Yield: 6 apple crisp muffins // Total Time: 35 min. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.
Light and tender spiced muffins, filled with diced apples and topped with a cinnamon oat streusel.
Small batch apple crisp muffins
Take all your classic delicious apple crisp flavors, and put them in muffin form – that’s these muffins! It starts with a lightly spiced cinnamon muffin filled with diced apples, then it gets topped with a cinnamon oat streusel. If your favorite part about fall baking involves all things apple, then these are perfect for you.
Small batch apple crisp muffins recipe tips
Weigh your ingredients
Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient. In a small batch recipe it is especially important to get those correct measurements because there is less room for error. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out!
Mix the batter carefully
It is super important to not overmix the muffin batter. Overmixing the batter leads to more gluten development which almost always is not desirable, not only will you get those pointy tops on the muffins, but you will end up with tough and chewy muffins.
Room temperature ingredients
It is important for the ingredients to be at room temperature so that they properly incorporate with each other. If you have ever had your batter look curdled, it is most likely due to the ingredients separating from being at different temperatures. Take out the eggs, sour cream, and milk least 30 minutes and up to 1 hr 30 min. before starting the recipe OR follow these methods for room temperature ingredients FAST:
- Fast room temperature eggs. Place the eggs in a bowl in the sink and continuously run hot water over it for one minute. And there you go – room temperature eggs! Alternatively (and less waste-fully) fill a bowl with warm water and let the eggs sit in it for 5 minutes.
- Fast room temperature sour cream and milk. Microwave the sour cream and milk in 5 second intervals until it is no longer cold (but not hot!).
Keep an eye on those apple crisp muffins!
Muffins like to go from under-baked to over-baked super quickly so it is important to keep a close eye on them. Start checking at 14 minutes with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out wet, check them again in 2 minutes and so on until only a few moist crumbs stick to the toothpick.
Get those perfect muffin tops
The trick to getting those nicely domed muffin tops is (mostly) all in your oven’s temperature! Bake the muffins at 425°F / 220°C for 5 minutes. Then, without opening the oven, reduce the temperature to 350°F / 175°C and continue baking until done. The super high heat will make the muffins rise nice and tall! You will also want to bake them lined in every other tin on the muffin pan, and fill them to the very top. This recipe makes the perfect amount of batter to fill every muffin liner straight to the top for those perfect muffin tops!
Get evenly distributed muffin batter
My favorite way to evenly distribute muffin batter is to use cookie scoops! Works perfectly every time. So long are the days of eyeballing which muffin may need a little more batter.
Ingredients and substitutions
For the apple muffins:
All purpose flour: for structure and chewiness.
Baking powder: for helping the muffins rise.
Baking soda: for helping the muffins rise.
Salt: to help balance and bring out the sweetness of the muffins.
Ground cinnamon: for flavor!
Unsalted butter: for tenderness and flavor. You can use salted butter in place of the unsalted, just be sure to omit the extra salt from the muffins.
Granulated sugar: for sweetening and helping lock in moisture.
Brown sugar: for sweetening, flavor, and adding moisture to the muffins. For fall bakes I like to use dark brown sugar just for that extra molasses flavor, but light brown sugar works here as well.
Egg: for binding and for moisture.
Vanilla: for flavor. I use and love this vanilla extract!
Whole milk: for moisture. You can use 2%, 1% or your favorite plant-based milk here, just note that the texture may change and the muffins may be less light and fluffy.
Sour cream: for moisture and tenderizing the muffin batter. You can also substitute in greek yogurt here!
Apple: use your favorite baking apple here! I used honey crisp because they are my personal favorite, but you can also use fuji, pink lady, gala, jonathan, granny smith, honey gold, or braeburn!
For the cinnamon oat streusel:
Unsalted butter: the base of the streusel, really what makes it buttery and delicious. You can use salted butter here as well!
Light brown sugar: sweetens and adds flavor to the streusel. In a pinch granulated sugar will work here as well, just note that the topping will be lighter.
All purpose flour: adds structure to the streusel.
Rolled oats: give some texture to the streusel to make it like classic crisp topping. I really recommend using rolled oats here and would advise against instant oats for the best texture.
Ground cinnamon: for flavor!
How to make small batch apple crisp muffins
1. Chop up the apple. Wash, peel, then dice your apple into small cubes.
2. Make the streusel. In a small bowl, melt the butter. Add in the flour, oats, sugar, and cinnamon. Use a fork to mix the ingredients together until you have formed little clumps of dough.
3. Combine the wet ingredients. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter and both sugars. Then, add in the egg, vanilla, milk, and sour cream. Whisk until well combined.
4. Mix in dry ingredients. Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Gently mix the ingredients together until just a few flour streaks remain, then add in the chopped apple and stir just until no flour streaks remain.
5. Transfer the batter to the muffin pan. Evenly distribute the muffin batter between 6 parchment liners, then top each with a generous amount of streusel.
5. Bake. We’ll start the muffins out at 425°F for 5 minutes, which will help them rise up nice and tall. Without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 350°F / 175°C for the remainder of the baking time.
6. Serve and enjoy! Serve warm or room temperature, both are delicious!
Small batch apple crisp muffins Q & A
Can I double these small batch apple crisp muffins?
Of course! Obviously they will not be small batch anymore but small batch isn’t always what we need! Simply double all of the ingredients in the recipe to make 12 delicious apple crisp muffins. However, I even more strongly recommend measuring by weight if you are going to double the recipe for the best results.
How to store these muffins
Like most baked goods, these muffins will definitely taste the best on the day that they are baked. They will last for up to 3 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!
A note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature. For example, I always have to set my oven to 330°F if I want it to bake at 350°F. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
Tools and ingredients
Muffin pan: I absolutely love USA pan products because of their great quality. This is their muffin pan.
Cookie scoops: A life saver for getting evenly distributed muffins. I have gone through a lot of cookie scoops in my baking journey, and these ones have lasted me the longest without breaking. Plus they are dishwasher safe!
For a full list of tools, equipment and ingredients that I use and love, you can check out this page here.
Did you make these small batch apple crisp muffins
If you made these small batch apple crisp muffins I would love to see them and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Small Batch Apple Crisp Muffins
Cinnamon Oat Streusel
- 40 g unsalted butter (3 tbsp.)
- 40 g light brown sugar (3 tbsp.)
- 60 g all purpose flour (½ c.)
- 20 g rolled oats (¼ c.)
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 100 g apple (~1 medium sized apple)
- 56 g unsalted butter (¼ c.)
- 45 g granulated sugar (3 ½ tbsp.)
- 45 g light brown sugar (3 tbsp.)
- 1 egg room temperature
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- 65 g whole milk room temperature (¼ c.)
- 30 g sour cream room temperature (2 tbsp.)
- 120 g all purpose flour (1 c.)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. salt
- Preheat the oven to 425°F / 220°C. Alternate lining a muffin pan with 6 parchment liners.
Cinnamon Oat Streusel
- In a small bowl, melt the butter. Add in the flour, oats, sugar, and cinnamon. Use a fork to mix the ingredients together until you have formed little clumps of dough.
- Wash, peel, and dice the apple into small cubes.
- Melt the butter. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter and both sugars.
- Add in the egg, vanilla, milk, and sour cream, whisking until well combined.
- Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Use a rubber spatula to lightly fold the ingredients together just until a few flour streaks remain.
- Add in the diced apples, and continue to fold just until no flour streaks remain.
- Evenly distribute the muffin batter between the six parchment liners. Top each muffin generously (~2 tsp. / each) with the cinnamon oat streusel.
- Bake the muffins at 425°F for 5 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 350°F / 175°C. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.
- Serve and enjoy!