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Spiced Apple Cider Muffins

Spiced Apple Cider Muffins are a cozy, gluten-free treat that taste just like apple cider donuts. These muffins are made from scratch with apple cider and sugary-sweet flavors -the perfect fall time breakfast, snack and dessert.

Besides hot coffee, fall foliage and comfy sweaters, one of the things that tells me it’s fall are apple cider donuts.  Back in NJ, we would always head to a shop that had the best of the best.  Whenever I find them elsewhere, it takes me right back!

Those donuts would melt right in my mouth, and these spiced apple cider muffins taste JUST like those them. Sugary, cinnamon sweet soft cake donuts made from the comfort of your home! Not to mention, baking these muffins will make your house smell like you’ve been baking pies all day. What’s not to love about that?

🍎Ingredients You’ll Need

For the muffin batter:

  • Gluten Free Flour Blend – A good gluten free flour will take care of all your gluten free baking needs. Bob’s Red Mill, King Arthur and Cup4Cup all yield delicious baked goods.
  • Baking Powderis a leavening agent. It helps baked goods rise.
  • Salt – A small amount of salt in sweet foods actually enhances the sweetness.
  • Dark Brown Sugar – adds sweetness and makes the muffins golden brown.
  • Granulated Sugar – adds sweetness.
  • Cinnamon – packs inwarm, comforting flavor.
  • Spiced Apple Cider – brings intense, delicious apple flavor and warming spices to the muffin mixture. If you’re in a pinch, you can use apple juice but the flavor won’t be exactly the same.
  • Butter – adds rich flavor and helps develop a light, fluffy texture.
  • Vanilla Extract – adds a smooth, sweet flavor.
  • Milk – adds moisture. You can use cow’s milk or non-dairy milk here.
  • Egg – binds everything together.

For the topping:

  • Melted Butter – is the base for a strudel-like topping.
  • Granulated Sugar & Cinnamon – adds sweetness and texture to the topping.

🥣 How To Make Gluten Free Apple Cider Muffins

These spiced apple cider muffins are made to be gluten free with the help of a gluten free flour blend.  See below for a non gluten free apple cider muffin substitute. 

1️⃣ Preheat oven to 350F ad Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin tin or cupcake liners. 

2️⃣ Add one cup of spiced apple cider to a small sauce pot and bring to a boil.  Let apple cider reduce until only 1/2 cup is left. Let cool. 

3️⃣ In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar granulated sugar, cinnamon.

4️⃣ In another bowl, add the wet ingredients: cooled, apple cider concentrate, melted butter, vanilla extract, 1/4 cup milk (can be dairy free) 1 egg.

5️⃣ Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients slowly until a batter is formed.  This is best done with a stand mixer but can also be done by hand. 

6️⃣ Add apple cider muffin batter to each muffin tin and fill about 2/3 full on each.  Add to oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center. 

7️⃣ While muffins are baking melt 1/4 cup butter in a small bowl. Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon in another. 

8️⃣ Once muffins are cooled, dip the tops in melted butter, then in cinnamon sugar mix to coat top.

👩🏻‍🍳 Chef’s Tips

Make sure to use a gluten free flour blend that lists xanthan gum in the ingredients. Without gluten, xantham gum acts as a binding agent and holds everything together.

Try not to overfill the muffin tins, so they don’t spill over the sides of the tin when baking. Fill muffin tins 2/3rds of the way full.

Be sure to let the muffins cool completely to room temperature before drizzling on the topping.

If making for a party or event, use muffin or cupcake liners so they’re easier to pop out of the muffin tin and serve.

For the best results, bring the egg and the apple cider to room temperature before using.

🔁 Variations

  • Make them mini! Use a mini muffin tin and reduce the cook time.
  • In addition to the cinnamon, add pumpkin spice seasoning for even more fall flavor.
  • Make apple cider donuts using a donut pan or silicone donut molds.
  • Add diced fresh apple to the batter before baking for added crunch.
  • Simply replace the gluten free flour blend with all purpose flour 1:1 in this recipe to make an apple cider muffin that is not gluten free. 

🌱 Vegan Apple Cider Donuts

The non-vegan ingredients in this recipe can easily be swapped out for their plant-based counterparts. Use a plant-based butter substitute, non-dairy milk and a flax egg or your favorite egg replacement. Note: This variation has not been tested by yours truly.

Storing & Freezing

Storing: Store muffins in a paper-towel lined airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 days or in the fridge for up to a week.

Freezing: Be sure to let cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

FAQ

What’s the difference between apple cider and apple juice?

Apple cider is different from apple juice because it has more of a true apple flavor. It still contains the sediments and flavors from processing the apple. In apple cider, the apples are ground up and juiced. What remains is apple cider. Apple juice is simply apple cider that is further processed by removing the any solids and processing it further by pasteurizing  and in most cases adding sugar. Using apple cider in recipes is much more flavorful than using plain apple juice.

What if I can’t find spiced apple cider?

Apple cider is usually found year round in grocery stores, but spiced apple cider may only be available in the fall months.  If you can’t find spiced apple cider, simply add the following to the dry ingredients: ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg, ⅛ tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp additional ground cinnamon. 

Can I substitute apple cider vinegar for apple cider in a recipe?

Please don’t! They are 2 very different types of liquid that taste completely different. However, if you have any extra apple cider vinegar around, feel free to make my apple pie flavored apple cider vinegar shots to help with digestion and overall health!

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apple cider muffins

Spiced Apple Cider Muffins

These spiced apple cider muffins are the perfect recipe using apple cider. These fall muffins taste like an apple cider donuts and are gluten free.
4.45 from 29 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 Muffins
Calories: 292kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Gluten Free Flour Blend
  • 1.5 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 cup Spiced Apple Cider to make concentrate
  • ½ cup Butter melted
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ cup Milk can be non dairy milk
  • 1 egg
  • TOPPING
  • ¼ cup Butter melted
  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350.  Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin tin or cupcake liners. 
  • Add one cup of spiced apple cider to a small sauce pot and bring to a boil.  Let apple cider reduce until only 1/2 cup is left. Let cool. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar granulated sugar, cinnamon.
  • In another bowl, add the wet ingredients: cooled, apple cider concentrate, melted butter, vanilla extract, 1/4 cup milk (can be dairy free) 1 egg.
  • Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients slowly until a batter is formed.  This is best done with a stand mixer but can also be done by hand. 
  • Add apple cider muffin batter to each muffin tin and fill about 2/3 full on each.  Add to oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center. 
  • While muffins are baking melt 1/4 cup butter in a small bowl. Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon in another. 
  • Once muffins are cooled, dip the tops in melted butter, then in cinnamon sugar mix to coat top.
  • Apple cider muffins will last up to 1 week in sealed container.

Notes

What if I cant find spiced apple cider? Apple cider is usually found year round in grocery stores, but spiced apple cider may only be available in the fall months.  If you can't find spiced apple cider, simply add the following to the dry ingredients: 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/8 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp additional ground cinnamon. 
Can I substitute apple cider vinegar for apple cider in a recipe? Please don't!  They are 2 very different types of liquid that taste completely different.  However, if you have any extra apple cider vinegar around, feel free to make my apple pie flavored apple cider vinegar shots to help with digestion and overall health!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 253mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g

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2 Comments

  1. I have these in the oven… didn’t have the heart to thaw a cider just for these, so I used apple juice and added some extra cinnamon and a little nutmeg. They smell amazing and the batter is tasty! Can’t wait for breakfast.

  2. 5 stars
    My kids LOVED these! I get requests all the time to make them. Thank you for the great recipe.

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