Apples and cranberries and cinnamon, oh my! This summertime girl gets the blues pretty bad in September, but I’ll tell you what helps ease the transition: football and fall food. Every year, we go apple picking and I make a big pot of homemade apple butter. These Apple Butter Cranberry Muffins with Streusel Topping are a great way to use that apple butter and a delicious celebration of the fall season.
Apple butter vs. Apple Sauce
Apple butter is basically a more concentrated version of apple sauce. They’re made from similar ingredients, but apple butter is cooked down for longer, until the apples turn a dark brown color. Then, it is pureed to a smooth, velvety texture. Apple sauce, on the other hand, cooks for less time and maintains some of its fibrous chunks of apple.
Both apple butter and apple sauce are great ways to use lots of apples if you’ve gone apple picking. They’re also readily available at the supermarket. If you’re inclined to make your own apple butter, my easy recipe is here.
What is in these Apple Butter Cranberry Muffins
Here is what you’ll need to make these fall favorites:
- all-purpose flour (or gluten free flour substitute)
- sour cream
- apple butter (homemade or store bought)
- cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- baking powder
- baking soda
Beat the butter, sugar, eggs and other wet ingredients together. Then combine the dry ingredients in another bowl. Stir it all together and fold in the cranberries. Easy!
How to make the cinnamon streusel topping
Is a muffin even a muffin without a buttery, crumbly topping? I’m pretty obsessed with them. Simply mix all of the streusel ingredients into a small bowl:
- brown sugar
- melted butter
The key to a good streusel topping is melted butter. It combines with the other ingredients to form a paste-like substance that you then sprinkle over the muffins before baking. The streusel will sit nicely on top of these Apple Butter Cranberry Muffins without sinking into the batter. Perfection!
Substitutions for these Apple Butter Cranberry Muffins with Streusel Topping
If you need to make some adjustments or substitutions to this recipe, here is what I’ve found to be successful:
- Substitute all-purpose flour for gluten free flour in a one-to-one ratio. My favorite brand is Cup4Cup.
- Swap in Greek yogurt for sour cream. I do it all the time and it works well. Plus, you’ll get a few extra grams of protein.
- Substitute frozen cranberries for fresh. There are only a few months out of the year when fresh cranberries are available, but you can always find them in the freezer section. Just thaw them out at room temperature for a few minutes before baking.
The aromas of these Apple Butter Cranberry Muffins with Streusel Topping baking in the oven will rival any Yankee candle. I know I’ll be baking them on the first crisp fall morning as the leaves start to turn.
And when you make them, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more muffin recipes, try these:
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Muffins
- Cranberry Orange Crumb Muffins
- Blueberry Lemon Muffins with Citrus Crumble
For more fall baking recipes, try these:
Apple Butter Cranberry Muffins with Streusel Topping
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup apple butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups cranberries fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
The Streusel Topping
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. melted butter
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or coat with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, sour cream, milk and apple butter.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Fold in the cranberries. Fill the muffin tin 2/3 of the way with batter.
- Make the streusel: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir with a fork. Sprinkle streusel on top of the muffins before baking. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool to room temperature before removing from muffin tin.