Apple Cider Upside-Down Muffins

apple muffin, apple upside-down cake

I have two confessions to make with this recipe.

First confession: this recipe is nothing like Pineapple Upside Down Cake, which it’s named after, and I’m so glad!  In my opinion, the pineapple version of this recipe is overly sweet and sometimes it turns out a little soggy.  For some reason it also reminds me of the 1970’s, which for me meant bad haircuts and lots of polyester (what was my mom thinking, dressing me like that!)   I don’t want to go back there.

So if you feel the same way as I do about it, no worries!  This muffin recipe is so delicious that it’s more like a cupcake than a muffin (but it’s also perfect for breakfast.)


Second confession: the first time I made this recipe, it wasn’t from scratch – I actually found it on the back of a muffin mix.  I love making things homemade, but my part-time job and homeschooling don’t leave a ton of time to bake, so things like muffin mixes, Bisquick, and canned crescent rolls are staple ingredients that often give me a shortcut way to serve easy dishes for my family that are (almost!) as good as from scratch.


However, the muffin mix that I used is a seasonal item, and I wanted to be able to make these muffins any time during the year.  So I experimented with a couple of recipes and was so pleased with the way that these turned out.  The muffins are rich and moist with a lovely apple spice flavor, and the apple ring toppers add texture and give them a fun and unique look.  My family loved them, and I think you will, too!DSCN3900

What are some creative shortcuts that help you get delicious meals on the table?  Share with me in the comments, or connect with me on Facebook!

Apple Cider Upside-Down Muffins


  • Topping:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 small apples, peeled, cored, and sliced horizontally into 12 rings
  • 12 walnut or pecan pieces
  • Muffins:
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup apple cider (or apple juice)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons applesauce


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Generously grease a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or shortening
  3. Combine the butter and brown sugar, and divide among the muffin cups
  4. Slice the 2 apples horizontally into 12 1/4" rings; trim the edges to fit into the muffin cups. Place one ring in each muffin cup.
  5. Place a walnut or pecan on top of each apple ring.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the egg, apple cider or juice, oil, and applesauce.
  7. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients just until moistened.
  8. Pour into the muffin cups, filling the cups only halfway. (if you overfill the cups, the muffins will develop tall peaks, which you don't want since they'll be served upside-down. However, if peaks do form, just slice them off before inverting.)
  9. Bake 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Slice off any peaks, loosen edges with a knife, and invert onto a wire rack. Serve warm.
  11. Tips: use leftover batter to make mini muffins
  12. These muffins can also be made using two Martha White Apple Cider muffin mixes. Just substitute the mixes for the dry ingredients and egg.
  13. **Adapted from a Apple Cinnamon Muffin recipe from
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(Photo credit: Andy Chilton)

5 thoughts on “Apple Cider Upside-Down Muffins

  1. These look delicious. I agree with you about pineapple upside cake. It’s usually pretty soggy. Pinning to try these soon. I’d like to invite you to party with us at Snickerdoodle Sunday. It’s open from 5:00 pm on Saturdays through midnight on Tuesdays.

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