These Apple Cheddar Muffins have been a family favorite for years. Fresh apples paired with cheese are always a winning combo! These are the most tender, flavorful muffins – they’ll melt in your mouth!
Muffins are hands down my favorite thing to bake. So easy, but so rewarding! These Apple Cheddar Muffins are an old favorite, but they’re new to my kitchen. My mom adapted these from a Cook’s Illustrated magazine years ago and she’s been making them for family breakfasts ever since. I think they are her most requested recipe.
As much as I love them, I’ve always left them to mom. But after the crazy few weeks we’ve had around here, I needed a tried and true muffin recipe for comfort food. When my Stemilt delivery showed up on my doorstep with some gorgeous Pinata Apples, it was time!
Last month, my two year old started acting a little sick. I thought maybe an ear infection? But within less than 24 hours he was really sick and we were in the hospital trying to figure it all out. They suspected meningitis, but a spinal (gahh!) ruled that out. In the end, after so very many tests/x-rays/CAT scans/ultrasounds and a long hospital stay, they said things like Bacteremia and Pharyngeal Abscess. I’m still trying to make sense of it all!
I kept asking, “How did he get this?” but it’s a question with no answer. Wrong germ, wrong time, wrong place. The doctors and nurses were incredible though and they eventually sent me home with a sweet traumatized boy who was on the road to recovery. But just when I thought we were almost going to get back to normal around here, we found ourselves back in the hospital. Meanwhile, the girls were all hit with the flu. It was fun.
It’s been another week now and I think it’s finally safe to say that he’s fine once again, I’m still crossing my fingers.
Honestly, I’m still feeling a little shell shocked. It wasn’t until it was all over that it really hit me just how scary it was. When I took Rory into our regular pediatrician’s office for a follow-up after our hospital stay, our favorite CNP said, “You know, he could have died!” I knew that, I guess, but I hadn’t let myself think it until she said those words.
I knew it was serious, even before I took him to the hospital, and I knew I’d never had a child act so sick ever before. Still, it wasn’t until he was home and safe once again that I could have even allowed myself to process the real terror of it all. In the thick of it I had to cope, so I didn’t go there. He’s finally in the clear now, and I’m feeling all the emotions. Or rather, ALL THE EMOTIONS, because it’s been intense.
Apple Cheddar Muffins
This little story, however, has a very happy ending. It ends with muffins. Not just any muffins either. These Apple Cheddar Muffins really are the best of the best.
The cheese in these muffins makes them so tender, so rich. They will melt in your mouth! The apples on top are my favorite part, but I also included chunks of apple in the muffins as well for those warm, juicy bursts of flavor. These taste like cinnamon and sweet apples, but the glaze also gives them a hint of lemon too. They really are a gorgeous addition to the breakfast/brunch table, but they’re not a lot work.
When picking apples for this recipe, look for apples that crisp, with a sweet-tart flavor. Apples like Jonagold, Gala, Cortland, and Pink Lady work well. I am, however, partial to Stemilt’s Pinata apples. They are seriously good with a tropical twist! You can also use Stemilt’s “There’s An Apple for That” website which will calculate the best apple for whatever you’re making. It’s fun!
As with most muffin recipes, you can make them as healthy as you like. If you’re looking for a treat, or a surefire way to impress, just follow the recipe as is. If you’re feeling a little more health conscious, use half or all whole grain flour (I like to use spelt, but whole wheat works too) and skip the glaze. Either way, they are muffins to fall in love with.
I’ve been enjoying these muffins for years now, but this week, they’re comfort food. Getting in the kitchen to mix them up is also a good distraction from the obsessive scrubbing and cleaning I’ve been doing. I may or may not be a little, or a lot, scared of germs now.
But, back to those muffins. Enjoy!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese cut into small chunks
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 pound apples (crisp, sweet-tart apples work best), this was 2 large pinata apples for me
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease muffin tins well and set aside.
- Take ½ pound of apple and core, peel and dice into bite size pieces. Take the other half pound of apple and core without peeling. Slice the apples crosswise into thin half moons. Set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, butter and cheese until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk the egg and milk together. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the egg and milk mixture. Stir gently until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Gently fold in the half pound of peeled, diced apples.
- Spoon batter, about ¼ cup, into each prepared muffin tin. Take the half moon sliced apples and place them cut side down on top of each muffin (as pictured above) pressing them in gently. Bake until edges of muffin are just beginning to turn golden, about 15 minutes.
- While the muffins are baking, combine all of the glaze ingredients in small sauce pan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved - about 5 minutes.
- When the muffins have cooked for about 15 minutes (or when the edges are beginning to turn golden) remove them from oven and brush the glaze evenly over the top. Return to oven and bake until done, about 10 more minutes, or until muffins spring back when gently pressed on top. Cool in muffin tin for about 10 minutes before removing. If you have additional glaze left, you can serve them with extra glaze.
I received a complimentary box of Stemilt Fruit for review purposes. All opinions are entirely my own and I have not been compensated for this post.