If you love caramel apples, apple pie, or monkey bread… You’re going to absolutely love this new recipe for apple pie monkey bread biscuits. You can whip them together in minutes just like traditional monkey bread but this recipe focuses on individual portion sized muffins that you can share with your friends and family without the mess!
You Can Use Canned Biscuits in Baking!
If you’ve been following my blog over the past several weeks you know that I’ve been on a bit of a kick trying to think of new ways to use canned biscuits. (Like these Easy Cinnamon Rolls from Canned Biscuits, for instance.) I’ve tried a few recipes already, but there are many, many more yet to bake!
Starting with apple pie filling just made sense!
I’m nuts about apples. And caramel. And pecans. But I’m a little bit on the lazy side and don’t like the idea of making my own dough, especially when I’m in a hurry.
That’s why the idea of baking with canned biscuits is so appealing to me. What used to take hours can now be wicked up in minutes, thanks too these handy-dandy ready-to-go biscuits.
Best of all, you can find them in your local grocery store and they are inexpensive. You don’t even have to use the name brand biscuits. Just make sure it’s a large can.
A History of Apples in Baking
I thought it might be fun to look back at our passion for all-things-apple, like apple pie, Apple Skillet cake, apple muffins, and so on.
You might be surprised to hear that apples aren’t native to America. (I know, I know. We’re supposed “as American as apple pie.” Only, apple pie didn’t get its start here in America, either!
Most apples have their origins in Asia. From there, they traveled to Europe. So, how did they land in America? It’s likely the early settlers brought apple seeds with them to plant. In colonial America apples were used to make cider.
The first apple pie recipe dates back to 14th century Europe. Some were savory, some were sweet. . .most did not have crusts at all. (Can you imagine?) The Dutch popularized lattice-style crusts, like we see in apple pies today.
Apple Pie. . .in a Muffin?
Yes, I know. At first glance this combination might not make much sense. But, I had been wanting to make muffins from canned biscuits for a while. I had a can of biscuits. I had a can of apple pie filling.
The rest, as they say, is history.
I knew that I needed something “monkey bread” like. So, I went on a search for apple pie monkey bread recipes. I also did a deep-dive for “monkey bread muffins” in my search. In the end, I merged several ideas I found online into one simple, handy recipe.
In other words, I made it my own. And that’s what I usually end up doing, to be honest.
This is one of those easy recipes that you’re going to want to add to your recipe box! It’s perfect for Christmas morning. . .or any morning, for that matter! It’s also great as a dessert. (Yum!) Trust me when I say you’ll have a hard time say “No!” to them if you’re on a diet!
Wondering what goes into these ooey-gooey, luscious muffins? These are simple ingredients. You probably have most of these items on hand! You’ll find a full, printable recipe at the bottom of this post, but here’s a quick peek at what you’ll need:
- canned pie filling
- canned biscuits
- brown sugar
- apple pie (or pumpkin pie) spice (optional)
- maple extract (or vanilla, your choice!)
How to Make Apple Cinnamon Monkey Bread Muffins
These apple pie-themed muffins came together so easily, y’all! I whipped them up in a hurry to take to some new friends. Here’s how to do it:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pull out your favorite muffin pan.
Put butter in a sauce pan and bring to a light simmer. (I love brown butter so I let my turn golden.) Be careful not to burn! This melted butter will be the flavor base for your muffins.
Add brown sugar and stir. Remove from heat.
Add apple pie filling and spices to the brown sugar mixture.
My apples were too big for my liking so I used my Pampered Chef chopper thing-a-ma-bobby to chop up my apples to a more manageable size.
Add extract. (I went with maple because I decided apples, cinnamon, and the other spices called for it. You might have a different opinion.
Set your filling aside.
Prepared a floured surface and put your biscuits down. (I lightly floured mine on both sides to make for easier cutting.)
Using a pizza cutter, cut into small pieces. I went one direction with all of my biscuits then turned my cutting mat to finish the job going a different direction.
Put the biscuit bits into the apple mixture and stir until well incorporated.
It’s time to scoop! Put cupcakes liners in your muffin tin. (Trust me, you don’t want to skip this step! These are gooey muffins and you’ll need the liners to hold things together! In fact, you might want to double up your liners if yours aren’t heavy-duty.
Using an ice cream scoop, fill each muffin cup with dough. This recipe makes exactly 12 muffins. (Notice the biscuit pieces are pretty small. This is key!)
Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. (Oven times might vary, based on your oven.) I wanted mine to be golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before taking them out of the cupcake pan.
I had to use a sharp knife to loosen mine from the tin. In fact, I added a second cupcake liner to mine after this process so they wouldn’t be as messy to handle. (Hence my earlier comment about doubling up your liners.)
What do Apple Pie Monkey Bread Muffins taste like?
First of all, let me just say that they’re beyond delicious! They have the gooey warmth of apple pie without all of the time and trouble. But they have a light, fluffy side, too! The biscuits are absolutely amazing. (That’s not always the case in biscuit-based recipes. Some are too heavy for my liking…but these are not. They’re perfect!)
I was wowed by the flavor. The cinnamon, brown butter, apple pie spice, and brown sugar were just the right combination with the apples. And that tiny hint of maple? Primo! They have the flavor of cinnamon rolls, but with a distinct apple addition.
You’ll want to serve these at room temperature so they’re easier to handle. You might also offer your guests a fork, just in case they don’t like to get their fingers messy.
Variations on this Apple Pie Muffin recipes:
These muffins are the perfect sweet treat, just as they are. But there are always ways to change things up. Here are some of my suggestions.
- You can use any flavor of pie filling that you like! Options would include: blackberry, blueberry, cherry, strawberry, or even peach. Just make sure the fruit pieces are a manageable size.
- I’m pretty sure you could turn these into “encased” muffins. Roll out your biscuits and fill them with the filling (enclosing the filling inside the circle of dough). Place in prepared muffin tin and bake until golden.
- If you’re in a huge hurry you can skip the butter, brown sugar, and spices. Just merge apple pie filling with biscuits and go from there.
- Use fresh fruit. You will need to cook the apples down a bit with the butter and brown sugar first. (Be careful not to burn them!)
- Add pecans! I wanted to add them to this recipe but I was baking for new friends and I don’t know them well enough to know if they like pecans. (You might recall that I recently baked my Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies with Brown Butter, intending to give them to a neighbor. Turned out, she’s not a nut fan. (And some folks are allergic, so we always have to be careful!) Next time, though! You bet I’m gonna add ’em if I’m baking for myself.
- Bake this recipe in a bundt pan, as opposed to muffin tins. (If I happened to be serving this to family on Christmas morning I’d probably go that route. I might double the recipe, though.)
- If you like pull-apart bread recipes you could always bake this in a 9×13 pan and let your loved ones dive in, pulling the whole thing to bits! (After it cools, of course.) This would be the perfect recipe for a Saturday morning!
- Top with caramel sauce or a drizzle of maple syrup.
There are a host of things you can do to change up this recipe! Just use your imagination, y’all!
How do I store these apple pie muffins?
Place in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap.
These muffins will stay fresh for 2-3 days. If you choose to refrigerate, they will last a little longer, but be sure to bring to room temperature before eating. (They will caramelize in the fridge.) Don’t rewarm in the microwave. They will be too gooey (and will have heat pockets, which could cause a burn).
Questions People are Asking About Monkey Bread Muffins
Can I use white sugar in place of brown?
- Sure, but you won’t get the same dark color and rich flavor.
Can I use fresh fruit?
- Yes, but you’ll have to soften the apples in advance. (If you live in an area that produces apples, these would be great during apple season!)
Can I bake these in my mini muffin tins?
- You could make mini monkey bread muffins using this recipe but I’m guessing they would be harder to handle!
I don’t have a pizza cutter. Can I use kitchen shears to cut biscuits?
- Yes, just be sure to flour your biscuits before cutting.
Can I use a sugar substitute?
- Yes, but if you’re going sugar-free you’ll also need to use a sugar-free pie filling option, as well.
Can I add a simple glaze to these muffins?
- Yes, just use 1/2 cup powdered sugar and a dash of milk or whipping cream. Stir well and drizzle over the top. You might also opt for a cream cheese drizzle (cream cheese, powdered sugar, and a dash of milk)
Other Recipes You Might Enjoy
I hope you enjoyed this easy monkey bread muffins recipe. If you love apples, consider any of the following recipes from Out of the Box Baking:
Delicious Apple Crisp: You’ve got a bag full of apples and you’re not sure what to do with them. Bake a pie? Create an apple strudel? Maybe pocket pies? The answer is simple: turn those apples into a Delicious Apple Crisp. Loaded with brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, oats, and pumpkin pie spice, this apple crisp will leave your family and friends swooning!
Apple Spice Skillet Cake: Cake in a skillet? No oven required? Yes, thank you! This Apple Spice Skillet Cake was the perfect gift to take to a family member on a cold winter’s day. And, while I usually do layered or tiered cakes, this simplistic approach sounded pretty dreamy!
Healthy Cinnamon Apple Muffins: Rarely do you hear the word “healthy” in the same sentence as the word “muffin” but these yummy Cinnamon Apple Muffins definitely are! They’re packed with oats, real apple, cinnamon, and even a banana. (Hey, basically a fruit salad with some oats thrown in!)
Before you go, check out my new Breakfast Treats category!
One more thing! Buzz on over to Miz Helen’s Country Cottage. Her Full Plate Thursday offers tons of sweet and savory recipes you’re going to love!
Enjoy the great Weekend potluck offerings over at South your Mouth, one of my favorite food blogs!
Thanks for stopping by, y’all. Let me know what you think about these gooey apple muffins! This is truly a great recipe!
About the Author
Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.
- 1 can apple pie filling (21 oz)
- 1 can of biscuits (I used a large "Grands"-type version
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons room temperature butter
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon apple pie (or pumpkin pie) spice (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon maple extract (or vanilla extract, your choice!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Put butter in a sauce pan and bring to a light simmer. (I love brown butter so I let my turn golden.) Be careful not to burn! This melted butter will be the flavor base for your muffins.
- Add brown sugar and stir. Remove from heat.
- Add apple pie filling and spices.
- My apples were too big for my liking so I used my Pampered Chef chopper thing-a-ma-bobby to chop up my apples to a more manageable size.
- Add extract. (I went with maple because I decided apples, cinnamon, and the other spices called for it. You might have a different opinion.
- Set your filling aside.
- Prepared a floured surface and put your biscuits down. (I lightly floured mine on both sides to make for easier cutting.)
- Using a pizza cutter, cut into small pieces. I went one direction with all of my biscuits then turned my cutting mat to finish the job going a different direction.
- Put the biscuit bits into the apple mixture and stir until well incorporated.
- It's time to scoop! Put cupcakes liners in your muffin tin. (Trust me, you don't want to skip this step! These are gooey muffins and you'll need the liners to hold things together! In fact, you might want to double up your liners if yours aren't heavy-duty.Using an ice cream scoop, fill each muffin cup with dough. This recipe makes exactly 12 muffins. (Notice the biscuit pieces are pretty small. This is key!)
- Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. (Oven times might vary, based on your oven.)
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before taking them out of the cupcake pan.
Use a sharp knife to loosen muffins from tin. In fact, You can add a second liner at this point if yours are too sticky to handle. (Hey, sticky is good!)