Cinnamon-scented apple cider muffins taste just like an iconic apple cider donut! Made with apple cider in the batter and tender bits of apple in every bite. This is an easy muffin recipe that’s perfect for fall!
Why you’ll love it: These wholesome apple cider muffins are quick to make with whole wheat flour, cozy spices, and fresh chunks of apple.
How long it takes: about 30 minutes.
Equipment you’ll need: a mixing bowl and muffin tins.
Servings: 12 large muffins.
- 1 Recipe Overview
- 2 Easy Apple Cider Muffins
- 3 Why You’ll Love These Apple Cider Muffins
- 4 Recipe Ingredients
- 5 Prepping the Apples
- 6 How To Make Apple Cider Muffins
- 7 How to tell when muffins are done
- 8 Tips for Success
- 9 Make These Apple Cider Muffins Your Own
- 10 Serving Suggestions
- 11 How to Store
- 12 More Muffin Recipes
- 13 Get the Recipe: Apple Cider Muffins Recipe
Easy Apple Cider Muffins
Apple season is here, and we’ve been loading up with apples from local farm markets and orchards. Freshly picked apples are super crisp, juicy, and sweet, perfect for baking into scrumptious desserts, like apple cinnamon muffins or rich apple spice cake. Then, there’s my latest obsession: these soft and fluffy apple cider muffins. These tender, apple-filled muffins are scented with spice and taste just like an apple cider donut.
Why You’ll Love These Apple Cider Muffins
- Filled with apple flavor. These apple cider donut muffins boast double the apple flavor with apple cider in the batter and LOTS of apples (three of them!) folded in for good measure.
- Easy to make. Make the batter in one bowl, so cleanup is always easy! Have these apple cider muffins ready for the oven in 15 minutes, without any fancy ingredients.
- Budget-friendly. Why buy muffins at the grocery store or bakery when you can make your own? Save time and money while enjoying the tantalizing aroma of apples and warm cinnamon wafting through your home.
- Wholesome. When you bake your own muffins, you know exactly what goes into them. Feel good knowing that your muffins are made with wholesome, simple ingredients.
Let’s kick things off with some notes on the important ingredients you’ll need to make these apple cider muffins. Scroll to the recipe card for the full ingredients list, measurements, and recipe details.
- Apples – Any apple variety will work, though the best apples for baking are sweet-tart, firm varieties like Granny Smith, Braeburn, and Honeycrisp. The apples can be peeled or unpeeled, chopped, or shredded (see below).
- Apple Cider – Apple cider is unfiltered apple juice squeezed from apples. Do not use hard apple cider (with alcohol) or apple cider vinegar, which is fermented and has a sour flavor.
- All-Purpose Flour/Whole Wheat Flour – I like to use a combination of both flours for nutrition, flavor, and texture.
- Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger – Warm spices that pair deliciously with apples.
- Sugar – Regular white sugar enhances the sweetness of the apples, only two-thirds of a cup. Sometimes I even use less, about ½ cup, depending on how sweet the apples are.
- Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt
- Powdered Sugar – Fancy up these apple cider muffins with a drizzle of icing made with powdered sugar and a splash of cider. Totally optional, but why not?
Prepping the Apples
When preparing your apples for baking, keep the following tips in mind:
- Always rinse apples before peeling or cutting them.
- Peeled or Not: You can peel the apples or leave them unpeeled. Peeling softens the apples so that they’re almost undetectable in the baked muffins. I usually leave my apples unpeeled for added texture.
- Grated or Diced: The larger the apple pieces are, the more noticeable they will be in the muffins. Grated apples are almost unnoticeable. Diced apples will be more noticeable. It’s up to you!
How To Make Apple Cider Muffins
Here’s how easy it is to make delicously spiced apple cider donut muffins from scratch:
- Prepare the apples. Decide whether you want them peeled or not peeled, grated or diced. You’ll need two cups of apples which is about 3 small apples.
- Combine wet ingredients. Crack the eggs into a big bowl and whisk them until they are blended. Stir in the sugar first, then the melted butter. Add the apple cider, and stir well.
- Add dry ingredients. Add the flour to the bowl with the wet ingredients. Add the spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Lightly toss the dry ingredients together on top of the wet ingredients; then stir them in to make the batter. Finally, fold in the apples.
- Fill the muffin tins. Scoop the batter into your greased and lined muffin tins, about a quarter-cup in each well. The wells should be about three-quarters full. The size of muffin tins varies widely so you may get more or less than twelve muffins.
- Bake the muffins. Put the apple muffins in the oven on the center rack and bake for about 17 minutes. Baking time varies depending on the oven temperature and the size of the muffins.
- Cool. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes; then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before adding the icing. Be sure to enjoy a warm muffin if you like!
How to tell when muffins are done
Check to see if muffins are fully baked by poking a toothpick into the center of one of the muffins. It should come out clean or with a crumb or two clinging to it. If there is wet batter on the toothpick, continue baking them a few more minutes.
Tips for Success
These are my top tips for perfect apple cider muffins:
- Carefully measure out the flour. Use a spoon to lightly transfer the flour from the canister into the cup, and then level the top with the flat edge of a knife. This helps to prevent over-measuring.
- Don’t overmix the batter. Blend the muffin batter until it’s just combined and there’s no more dry flour showing. Don’t over-stir the mixture. The batter will look slightly lumpy.
Make These Apple Cider Muffins Your Own
Try these easy variations and add-in ideas to make these muffins exactly to your liking:
- Cinnamon Lovers: Instead of using the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger combo, use all cinnamon instead (1½ teaspoons). Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the muffins before baking for a crunchy cinnamon top.
- Streusel Topping: Streusel goes exceptionally well with apples. If you like, top the muffins with a layer of streusel before baking. These banana muffins have an easy streusel topping that you can also use for these apple muffins.
- Apples: If you like noticeable bits of apple in the muffins, cut the apples into larger pieces. If you would rather not see chunks of apple, grate the apples (see the cooking tip above).
How to Store
- To Store. Cool apple cider muffins completely before storing them in an airtight container. They’ll keep for 3-4 days at room temperature.
- Freezer: For longer storage, freeze the apple cider muffins in freezer-safe bags or containers. Frozen muffins will keep for up to a month. They thaw quickly, making them ideal for lunchboxes.
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup apple cider (unfiltered apple juice, NOT apple cider vinegar or hard apple cider)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (can substitute 1 cup all-purpose flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 cups diced peeled apples (about ¼ inch dice), about 3 small apples (see note)
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease, spray, or line muffin tins (makes about 12).
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs until blended. Stir in sugar. Add melted butter, stir well; stir in apple cider until mixture is well combined.
- Add all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger to mixing bowl. Mix dry ingredients lightly with fingertips and then fold into the egg mixture, just until combined.
- Gently fold in chopped apples. Scoop about ¼ cup batter into muffin tins (they’ll be about ¾ full). Yield depends on the size of the muffin tins and how much batter you put into each one.
- Bake for 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before transferring muffins to a wire rack.
- Optional Icing: When muffins are cool, mix powdered sugar and cider. Drizzle icing over muffins. Allow icing to set before storing muffins.
- If you prefer, shred the apples instead of chopping them for less visible pieces of apple. Apples can be peeled or unpeeled.
- Cinnamon lovers: Use 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon; omit nutmeg and ginger. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with cinnamon sugar before baking.
- Storage: Cool muffins completely before storing in an airtight container. They’ll keep on the countertop for a few days. Freeze muffins in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to one month.
- Recipe updated and revised 8/2023.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.