It’s just barely September and I’m already in an autumnal mood! It has been such a hot and sticky summer this year. I cannot wait for the cooler weather to hit! If you’re excited about autumn like me, you need to try these delicious Brown Butter Apple Muffins! They have all the best warm and cozy flavors that will surely put you in a cheerful fall mood: apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, and of course, brown butter!
It’s the brown butter that really makes these muffins extra special – it adds a nutty, toasty quality that really complements the slightly tangy apple flavor. These muffins take a little bit of extra work to brown the butter, but the results are definitely worth it!
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Brown Butter Apple Muffins Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make these muffins:
- Butter – unsalted please!
- Apples – you will need about two large apples. You can use your favorite type, but I recommend a firmer apple that will hold its shape while cooking (i.e. not Red Delicious). I’ve made these muffins with Pink Lady and Granny Smith, and I really preferred Granny Smith. It added a nice tang that offset the sweetness of the brown sugar better. This recipe calls for both shredded and diced apple. I tested this recipe with only diced (not enough apple flavor throughout the muffin) and only shredded (not enough intense bursts of apple flavor), and ultimately, a mix of both was the clear winner!
- Light brown sugar
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Eggs – best if room temperature (or closer to room temperature), even if you just take them out right when you first start to cook that will help.
- Milk – same as above, best closer to room temperature
How to Make Brown Butter
It should take the butter about 6 – 7 minutes in a saucepan over medium heat to make its glorious transformation into brown butter. During the first few minutes of the cooking process, you can do other things (peel and dice your apples, for example), but you need to keep an eye on the pan and swirl it around frequently. During this time, grab a large heat-proof bowl to have nearby. That way you can pour the butter into it as soon as it’s ready.
Once the butter fully melts and starts to foam up, you should turn your full attention to it! It will bubble and foam, and then die down a bit. Then you should then start to see the color deepening and little dark brown bits forming at the bottom. These brown bits are the milk solids cooking. It will also start to smell amazingly nutty and toasty in your kitchen! Keep swirling the pan so it cooks evenly and so you can see just how dark the butter is getting underneath any remaining foam.
As soon as you reach a nice, deep brown (but not burnt!) color, yank the pan off the heat and pour it into a large heat-proof bowl to cool down. You don’t want to dawdle here, you can go from nice, dark and nutty to burnt pretty quickly. That’s why it’s helpful to have your bowl already set out.
Making Brown Butter Apple Muffins: Step By Step
Here is a guide to show you what each step of the baking process looks like:
- Brown the butter and place in a bowl to cool down.
- Mix the dry ingredients together.
- Peel, shred and chop the apple.
- Whisk the brown sugar, milk, and then eggs into the cooled brown butter.
- Add the apples and dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- Whisk or stir together until just incorporated, do not overmix!
- Fill a greased or lined muffin tin with the batter.
- Top with extra brown sugar and cinnamon (optional), and bake!
Tips for Making Brown Butter Apple Muffins
Here are some other helpful tips to ensure your muffins come out absolutely perfect!
- It’s helpful to have your eggs and milk at room temperature, or close to room temperature. If the eggs and milk are straight out of the fridge when you add them to the brown butter, it will seize up the butter and your mixture will get all lumpy. If this happens, it’s not the end of the world though! You can always just let the mixture come back to room temperature and whisk again. Or you can heat the mixture in the microwave at 50% power for 15 second bursts, whisking in between, until smooth again.
- The butter will still be warm when you are ready to add in the milk, brown sugar and eggs, but you want to make sure the butter isn’t super hot. Otherwise you may risk cooking the eggs. That’s why it’s helpful to whisk in the milk and brown sugar first before adding in the eggs. This will help reduce the temperature a bit more.
- As you can see from the pictures, these muffins are a hearty size! The tops will overflow a bit and you’ll have that nice crispy edge all around that I love. If your muffin tops glued together a bit in your tray like mine did, when you are ready to remove them from the pan, run a small knife between the connected edges first. This will separate the muffin tops so they don’t rip when you take them out.
- Or, if you prefer more “normal” sized muffins, you can make 13 or 14 instead of 12. This would be a good use for small ramekins. That way you can bake the extras at the same time as the rest. This would also be a great way to treat yourself to a fresh muffin or two while still bringing a full dozen to your work or school function. No one would be the wiser!
Kitchen Equipment Recommendations
Here are the kitchen tools I used while making these muffins. love these products and use them all the time in my kitchen:
- Checkered Chef Baking Rack Twin Set: these are great for cooling muffins and cookies, and are also the perfect size to fit inside a baking sheet to cook crispy food in the oven.
- OXO Good Grips Box Grater: sturdy grater with a removable container on the bottom to catch and store grated food.
- OXO Good Grips Pro Y-Peeler: this is the best peeler I’ve ever owned! Super sharp with a comfortable handle.
If you’ve tried this recipe for Brown Butter Apple Muffins, please let me know what you thought about it in the comments down below, I would love to hear from you! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to see more delicious recipes from Nibble and Dine!
Before you go – are you are running short on time but still craving an apple dessert? Try my recipe for Apple Cinnamon Mug Cake!Print
Deliciously nutty brown butter adds a warm dimension to these cozy apple muffins. These muffins have both shredded and chopped apple for lots of apple flavor and extra moisture!
- 10 tbsp. unsalted butter (1 stick plus 2 tbsp.)
- 1 c. packed light brown sugar
- 1 c. milk, room temperature
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 c. flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 c. packed shredded apple
- 1 c. chopped apple (about 1/2″ pieces)
- extra brown sugar and cinnamon to top the muffins (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Add the butter to a medium saucepan. Heat on the stove over medium heat, swirling the pan frequently, until butter has bubbled and foamed, then turned a deep golden brown with bits of dark brown residue at the bottom. This should take about 6 – 7 minutes. As soon as the brown color has been achieved, remove from the heat and pour the butter into a large heat-proof bowl. Set aside to cool.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl, set aside.
- Peel, chop and shred the apples, set aside. (Note: pack down the shredded apple into the measuring cup to get an accurate amount; it should take approximately 1 large apple to equal 1 c. packed shredded apple.)
- Whisk the brown sugar and milk into the brown butter, then whisk in the eggs. (The brown butter should be warm, but not hot, before you add in the eggs.)
- Add the flour mixture and apples into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Evenly distribute into a 12 c. muffin tin that has been greased or lined with cupcake liners. (See notes.) Sprinkle the top of each muffin with additional brown sugar and cinnamon (optional).
- Bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until the muffins are firm on top and a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
- Let cool in the tin for about 10 minutes. If the tops of the muffins are connected, run a small knife between the seams of the muffins to separate them. This will prevent the muffin tops from ripping when you pull them out of the tin. Remove the muffins to a wire rack to continue cooling. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container (once fully cooled) for up to three days.
Note: These muffins are quite large when made in a 12 cup muffin tin. If you want slightly smaller muffins, you can make 14 instead of 12.
Keywords: apple muffins, brown butter muffins, brown butter apple muffins