You'll be addicted to this deliciously tender version of a classic apple muffin. One test kitchen professional said these muffins "aren't so soft they will fall apart, but they are almost cake-like in their softness." Another said the toffee bits in these muffins "create a chewy and crunchy top that can't be emulated." These muffins are so sweet and soft, your kids will think you're feeding them dessert for breakfast. Bake a batch for afternoon coffee and tea with the girls, even if they don't believe that you didn't buy them from the local bakery. Although the recipe calls for Fuji, you can use whichever apple variety you prefer. The test kitchen professionals who like Fuji apples said they stay crisp and are sweet. Some argued for golden delicious apples because they're tender and bake well, and others said honeycrisp or gala apples would work, too. A tip from the test kitchen: Don't over-work these muffins—they only need mixing until it is just combined, which helps keep them super soft.


Credit: Stephen Devries; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe Summary test

25 mins
1 hr 5 mins
Makes 12 Muffins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or line with baking liners.

  • Melt 1 Tbsp. salted butter in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add diced apple and 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 8 to 9 minutes. Scrape apple mixture into a medium bowl; cool 5 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and 3/4 cup toffee bits (such as Bits of Brickle) in a large bowl

  • Stir milk, melted butter, vanilla, and eggs into apple mixture; add to flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle 1/2 cup toffee bits evenly over batter in muffin cups, pressing to adhere

  • Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 18 to 19 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes; remove muffins to a wire rack, and let cool 15 minutes to serve warm. Or let cool to room temperature.