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Cinnamon Donut Muffins (with Apples)

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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.

cinnamon apple donut muffin on a wire rack, a few more behind it.

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.

For more great muffins, check out the Tender Plum Muffins, the Sour Cream Muffins, or the White Chocolate and Raspberry Muffins.

Recipe ingredients

listed ingredients for making donut muffins with cinnamon and apples.
  • 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).
collage of two pictures of stirring batter in a bowl.
collage of two pictures of adding and mixing apples to batter for muffins.
  • 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.
collage of two pictures of unbaked and then baked muffins in a tray.

In the meantime, prepare the ingredients for the cinnamon sugar coating.

Cinnamon 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.

Expert Tips

  • 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.
muffins on a rack, one split in the middle to show the crumb.

Recipe FAQ

Can I bake the muffins without apples?

Sure. Leave them out if you want.

Can I bake mini muffins?

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.

How to store them?

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. 

six cinnamon apple donut muffins cooling on a wire rack.

More delicious recipes with cinnamon and apples

Do you like this recipe?

Please leave a good rating in the recipe card below. Stay in touch through social media: Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. Don’t forget to tag me #whereismyspoon when you try a recipe!
six cinnamon apple donut muffins cooling on a wire rack.

Cinnamon Donut Muffins (with Apples)

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.
4.50 from 4 votes
Print Pin Share Grow Rate
Course: Muffins and Cupcakes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 234kcal
Author: Adina

Equipment

  • 12-whole muffin tray

Ingredients 

Muffins:

  • 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

Instructions

Donut muffins:

  • 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.

Cinnamon coating:

  • 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.

Notes

  1. Using a digital kitchen scale in baking guarantees the best results (Amazon affiliate link).
  2. To make mini muffins distribute the batter into the prepared mini muffin pan holes and bake them for 10-13 minutes or until golden.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 234kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 105mg | Potassium: 46mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 164IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @adinabeck or tag #WhereIsMySpoon!

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Recipe Rating




Sissi

Tuesday 4th of October 2016

These muffins look so appetising and I was wondering why... but of course it's because of their doughnutey topping!

grace

Tuesday 4th of October 2016

all the enjoyment of a true doughnut but with no hot oil! bravo!

lucie

Tuesday 4th of October 2016

Ahhhhh, all three of these look incredible! And the topping on those muffins look TO DIE FOR! Happy fall girl!

Balvinder

Monday 3rd of October 2016

I can smell the aroma and taste of these yummy muffins...all the way in Canada.

Allie

Monday 3rd of October 2016

Hi Adina - these look just lovely! It's apple picking season around here and what a fun way to use them up! Dipping them in butter with the cinnamon sugar sounds divine!