Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, so I’m all for celebrating it throughout October. There’s the house decorating, the pumpkin carving, the movie watching, the costume creating, and the caramel apple making. I made these Caramel Apples last year because I think they’re a classic Halloween treat, but this year I decided to mix things up a little.
What if we took everything that makes a caramel apple, a juicy Granny Smith apple covered in delicious, chewy caramel, but made it into something you can sort of get away with eating for breakfast? Yes, these Caramel Apple Muffins now give you the excuse to eat globs of caramel first thing in the morning. You’re welcome.
You’ll start off by making the muffins first. Once your oven is preheated and your cupcake pan is lined and ready to go, you’ll want to prep your apples by peeling and grating them. There will be a lot of liquid, so it helps to drain a little of that liquid when measuring the apple out. Even if the pieces look a little big, most of them will end up blending right into the muffin and you’ll just get that Granny Smith apple flavor without any chewiness.
Whisk together the dry ingredients in one bowl, while the butter and sugar blend together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Then add in the egg, followed by the apple. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl before alternating between adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the batter. You’ll want to mix just until it’s combined and then give the bowl a good scrape with your spatula to make sure it’s ready to go.
I used a 2 tbsp scoop to evenly distribute the batter for a dozen muffins, but you can also use a spoon and eye it. While the muffins bake away, you’ll want to get started on that delicious caramel drizzle with just three ingredients: sugar, water, and heavy cream.
You’ll cook the sugar and water together until it caramelizes and then take the pan off of the heat to add in the heavy cream. The caramel will be just at the right temperature that it’s pourable, but still a little chewy.
Caramel can be a little intimidating, but as long as you have your ingredients measured and you keep a close eye on it while it cooks, you’ll have one delicious caramel drizzle.
Let the caramel sit for a few minutes before drizzling it over each muffin. Get creative and have fun with it! The muffins are best served warm, and I recommend drizzling them with the caramel right before you plan on eating them. Enjoy!
Caramel Apple Muffins
Author: Marisa Guerra
Apple Muffins (Makes one dozen)
- 1 ¾ cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ cup butter
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated (about 2 apples)
- ⅓ cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 350° F and line a cupcake pan with liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices and set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer on low, add in the egg.
- Add in the apple and mix on low just until combined.
- Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, alternate between adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with your spatula.
- Divide batter evenly into 12 liners and bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the muffins cool for a few minutes before placing a cooling rack on top of the pan and carefully flipping them out. Turn the muffins right side up and continue to let cool.
Salted Caramel Drizzle
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Combine the sugar, salt, and water in a nonstick sauce pan and heat over medium high heat for about 6-8 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally, until it turns a light amber brown color.
- Turn the heat down to medium low and carefully pour the heavy cream into the mixture. Stir continuously for about 3 minutes or so until it has thickened slightly.
- Pour into a heatproof bowl and let cool for a few minutes before drizzling over muffins. Store any leftover caramel in the fridge and reheat to use.