Skip to main content

Apple Muffins

Incomparably moist muffins made with freshly grated apples and a healthy dose of spice are just the thing to have right now with a large cup of coffee or a small espresso.  These somewhat innocuous-looking muffins may seem a bit squat & unassuming when they come out of the oven, but I warn you, they're addictively good.  Made with a large amount of the season's best apples along with delicious brown sugar & tangy buttermilk, my muffins have just enough batter to hold them together.  Cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg are naturals with apples, but so is cardamom.  Adding just a small amount of ground cardamom enhances the batter and really makes the flavor of the apples shine through.

Many varieties of apples are in season right now, and I highly encourage each & everyone of you to seek out the most flavorful and juiciest at a farmer's market near you.  If you want these morsels to taste of apple, the fruit must be delicious to begin with or else you may end up with bland muffins.  While testing the recipe I used a mix of apples that I enjoy eating (smokehouse, honeycrisp, golden delicious just to name a few), but I also made sure to test one batch using all granny smith apples.  Much to my surprise, the muffins made with granny smiths had the most apple flavor, while the ones made with a mix of apples had a more subtle, but equally delicious taste to them.

Perfect for a weekend brunch to eat at one's leisure, the muffins are also great to have during the week, either for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.  Completely optional but highly delicious is a cream cheese spread sweetened with a bit of brown sugar to top the muffins.  The tang of the cream cheese pairs nicely with the flavors of apple & spice, at least in my opinion.  What's more, using a low fat cream cheese (neufchâtel) takes away a bit of the guilt from icing them with it, but none of the indulgence.


Apple Muffins with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese.

Apple Muffin Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups {200 gm} all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons {10 ml} baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon {2.5 ml} baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon {1.25 ml} fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon {5 ml} ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon {1.25 ml} freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon {1.25 ml} ground cardamom
  • 6 tablespoons {85 gm} unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed {250 gm} dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups {200 ml} buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 lb {.455 kg} baking apples, peeled & grated (about 2 1/3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup {65 gm} coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese
  • 8 ounces {227 gm} low-fat cream cheese (neufchâtel)
  • 2 tablespoons {30 gm} dark brown sugar

Yield: approximately 18-20 standard muffins
Equipment: Two standard-size muffin pans with 12 cavities each

Center racks & preheat the oven to 375° F (190°C)

In a large bowl sift the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, fine sea salt, ground cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg and ground cardamom; stir to combine thoroughly.

In a 2 quart saucepan, melt the 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter over low heat and set it aside to cool to tepid.

Note: in the ingredients picture I was using a 1 qt. saucepan and found it too small, so make sure you use a 2 qt. sized one.

Core & peel the apples.  Grate them into a medium bowl and pour in the buttermilk; stir to combine.

Add the eggs to the room temperature melted butter and whisk to combine.  Make sure the eggs are well blended.

Add the dark brown sugar and whisk to combine thoroughly.  Eliminate any lumps that may be found in the brown sugar.  The mixture will lighten, thicken and take on a dark caramel color.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

Add the melted butter, egg & sugar mixture.

Stir to combine with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until almost blended; you still want to see a bit of flour.  Add the reserved apples & buttermilk.  Stir to combine.  Add the chopped walnuts (if using) and blend evenly.

This is what the batter will look like.  Thick, fragrant and quite delicious.  Go ahead, have a small taste.

Spray your muffin tins with a nonstick cooking spray or line them with muffin liners if you prefer.  Portion out the batter filling each cavity at least 3/4 full.  I would even venture to say to fill them all the way to the top because this batter will not spill over.  It's much too thick to do that.

Place the pans in the oven &
bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

The muffins should feel set & spring back when tapped in the center.  A toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin should come out clean.

When you remove them from the oven, let the muffins sit in the tins for 5 minutes before removing them onto racks to cool down.

Storage: the muffins will keep for up to 2 days at room temperature in an airtight container.  To freeze for up to 1 month, set the muffins on a large cookie sheet & freeze until completely solid.  Transfer them into zip top freezer bags and seal well.  Thaw at room temperature or in a small toaster oven.

To make the cream cheese spread, mix the cream cheese & dark brown sugar in a small bowl with a spatula until completely smooth.  The spread will keep for up to 1 week, well-covered, in the refrigerator.

Warm muffins are placed in a yellow ware bowl lined with yellow & black linen napkins to keep them warm.

 Suitable for breakfast, the muffins are very delectable with afternoon tea.

Most muffins are best eaten the same day they are made, but these apple muffins stay perfectly moist and edible for up to 2 days.  If you plan on spreading the muffins with the brown sugar cream cheese, do so right before serving.  Any leftover ones that happen to be iced should be refrigerated.  If you're having guests over for a weekend brunch, place the muffins in a large bowl lined with a kitchen towel and have a smaller bowl of the cream cheese at the table set & ready.  I can almost guarantee that everyone is going to devour these tasty morsels in no time.  Enjoy them with your favorite hot beverage or even with some cold milk if you prefer.  Apple muffins are delicious, very much of the season and great any time of day. 


Popular posts from this blog

Antique Salt Cellars

There was a time when salt cellars played an important role on the dining table for the host or hostess.  As a result of it being such an expensive commodity several hundred years ago, salt was seen as a luxury and it was the well to do that made salt cellars quite fashionable & a status symbol for the home.  A single salt cellar usually sat at the head of the table and was passed around throughout the meal.  The closer one sat to the salt cellar, the more important one was deemed by the head of the household.  Smaller cellars that were more accessible and with an open top became a part of Victorian table settings.  Fast forward to the 20th century when salt was no longer a luxury and when anti caking agents were added to make salt free-flowing, and one begins to see salt cellars fall out of fashion.  Luckily for the collector and for those of us who like to set a table with Good Things , this can prove to be a boon. Salt cellars for the table come in silver, porcelain, cut glass

How to Paint a Chair

If you have ever felt the need to spruce up a set of chairs or give them a new look, why not try a little bit of paint?  Our tastes in decor and color will probably alter throughout our lives, and at some point, we may find ourselves wanting to change the look of our furniture without having to spend a lot of money.  That's where a few handy tips, some tools from the hardware store, and good-quality paint come in handy.   I know I'm not alone in paying visits to local antique shops, antique fairs and flea markets, and falling in love with pieces of furniture that would be perfect if they were just a different color.  You don't have to walk away from a good purchase simply because it's the wrong color.   My dear friend, Jeffrey, is forever enhancing his home with collectibles from flea markets and tag sales.  However, certain items aren't always up to Jeffrey's tastes when he brings them home.  He is the type of person who won't hesitate to chang

Collecting Jadeite

With its origins dating back to the 1930s, jadeite glassware began its mass production through the McKee Glass Co. in Pennsylvania. Their introduction of the Skokie green & Jade kitchenware lines ushered in our fascination with this jade color.  Glassmakers catered jadeite to the American public as an inexpensive alternative to earthenware soon after the Depression, both for the home and for its use in restaurants.  The Jeanette Glass Company and Anchor Hocking introduced their own patterns and styles, which for many collectors, produced some of the most sought after pieces.  Companies marketed this beautiful glass under the monikers of jadite , jadeite , jade glass , jad-ite , jade-ite , so however you want to spell it, let it draw you in for a closer look.  If you want a thorough history of the origins of jadeite, collectors’ pricing, patterns & shapes (don’t forget the reproductions in 2000), I highly suggest picking up the book by Joe Keller & David Ross called, Jadei