You know the expression Spring has sprung? There should really be one for Fall, but I don’t think “Fall has fallen” has quite the right ring to it. But its true, Fall is here with all of its crisp air, bright leaves and fabulous flavours. I know that loving Fall is really … basic. But it is undeniably the best season in Canada. Its that sweet spot where we haven’t hit the depressing depths of the Winter, but we still get to enjoy all the soups and stews, Sunday roasts and Shepherd’s pies with a glass of red wine like it is the Winter.
On top of that, Fall always has the baked goods part of my brain running in overdrive. After long summer months of trying to maintain that “bikini body” and a lighter diet, I finally get to make all the buttery treats I’ve been thinking about since last Winter. The Fall harvest, not to mention, provides some of my favourite baking staples. There really isn’t much you can’t do with a can of pumpkin puree, or fresh Ontario macintosh’s, or a sweet apple cider.
These Pumpkin and Apple Cider Muffins are the perfect way to bring the best of Fall in to a sweet treat to go with your morning coffee. We’re exactly three weeks in to the Fall already, and consequently I’ve made these muffins three times. What can I say, they are a family favourite! As soon as they come out of the oven I have to ward off the vultures, (my hungry family, and the dog) by insisting that they still need their cinnamon sugar topping before they can be eaten. This is in part because they really are that much better with a little sweet crunch on top, but mainly so that I can get the first pick out of the dozen.
The Look She Gives Me When There’s Baking Going On
The cinnamon sugar topping as mentioned, is inspired by those soft pillowy apple cider doughnuts you can only get at an apple orchard that are to die for. Once I started thinking about those, I had to mix them in to this recipe. When the muffins have cooled just enough, I give the top a dunk in unsalted butter (melted in a bowl) and then give them a shake around in a bowl of cinnamon sugar for the perfect nod to the classic doughnut. I have been daydreaming about those doughnuts the moment I started looking up nearby apple orchards at the end of August. I considered just trying to make them myself, but not wanting to have to deal with the whole frying aspect of making apple cider doughnuts myself, I combined these simple Fall muffins with the cinnamon-y coating of my dreams, and it is a pairing only Martha herself could have thought of.
So there you have it. The perfect Fall treat for your afternoon snack or your morning coffee!
Happy Fall baking!
Pumpkin and Apple Cider Muffins
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/8 tsp ginger
- 3/4 cup butter, slightly melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar/variation (I used Coconut brown sugar)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups pure pumpkin puree (16 oz can)
- 2/3 cup apple cider
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
For Cinnamon Sugar Coating:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon (might need more as you go)
- In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and set aside.
- In a smaller bowl whisk together pumpkin puree, apple cider and buttermilk, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer beat together the slightly melted butter and both sugars. Add eggs in one at a time beating well after each addition. Add in vanilla and mix until smooth and creamy.
- Slowly add the pumpkin, apple cider and buttermilk mixture to the stand mixer. The batter will look slightly separated but that is normal.
- Form a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the pumpkin mixture. Using a spatula, fold together but do not over mix. A few flour streaks are okay.
- Preheat your oven to 375 Celsius and set out about 15 muffin cups in a tray.
- Fill each cup 3/4 of the way. Bake for 20 to 25 mins until firm to the touch and golden in colour. Tester inserted should come out clean.
- After letting the muffins cool, dip the top in the melted butter to coat lightly and then dust with the cinnamon sugar. Leave to set on a cooling rack.