Winter Spice and Caramel Apple Muffins from our Recipe Calendar

by Emma Phillips
Last updated: 04/01/19

These spiced caramel apple muffins are bound to wow during the festive season. This recipe doesn’t require fancy ingredients and uses applesauce as an egg replacement. Thanks to Penny Winter for sharing.


For the caramel sauce
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp caster sugar
190g (approx 1/2 can) full-fat canned coconut milk
pinch of salt
¼ tsp vanilla extract

For the applesauce binder
2 medium apples
1 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon

For the crumble topping
30g plain flour
15g brown sugar
10g caster sugar
15g vegan margarine
pinch cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves

For the muffin batter
170g caster sugar
170g vegan margarine
170g self-raising flour
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp each ground nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon + cloves


For the caramel sauce
Combine the maple syrup and caster sugar in a saucepan over a high heat. Add the coconut milk and stir until it has completely melted. Add the salt and vanilla extract. Bring to the boil and let it boil for around 4 minutes. Turn down to a medium heat and allow to simmer for around 40 minutes. Pour into a resealable container and put it in the fridge to thicken for a couple of hours.

For the applesauce
Dice the apples, put them in a saucepan and submerge with water. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for around 30 minutes or until the apples are soft enough to mash. Pour out any excess water and stir and mash with a wooden spoon, until it resembles a chunky apple sauce. Stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon until fully combined. Measure out the applesauce to make sure you have no more than ¾ cup, and put it in the freezer to cool. Give it a little stir after 10 minutes or so.

For the crumble topping
Put the margarine straight from the fridge, into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients except the cloves. Gently rub them together between your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. Leave it in the fridge until needed.

For the muffin batter
Pre-heat the oven to 180 c. Cream together the margarine and caster sugar. Combine the flour, baking powder and all the spices in a separate bowl and set aside. Once cooled, beat the applesauce into the mixture. It will start to separate. Gently fold in the flour etc into the mixture, just enough to make sure it’s thoroughly combined. Spoon batter evenly into six muffin cases. Distribute the crumble evenly between the muffins, tapping it down a little into the batter, then sprinkle a little more loosely on top, followed by the cloves. Put them in the oven for 25mins. Check that they’re done by inserting a knife – if it comes out clean, with just a little condensation on it, they’re done.

To finish
With a teaspoon, remove approximately 15mm circle of the topping, put it to one side and keep it safe. With the other end of the spoon carve out a channel almost to the bottom, about the size of your little finger, and pop it in your mouth. Smooth the sides of the channel out with the end of the teaspoon. Fill with caramel sauce, and place the circles of topping you set aside back on the top to cover the caramel. With a knife, drizzle the rest of the caramel sauce over the crumble.

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