Enjoy all of the perfect Fall flavors with these Apple Pumpkin Muffins with Crumb Topping. This is a small batch recipe for delicate, moist and easy muffins loaded with pumpkin and fresh apple chunks. And a crumb topping that is sweet, crunchy and will have you reaching for another!
Small Batch of Fall Muffins
If someone were to ask you, ‘what flavors come to mind when you think of Fall’? Do you immediately go to pumpkin? Probably some pumpkin spice. And I’m hoping apples! At least – these are the flavors that come to mind for me. So, why not put them all together in a delicious baked treat!
This is a small batch recipe for 5 tender and moist muffins. Oh geez – there is that word again – ‘moist’. But, these muffins are just that. They are also tender and delicate – the complete opposite of a brick of muffin you may find sitting on a store shelf. So what makes these muffins moist:
- Oil – instead of butter. I know it seems contradictory to my brand (hee hee), but I am finding the more cakes, cupcakes, and muffins I make with oil have a tendency to not dry out.
- Brown sugar – there is an amount of moisture and molasses in brown sugar, which adds to the moisture content.
- Pumpkin puree – pumpkin itself has a lot of moisture in it – so much so I was worried it would be too much for these muffins. But the result worked out perfect.
- Fresh apples – the apples themselves will release some of their own moisture when baked.
And as with most of my small batch recipes – it is easy. There is nothing better than making a recipe full of exciting layers of flavor, and have it ready in less than 30 minutes. Bottom line – this muffin recipe is easy and quick.
What Kind Of Apples Should You Use In Muffins
The million dollar question. And I’m sure you would get about a million different responses. Ok – probably not that many, because I don’t think there are that many varieties of apples.
My response to that question is – use an apple you like to eat. For this recipe (and most of my apple recipes), I use Honeycrisp apples. It also helps that they are in season in fall. And as the name implies, they are sweet and crunchy.
Of course there are some baking purist out there that will insist on using a tart and crunchy apple – like a Granny Smith. Problem is – you will never see me walking around munching on one, so I’m likely not going to use it in my bakes. Though – I will say they come across sweet when baked in a luscious apple pie.
Do The Apples Get Soggy When Baked In A Muffin
No. There is still a bit of a bite with the Honeycrisp apple in these muffins. Partly because they are a firmer apple. Partly because we are not pre-cooking the apples before they go in the batter.
And along those line – I don’t peel my apples either. Again, another area where you may get a variety of opinions. That said – if you want to peel your apples, by all means make them the way you like!
What Ingredients Do You Need For Apple Pumpkin Muffins
I’m going to go out on a limb and say you may already have the ingredients on hand. Especially given the time of year.
- Apple – just one, and a variety you like. I used a Honeycrisp
- Pumpkin puree – the pure pumpkin in a can, and not the pumpkin pie filling.
- Brown sugar – I used light brown sugar as dark brown sugar may have too much moisture. And I didn’t want a molasses flavor to overpower the apple and pumpkin.
- Oil – a neutral oil. And my go-to is Canola Oil. I have found that it is the only neutral oil that doesn’t impart a flavor.
- Pumpkin pie spice – all of the spices are almost a must in any Fall bake!
- Egg, flour, baking soda, salt … – all the usual baking suspects.
For The Crumb Topping
- Butter – yay!
- Apple – from the same apple, just chopped up into smaller pieces
- Brown sugar + Granulated sugar – a must for me in a crumb topping
- Pumpkin pie spice – to tie the flavor into the muffin
- Flour – to give it that ‘crumb’
Tips For Making Apple Pumpkin Muffins with Crumb Topping
- Use any apple you like – I used Honeycrisp, but a Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Pink Lady, Gala … you name it, any would work.
- Pumpkin puree – not pumpkin pie filling. I’ve yet to see pumpkin pie filling in my grocery, but I know it is out there.
- Sift the dry ingredients – I like to sift the dry ingredients directly over the top of the wet ingredients. Making sure the batter is free of lumps, and one less bowl. However, you can mix the dry ingredients in their own bowl and sprinkle over the wet. But why use up one more bowl?!
- Start the oven temperature hot – then we turn it down after a few minutes. This makes the muffin tops puff up.
And last, but certainly not least – these muffins are hard to categorize. Are they a breakfast treat, dessert, or mid-day snack? We may never know for certain since they are just that good!
More Fall Apple and Pumpkin Recipes
- Easy Apple Biscoff Crisp
- Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Bread Minis
- Soft Apple Cookies With Caramel Icing
- Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies with Maple Icing
- Pumpkin Cupcakes with Whipped Ganache Frosting
- Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts
Apple Pumpkin Muffins with Crumb Topping
- 1 – Muffin/Cupcake Pan
- 2 tablespoons canola oil (or any neutral oil)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, canned
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup fresh apple, any kind, chopped (I used a Honeycrisp apple. Dice about 2 tablespoons smaller to reserve for the crumb topping)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tablespoons diced apples (reserved from above)
- In a small mixing bowl, add the flour, butter, both sugars, and pumpkin pie spice. 'Cut' the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter, your fingers, or two forks – until you have small pea-sized pieces of butter. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of diced apples. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425F degrees and adjust oven rack to the middle position. Line the muffin/cupcake pan with 5 muffin liners.
- In a medium mixing bowl add the oil and both sugars. Mix until combined. Next add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix until combined and smooth.
- Sift, or sprinkle the flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice over the top of the wet ingredients. Mix until no dry streaks remain. Fold in the chopped apples (keeping the 2 tablespoons of reserved diced apples out).
- Evenly scoop the batter into the prepared muffin liners. Top each muffin with equal portions of the crumb topping.
- Bake at 425F degrees for 6 minutes. The quick time at high heat makes the muffin tops puff up. Then reduce the heat to 350F degrees and bake for an additional 12-14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean.
- Cool the muffins in the pan set on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes, then transfer the muffins to the wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!