It’s sweater weather. Pumpkin spice season. Leaves are turning glorious shades of red and gold, and it’s time to pick apples, add warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to everything in sight, and wear nothing but the softest and coziest clothing. Many turn straight to the pumpkin for baking inspiration at this time of year. For me, it’s all about the apples.
There is nothing quite like biting into an apple that you just picked off the tree. Just the feeling of wandering up and down rows of apple-laden trees in the crisp fall air is, for me, the very definition of autumn. This time of year I like to bake apples into everything, but there is one apple treat that rises above them all.
Oh, the apple fritter. It’s a quintessential Canadian treat. Those pillowy hunks of fried dough, spiced with cinnamon and dotted with soft bites of apple, dipped in a honey glaze that crackles into flakes of sugar that melt instantly on the tongue. What a treat!
In Canadian culture, a coffee and donut from Tim’s is a perfectly acceptable breakfast. Well-balanced? I’ll leave that up to you. The caffeine/sugar combo will give you a little pep in your step on those too-early, still-dark mornings. That’s the idea behind these muffins. I’ve blended a cakey vanilla muffin batter that is just the right level of crumbly with swirls of brown sugar and cinnamon-laced apple pieces and packed it into something that might just be your new favourite fall treat. While delightful as a portable snack, this recipe will also make a fantastic coffee cake—just bake in a Bundt pan or cake pan instead.
Apple Fritter Muffins
- 113 g softened butter (1/2 cup)
- 113 g granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 226 g flour (1 1/2 cups)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 118 mL milk (1/2 cup)
- Apple Mixture:
- 56 g brown sugar (1/4 cup)
- 3 apples, peeled and chopped
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Honey Glaze:
- 113 g powdered sugar (1/2 cup)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
- Line muffin tin with paper liners.
- Cream together butter and white sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet mixture alternately with milk, folding until just combined.
- In a separate bowl, toss the chopped apples with brown sugar and cinnamon. Fold gently through the batter. Don’t mix this in thoroughly—you want to have delicious swirls of brown sugar and apple.
- Use an ice cream scoop to portion evenly into 12 muffin papers.
- Bake at 180°C/350°F for 20-25 minutes until a knife or toothpick comes out clean.
- Whisk together powdered sugar, honey, and 1 tablespoon of milk. Add more milk as needed to create a thick, smooth glaze. Spoon the glaze over the muffins while they are still hot.
Makes 12 muffins. Honey glaze is optional, but it does add to the apple fritter experience. And hey, let’s be real, these muffins are a treat, not a healthy snack.