You get sugar, spice, and everything nice with this version of a classic apple muffin. This tender treat has ideal texture; one test kitchen professional said they "aren't so soft they will fall apart, but they are almost cake-like in their softness." These soft muffins would be a great grab-and-go breakfast in the morning or a snack in the afternoon, especially for a nagging sweet tooth. There's no better way to welcome a new family to the neighborhood or make a friend's day than with something homemade, and these apple muffins are sure to make anyone smile. One test kitchen professional said these sugar-and-spice apple muffins will remind you of an apple-cake doughnut, while another said these muffins are "churro-esque." Although the recipe calls for Fuji, you can use whichever apple variety you prefer. The test kitchen professionals who like Fuji apples said they're sweet and stay crisp. 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: Photo: Stephen Devries; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe Summary test

25 mins
1 hr 5 mins
Makes 12 Muffins


Spice Mixture


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

  • Place apple and granulated sugar in a medium bowl; toss to coat, and let stand 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon 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.

  • Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 18 to 19 minutes.

  • While muffins bake, stir together granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, and ground cloves in a bowl. Place 1⁄2 cup melted salted butter in a separate small bowl.

  • Remove muffins from oven and cool in pan 5 minutes; remove muffins to a wire rack, and let cool 10 minutes. Carefully dip tops of warm muffins in melted butter; dredge tops in spice mixture or sprinkle spice mixture over tops of muffins. Return muffins to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.