Spiced Apple, Honey & Cider Muffins - Secret Recipe Club

Welcome to this month's installment of the Secret Recipe Club! My assigned blog is The More Than Occasional Baker. I had apples that never got around to being used (so rude of them ... how do you like them apples?), so I was thrilled to find that Ros (who also goes by the name of Baking Addict) had a nice stash of apple recipes. Although she did have an apple muffin recipe in stock, I made the executive decision to turn her Apple, Honey and Beer Cake into muffins.

Why?  Because I can.

Because it uses no milk or eggs (you're welcome, vegan and lactose-intolerant Dear Readers).

And to use up a bottle of sparkling cider I had in case of an emergency.
Room temp sparkling cider might bubble
up a tad when uncorked.  Have sink ready.

Which, since I had no idea if the local wine store even had apple beer in stock and was not even sure if apple beer is inherently kosher or needs a hechsher (kosher certification), made this an emergency.

Plus how can I resist a recipe where the baker herself gives the following raving review:
"I'm not overly keen on this cake but I'm glad I tried it and I'm sure if I experimented with the recipe a bit more, I could come up with something much tastier."
Roz, along with her site, hails from London, so I had to spend a great of time counting on my fingers and dividing with my toes to convert her recipe from kilos and milos into furlongs and fortnights, but the result was totally worth it!  Note -- there is no such measurement as milo. Unless you also factor in stitch. Or some other Disney movie.

But back to baking. No idea what a Bramley apple is, except that according to the comments on Ros' post it is of the tart persuasion, but since I was planning to use the MacIntoshes on hand anyway it didn't matter. Normally MacIntoshes break down when they are baked, but with the short bake time they retain their dice-shape quite nicely.

I halved the amount of ginger and nutmeg. These babies should be spicy, not sassy. I upped the amount of cinnamon and added a hint of cloves to make up for not having allspice at all in my spice cabinet. Salt was tossed in, just because everything tastes better with salt.

To tell the truth, Ros was right -- they needed a bit more work. Especially in the sweetness category. Maybe apple beer is sweeter than cider, no idea. I upped the honey quantity in the ingredients list to reflect that. Since the tops are quite plain, I garnished the finished product for the photos. I suggest you do the same, but before baking.

Spiced Apple, Honey and Cider Muffins
Slightly adapted from The More Than Occasional Baker
Makes 12-16 muffins

3 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. table salt
1 1/3 cups sparkling apple cider
3/4 cup honey
2 MacIntosh (or your favorite) apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 cup granulated sugar, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350F.  Place 12-16 (depending upon size) cupcake liners in muffin tins.  Set aside.

Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through salt) in a large mixing bowl.

In a small mixing bowl whisk the cider and honey together.  Pour into dry mixture, and gently stir with a spatula just until combined.  Avoid overmixing.  If it's almost totally mixed, it is done!

Gently fold in the apples.

Try to fill each cup more uniformly than this.

Ladle batter into muffin tin, filling each cup about two-thirds full.  Sprinkle tops evenly with the sugar.

Not a lot of rising.

Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (they don't spring back when gently pressed).  Transfer muffins to a cooling rack.

 Cool completely before serving.

Disclaimer - because this recipe is part of an online cooking group, the linked recipes below might not be kosher.   


Anonymous said…
These look fabulous! I never would have thought to stick cider in muffins or cake...

I do a fair amount of eggless (and gluten free) baking, and I find that in recipes for muffins, it's good to add some extra baking powder (I probably would have used 2 tsp) and some kind of acid to help the reaction along to get a slightly better rise. :)
Yum! I made a similar recipe for my Secret Recipe Club selection.....Spiced Apple Bread.... I'm going to try this too. Fellow Group D member.
Karen S Booth said…
Wonderful recipe from my lovely English food blogger friend Ros! I knew these were from her when I saw them in the linky, and they look fabulous! Great SRC pick, Karen
Anonymous said…
Apple beer? Hm... never heard of it. I wonder if it's the British equivalent of hard cider. In which case, yum. Love hard cider.

I love that you're another "wing it" baker. People get so uptight about following baking directions.

Oh, and I ate your soup again for lunch today. Yummo!
Sarah E. said…
I agree - they look good! ;)

Happy reveal day!
Cindy said…
I have an Apple Cinnamon muffin that is excellent. I dip the tops in butter and then cinnamon sugar--maybe that's why. These do look yummy.
dena said…
I really thought that the sparkling cider would compensate ... wasn't enough. Thanks for the suggestions!
dena said…
Thanks! Love your idea on your own post about making your own bouillon cubes.
Baking Addict said…
I'm so pleased you tried these out! They were a complete experiment and definitely need more work. Your muffins look great - much better than my little cakes. Glad the hours of conversion paid off :) Happy reveal day!
Kitchen Ninja said…
These would be a great breakfast muffin -- thanks for all the testing and tips!
Gingered Whisk said…
These muffins look really delicious!

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