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Moist and tender muffins full of tart, chunky apples and topped with a melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon and oat streusel. A great staple muffin recipe for fall!
Move over, pumpkin! There’s a new sheriff in town, and it’s come bearing cinnamon and nutmeg and cloves and all the best spices fall has to offer. I love you, pumpkin, but before we become all things peppermint, we have to give a shoutout to the next best flavor this season has to offer.
Apples in my granola, apples in my pie, apples in my crisp (with ice cream!), and even in my smoothie… There is no bad time for apple treats, but the fall is especially great in the Northeast part of the country, because orchards are overflowing with apples and many people I know are filling their freezers with homemade applesauce and apple butter.
So why not bring November’s Muffin of The Month to the breakfast table bearing fall’s greatest produce: apples doused in cinnamon and spices, and, of course, a streusel topping.
But not just any streusel topping. An oat streusel topping. OH, yes. We will get to that!
Remember last month when I said reinventing the wheel is one of my very favorite things to do when it comes to recipes? I said that my classic cinnamon streusel coffee cake from several years ago yielded some amazing coffee cake muffins, so I jazzed the recipe up a bit to make October’s chai streusel muffins.
One recipe (essentially), three different outcomes. It just works. Why mess with it?
We’re doing the same thing again for these apple cinnamon oat streusel muffins, thanks to my tried and true apple cinnamon streusel bread recipe. That recipe is OLD.
But that doesn’t make it any less awesome, because to be perfectly honest, that’s a bread I’ve gone to time and time again this time of year to give to a friend who just had a baby, gift to someone who could use a little treat, or as a way to use up some apples that are taking up space on the kitchen counter.
It’s quick, it’s easy, and it tastes aaaaamazing.
So I turned it into muffins! And added a little something extra to the streusel because who doesn’t love a little oat action up in their breakfast?
These apple cinnamon muffins are sweetened with deep notes of brown sugar and their moisture comes completely from oil. We’re not using butter in the actual muffin batter, so the buttery flavor will come from all of that oat streusel topping.
In my original quick bread recipe, I used apple butter, which I had made homemade. I opted for applesauce in these muffins because I didn’t have any apple butter on hand, and the swap worked beautifully.
So feel free to use applesauce or apple butter in your muffins. Bonus points if you make homemade applesauce in your InstantPot!
We’re also going with the Granny Smith variety of apples because they lend the best texture and flavor to apple baked goods. If you’re feeling something else apple-y, by all means, go for it.
You’ll need about 2 cups of chopped apples, so adjust accordingly if you’re using a smaller apple.
We loooooooved these muffins, and the toddler, especially, kept asking for more. He’s become accustomed to trying new muffin flavors on the regular this year, and I think he might wonder where all the muffins went once 2019 rolls around and we have a new monthly recipe!
But until then, let’s savor the last bites of November’s muffin because before you know it, things will be all jolly and jingly up in here and apples will be long gone. Tuck this one away when you’re feeling apples could use some love!
Apple Cinnamon Oat Streusel Muffins
- ¼ cup brown sugar be sure to measure properly
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup oil vegetable or canola
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce store bought or homemade or apple butter (store bought or homemade)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large or 2 small/medium Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, and chopped into small chunks (about 2 cups)
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Spray the wells of a cupcake pan with non-stick spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, oats, and ground cinnamon. Toss together with a fork.
- Add your softened, cubed butter and work into sugar mixture with a fork or your fingers until pea-sized clumps form. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, ground cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ground cloves, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, apple butter, and vanilla until smooth. Whisk in both sugars until no clumps remain.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir gently until just combined and no white flour streaks remain. Gently fold in chopped apples.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared wells. Sprinkle oat streusel mixture evenly onto each of the mounds of batter, about 3/4 Tablespoon for each. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes, then, without opening the oven door, decrease the temperature to 350ºF and bake for an additional 15-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving. Leftovers can be kept covered at room temperature for 4 days or in the refrigerator up to 6 days. Muffins freeze well, up to 2 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight or thaw in the microwave about 10 seconds.