There is no food more representative of fall than the apple. As soon as fresh apples come to market, you know that they also herald cooling temperatures, sweaters and the turn of green into burnt-orange leaves. Autumn is unequivocally my favorite time of the year, and I try to celebrate it by utilizing my favorite seasonal flavors: apples, of course, warming spices, pumpkin and its varietal squash brethren.
To me, fall also signifies a turning inward—from students to their books, from animals to their nests, from chefs to their kitchens. Fall is a time to create warmth, to bake, to relish the joy of something fresh from the oven.When I contemplated my first fall recipe of the year, I knew that I wanted to encapsulate all of this. It seemed fitting and whimsical remake a childhood favorite, apples with sliced cheddar cheese, into a cozy autumn-perfect muffin.
These muffins were a great success on the first try, a happy omen for the season. They are moist but sturdy, and the gooey apple chunks pair magnificently with sharp cheddar and a hint of nutmeg. They have just the right balance of flavors and textures, and I immediately baked a second batch after finishing the first.
If you can find organic, grass-fed cheddar, that is a better option than conventional, as it is free from added hormones and pesticides, and it will offer much more nutrition (think more vitamins, digestive enzymes and healthy gut bacteria). Also, If you’ve never baked with almond flour, you’re in for a treat. It is high in protein and fiber, making for an extremely satiating product, and it has a sweet, nutty flavor. Most grocery stores carry it, or you can order some on Amazon.
These muffins are a healthy and absolutely scrumptious breakfast, snack or dessert. My favorite way to enjoy them is toasted with butter alongside scrambled eggs!
Autumn Apple Cheddar Muffins
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg whites
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 cups almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for greasing (preferably grassfed)
- 1 cup apples, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 rounded cup grated cheddar cheese (preferably grassfed)
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 12-cup cupcake tin with melted butter or fill with liners.
- In a blender or food processor in the order listed, combine flour, eggs, maple syrup, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, sea salt and melted butter. Mix until just combined.
- Empty batter into a large mixing bowl and fold in apples and cheese. Evenly distribute batter among 9 of the cupcake molds. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Wait 5 minutes before removing muffins from molds. Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 more minutes before enjoying. Store in a sealed container on the counter for 24 hours then refrigerate for 1 week. If refrigerating, reheat in the oven for several minutes before enjoying.
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Laura Lea is a Certified Holistic chef, recipe developer and food writer based in her hometown of Nashville. Her company LL Balanced is at your service to provide easy, nutritious, family-friendly recipes that will make eating healthy a pleasure and restore balanced to your life. Laura Lea is a Certified Holistic Chef, not a registered dietician, nutritionist or doctor, and her opinion should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult one such licensed professional before making any significant changes to your diet.
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