Adapted from a recipe originally made famous by none other than Queen Nigella herself, my Spiced Apple Duffins – deliciously moreish doughnut-muffin hybrids – capture all of the best bits of both bakes and are the perfect light and airy treat, whatever the season…
You’ll have to forgive me, because it seems that I am rather late to jump on this bandwagon. Originally published in her book, How to be a Domestic Goddess back in the year 2000, Nigella’s Jam-Doughnut Muffins proved an incredibly popular recipe at the time. And once Bea’s of Bloomsbury released their version of the bake, coining the name ‘Duffin’, the trend well-and-truly exploded.
Yet, somehow – and speaking as somehow who made the obligatory pilgrimage to the Dominique Ansel Bakery, New York for the highly prized Cronut – I’m rather ashamed to admit that the Duffin trend entirely passed me by!
In fact, it is only thanks to one of the baking groups I belong to on Facebook (who are currently going Duffin mad) that I became aware of them, and naturally, having made a batch of the traditional recipe, I was itching to create a version of my own.
As I have explained SO MANY times here on Mr Baker’s Cakes: The Blog, fresh fruit is one of my favourite ingredients to bake with, particularly citrus flavours and any combination of apple and spice. Thanks to a glut of indulgent baking of late (while the UK is in coronavirus-induced lockdown), I have had an overabundance of apples eyeing me disapprovingly from my fruit bowl for a while now and I decided that this was the perfect time to put them to good use.
My recipe for Spiced Apple Duffins combines a delicious, apple crumble-infused cake (courtesy of the always gorgeously-flavoured icing sugars from Sugar & Crumbs), a homemade smooth apple and cinnamon jam filling and a crispy cinnamon sugar topping.
And what’s more, they are so simple to make that you could be enjoying a batch of your very own Spiced Apple Duffins within mere minutes.
So without much further ado, let’s get baking…
This recipe makes twelve Spiced Apple Duffins.
For the Apple & Cinnamon Jam filling:
- Approximately 500g apples (I used Jazz apples)
- 150g caster sugar
- 20g butter
- 1tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1tsp cinnamon
For the Apple Crumble-infused sponge mix:
- 190ml milk (I used semi-skimmed)
- 130ml vegetable oil
- 2 medium eggs
- 300g self-raising flour
- 150g Sugar & Crumbs Apple Crumble Natural Flavoured Icing Sugar
For the Cinnamon Sugar topping:
- 100g caster sugar
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 100g butter
Begin by making the Apple & Cinnamon Jam filling.
Peel, core and roughly chop the apples, placing them immediately into a heavy-based pan to avoid browning.
Add the sugar, butter and cinnamon and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until the apples are very soft.
Transfer the cooked apple mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth.
Pass the apple purée through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and leave to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with regular-sized cupcake cases.
In a large mixing bowl, sieve together the flour and the Sugar & Crumbs Apple Crumble Natural Flavoured Icing Sugar.
In a separate jug, whisk together the milk, oil and eggs until smooth.
Pour the milk, oil and egg mixture over your dry ingredients and use a large metal spoon to gently fold them together until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
Line the bottom of each cupcake case with a 2cm layer of the sponge mix (I used a piping bag, but you can spoon it in if you prefer).
Pipe or spoon a tablespoon of the Apple & Cinnamon Jam filling onto the centre of each case before topping each one with another 2cm layer of the sponge mix.
Bake at the top of the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
While they are in the oven, in a small bowl (a cereal bowl is perfect) combine the caster sugar and cinnamon to create your cinnamon sugar.
In a separate bowl, melt the butter until just liquid.
Once the ‘duffins’ are cooked, remove from the tin and place on to a wire rack to cool.
While still warm, invert each ‘duffin’, dipping the top into first the melted butter and then the cinnamon sugar, before placing it back on to the wire rack to cool completely.
And there you have it… a delicious batch of Spiced Apple Duffins – the perfect treat whatever the season!
Whilst my Spiced Apple Duffins are best eaten on the day of baking, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days at room temperature.
And until next time, happy caking!