Nigella's Apple & Cinnamon Muffins

I don't very often make muffins...I'm not sure why as I'm more than happy to eat them! However, when I saw the theme for this month's Forever Nigella was 'Packed Lunch Stars' I leafed through my Nigella cookbooks and came across this recipe for Apple and Cinnamon Muffins. The recipe is from 'Kitchen - Recipes from the heart of the home'.
These muffins are perfect for a packed lunch...they're a little sweet treat but they're also healthier than a regular muffin as they're not laiden with sugar. The apples give them a natural sweetness so they'll be a hit with the kids. Nigella describes them as a 'wholesome treat' which is exactly what you want to find in your packed lunch. These muffins were also made with spelt flour which is a first for me as I've never used it. For those of you like me who aren't very au fait with spelt, it's a non-wheat flour that gives a slightly nutty flavour.
The muffins were really moist and had a lovely hint of cinnamon. The tops were sprinkled with an (unblanched) almond, sugar and cinnamon rubble and there were also almonds in the muffin batter which gave them a contrasting texture. I think the optimal time for eating these is the day after making as the flavour had developed a little...but don't leave it too long to eat them as after a couple of days the apple made them a little too moist! Nigella also suggests they can be eaten warm or if you make a batch and wish to freeze them then they'll last for around 2 months...perfect for busy mums! :-)
As I mentioned this was my first time using spelt, it was also my first time using Tulip muffin cases...I loved the results, the muffins look so pretty and professional...just like you'd see in a cafe!
Why not check out this month's Forever Nigella, the theme is 'Packed Lunch Stars'. This month's guest host is Working London Mummy and the creator of Forever Nigella is Sarah over at Maison Cupcake.


2 eating apples
250g spelt flour (or you can use plain flour)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
125g light brown sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)
125ml honey
60ml natural yogurt (not set)
125ml vegetable oil
2 eggs
75g unblanched almonds

Heat your oven to 200c/180c fan/gas 6 and choose your muffin wrappers and line the muffin tin, this recipe makes 12.

Peel the apples and then cut into small 1cm cubes. Next weigh out the flour, baking powder and a teaspoon on cinnamon into a bowl. In a seperate bowl measure out the brown sugar, honey, yogurt, vegetable oil and eggs and mix together.

Chop the almonds (I used a mini food processor but it gave quite varying sizes of almond). Add half of the almonds to the flour and pop the other half in another small bowl. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon and 4 teaspoons of sugar to the small bowl of almonds...this is the 'rubble' topping for sprinkling on top of the muffins.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and then fold gently. Next add the chopped apple and combine. Spoon or use an ice cream scoop to divide the batter between the 12 muffin cases and then sprinkle the almond, sugar and cinnamon topping over each one.

Bake for around 20 minutes. The finished product should be risen and golden. Once removed from the oven leave in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring the muffins to a cooling rack.