My first job was working at a bakery and not just any bakery – Panera Bread. Honestly, I do not think I would be as adventurous when it comes to food if I had not worked there. They seemed to make almost anything taste good – and one of my favorite things to eat there was their apple crunch muffins. There was is no way to do justice to getting to the café at 5AM and smelling fresh apple crunch muffins in all of their glory – it was magical.
After working at Panera for 11 years I chose to leave and with that – I do not have easy access to these muffins anymore and I needed to figure out how to get my fix! Bethany does not like blueberry muffins so more often than not, when I bake muffins, I make two types of muffins: blueberry and apple crunch to please everyone!
How to make Apple Crunch Muffins:
To make these homemade Apple Crunch muffins, simply:
- Prep your muffin tin. Place muffin sleeves in the muffin tin; we really like to use sleeves made of parchment paper as the muffins won’t stick to them at all. Alternatively you can spray non-stick spray into the tin itself but we find it much harder to get the muffin out.
- Make the muffin batter and topping. Mix together the dry ingredients, followed by the butter, then the apples and finally the liquid ingredients.
- Fill, top and bake. Portion the batter evenly, filling the cups almost completely and top generously with the crumb topping. Bake for 20-25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool and enjoy. Once the cupcakes have cooled, enjoy!
- What type of apples are best for baking? Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Gala, Braeburn, Cortland and Pink Lady are our favorite apples to use when baking.
- Can I add nuts to this recipe? Definitely! In fact, we encourage you to go nuts and experiment! We would recommend using chopped pecans or walnuts for this recipe.
- Why did my muffins turn out dry? Typically this happens from either not using enough liquid or from baking too long. We recommend keeping a close eye on doneness once they get close to the 20 minute mark – we check them religiously to ensure that the moment they are done we can pull them.
- What is the best way to store these muffins? Once they have cooled, place them in a paper towel lined air-tight container and cover the muffins with an additional paper towel. They should retain their flavor for two to three days.
Apple Crunch Muffins
- 1 cup diced apple pieces Gala or Honeycrisp are better
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup 2% milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp butter frozen and grated
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/8 tap cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease muffin cups
- Combine all dry ingredients
- Take the frozen butter and grate it along the cheese grater, careful to do it quickly before it melts
- Mix, loosely, the wet ingredients into the dry ones and add the apple pieces. Do not overnmix or they will become dry and dense.
- Fill muffin tin almost to the top (at least 3/4 the way).
- Top with crumb topping and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Enjoy!