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Amaretto Apple Streusel Muffins

Patricia Reitz

(excuse the hand sneaking a muffin in the background - hungry teenagers in the house)

Every now and then you come across a recipe and know immediately that you're going to love it - that's exactly what happened when I came across this one.  After a quick confirmation of ingredients, I found myself heading into the kitchen to preheat the oven.

I was so quick to bake a batch that I didn't realize until now that the recipe originates from Cooking Light Magazine.  I'm also just realizing the magazine refers to these as "cupcakes", but chopped apples, a streusel crumb topping, and glaze drizzled over the top screams "muffins" to me.  Whatever you end up calling them, these babies are extremely moist and jam-packed full of apple and almond flavor - it's hard to believe they're only 256 calories.  Enjoy!

Amaretto Apple Streusel Muffins

makes 12 muffins

Printable Recipe


Streusel Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 tablespoons butter, chilled

  • 2 tablespoons sliced or finely chopped almonds


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (by weight:  7.5 ounces or 216 grams)

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 2 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 tablespoons amaretto (almond liqueur)

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream

  • 1/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk

  • 3/4 cup finely chopped Gala apple

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar, icing sugar)

  • 4 teaspoons 2% reduced-fat milk


To make the streusel topping:

  1. In a small bowl, combine ingredients together with your fingers until you have a bowl full of medium-large clumps (don't worry about breaking the almonds); refrigerate until needed.

To make muffins:

  1. Place rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350F.

  2. Line muffin pan with 12 paper liners - lightly grease top of muffin pan. 

  3. In a small bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; set aside for later.

  4. In a small bowl, combine apples and 1 tablespoon flour; set aside for later.

  5. In a small bowl, combine sour cream and milk; set aside for later.

  6. In a large bowl, combine granulated sugar, cream cheese, and 4 tablespoons unsalted butter; beat until well blended. 

  7. Add amaretto, vanilla, and egg; beat until well blended. 

  8. Add 1/3 flour mixture and stir to combine, add 1/2 sour cream mixture and stir to combine, add 1/3 flour, remaining 1/2 sour cream, and remaining 1/3 flour mixture. 

  9. Stir in apple mixture. Divide batter evenly among muffin liners.

  10. Remove streusel topping from the refrigerator. 

  11. Using your fingers, break the large clumps into small ones; sprinkle evenly on top of the muffin batter. 

  12. Bake muffins in the lower third of a 350F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean out of the center of the muffin. 

  13. Cool muffins in pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on a cooling rack.

  14. Make the glaze by whisking the confectioner's sugar and milk together; drizzle over the cooled muffins.  Decrease milk for a thicker glaze.