Warmly Spiced Caramel Apple Muffins

Caramel Apple Muffins2

Autumn and apples are two of my most favorite things so I decided to combine the flavors of fall with some of the fresh, crisp apples I picked at the orchard and my delicious Warmly Spiced Caramel Apple Muffins were born! I came across the original muffin recipe which was for Peach Muffins in the “The King Arthur Flour Bakers Companion” but I made some tweaks to the recipe to create my own autumn version of this summer treat! Be sure to use a nice, crisp baking apple in the recipe to keep the apple bits from getting mushy and turning into applesauce when baking. A few excellent options are Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Braeburn and Winesap.

The batter will be very thick so I recommend using a cookie scoop to fill the greased or paper muffin cups, it makes the job much easier and far less messy. When pressing the caramel bits into the muffin tops I advise that you keep them close to the center of the muffin as caramel tends to melt and ooze in the oven. Placing them in the center will keep more caramel on the muffin and less on the pan. Lastly, I added a generous sprinkle of turbinado sugar to the top of each muffin for that little extra crunch and shimmer.

These muffins are very soft and fluffy with just the right amount of warmly spiced flavor. There are notes of allspice, cinnamon and apple pie spice all of which give a nice balance to the sweetness of the fruit. The little bits of caramel throughout add a nice chew, especially on the top of the muffin. These are the perfect breakfast treat on a cool, fall morning. Enjoy!

**MAKES 24 MUFFINS**

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups (19 ounces) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 4 1/2 tsp (3/4 ounce) baking powder
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) milk
  • 3 medium sized baking apples, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup Kraft® Premium Caramel Bits, plus more for muffin tops 
  • Turbinado sugar, for tops of muffin (optional)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, brown sugar, allspice, apple pie spice and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk together until everything is evenly distributed and there are no lumps. Set aside.

In another bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil and milk. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Gently fold in the fruit and caramel bits.

Fill greased or paper muffin cups almost to the top. Press in a few caramel bits on the top and then sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Remove muffins from the pan and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.

**NOTE – These muffins freeze beautifully. Simply cool them completely, wrap each muffin individually in plastic wrap and place in a tightly sealed plastic container.**