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Snickerdoodle Muffins with Apples are a spin on classic Snickerdoodle cookies in muffin form studded with autumn’s favorite fruit, the apple! This recipe yields twelve perfectly moist autumn muffins or approximately 36 mini muffins with the help of sweet, chopped apples rather than sour cream.
Elevate your morning with Snickerdoodle Muffins with sweet apples. A cinnamon sugar cookie twist perfect for breakfast or snack. If fall muffins weren’t on your list, the autumnal aroma from baking fall muffin recipes will change your mind. And yes, I’ve suggested both gluten-free AND vegan variations beneath the ingredients list!
Apple Snickerdoodle Muffins are among my favorites for dessert and breakfast. Double batch and freeze for on-the-go treats! For more scrummy breakfast muffin recipes, bake these Apple Cranberry and Cheddar Muffins or these amazing Berry Good Cornmeal Streusel Muffins.
Apple Snickerdoodle Muffin Ingredients
The Snickerdoodle Apple Muffin batter uses pantry staples like baking powder, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. For the apple, choose a firm, blemish-free variety. I favor Granny Smith for its tartness, complementing the muffin’s sweetness.
For the Apple Snickerdoodle Muffin Batter
For the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Swirl and the Snickerdoodle Topping
- Apples: Use any variety, but I recommend Granny Smith or Winesap for their texture and flavor. Found in the produce section.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter. It is located in the dairy aisle.
- Eggs: Ensure they are at room temperature. Eggs can be found in the dairy section.
- Milk: Whether you use whole milk, 2%, or buttermilk affects the muffin’s texture. Buttermilk makes them fluffier, while whole or 2% gives a denser, coffee cake-like consistency. It’s about preference.
- Baking Powder: Essential for ensuring proper rise, texture, and, indirectly, the flavor of the muffins. Without it, the results will be dense, flat, and less flavorful.
- Sugar: Both dark or light brown sugar and granulated sugar are essential for the recipe’s sweetness and texture. Located in the baking aisle.
- Flour: All-purpose flour is ideal, but gluten-free all-purpose and white whole wheat alternatives may result in a denser bake. Found in the baking section.
Substitutions and Variations
When making substitutions, texture, cooking time, and flavor may change. Monitor your muffins closely when trying a new variation!
- Pears: As mentioned in the original recipe, pears can directly replace apples.
- Apple Sauce: You can use unsweetened apple sauce if you’re out of fresh apples. This will maintain moisture but may slightly alter the texture.
- Coconut Sugar: A less refined sugar with a slight caramel flavor, which makes a good substitution for granulated white sugar.
- Honey or Maple Syrup: Natural sweeteners, though they may change the batter’s consistency, ultimately increasing the baking time slightly.
- White Whole Wheat Flour: This will make the muffins denser but adds fiber.
- Almond Flour or Coconut Flour: Good for those on low-carb or gluten-free diets. Adjustments might be needed for consistency.
- Flaxseed or Chia Seed “Eggs”: Use 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed or chia seeds mixed with 2.5 tablespoons of water for every egg. Let sit for 10 minutes before using. This is a great vegan alternative.
- Snickerdoodle Nut Muffins: Add chopped walnuts or pecans for a crunchy texture.
- Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodle Muffins: Introduce chocolate chips to the batter for a chocolatey kick.
- Vegan Snickerdoodle Muffins: Use the flaxseed “eggs” substitution, coconut oil instead of butter, and a dairy-free milk alternative.
- Spiced Snickerdoodle Muffins: Intensify this fall muffin recipe’s flavor profile by adding spices like nutmeg, allspice, or cardamom.
A Buying Guide for Apples
Choose firm, blemish-free apples for baking. Granny Smith’s tartness balances baked good’s sweetness. Support local farmers by buying from farmer’s markets or orchards for sustainability and superior flavor and texture.
Can the Muffin Batter Be Made Ahead?
In general, chilling muffin batter improves results: refrigerated batter produces taller, moister muffins due to flour absorbing moisture, leading to softer texture. Also, cool batter spreads more evenly. Refrigerate up to 24 hours and let sit 20 minutes before baking. These apple cinnamon muffins benefit from chilling.
Step By Step Instructions
Prep the Sugar Mixtures
Step 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. For the brown sugar cinnamon swirl, mix 1/4 cup brown sugar (dark or light), 2 teaspoons flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt. (Image 1)
Step 2. Whisk the mixture, breaking sugar lumps. Set aside. For the cinnamon sugar topping, combine 1 teaspoon cinnamon with 1/4 cup granulated sugar and whisk. Set this aside too. (Image 2)
Step 3. Wash, peel, and chop 1 apple. Optionally, toss with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon for enhanced flavor in these apple cinnamon Snickerdoodles. Set aside.
Prep the Muffin Batter
Step 4. In a large mixing bowl, combine room temperature eggs, 6 tablespoons cooled melted butter, milk, and vanilla. (Image 3) Beat the wet ingredients with an electric mixer until combined. (Image 4)
Step 5. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt with 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour. (Image 5) Whisk to combine, again breaking any sugar lumps. (Image 6)
Step 6. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. (Image 7) Again use your electric mixer to beat the wet and dry ingredients together until JUST COMBINED. (Image 8) It is okay to have streaks of dry mixture in the batter.
Step 7. Add the coarsely chopped apple bits and pieces to the batter. (Image 9) Use a spatula to fold the apples in, again until JUST COMBINED. (Image 10)
Step 8. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with 1 tablespoon softened, unsalted butter, or use baking spray or decorative paper liners. (Image 11) Use a scoop to portion equal amounts of the apple spice batter into each muffin cup. (Image 12)
Step 9. Sprinkle each portion of batter liberally with the brown sugar cinnamon swirl mixture. (Image 13) Use the back of a knife to ‘swirl’ the brown sugar cinnamon swirl mixture into the batter.
Partially embedding the sugar mixture in the batter creates a moist ribbon inside and a semi-crunchy coffee cake-like top in the final bake. (Image 14)
Step 10. Bake the muffins on the center rack of the oven for 22 to 24 minutes, testing for doneness beginning at the 20-minute mark. Use a wooden pick inserted into the centers, ensuring they pull out clean to determine doneness.
Step 11. After removing the muffin tin from the oven, set it on a wire rack for 1-2 minutes. Loosen the muffins with a knife’s back and transfer to the rack. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter as the muffins cool.
Step 12. Brush the muffin tops generously with the butter. (Image 15) Sprinkle just as generously with the prepared cinnamon sugar topping mixture. (Image 16) Enjoy!
How to Serve Snickerdoodle Muffins
- Plating: Dust muffins with cinnamon or powdered sugar. Display on a decorative plate, platter, or rustic wooden board with fresh apple slices or cinnamon sticks for added flair.
- Butters & Spreads: Offer whipped butter, apple butter, or honey to spread on the muffins. These enhance the flavor and add a layer of creaminess.
- Breakfast/Brunch: Serve muffins in a napkin-lined basket with fruit salad, granola, or eggs.
- Snack Time: Ideal for mid-morning or afternoon breaks with a hot beverage.
- Savory Foods and Other Sweets: For brunch, muffins counter savory dishes like quiches or bacon and pair well with scones, croissants, or fruit tarts for a varied spread.
Jenny’s Recipe Pro Tips
- Mix Wet and Dry Ingredients in Separate Bowls: Until ready to incorporate, mix in separate bowls to prevent the muffin mix from being over-mixed.
- To prevent the muffin top from getting soggy during storage, toss several saltine crackers into the container with the muffins. The crackers will absorb the excess moisture.
- If the muffins have been stored or are a day old, consider warming them slightly in the oven or microwave. This revives the freshness and enhances the flavors.
Yes, but firmer varieties like Granny Smith are ideal for baking.
Add several saltine crackers to the airtight container you plan to store the muffins in, so they absorb the moisture.
Absolutely! Freeze in zip-lock bags for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature to enjoy.
Snickerdoodle Muffins with Apples
- 12-cup muffin tin
- 1 large apple peeled, cored, and chopped
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon divided
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar divided
- 1/2 cup brown sugar divided
- 9 tablespoon unsalted butter divided; 1 tablespoon softened, remaining 6 tablespoons melted and cooled, remaining 2 tablespoons melted JUST BEFORE garnishing muffins
- 1 1/2 cups + 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour divided
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt divided
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ¼ cup milk room temperature; may be whole, 2%, or buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. If you plan to bake the muffins immediately, liberally grease a 12-cup muffin tin with 1 tablespoon of softened butter. Alternatively, omit the tablespoon of softened butter and use paper liners or baking spray. NOTE: Muffin batter may be made ahead and refrigerated up to 24 hours before baking.
- In a small bowl, stir 1 teaspoon cinnamon into 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Mix well and set aside. Peel, core, and chop the apple. Toss in 1 teaspoon cinnamon and set aside. To make the brown sugar cinnamon swirl, stir together 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the room-temperature eggs with 6 tablespoons of melted butter (cooled), milk, and vanilla at medium-low speed until well combined.
- Whisk the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, remaining 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon sea salt in a separate bowl. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix on medium-low until JUST incorporated. It is okay to have visible streaks of the flour mixture.
- Add the chopped apple along with any juices accumulated in the bowl. Fold in using a spatula until JUST combined. Use a scoop to evenly distribute the batter to the muffin cups.
- Sprinkle the brown sugar cinnamon swirl mixture over each portion of batter. Use the back of a knife to swirl the sugar into the batter.
- Bake on the center rack for 22 to 24 minutes or until a pick inserted into the center comes away clean. Begin testing for doneness at the 20-minute mark, as ovens vary.
- Remove the muffins from the oven and place the tin on a wire cooling grid for 2 minutes. Use the back of a knife to loosen the muffins if necessary. Spill the tin of muffins onto the cooling rack. Let sit for 10 minutes or until able to handle safely.
- Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter while the muffins cool. Use a pastry brush to brush the butter onto each muffin top. Finish by sprinkling the cinnamon sugar over the muffin tops.
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.