Apple Cider Donut Muffins

Apple Cider Donut Muffins

There were a few snowflakes swirling around in the air over the weekend and there was a definite frost on the ground yesterday. I’m a big fan of seasonal baking/cooking and all this means that I am using apples and pumpkins and cranberries every chance I get.

The other day I was thinking longingly about the lemon breakfast cake I made a few times this summer and even thought about making one but then thought, nope, that light lemon texture and taste just don’t seem right when I’m pulling out the fleece clothing and hunting down the scarves.

The seasonal menu and cooking changes were the same when we had the Inn. One of the most fun things about cooking, for me anyway, is planning and choosing recipes and menus. (And reading cookbooks!) I like the creativity of thinking about recipes and how they work in conjunction with each other. Or thinking about what is at the market and what ingredients sound right, right now. The hubby and I have ended up doing a few catering gigs recently and the style of catering we’ve been asked to do, and the time of year it is, have meant that we’ve made more than one batch of Slow Cooked Beef in Guinness and that is always a welcome time of year!

Back to these muffins – now that Banoffi & Such is providing muffins to a local general store twice a week, several things occurred to me at once. It’s apple season, obviously. This store used to get apple cider donuts but they don’t anymore. I’ve made cinnamon sugar muffins that were a little like donuts, without the frying fuss and mess of donuts. Maybe there could be a way to get those apple cider donut flavors into a muffin. I found a bundt cake recipe and went from there – and created an apple cider donut muffin with the most beautiful, light texture. These were delicious pretty soon after they came out of the oven. But the next day, when the cinnamon sugar coating had kind of relaxed and soaked in to the muffin, they might have been even better.

Apple Cider Donut Muffins


For the Muffins

  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 crisp, tart apple peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup milk room temperature
  • 1/4 cup apple cider syrup
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp mace
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the Cinnamon Sugar Coating

  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease or line a standard 12 muffin tin.

  2. In a small sauce pan, bring the apple and apple cider to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until the apple is easily smashed with a fork and the cider has reduced. Remove from heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes. Then pulse with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Measure out 1 cup (you might have a little more than this) and mix it with the milk and apple cider syrup. Set aside.

  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and mace.

  4. With a mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the oil and beat until incorporated.

  5. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the apple/milk mixture. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium for about 20 seconds. Add vanilla and beat once more for about 30 seconds.

  6. This will be quite a loose batter. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes.

  7. While the muffins are baking, combine the ingredients for the cinnamon sugar coating.

  8. While the muffins are still warm, coat them with the cinnamon sugar. If you have used muffins liners, then dip or rub the tops in the cinnamon sugar. If you have un-papered muffins, roll and rub the whole muffin in the cinnamon sugar.

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