Apple Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

After making my pear coffeecake, I decided to see if the recipe would bake up as muffins. Turns out it works just as well, so I swapped out the grated pear for apple, and placed a giant mound of cream cheese frosting on top. Maybe these muffins are too decadent for breakfast, but I won’t tell anyone if you decide to eat them first thing in the morning anyway.

what you need:

For the muffins:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Gala apple, peeled and grated (about 1 apple)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup apple cider

For the frosting:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk or apple cider

For the muffins:
Adjust the oven rack to the lower middle position. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin. (This will make about 14 muffins, so either line a second muffin tin with 2 cupcake liners, or reuse the pan after baking the first 12.)

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium until smooth. Add the granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat on medium until incorporated, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix on low until just combined. Add the grated apple, and mix again on low. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix on low to combine. Add the sour cream and apple cider and mix again on low. Add the remaining flour and mix on low until combined. Use a spatula to finish mixing.

Scoop the batter into the prepared tins, about 3/4 full. Bake 12-16 minutes, until muffins are golden and a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool. Remove the muffins from the tin and let finish cooling on the rack. Top with the cream cheese frosting.

For the frosting:
In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter and cream cheese together until creamy, and no lumps remain. Scrape down the sides. Add the salt and vanilla, and mix on low to combine. Slowly add the confectioner’s sugar, and mix on low until combined. Scrape down the sides. Add the milk (or cider) and mix on low until combined. Increase the speed to medium high, then beat the frosting until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.

Spread the frosting on the cupcakes.

Enjoy!

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