Disclaimer: I went into the exploration of this recipe with every intention of creating some gorgeous baked donuts. The only problem was that when you make donuts in the oven, they need to baked in a donut pan.

I, being a college student who lives in a dorm, did not possess such a luxurious item. Instead I attempted to pipe some circles but also filled up a tray of muffins just in case. The "donuts" turned into flat, pancake-esque, treats while the muffins glimmered as I retrieved them from the oven.

They do say some of the best inventions happen by mistake. So here I give you, the Apple Cider Muffin. 

Apple Cider Muffins

  • Prep Time:30 mins
  • Cook Time:15 mins
  • Total Time:45 mins
  • Servings:18
  • Easy


  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups apple cider reduced to 3/4 cup
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • For topping
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
cake, chocolate, banana
Isabel Brandl
  • Step 1

    Before you get started you will need to reduce the apple cider. Pour the apple cider into a saucepan and leave it on medium-low heat, stirring every once in a while. This process should take about 15 minutes, or until the 2 cups of cider has reduced down to 3/4 cup. Once reduced, set aside to cool.

    coffee, gravy, soup, espresso, tea
    Isabel Brandl
  • Step 2

    While the apple cider is reducing, preheat the oven to 350°F.

  • Step 3

    Next, we're going to combine all of the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

    coffee, flour, sweet
    Isabel Brandl
  • Step 4

    In a new bowl, mix the melted butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth.

    egg, cream
    Isabel Brandl
  • Step 5

    Next, add the eggs and vanilla. Mix thoroughly until completely combined. Then add the buttermilk and condensed apple cider and stir again.

    egg, soup, vegetable, sweet
    Isabel Brandl
  • Step 6

    Next, add about a fifth of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix throughlu. Repeat this until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated. DO NOT OVERMIX—mix just enough so they are combined.

    flour, sweet, milk, cereal
    Isabel Brandl
  • Step 7

    Yay! You're almost there. Now just grease the muffin tin with cooking spray or butter and get pouring. Make sure to fill each cup about 3/4 of the way full.

    cake, chocolate, muffin, butter, pastry, sweet, cookie
    Isabel Brandl
  • Step 8

    Pop those bad boys in the oven and hold off on eating them all for about 15 minutes. You'll know they are cooked all the way through when you can stick a toothpick in the muffin and it comes out dry.

    cookie, sweet, bread, chocolate, cake, pancake, flour, pastry
    Isabel Brandl
  • Step 9

    Leave the muffins to cool for about 5 minutes until you can take them out to put on a cooling rack

    cookie, butter
    Isabel Brandl
  • Step 10

    Melt the remaining butter in a microwave safe bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining cinnamon, nutmeg, and white sugar.

    Isabel Brandl
  • Step 11

    Now dip each of the muffins into the butter, then quickly into the sugar mixture.

    pumpkin, cinnamon
    Isabel Brandl
  • Step 12

    Marvel at your beautiful apple cider muffins.

    chocolate, cake, sweet

P.S. Just in case you were curious about how the donuts started (promising) vs. how they turned out (sad), take a look:

cookie, pastry, sweet, chocolate, cake, bread, dairy product, candy
Isabel Brandl

RIP to these donuts—you had so much potential.

cookie, sweet, candy, bread, cake, biscuits
Isabel Brandl

Now get out there and make some apple cider muffins!