. bold flavors and I added more spice (nutmeg). I didn’t have yogurt but looked online to see a substitution. With all of my adjustments, there were tons of room for error but these came out scrumptious. And I’ve never even been to this website, either. I am bookmarking this site!!

    • — mommato2 on September 19, 2023
    • Reply
  • Lovely light moist muffins! Even my husband who doesn’t have too much of a sweet tooth loved them!
    I probably put half the amount of dark brown sugar over the top.

    • — Suzie on August 10, 2023
    • Reply
  • Very dry:(

    • — Michelle on April 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi,
    Do you think these muffins would be ok in mini muffin tins? If yes, could you recommend a baking time?

    • — Lorraine on April 13, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Lorraine, Mini muffins would work here, just make sure to chop the apples into small chunks. I’d bake them for 10-15 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

      • — Jenn on April 13, 2023
      • Reply
  • Could I do this in a loaf pan? And can I do the brown sugar like with your cinnamon swirl apple bread? Got some greek yogurt I need to use. Thank you in advance Chef!

    • — Joanna on January 22, 2023
    • Reply
    • Yes and yes — hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 24, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    I made these muffins without the brown sugar topping and regretted it. The muffins did smell wonderful but tasted bland. It surprised me since the spices diffused a wonderful scent in my home.

    • — Danielle Theriault-Lindquist on January 14, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hello Danielle,

      I included the brown sugar topping and the muffins tasted bland to me (sweet but bland).

      Felicia B.

      • — Felicia Becker on February 5, 2023
      • Reply
  • I only use Gluten Free flour because of celiac disease. This recipe calls for partial wheat
    flour. Can I just substitute regular GF flour?

    • — Carol S O'Neill on December 29, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on December 29, 2022
      • Reply
  • Question: If I only have K.A. unbleached A.P flour, would the liquid measurements be the same? I THINK?? Whole wheat flour recipes use a hit mire liquid?? Not sure though

    • — Jo on November 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Jo, all the measurements will be the same. Enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 8, 2022
      • Reply
  • Made this as a 9×5 loaf and it turned out wonderful. I lowered temp to 350 and baked 45 minutes. I used a hand chopper to chop the apples into fine bits based on some comments mentioning grating the apples. Substitutions due to what I had on hand. 1/2 c. sour cream, 1/2 c. 2% yogurt. allspice vs cloves.
    Turned out very moist. We really liked the flavor. Thanks, Jenn, for another great recipe.

    • — Danita on November 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • These are in the oven now, they smell delicious. I did use sour cream though, I picked up vanilla yogurt by mistake. would this be okay in these muffins? Thanks!!

    • — char on November 3, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Char, because vanilla yogurt has sugar added to it, going with sour cream was the right choice. Hope they taste as good as they smell!

      • — Jenn on November 3, 2022
      • Reply
  • Would adding raisins and chopped pecans work with this recipe or change the texture too much? If it would not be a bad match could you recommend amount of each. Thank you for your wonderful recipes and this easy to use site! Viki

    • — Viki on November 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Viki, both would be nice here. I’d suggest 1/2 cup of each. I’d love to hear how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on November 2, 2022
      • Reply
  • I made these gorgeous muffins, they are easy to make, so very light and tasty. Perfect for the autumnal or winter season. I had to substitute ground cloves for mixed spice but this seemed to work well.

    • — Patricia Tobin on November 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • I am interested in making these muffins, and was wondering if I can substitute sour cream for the yogurt?

    • — sharon on October 30, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on October 31, 2022
      • Reply

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