Apple Spice and Sour Cream Muffins
Warm, spiced apple muffins baking in the oven… can you smell them already?
Granny Smith apples are in season which means that there’s an abundance of baking with apples happening in my house. There’s something cozy about sliced apples tossed in nutmeg and cinnamon, enveloped in dough or batter, baking away while the temperatures outside are dropping. Don’t you agree?
The great thing about these muffins is that they’re easy to make, quick to bake, and wonderful to eat. They are great as a breakfast treat, a kid’s lunchtime snack, or an evening dessert with a cup of tea or decaf coffee. I make several batches at once and freeze a couple of dozen for future munching.
Choose your crumb
In my humble opinion, these muffins are best baked with a crumb topping. But there are a few options when baking with crumbles. In the recipe below, you’ll find a classic one-to-two ratio of butter to flour, along with brown sugar, cinnamon, and a sprinkle of granulated sugar. However, depending on your “crunch factor” preference, you can adjust the amount of flour.
• For a crunchy top, add one tablespoon of flour to the recipe.
• For a softer crumble, reduce the flour by two tablespoons and keep chilled in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake. Use a fork to scrape the cold crumble mixture into bits and use a chilled spoon to add on top of the muffins.
• Make a slightly more caramelized crumble topping by pressing the crumbles into the top of the batter. The tops of the muffins won’t puff up as much, but the way the crumble explodes inside of the muffins is incredibly tasty!
• Switch up the spices. Swap out the cinnamon for pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, clove, or any other burst of spice you’d like to add on top.
Making the batter
Using sour cream in baking adds moisture and helps to activate the baking soda. You can also use plain whole milk yogurt, buttermilk, or even homemade kefir. I rotate between all of these milk substitutes, but I find that sour cream is my favorite and performs the best. It’s important not to over beat the batter; using a rubber or silicone spatula to gently fold the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients. Scooping the batter into the muffin tray is easiest by using an ice cream scooper, but a 1/4 cup measuring cup works just as well.
These muffins bake very quickly, in about 15 minutes, during which time you can prepare a second batch of batter and keeping the baking going. Both the crumble and the apple filling can be made in large batches ahead of time, as they’re easier to divvy up among the batter. If you’re making more than one batch of apple filling ahead of time, be sure to toss them in the lemon juice and sugar mixture so as not to let them get too brown.
Let the muffins cool for about 15 minutes before enjoying. They’re even tastier when enjoyed warm!
Apples and spice make everything nice in these sour cream muffins with crumble topping!
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp honey
1/2 cup sour cream or plain whole milk yogurt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp lemon juice
2 medium apples, peeled
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and begin making the crumble topping.
- In a small mixing bowl, add together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Using a fork, stir together, breaking up any lumps from the brown sugar.
- In a microwavable bowl, melt 4 tablespoons or ¼ cup of butter (about 30 seconds). Pour over the sugar mixture with a small spatula and stir until smooth.
- Add one tablespoon at a time of 1/2 cup of flour and lightly stir with the fork. Sprinkle granulated sugar over the crumble topping, lightly toss with a fork, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and whisk well for 30-60 seconds.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla and beat using a hand mixer or stand mixer until smooth.
- Add the eggs and honey, continuing to beat.
- Finally, add the sour cream, buttermilk, and lemon juice until smooth. Set aside.
- Using your peeled apples, dice into small squares.
- In a small bowl, toss with sugar, nutmeg, salt, and lemon juice. Set aside.
- Combine your wet and dry ingredients using a spatula or rubber scraper to create the muffin batter without over mixing it. Add half of your apple filling and gently fold into the batter.
- Using an ice cream scooper, spoon the muffin batter into a degreased muffin tray (you should have about four muffins worth of batter leftover). Spoon the remaining apples onto the tops of the muffin batter and gently press down.
- Using a tablespoon, sprinkle your crumble mixture over the tops of the muffins.
- Once you’ve put your muffins into the oven, immediately lower the temperature to 350 degrees.
- Bake for 14-17 minutes, rotating tray once halfway. Move the muffins to a cooling rack as soon as they’re ready, let cool, and enjoy!
Divide the muffin batter among two muffin trays to make 16 muffins, utilizing the entire bowl of muffin batter.
Keywords: apple muffins, sour cream muffins, apple spice, spiced apple muffins, muffins