Apple Cider Muffins

One of the best things we have eaten were from a maple syrup mill in New Hampshire. They also grew apples and made fresh apple cider donuts. They were fresh from the fryer and hot, sweet, tangy, and perfect. I dreamed about those donuts.
Here is an easy recipe that tries to duplicate that amazing experience.


For the muffins
1 cup apple cider
Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups (260g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup (200g) light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the coating
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Concentrate the apple cider:
    Add the apple cider to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, 8 to 12 minutes. You should now have 1/2 cup of cider—if you are slightly short, just add plain cider until you have 1/2 cup.
    Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the center of the oven. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan.
  3. Make the batter:
    Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
    In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, butter, and brown sugar and whisk until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix. The batter should look velvety and smooth.
    Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until combined.
    Add the apple cider concentrate, mix, then add the rest of the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Don’t over-mix.
  4. Bake:
    Fill each well of the prepared muffin tin about 2/3 full. You will likely get 11 muffins, depending on your pan. Bake until the muffins have risen and a toothpick inserted in the center of a few comes out clean, 17 to 23 minutes.
    Let cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of each muffin and carefully remove them from the pan and onto a cooling rack set over a baking sheet.
  5. Add the coating:
    Add the sugar and cinnamon to a shallow bowl, pie pan, or cake pan and whisk.
    Paint a few of the muffins on all sides with the melted butter. Dredge each one in the cinnamon sugar, coating all over. Repeat with the remaining muffins.
    Enjoy warm (recommended) or at room temperature. Store leftover cooled muffins in an airtight container for up to three days.