Get ready to savor falls favorite flavors with these apple pumpkin streusel muffins! This easy small batch recipe makes tender muffins that blend pumpkin and apple – favorites for fall! Bite in to find apple chunks in the spiced pumpkin muffin, and a luscious apple streusel topping to elevate these delicious muffins!
Apple Pumpkin Streusel Muffins
If someone were to ask you, ‘what flavors come to mind when you think of fall’? Do you immediately go to pumpkin? Like pumpkin pie, pumpkin cupcakes, or even pumpkin donuts. What about apples? How about apple cupcakes, apple crisp, or apple cookies.
Apple and pumpkin have to be quintessential fall ingredients and it’s a good thing that this recipe for apple pumpkin streusel muffins combines all the best flavors for fall!
The muffins are incredibly soft and tender with the perfect amount of cozy spice. Sweet apple chunks dot the inside as well as the buttery sweet streusel topping. Combine one of these breakfast muffins with a hot gingerbread latte, and you have yourself a picture perfect fall treat!
Why I love These Muffins
- Small batch – I love that I don’t have dozens of extra muffins sitting around. Either begging to be eaten, or getting a little dry because there are only so many days in a row that I can eat on!
- Streusel topping – Muffins are next level when they have a topping – just like my chocolate chip streusel muffins! The streusel in these muffins is equally buttery and sweet with a little apple chunk surprise.
- Balanced flavors – These muffins pack a flavor punch! Apple, pumpkin, and spice all work harmoniously together to make the muffins delicious.
- Sweet breakfast – Now I love a savory bagel or buttery croissant for breakfast. But sometimes I want to nosh on a sweet chocolate chip muffin, blueberry, muffin, or these apple pumpkin muffins with my coffee!
What are the best apples to bake 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 which is delicious in pie, and in my apple cake. But if I’m enjoying a crunchy apple, chances are it is a honeycrisp.
What You Need To Make Apple Pumpkin Muffins
- Fresh Apple – You only need about 1/2 of one apple for this recipe. I use Honeycrisp apples because they have a delicious balance of sweet and tart, and they retain texture when baked. However, use any apple you prefer!
- Pumpkin Puree – Pure pumpkin puree in a can, and not pumpkin pie filling. The pie filling has extra sweeteners and ingredients we don’t need for this recipe.
- All Purpose Flour – For a gluten free version, you could try to swap the flour with a 1:1 gluten free flour.
- Baking Soda – The baking soda will help the muffins rise tall!
- Salt – Salt is wonderful and balancing and enhancing flavors.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice – I love all the spicy notes in pumpkin pie spice. You could opt for just cinnamon if you prefer.
- Sour Cream – I recommend full fat sour cream to keep the muffins moist and tender.
- Brown Sugar – I recommend light brown sugar. Dark brown sugar may impart too much moisture and make the muffins dense.
- Granulated Sugar – Regular white sugar will work, or I love to use organic cane sugar because it is not as refined and has a rich flavor.
- Egg Yolk – The egg yolk will impart texture and bind the ingredients.
- Vanilla Extract – A little splash for flavor!
- Unsalted Butter – For the streusel topping
- Cupcake/Muffin Pan
- Cupcake Liners
- Mixing Bowls
Tips For apple pumpkin muffin success
- Use any apple you like – I use Honeycrisp, but any apple you like to eat will work.
- Peel or don’t peel the apples – Whether or not you peel the apples is entirely up to you. It is all personal taste preference.
- Chop the apple into small cubes – Since the muffin is a smaller vehicle to deliver the apples, we want the apples to be in smaller chunks so they fit in the muffin!
- Dice some of the apple a little smaller – You will reserve a little of the apple to dice into even smaller pieces – these will be used for the streusel topping.
- Make sure it is pumpkin puree – We use canned pumpkin puree, and not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling has extra ingredients added that we don’t need.
- Don’t overmix the batter – Overworking the batter causes more gluten to form, which will almost guarantee a rubbery and dense muffin.
- Use a cookie scoop – Using a cookie scoop to portion the batter into the cupcake liners is an easy way to add equal portions, and less mess!
- Pile on the streusel! – It may seem like you are putting a lot of streusel on the muffins, but it bakes down quite a bit, and we want to make sure we have a good ratio of streusel to muffin in the end!
- Start the oven temperature hot – Starting with a hot ovens sets off a rapid rise in the batter. Steam is quickly produced which gives the muffins rise, and the leavening agents to start working immediately. Both result in the classic ‘muffin top’. Then we turn it down after a few minutes to allow the muffins to cook evenly and thoroughly.
I have not tested a larger batch, but if you try it, let me know how they turn out!
Any apple you like to eat is my recommendation. I like Honeycrisp because they have a sweet and tart balance, and they retain texture when baked.
Starting with a hot ovens sets off a rapid rise in the batter. Steam is quickly produced which gives the muffins rise, and the leavening agents to start working immediately. Both result in the classic ‘muffin top’. Then we turn it down after a few minutes to allow the muffins to cook evenly and thoroughly.
The muffins should stay tender and moist for a couple of days covered at room temperature. Beyond that, they will likely start to dry out.
Apple Pumpkin Streusel Muffins
- 1 – Muffin/Cupcake Pan
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 1 ½ tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- pinch salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
- 1 ½ tablespoons diced apples (reserved from below)
Apple Pumpkin Muffins
- 1 ½ tablespoons full fat sour cream, room temperature
- 5 tablespoons pure canned pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon apple juice (or orange juice or water)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup fresh apple, cut into small cubes (I used a Honeycrisp apple. Dice about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons smaller to reserve for the topping)
- ½ cup, plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- In a small mixing bowl, add the flour, butter, both sugars, salt, and ground cinnamon. Cut the butter into the flour using a fork or your fingers, until you have small pea size pieces of streusel. Tip – With this amount of streusel, it is easier to use your fingers to mix the streusel.3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes, 1 ½ tablespoons light brown sugar, 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, pinch salt
- Stir in the reserved diced apples. Refrigerate the streusel topping until ready to use.1 ½ tablespoons diced apples
Apple Pumpkin Muffins
- Preheat oven to 425F degrees and adjust oven rack to the middle position. Line the muffin pan with 4 muffin liners.
- In a medium mixing bowl add the sour cream, pumpkin, juice , both sugars, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. With a fork, mix until combined and smooth. Stir in the remaining apple cubes.1 ½ tablespoons full fat sour cream, room temperature, 5 tablespoons pure canned pumpkin, 1 tablespoon apple juice, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, 1 large egg yolk, room temperature, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ cup fresh apple, cut into small cubes
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the batter just until no dry streaks remain. Do not overmix the batter, otherwise the muffins may turn out chewy.½ cup, plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ¾ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Evenly scoop the batter into the prepared muffin liners. Top each muffin with equal portions of the streusel topping.
- Bake at 425F degrees for 5 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 10 to 11 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!
- Serving Size – This recipe has been tested an intended to be a small batch. You can try to double the recipe to make a larger batch – let me know how they turn out!
- High Heat/Low Heat – The initial bake at high heat is what will make the muffins rise. Set a timer to make sure you turn the oven down after 5 minutes!
- Apple – I use a Honeycrisp apple, but you can use whatever apple you prefer.
- Pumpkin – Be sure it is pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. The latter has added ingredients we don’t need for this recipe.
- Leftover Pumpkin – You will have leftover pumpkin, regardless of the size can you use. Check out my other pumpkin recipes to make another batch of pumpkin treats!
- Mini Muffins – I have not tested it, but you can try to make this recipe into mini muffins. This may yield 10 to 12 muffins. I recommend skipping the 5 minute high heat and start checking the muffins around 12 minutes.
about the author ...
I'm Erin and I'm all about desserts - and a little bit of butter!
I've tested, written, and photographed hundreds of recipes on my website. Here you'll find the tastiest small batch gluten free and traditional desserts - all homemade, all simple, and all for you!