Apple Orchard Muffins
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I haven’t made a muffin in ages, and truthfully, muffin recipes rarely call my name anymore. But this “Apple Orchard” muffin, from the Red Truck Bakery cookbook, sounded too good not to make immediately.
For one, the recipe calls for all of my favorite ingredients: oil (as opposed to butter), buttermilk (aka the magical milk), and maple syrup (actually sorghum syrup or honey, but I didn’t have either). Second, each muffin is sprinkled with turbinado sugar, which always makes the tastiest and prettiest top. And finally, I can’t pretend I wasn’t drawn to the name — “Apple Orchard” muffin — cute, right?
These muffins are heaven to me: loaded with apples, very subtly spiced with cinnamon, soft-crumbed, and generously encrusted with sugar.
I posted a photo of these muffins on Instagram this morning and immediately got many requests for the recipe, so pardon the brevity, but I wanted to get this out. Red Truck Bakery, if you are unfamiliar, is a beloved bakery in rural Virginia, and the cookbook includes “85 nostalgic recipes for cookies, cakes, pies, and more to make every day delicious—from breakfast to dessert.” As always, I’ll keep you posted on any more explorations, but this here’s a good place to start.
Gather your ingredients:
This is essentially a two-bowl process:
Apple Orchard Muffins
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 12
- Diet: Vegetarian
From the Red Truck Bakery cookbook, these muffins, to me, are perfect: loaded with apples, very subtly spiced with cinnamon, soft-crumbed, and sugar crusted. They are made with all of my favorite ingredients, too: oil (as opposed to butter), buttermilk (the magical milk), maple syrup (my love… recipe calls for sorghum syrup or honey, but maple syrup worked beautifully), and turbinado sugar, which makes the best crust. You can absolutely use granulated sugar in its place, but if you’re heading to the store, pick up a bag — you’ll never want to make muffins without it. I’m using the Wholesome brand Organic Raw Cane Turbinado — it’s a little lighter in color than turbinado sugars I’ve used in the past, and I’m really loving it.
Also loving my new muffin pan.
A few notes:
- I did not use nonstick spray or butter to grease my muffin tin. I just used muffin liners, and it worked just fine.
- I omitted the raisins — I’ve never liked raisins in muffins… just me.
- I used Honey Crisp apples.
- non stick cooking spray or butter for greasing, optional (see notes)
- 2 3/4 cups (355 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted (or not)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (I used 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sorghum syrup or honey (I used maple syrup)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups chopped (1/2-inch) peeled apples, from about 2 large apples
- 1 cup golden raisins, optional
- Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat a muffin tin with nonstick spray and line it with paper liners (you may need two tins). Lightly spray the liners as well. (As noted above, I simply used the liners.)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, sorghum (or maple) syrup, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add the buttermilk and mix well with a whisk or spatula. Add the flour mixture and stir just until flour disappears. Fold in the apples and raisins, if using.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Generously sprinkle turbinado sugar over each muffin.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool slightly in the pan, then transfer the muffins to a raised wire rack to finish cooling.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: apple, orchard, muffins, breakfast, fall, baking
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
30 Comments on “Apple Orchard Muffins”
Hmmmm….looks like I found another Christmas present….for me! Ha ha ha!!
Yay!! Good pick 🙂 🙂 🙂
Red Truck is a favorite stop of ours when going out to Shenendoah for a hike. The people are warm and the coffee and breakfast is delicious. I highly recommend everyone put it on their list!
Oh wow, so fun to hear you’ve been to Red Truck Bakery. I would love to visit!
Do you think it would work to substitute plain yogurt for the buttermilk
What do you think about whole wheat flour for this recipe? Thanks!
Go for it! I always suggest starting with half whole wheat/half all purpose only because whole wheat flour can make for a dense texture, but if you typically use whole wheat flour and like it, just go for it. Do you have particular brand of whole wheat flour that you like? If not, I really love King Arthur Flour’s sprouted wheat flour.
Made it, loved it, couldn’t stop licking the batter…and I don’t think of myself as a big time muffin lover. I needed something for a 9 a.m. meeting and this definitely filled the bill. Batter filled a standard 12 muffin pan plus 3 of the Texas-sized muffins. Next time I’ll use the extra and make many minis! After 6 months of a hot, humid Hawaiian summer the paper liners could not be made to sit but I had no problems getting them out of the well-oiled non-stick pan. Don’t skimp on the turbinado, the crunch it provides is great and it will not stick if you try to add it afterwards. Believe me I tried!
So happy to hear this, Nancy!! I ended up saving the extra batter in the fridge for a few days and made a mini loaf pan … so cute and good. And yes to NOT skimping on the turbinado sugar. So good. Thanks for writing!
I made these yesterday. Very reminiscent of Teddy’s Apple Cake, but less oily. I used maple syrup. Ended up using less than one apple, which was a mistake. Will be sure to use one whole apple the next time. Still think two would be too many for my taste. Didn’t have turbinado sugar, but used mix of sugar and cinnamon, since you mentioned that the muffins had a subtle taste. I also used 3/4 cup of wheat flour.
Wonderful to hear all of this, Sarah! I, too, thought they were going to be too apple-y when I saw the amount of apples in the batter, and when I ate one, I totally could have added more. So glad all of your modifications worked. Your cinnamon-sugar topping sounds delicious!
Made these, outstanding! Had two honey crisp apples left, what luck, love the maple syrup switch, have been using that substitution in a lot of recipes instead of vanilla! Could you use peaches in this recipe for a summer treat ?
So happy to hear this, Judith! And yes, absolutely: peaches would be delicious!!
Made these this morning to rave reviews. Used half all purpose flour and half spelt flour, because I had it available. Delish. Used two apples so perhaps 3 cups instead of 2; perfect. Must agree with earlier commenter that I couldn’t stop tasting the batter! Yum. Another winner Ali. Thanks!!!
So happy to hear this, Amanda!
I love this recipe! I make it a few times a month for our family breakfast. Even my picky 10 year old loves it. I just make a few substitutions to reduce the sugar and add more fiber. But the texture and taste still stay wonderful. I replace all of the brown sugar with a half a cup of apple sauce and add a bit more maple syrup. I also replace half the regular flour with oat flour (oats ground in the food processor) and add a few tablespoons of ground flax seed. Thanks Alexandra!
Nicole, it’s so greatl to hear all of this! Your substitutions sound absolutely wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing.
Hi, thank you for a wonderful recipe! Third time making it now and 3 times perfect outcome! No raisins, used the maple syrup (yum) but – Apples and chopped walnuts, apples and blueberries and this last time I used 2 roughly chopped Granny Smiths plus a heaped cup of diced strawberries and topped with left over crumble (basic butter, sugar, cinnamon) from another recipe. Took about 22 minutes. Everyone loved them each time! I’m new to baking and I keep saving other recipes but so hard to leave this one as it works so perfectly!
Wonderful to hear this Ania! All of your variations sound wonderful!
Alexandra thank you for this recipe! I just made them. I had to make the following two changes to accommodate a friend who is vegan: almond milk w 2tbsp of apple cider vinegar in place of buttermilk and a flax egg instead of the egg. They were baked at 25 minutes and are perfect.
Wonderful to hear this, Nazanin! And thanks for sharing your vegan variation … so helpful for others!
These were wonderful! Muffins are not my son’s or husband’s favorite treat but the devoured these muffins and my son has demanded they go on a bi-weekly rotation! Thank you for another wonderful recipe Ali!
Wonderful to hear this, Efi! My kids love these as well 🙂
These look awesome- I would like to make them for Thanksgiving gifts – but I don’t know if I just don’t see it, but I can’t find how many it makes? I need about 48 so want to make sure I have enough ingredients for enough batches. I am eager to try them!!
Hi Connie! And apologies for the delay here! The recipe yields 12 muffins. Happy Thanksgiving!
This was a great recipe! I halved the brown sugar and the maple syrup, and it still turned out moist and delicious. Will definitely be making again!
Wonderful to hear this, Kelli! Love the idea of cutting back the sugars. Thanks for writing.
I would love to see the nutrition info on your recipes! I love your cookbooks!
Thank you, Connie! I will look into adding nutritional info … stay tuned 🙂