Fall is all about cooler weather and warm spices. I love simmering a big pot of apple cider on the stove and filling my home with the scents of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. I’ve made apple butter a few times, but honestly, I really love buying it from the vendors at the farmers market. I even have a favorite brand that can be found in large grocery stores. It’s one of those things that, although it is so rewarding to make homemade, I’m just as happy buying it from someone else. I spread it on toast, mix it into oatmeal, and now use it in muffins.
If you have an apple orchard close to home, you should definitely spend a day picking apples with your family, purchasing local goods, and then go home and make some spiced apple cider muffins. I love when the girls want to spend time in the kitchen with me. They end up having tons of fun and being so proud of themselves for what they’ve accomplished. I don’t even mind cleaning up the mess afterward because it’s been such a rewarding time of bonding and working together.
Abby had a homework assignment this weekend to make a pumpkin or apple recipe so I thought it would be a good time to test out these spiced apple cider muffins I’ve been working on. I wanted something that would really taste like apples, and I wanted to make an egg-free muffin. I happily accomplished both with this recipe. I think folding in raisins or chopped nuts would be a welcome addition, too.
I used white whole wheat flour here, which is made from soft white wheat instead of hard red wheat so it’s a nice compromise between nutrient-stripped all-purpose flour and dense whole wheat flour. (I definitely still use all-purpose for flaky biscuits and sugared up cupcakes.) Maple syrup sweetens the muffins without using refined sugar. If you need these to be vegan, you can simply swap out the melted butter for coconut oil. Mmm coconut apple muffins? That would be fun.