Apple Chai Coffee Cake Muffins

Apple Chai Coffee Cake Muffins

I love muffins, and so does my family. Muffins and loaves are usually what they ask for when I ask “what should I bake today?” Apple muffins are a particular favourite of mine, especially in the fall and winter when apples are plentiful and inexpensive compared to other fruit. And given that my children eat apples like they’re going out of style, which necessitates me purchasing them by the bag pretty much every week, apples are something I always have on hand. This recipe was inspired by an apple coffee cake that I made. I wanted to make it smaller, easier to send with Eliza for her morning snack at school and in my husband’s lunch, and I wanted to spice it up a little, and not just go with the usual cinnamon and sugar streusel. The result is this: a lovely apple muffin that is moist and tender, with just a hint of chai spice. Perfect to enjoy with a morning cup of tea as a special breakfast treat.

Apple Chai Coffee Cake Muffins

Normally I’m not a “healthify your recipes” kinda girl – when I want to indulge, I want to indulge, if you know what I mean. But given that my family loves baked goods so much, I like to tweak my muffins to make them just a little bit healthier, and do things like use whole-grain flours, applesauce, less sugar {and substitute honey when I can}. This recipe uses a couple of my standard baking tweaks – some whole wheat flour subbed for white, and applesauce instead of some of the butter. When I make better choices with my ingredients, it might not be a super healthy option but at least I feel a little less guilty when I grab one on my way out the door.

Apple Chai Coffee Cake Muffins

Apple Chai Coffee Cake Muffins

1 tsp cardamom
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground star anise
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Spice blend {less the reserved 3/4 tsp}
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted & cooled
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 small apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp reserved spice blend
5 Tbsp cold butter

Prepare muffin tins, greasing or lining 18 wells with paper liners. Preheat oven to 350.

In a small bowl, mix together spices – cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, anise, & cloves. Reserve 3/4 tsp of this mixture for the streusel.

In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the larger portion of the chai spices. Blend well.

In a large bowl, combine brown sugar and eggs, whisking until smooth. Add yogurt and buttermilk, and mix until all the lumps are gone. Stir in butter and applesauce. Fold in dry ingredients until just combined, and then gently stir in the chopped apples.

To make the streusel, mix together brown sugar, flour, salt, and reserved spices. Cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter or two knives, until well blended and crumbly.

Fill muffin cups half way with batter. Top with a spoon of streusel, and then fill with more batter. {Tip: Press the batter in gently so that it sticks to the batter on the bottom and the layers bake together, otherwise the muffins can fall apart.} Top with a generous sprinkling of streusel, and bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Yield: 18 muffins


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28 thoughts on “Apple Chai Coffee Cake Muffins

  1. Leslie

    I always think Coffee cake means it has coffee in it. These sound yummy although I think I would leave out the anise. not a fan 😀

    1. Samantha Post author

      It’s not necessary, that’s for sure. Normally I’m not an anise fan either (in fact, I despise anything licorice flavoured), but it’s pretty subtle in these. Maybe I should make them for you and see if I can sneak it past you. 😉

    1. Samantha Post author

      If you can make a GF muffin, I bet you could adapt the recipe. I know next to nothing about GF baking, so I have no idea how you’d do it!

  2. Brandee

    DUDE! You know I love muffins and I love your recipes, so how could I not love this one? I can’t wait until I have 2 hands again so I can make them ( unless of course, you want to have some couriered to me? ) 😉

  3. Pingback: » Great Apple Round Up!

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