It’s apple cider season! There are few things more comforting than a hot cup of spiced cider by a backyard fire. At least three times, I’ll grab a jug of locally-made cider at the farmer’s market and use it in some baking and drinking. This time of year, apple cider donuts are all the rage. Sure, they’re delicious. But this year, I’m putting my own spin on this popular fall treat. How about some Apple Cider Muffins?
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some donuts. When done well, they’re soft and fluffy and delicious with coffee in the mornings. And sometimes I just really crave a thick, indulgent donut covered in sprinkles. But more often than not, muffins are my preferred breakfast pastry. They’re quick, versatile, and easy to make in a pinch.
I’ve had a hard time finding apple cider donuts around here this year. Usually I make it to an apple orchard at least once during the fall, but unfortunately not this year. After a few recent conversations with friends at brunch, I got inspired to put my own spin on this fall classic. So, here we are with Apple Cider Muffins.
This recipe took a few rounds of testing. I really wanted to nail the warm, spiced apple cider flavor everyone loves. Well, third time is definitely the charm, because batch number three got it just right. Instead of butter, I used unsweetened applesauce, and for a big boost of flavor, added some apple pie spice. What exactly is apple pie spice, you might ask? It’s a blend of spices commonly used in apple pie and other apple-based desserts: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, and allspice. You can find premade apple pie spice at the grocery store, or make your own blend. It makes such a difference in these muffins!
Side note: I’ve also been loving cardamom this year. It’s warm and floral and just lovely. I blame Great British Bake-Off. Every week, there’s always someone who makes an orange-cardamom something. I may or may not be experimenting with my own orange-cardamom recipes… but that’s for another day.
How to Make Apple Cider Muffins
These are quick and come together in as little as 30 minutes!
- Combine the dry ingredients. Add flour, spices, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and whisk.
- Combine the wet ingredients. Mix applesauce, maple syrup, cider, egg, and vanilla.
- Mix the two together. Add wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until just combined. Don’t over-mix, or else you’ll get tough, chewy muffins!
- Scoop into your muffin tin. I love using an ice cream scoop for almost perfect muffin proportions. I also lightly greased my muffin tin, or you can use paper liners.
- Bake at 400 degrees for just 20 minutes.
- Coat them with cinnamon sugar. This is optional but delicious. While the muffins are still warm, brush them with melted butter and dust with cinnamon sugar.
Let’s make some Apple Cider Muffins.
If you enjoyed my Apple Cider Muffins, you might like these recipes, too!
- 4 Fabulous Fall Drinks
- Orange Oatmeal Craisin Cookies
- Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Baked Peach Donuts
- Sunday Morning Muffins
Apple Cider Muffins
- 2 1/4 cups flour, sifted
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp each: cardamom, allspice, nutmeg, ginger
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl; set aside.
Mix apple cider, egg, vanilla, applesauce, and maple syrup in a larger bowl.
Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Scoop batter into a lightly greased (or lined) muffin tin; each well should be about 3/4 full.
Bake for 18-20 minutes.
Cool 3 minutes in the tin, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
OPTIONAL: Brush warm muffins with melted butter and dust with cinnamon sugar.
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