Delicious cinnamon donut muffins with tender apple pieces inside; this is an easy recipe for cinnamon muffins that taste very much like a donut. A perfect fall treat ready in less than 40 minutes.
These sweet cinnamon donut muffins are a family favorite; I’ve baked them more often than I remember. The original post was published in 2016, but the recipe developed over the years until I settled for this version. I feel there is nothing more I can do about it: we find it perfect!
A cinnamon donut muffin is a great thing, but add some apple pieces, and things go from good to amazing! Tender apples, a fluffy crumb, and a cinnamon sugar coating… your whole family will adore these muffins.
They taste like donuts, but they are baked and not fried, and they are perfect for serving for breakfast or as a snack, for packing into your lunch or picnic box. I love them with a cup of coffee or tea.
- Apples: You will need one cup of finely chopped apples, about 140 g/ 5 oz. Those were two small apples for me, but medium or slightly larger apples should also yield about one cup of chopped apples.
- Cinnamon and granulated sugar for the apple donut muffins and for the coating.
- Oil: Neutral-tasting oil like canola or vegetable oil (not olive oil). I love using oil in baking; it keeps the baked goods moist and fresh for longer. Check out these fantastic Moist Apple and Cinnamon Muffins with Oil (one of our most popular fall recipes).
- Egg: A large one at room temperature.
- Milk: Preferably whole milk, but if partly skimmed is all you have, it’s ok.
- Vanilla extract
- Flour: I often use cake flour to make muffins and cakes, but all-purpose flour is also fine.
- Baking powder: Helps the baked goods rise nicely.
- Pinch of salt to enhance the flavor.
- Unsalted butter (melted) for dipping the muffins before coating them with the sugar mixture.
How to make donut muffins with cinnamon?
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/180°C. Brush the muffin cups with oil or spray them with cooking spray (no need for paper liners for this recipe).
- Apples: Pee, core, and chop them. Set them aside.
- Large bowl: Whisk sugar, oil, egg, cinnamon, milk, and vanilla extract (1).
- Separate bowl: Mix flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Combine batter: Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk briefly until just combined (2). Fold in the apples with a rubber spatula (3,4).
- Bake: Fill the prepared muffin tin (5) and bake the cinnamon doughnut muffins in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes until golden brown (6).
- Cool the cinnamon donut muffins for 5 minutes in the muffin tray.
In the meantime, prepare the ingredients for the cinnamon sugar coating.
- Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan.
- Dip each muffin in the melted butter and turn it immediately into the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Cool completely on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Using a digital kitchen scale in baking guarantees for best results.
- Don’t overmix the batter; a few streaks of flour in the batter are ok. If you overdo it, the muffins will be tough and chewy.
- Ensure that the ingredients are at room temperature.
- Bake the batter immediately after stirring it. Ensure that the oven is preheated, the muffin tray is prepared, and the apples are chopped before starting the batter. Mixing the batter will take minutes, and the oven will need longer than that to get hot. If the batter waits for the oven to get hot, the baking powder will lose its power, and the baked goods will not rise nicely.
- Topping: You can dip and coat only the top of the muffin or the entire muffin. I like to cover them entirely with the cinnamon sugar topping.
Sure. Leave them out if you want.
Yes, and you will love them; they will be not only delicious but also so cute.
Distribute the batter into the prepared mini muffin pan holes and bake them for 10-13 minutes or until golden.
They will last for 2-3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. Refrigerate them to keep them for longer.
Freeze the apple donut muffins in an airtight container or a freezer bag for 3-4 months. Defrost in the fridge or on the counter.
More delicious recipes with cinnamon and apples
Cinnamon Donut Muffins (with Apples)
- 12-whole muffin tray
- 1 cup apples finely chopped, 2 small, about 140 g
- ¾ cup granulated sugar 150 g, Note 1
- ¼ cup oil neutral-tasting like canola, 60 ml
- 1 egg large, at room temperature
- ¾ cup whole milk 180 ml
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour 225 g
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- a pinch of salt
Cinnamon sugar coating:
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/180°C. Brush the muffin tin holes with oil (or spray them with baking spray).
- Apples: Peel, core, and chop them into small cubes. Set them aside.
- Whisk sugar, oil, egg, cinnamon, milk, and vanilla extract in a large bowl.
- Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in another bowl.
- Combine batter: Add dry ingredients to the wet and whisk briefly until just combined. Don’t overmix; a few streaks of flour in the batter are ok. Fold in the apples with a rubber spatula.
- Bake: Divide the batter between the muffin holes and bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown (Note 2).
- Cool for 5 minutes in the tin. Coat them while they are still hot, just cool enough to handle.
- Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Melt the butter in a small pan.
- Dip each muffin in the butter and then turn it in the cinnamon mixture (I like to cover them entirely with the topping). Place them on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Using a digital kitchen scale in baking guarantees the best results (Amazon affiliate link).
- To make mini muffins distribute the batter into the prepared mini muffin pan holes and bake them for 10-13 minutes or until golden.