Apple Cheddar Cheese Muffins

October  9, 2014
7 Ratings
Photo by Emily Vikre
  • Makes a dozen good-sized muffins
Author Notes

These muffins were my attempt to capture the feelings and flavors I get from sitting in a pile of crunchy leaves on an autumn day with a crisp apple, a block of sharp cheddar, and a knife. Which is actually something I do. I love it. But, for times I can't sit in a leaf pile, I wanted a muffin. Makes sense, right? So, I whipped up these apple cheddar muffins. Barely sweet, hearty and nutty, lightly spiced, and all together delightful. Maybe not quite as good as the leaf pile, but darn close. And they were enthusiastically toddler approved! —fiveandspice

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup barley flour (or more all-purpose if you don't have barley; whole-wheat would also work)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar, or in small cubes if you prefer more discreet pockets of cheese as opposed to threads throughout
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 tablespoons oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups grated apples, preferably of a nice fallish sweet-tart variety (I don't bother peeling them or anything)
  1. Heat your oven to 350° F. Grease a standard muffin pan and line the cups with liners.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flours, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss in the cheese to evenly distribute.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, honey, molasses, oil, and yogurt then stir in the grated apple until everything is well combined. Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry just until there are no streaks of dry left.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups and put the muffin pan on a rimmed baking sheet in case of any dripping while the muffins bake. Bake the muffins until a tester comes out clean -- about 30 to 35 minutes. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan then transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool. Or gobble them up warm with lots of butter.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Gingarr
  • Jennifer Dickinson
    Jennifer Dickinson
  • chez_mere
  • Megan Town
    Megan Town
  • Elizabeth Traverso
    Elizabeth Traverso

17 Reviews

Rrowe November 15, 2022
These are really great muffins and very toddler friendly. Watch the baking time, though, so you don’t dry them out!
Gingarr December 25, 2019
Love these and so tasty with butter on top! Mine turned out so fluffy! Grating the apples didn't work for me, perhaps my grater is not sharp enough so I minced the apples. I used two cups of all-purpose flour although would like to add in bran or whole wheat flour next time to boost the nutrition. I shredded the cheese and added 1/2 cup more. Used brown sugar instead. My mix turned out way too dry so I added more yogurt, a smaller extra egg, splash of vanilla, blended up quarter of an apple with an ounce on red wine because why not.
Jennifer D. September 21, 2019
Glorious! I couldn’t find barley flour so I substituted half a cup of whole wheat and half a cup of flaxseed meal. Otherwise I made it as written.
Keesje October 30, 2015
So I sub'd the molasses with maple syrup, the bottle I'd (hidden in my baking cupboard so it wasn't used by the rest of the house) and also used all purpose gluten free flour and the barley flour to make it wheat free. They are lovely and moist but I do think the depth of flavour the molasses would have given them is missing. maybe next time! Also thanks de the tip on the mini muffins timings - made a batch of them too for the school Halloween party and the timing was perfect!
Florence L. April 1, 2015
Nice and moist! Would like to add more punch - are cloves an option, or grated orange zest? I had to replace the honey with raw sugar due to a fructose intolerant child. Maybe more earthy molasses would have augmented the feeling of sitting on a pile of leaves. Will try it next time - and will definitely make those again! May I suggest you submit this recipe for "what to do with too many apples"-contests? It works great that way!
chez_mere December 29, 2014
Love it! Very moist, though I am glad I cut down on the honey since I decided to serve this alongside chili for dinner
diana L. November 8, 2014
Do you think I could substitute almond flour/meal for the barley flour?
siok November 19, 2014
I substituted almond meal for the barley flour and it turned out just fine! Great recipe!
faith S. November 4, 2014
I did make these for a Halloween party but in the mini-muffin size; thought that 15-20 mins would be sufficient baking time but it turned out requiring a full 30 mins. I don't believe any of the moistness was compromised. The party-goers commented on how delicious these little morsels were!
fiveandspice November 5, 2014
Thanks for the tip Faith! That's great to know.
Megan T. November 4, 2014
These are amazing! I made them as directed and I don't think I'd change a thing! Although, do you think you could use coconut flour in place of the regular or barley flour?
fiveandspice November 5, 2014
Coconut flour behaves pretty differently than any other kind of flour. It absorbs a ton of moisture so you usually need a lot less of it in a recipe than you would need of a grain-based or nut-based flour. You could try using something like half a cup of coconut flour in place of one of the flours, and you might want to let it sit with some of the liquid ingredients for 10 minutes or so before mixing everything else together to give it a chance to hydrate and soften. But, I can guarantee what the results will be like! However, if you try it, let us know how it goes. :)
Megan T. November 5, 2014
Thanks for the insight! I just have a lot of coconut flour on hand so thought about using it... but this recipe is too delicious to tweak in my opinion! I did realize that I substituted maple syrup for the honey (unlike my initial comments) but I don't think this made a huge difference at all. I have lots of apples in the kitchen begging to be used, so it looks like another batch is in the near future! Thanks again! :D
faith S. October 30, 2014
has anyone successfully modified the baking time for mini-muffin size?
Elizabeth T. October 26, 2014
I followed the recipe, except used whole wheat flour instead of barley flour but didn't like the flavor, very bland. Not apple or cheesy flavor. The texture wasn't quite right. Will make once more using granny smith apples, sharp cheddar and barley flour.
fiveandspice November 5, 2014
I think using a pretty sharp cheddar is critical for getting cheese flavor to come through. You might also prefer the version where you cube the cheese in small pieces rather than shredding it so you get more obvious cheesy pockets. The apples act kind of like apple sauce and give the muffins an overall gentle sweet fruit flavor, not blam apple like you'd get in an apple pie or anything.
Shelley M. October 20, 2014
Just made a batch of these. Pretty damn good! Immediately scarfed three.