Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Crunchy Sugar Topping

I should have shared this apple cinnamon muffin recipe much earlier because these are one of my best and so easy to make anyone equipped with a bowl, large spoon and an oven can make them. But things got in the way and this post had to wait. Until today.

I make many different kinds of muffins. The apple cinnamon muffin is a family favourite. My family and friends also love my Rosewater & Cardamom Muffins (keyk yazdi). That recipe is one of readers’ favourites too and often appears in the list of their top ten favourites.

These muffins were inspired by a Persian cardamom and rosewater cake called keyk yazdi (Yazdi cakes).

Persians love cinnamon and use a lot of cinnamon in cooking and baking. My mum’s rice layered with a mixture of cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, cumin, rose petals and chicken is fabulous. Our saffron rice pudding is always topped with cinnamon. Many of our pastries are filled with a mixture of nuts, cinnamon and other spices too. So the scent of cinnamon wafting from the oven through the house always evokes lots of lovely memories.

A basket filled with easy to make apple cinnamon muffins that take no time to make is great for treating friends.

I took a basketful of my apple cinnamon muffins to work yesterday. They were wolfed down pretty quickly. My son was annoyed he could only have two yesterday so this morning I made him another batch. This time I added some walnut bits to the topping which made the muffins even better.

Never overmix muffin batter to avoid a rubbery texture. A little flour is still showing in my batter.


These muffins are ready for the oven. This batch had no walnuts. The coarse sugar will form a crunchy top when baked.

The key to making moist muffins is not to mix the batter too much. Just mix enough with a spoon to moisten the dry ingredients. These muffins are good as soon as they cool enough to handle but I love them even more the next day. They get moister and tastier as flavours meld. So set your bowl, spoon and ingredients out and let’s get baking!


(Makes 12 regular muffins)

  • 280g flour (two cups)
  • 150g caster sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 2 eggs
  • 120ml Greek yoghurt or any thick yoghurt (1/2 cup)
  • 60ml oil (1/4 cup) – I always use olive oil)
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 cups chopped apples (about three small apples)
  • 12 small slices of apple to decorate
  • Coarse sugar for the topping (muscavado is best)
  • A handful of walnut bits (optional)
  • Icing sugar to dust (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases.
  2. Put flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and the spices in a large bowl and mix well with a spoon or whisk.
  3. Mix the eggs, oil and yoghurt in another bowl or in a small jug and mix well with a spoon.
  4. Make a hole in the middle of the flour mix and add all the wet ingredients. Mix with a spoon until the flour is almost moistened. Don’t overmix. The batter should be lumpy or muffins will have a rubbery texture. Add the chopped apples and stir again very gently.
  5. Use two oiled spoons or an ice cream scoop (self-release type) to divide the batter in the paper cases. Top each muffin with a small slice of apple. Sprinkle some walnut bits, about half a teaspoon of sugar and a little more cinnamon on top of each muffin if you wish. Bake for 24 minutes or until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. Cool the muffins on a rack. Dust with icing sugar if desired. Enjoy!

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