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Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Crunchy Sugar Topping

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.

cake-yazdi-recipe
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.

Apple-cinnamon-muffins-with-crunchy-sugar-topping
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.

apple-and-cinnamon-muffins-recipe
Never overmix muffin batter to avoid a rubbery texture. A little flour is still showing in my batter.

 

Apple-cinnamon-muffins-recipe-with-crunchy-sugar-topping
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!

Ingredients: 

(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)

Method:

  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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