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Vegan Caramel Apple Muffins

These bakery-style Vegan Caramel Apple Muffins have the height, texture and flavour of a classic muffin, but they’re made eggless, dairy-free and easily can be made gluten-free! Super easy and perfect for an autumnal breakfast or dessert!

close up of toffee apple muffin

Vegan Caramel Apple Muffins

These muffins are about to become your favourite Autumnal treat, whether you’re vegan or not! I was inspired by the brand new Starbucks ‘Fall menu’. I saw that this year they created a ‘Toffee Apple Muffin’ and was like ‘damn that looks goood’. Sadly it’s not vegan, but thats where I come in – haha! I created this recipe so that’s it’s easy to make, vegan and combines all of the flavour of the toffee / caramel apple into one scrumptious muffin.

The muffins are incredibly moist and irresistible! You’ll be shocked that they’re made entirely dairy-free, eggless and easily gluten-free! Made with simple plant based / vegan ingredients that you can find in your pantry, you or who ever you make these muffins for will absolutely love them!

close up on a bite of a caramel apple muffin

How to make caramel apple muffins

To match with the Starbucks version, I kept the decoration and fillings minimal and as close to theirs as possible.

  1. Muffins- Whip up a batch of spiced apple muffin mixture. Add this into muffin or cupcake cases. Before baking, sprinkle of streusel over the top of each muffin. Place into the oven and bake until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

  2. Caramel- You can make a homemade vegan caramel, or simply use a store bought option. I went for Natures Charm Coconut Caramel, added it into a piping bag and drizzled a zig-zag of caramel over the top of the muffins.

  3. Cream cheese- Top top off the muffins, whip up a small batch of caramel flavoured cream cheese frosting. Add this into a piping bag fitted with a round tip nozzle and pipe a small bulb on the top of each muffin. Finish with a dusting of icing sugar.

caramel apple muffins in a muffin tin

The secret to high ‘bakery-style topped’ muffins

Have you ever wondered how bakery’s get an exceptionally high muffin top? Well, the secret is rest your batter. This recipe requires you to allow the batter to sit and rest before adding into the cases and baking.

But why rest the batter? As muffin batter rests, the starches in the flour have more time to absorb the moisture from the liquid in the batter. As a result, the starches swell, giving the batter a thicker, more robust consistency. It’s definitely a step you shouldn’t miss!

Once you have made your batter, cover the bowl with a tea towel or grease proof paper, and place it into the fridge. Resting time can be between 6 hours to overnight. I particularly like to rest mine for only 6 hours as I think it gives it a really nice height and never fails to impress, but overnight works fab!

close up of a toffee apple muffin

Ingredients (and substitutions) you’ll need to make these muffins

  • Plain flour – You’ll want to use plain / all purpose flour. This recipe is easily adaptable to gluten-free, simply use a gluten-free flour such as oat flour.
  • Light brown sugar – The addition of light brown sugar helps give the muffins a rich, toasty flavour.
  • White granulated sugar – The sugar helps to bind the muffin as well as adding sweetness.
  • Baking powder – Baking powder is a raising agent and helps with the muffins stability and height.
  • Ground cinnamon + nutmeg – Give the muffins a classic autumnal flavour, with the addition of some delicious spices. You can’t go wrong with cinnamon and nutmeg!
  • Ground arrowroot – Arrowroot helps with a lighter and fluffier bake. It’s especially essential if you use gluten-free flour.
  • Xanthan gum – Xanthan gum helps to improve the texture of the bake and also bind. It’s especially essential if you use gluten-free flour.
  • Plain / vanilla yogurt – Yogurt helps with the tender texture and adds a subtle flavour, especially if you use vanilla yogurt.
  • Dairy-free butter – My favourites are Naturli Vegan Block and Flora Plant Block. Make sure the butter is at room temperature before using. This makes it much easier to use.
  • Ground flaxseed and water – Ad this recipe is eggless, you’ll want to make a vegan friendly flax egg. This is made simply with flaxseed and water. It will thicken and turn jellified, it helps bind the muffin.
  • Dairy-free milk – You can use almond milk, soya milk or oat milk.
  • Apple – I like to use red granny smith apples, as they are super sweet and make for incredibly flavoursome muffins. Don’t use green cooking apples, they’ll be very sour.
  • Dairy-free cream cheese – I use and highly recommend Violife Cream Cheese. Make sure the cream cheese is thick and has a neutral flavour.
  • Icing sugar – Icing sugar is added to the frosting to make it sweet. Make sure the icing sugar hasn’t got any lumps in. No-one wants lumpy frosting. Sift it before use.
  • Caramel – You can use homemade vegan caramel sauce, or use shop bought. I used Natures Charm Coconut Caramel, but use whatever vegan caramel you prefer.
close up of a caramel apple muffin in a muffin tin

Ingredient preparation

Some of the ingredients for this recipe will need to be prepped before you begin making and whipping up the muffin batter.

  • Make the streusel and store in the fridge before use. It’s always handy to have a tub of streusel ready to go. It can be made in preparation the night before.
  • Make sure the dairy-free butter and milk is at room temperature. It’s important as super cold ingredients can make the muffin not rise properly. Leave both on your kitchen worktop for 10-15 minutes before using.
  • The flax egg will need time to jellify before you use it in the muffins. Mix the flaxseed with water and set aside for at least 10 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready to use when it’s thick and jelly like.
  • Prep and measure out the ingredients in grams. Grams is the only way of an accurate bake. I like to weight all of the ingredients i’m going to use for the recipe into bowls before starting. This makes the whole process of making these muffins quick, easy and less confusing. The kitchen scale I use is linked here.
pinterest pin for caramel apple muffins

Looking for more caramel desserts? Check these out:

Vegan 6 Ingredient Caramel Tartlets

The BEST Vegan Caramel Sauce (3 ingredient)

Vegan Salted Caramel Pretzel Cake

Easy Chocolate Caramel Cookies

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up close of a caramel apple muffin with caramel and cream cheese frosting

Vegan Caramel Apple Muffins


Description

Bakery-style Vegan Caramel Apple muffins have the height, texture and flavour of a classic muffin, but they’re made gluten-free, eggless, dairy-free with an easy gluten-free option too! Super easy, just one bowl, and perfect for an autumnal breakfast or dessert! Happy Baking!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Ingredients for the streusel

  • 60g of plain flour (for gf, you can use oat flour)
  • 20g of light brown sugar
  • 20g of white granulated sugar
  • 90g of dairy-free butter (room temperature)

Ingredients for them muffins

  • 6 teaspoons of ground flaxseed + 6 teaspoons of water
  • 370g of pain flour / all purpose flour (you can use oat flour)
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of ground arrowroot
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Xanthan gum
  • 200g of white granulated sugar
  • 60g of dairy-free plain / vanilla yogurt
  • 115g of dairy-free butter ( room temperature)
  • 300ml of dairy-free milk (room temperature)
  • 50g of chopped apple

Ingredients for the frosting

  • 20g of dairy-free cream cheese
  • 30g of dairy-free butter
  • 150g of icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of caramel

+

  • Dairy-free caramel (for drizzling)
  • Icing sugar (to dust)

Instructions

Method (streusel)

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour and sugars.
  2. Add in the room temp butter and use a fork to mix and claw the ingredients together until combined but still clumpy. Don’t over-mix or the streusel will become like a soft paste, simply toss together until mixture is clumpy, no longer dry, and the flour is completely combined. Set aside while you make the muffin mixture. Make the streusel the day before and store in the fridge in a sealed container.

Method (muffins)

  1. Line 2 cupcake tins with cupcake / muffin liners. Mix together the ground flaxseed and water in a bowl, and set aside. This creates the ‘ flax egg’.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, arrowroot and Xanthan gum.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, dairy-free yogurt, room temp butter and milk along with the flax egg. Pour this in to the dry ingredients and fold everything together until just combined. Don’t over mix! Fold in the chopped apple.
  4. Rest the muffin batter. Cover the bowl with grease proof paper or a tea towel and place into the fridge to rest for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  5. When ready to bake the muffins, preheat the oven to  180°C fan.
  6. Fill each muffin / cupcake case to the very top of the liners with the muffin batter. It makes it easier if you use an ice-cream scoop to scoop the batter into the cases, alternatively use spoons. Top each muffin with a good portion of the streusel (make sure the streusel is overing the batter.)
  7. Place into the middle of the oven and bake for 12 minutes at 180°C fan. After 12 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 160°C fan and bake for a further 16-18 minutes, or until the skewer / toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffins come out clean. 
  8. Remove the muffins from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack before frosting. If you add on the caramel or frosting while the muffins are hot / warm, everything will melt, wait until they are cool to the touch.

Method (frosting)

  1. Add the dairy-free cream cheese and butter into a bowl and whip until smooth and creamy, either in a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment or using a hand held electric whisk.
  2. Add in the icing sugar, whip until creamy. If it’s too thin or if it ever splits, add in some more chunks of butter. Add in a teaspoon or two of caramel and whip to combine. The frosting should be thick.
  3. Transfer the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip nozzle.
  4. Add some caramel sauce into a piping bag and snip off the tip. Pipe a zig-zag of caramel over each muffin, and pipe a small bulb of the frosting on the top of each muffin. Serve immediately or place into the fridge to chill.

Notes

To store: Store un-frosted muffins in a sealed container out of the fridge for 1-2 days. Frosted muffins can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vegan caramel apple muffins, caramel apple muffins,

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