The key ingredient in Caramel Apple Buttermilk Muffins is not the caramel or the apples, it’s the buttermilk that makes these muffins so incredible.
I hope you are ready for some AMAZING muffins! Some people might think that the key ingredient in this Caramel Apple Buttermilk Muffins recipe would be the apples or caramel. But it’s the buttermilk that makes these muffins so incredible. That being said, this IS one of the best apple recipes to make during the fall apple picking season!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- sweet buttermilk muffin base
- freshly diced apples
- cinnamon sugar streusel
- brown sugar caramel glaze
Tips for Making Caramel Apple Buttermilk Muffins
- Make the streusel first. Get that part out of the way and set it aside. That way it will be ready when you need it.
- Mix wet ingredients separately from the dry ingredients. You don’t want to overmix muffin batter so mixing separately first keeps you from doing that.
- If you take the chill off the egg and buttermilk, it will help the ingredients combine more easily.
- Don’t have buttermilk in the fridge? Don’t worry! You can make your own by placing one teaspoon of vinegar in a measuring cup. Then fill it the rest of the way with milk. Higher fat milk works best. Stir and allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes, then add it to the wet ingredients.
- Granny Smith is a great apple for baking. It has a tart flavor and won’t get too mushy while it is in the oven. Honeycrisp and Pink Lady are great options also.
- Start baking the muffins at a higher temperature, then lower it without opening the oven door. This will help the muffins get a nice rise but not get too brown.
Brown Sugar Caramel Glaze
When you want to take muffins to the next level, you add glaze. And this glaze has a subtle caramel flavor that will pair so well with the apple and buttermilk.
- Combine brown sugar, butter and milk in a medium size microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir well and return to microwave for 15 seconds. Stir again.
- Add vanilla. While stirring, add powdered sugar and mix until smooth and creamy. Then drizzle over the cooled muffins.
Note about the glaze: It should drizzle easily, but should not be super ‘runny”. Add a bit more milk or powdered sugar to adjust thickness.
Caramel Apple Buttermilk Muffins
- 1 tablespoon cold butter
- ⅓ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup finely chopped walnuts
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (you may need a bit more if the batter is too wet)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 3/4 cups coarsely chopped peeled apple (Granny Smith works great)
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- In a bowl, combine all the streusel topping ingredients. With your fingers, combine until you have a crumbly mixture. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400˚ Fahrenheit. and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. If you don’t have paper liners, butter and flour the muffin tin.
- In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda); set aside. In another bowl, combine the oil, brown sugar, and egg. Once combined, stir in the buttermilk and vanilla extract.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Gently mix in the apple. If the batter seems to thin, add a tiny bit more flour. The batter should be fairly stiff. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups filling them right to the top.
- Divide the streusel topping equally among the muffins.
- Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the temperature to 350˚ F. and bake for an additional 10 minutes. When the muffins are done, they will spring back when lightly pressed. Otherwise, test the muffins by inserting a toothpick. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove them and let cool for 15-20 minutes on a wire rack before drizzling with caramel icing.
- While muffins are baking, prepare drizzle mixture. Combine brown sugar, butter and milk in a medium size microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir well and return to microwave for 15 seconds. Stir again.
- Add vanilla. While stirring, add powdered sugar and mix until smooth and creamy. Mixture should drizzle easily, but should not be super ‘runny”. Add a bit more milk or powdered sugar to adjust thickness. Drizzle over cooled muffins.
- Store the muffins in an airtight container at room temperature.