I always say that muffins should have substance – they shouldn't have "cakey" character. After all, they're muffins, not cake! Dense with apple, sweet with spice and topped with pecans these muffins are one of my favourites.






Skill level

Average: 3 (73 votes)


  • 150 g plain flour
  • 150 g wholemeal plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 150 g (¾ cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 2 (about 180 g each) apples (such as Golden Delicious, Pink Lady or Royal Gala), peeled and cut into 1.5 cm pieces
  • 185 ml (¾ cup) buttermilk (see Bakers Tips)
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) light olive oil (see Bakers Tips)
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ tsp natural vanilla essence or extract
  • 75 g (¾ cup) pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) pure maple syrup

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time 15 minutes

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line 12 x 80 ml (⅓ cup) muffin tray holes with muffin paper cases.

Sift together both the flours, the baking powder and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl, returning any husks to the bowl. Stir in the sugar and apple and make a well in the centre.

Use a fork to whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla in a bowl. Add to the flour mixture and use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold together until just combined. (Don’t overmix – the batter should still be a little lumpy.)

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, dividing evenly. Sprinkle with the pecans and then drizzle with the maple syrup.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the muffins are golden and cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool for a few minutes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Baker's tips
• If you don't have any buttermilk in the fridge, replace it with 160ml (⅔ cup) full-cream milk mixed with 2 teaspoons lemon juice.
• You can replace the light olive oil with sunflower or safflower oil.
• These muffins are best eaten the day they are baked, however 
they freeze well – wrap individually in plastic wrap and then seal in a plastic bag or airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.


Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. Read our interview with her or for hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Trish Hegarty. Food preparation by Wendy Quisumbing.


This recipe is from our online column, Bakeproof: Apples.