Snickerdoodle Muffins with Apples

Recipe Video Pin
50 minutes
12 muffins

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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.

An apple spice muffin on a paper liner with a bite taken out of it.

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!

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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.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe!

·         Iconic Cookie Flavor -The Snickerdoodle, a classic cinnamon-sugar cookie, inspires the muffin’s distinctive taste.
·         Fresh Apple – The classic taste of Snickerdoodles is cleverly combined with the natural sweetness of fresh apples.
·         Omitting Sour Cream and Oil – Apple keeps the crumb moist without the need for sour cream or vegetable oil.
·         Moist and Fluffy – Fewer ingredients achieve a perfect texture with the addition of juicy apple bits.
·         Quick Bake – Perfect for those impromptu baking impulses, with a short bake time of around 20 minutes.

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

A labeled ingredient image demonstrating all of the necessary componants for baking Apple Snickerdoodle Muffins.

For the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Swirl and the Snickerdoodle Topping

A labeled ingredient image demonstrating all of the necessary components for the brown sugar cinnamon swirl which is baked into Apple Snickerdoodle Muffins.
  • 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.

See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.

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.
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Tip: Do Not Overmix!

Avoid overmixing the batter, as doing so runs the risk of yielding dense muffins.


This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!

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

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Tip: Bring Eggs to Room Temperature Quickly

Place eggs in lukewarm water, no hotter than 98°F. Let the egg stand for at least 15 minutes but no longer than 2 hours.

Hands pouring ground cinnamon and flour into a bowl of brown sugar and stirring it.

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.

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Tip: Always Cool Melted Butter Before Using

If melted butter is too hot, it can ‘cook’ the eggs. Let it sit for 10 minutes before use or transfer to a small bowl for faster cooling.

Hands adding ingredients to a bowl and beating the ingredients for snickerdoodle muffins with apples.

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)

Hands adding dry ingredients to a bowl of wet ingredients and beating to create a fall spice muffin batter.

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)

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Tip: Batter May Be Refrigerated and Baked Later!

If not baking immediately, cover and refrigerate muffin batter overnight. This makes muffins moister, taller, and softer due to flour absorbing moisture, and eases even batter distribution.

Hands adding spice muffin batter to a muffin tin for apple snickerdoodle muffins.

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.

Hands brushing melted butter over hot muffins then sprinkling with a cinnamon sugar topping for apple snickerdoodle muffins.

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.

Serving Occasions

  • 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.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use any apple variety?

Yes, but firmer varieties like Granny Smith are ideal for baking.

How do I keep the muffins from becoming soggy?

Add several saltine crackers to the airtight container you plan to store the muffins in, so they absorb the moisture.

Can these muffins be frozen for later use?

Absolutely! Freeze in zip-lock bags for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature to enjoy.


After trying this recipe, I would love to hear your thoughts! Consider leaving a star rating in the recipe card located below or sharing your feedback in the comment section. Your reviews and comments are highly valued and appreciated.

A warm Snickerdoodle muffin beside an apple on a cooling rack.

Snickerdoodle Muffins with Apples

Jenny DeRemer
Taste the familiar flavors of a classic Snickerdoodle cookie combined with juicy apples in these mouth-watering muffins. Perfectly moist and topped with a crispy cinnamon sugar layer.
5 from 8 votes
Servings: 12 muffins
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 262 kcal


  • 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.



Cool the muffins entirely before storing them in an airtight container with several saltine crackers tossed in to absorb moisture. Muffins may be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. 
For more extended storage, freeze in zip-lock bags for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature.

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.


Serving: 1muffinCalories: 262kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 5gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 280mgPotassium: 78mgFiber: 2gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 328IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 65mgIron: 2mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. I really like the look of the parchment paper liners. How large are the squares and how do you fold them?5 stars

    1. Barbara, these tulip parchment liners were purchased. Each liner is 6 3/4 inches square. I am sure there is a trick to folding them, but I purchased the ones in my photos based purely on how much baking we do in the test kitchen. We require 30 to 50 liners when testing a single recipe depending on the success of the method, etc, so it makes more sense. They come in soooo many pretty colors. I made the link in this reply clickable so you can see them. Oven-safe up to 425°F. 🙂 Jenny

        1. I checked them out and then thought I would see if you could do it yourself. You can, BUT definitely not worth the time and effort at the price for 100! I will be ordering them!

  2. Ooh save one for me! These look heavenly! What a delicious morning muffin (or dessert)! There is just something so comforting about a fresh baked good in the fall with a cup of coffee to start the day.5 stars

    1. Tammy, I couldn’t agree with you more! How about you head on over and we’ll snack on Snickerdoodle muffins and pour some wine…I promise they sort of go together!

  3. Jenny, I just discovered your website today and love some of your recipes. I’ve printed a couple of them today as I don’t “pin”. Although I llike the size of the color picture, it seems a bit large and takes a lot of color ink when printing. I really like it when a recipe is no more than 2 pages. Wonder if others feel the same way? Maybe consider re-formatting it that the ingredients could be 2 columns, less wide margins, left/right justified copy, etc. to take up less space? Not trying to sound picky, was a journalism major. Like to print it 2-sided/one piece of paper. Thanks for any consideration.5 stars

    1. Kathy, this message has been the most pondered over and milled about message to which I have responded. I did send you an email immediately following receipt of your message, so do look to read from me in your spam folder if I did not land in your inbox.

      It’s as if you were reading my mind. I have been wanting to and meaning to change the recipe card for some time, not for the same reasons you cited, rather just because I did not like it. To give you some context, the plugin (a plugin is a ‘program’ which structures recipes) comes with built-in templates. You have to pick from what’s there or customize your own. In the beginning when I was a baby blogger, I truly thought I would break the internet if I played with my plugins. So, I didn’t. Until last week when I received your message.

      My super awesome tech dude Andrew and I are discussing the templates. You likely have not been on to see that since your message, there have been modifications to that original, though small. None of the templates offer columns that look correct with ads running, so we are looking at customizing and pulling in a 3rd party to help with the ads. I rely on the ads as this is my full-time job, so they must stay. But…we can make it look better and more cohesive while keeping them in place I should think.

      Anyway, for the moment, and until I either seek out new paid-for templates or am able to modify what I already have available to me, the photograph for now has been reduced in size. I hope this is at least a start 🙂

      I’ll try emailing you again if I do not hear from you first. Jenny

      1. Interesting about the recipe format. I prefer printing out the recipe also. Whatever the format, it doesn’t matter. I am a Mac user and have a recipe program called MacGourmet Deluxe. I love it! When I come across a recipe I simply copy and paste the ingredients, directions, picture, and source into the program. It prints out on two pages with a small picture. You can also add pictures of other things in the directions. There are many recipe programs out there for Microsoft users.5 stars

        1. Barbara, I’ve not heard of this program until now. It sounds helpful for users looking to manage their recipes and create a unique/personal recipe database. Thank you for alerting me to this program 🙂 Jenny