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Cinnamon muffins are sweet breakfast breads flavored with cinnamon. The cinnamon can be included in the batter, swirled into the muffins before baking, or applied after baking is complete. Cinnamon muffins can include only cinnamon or can include fruits like apple or blueberry. The spice is available in stick or ground formulations; ground cinnamon powder is used most often for muffin recipes.
The most basic form of cinnamon muffins are French puffs. These are made of a simple, quick bread batter flavored with a small amount of vanilla extract. Once the muffins are baked, they are dipped in melted butter and then rolled in a mixture of white sugar and ground cinnamon. These treats are fast and easy to make and appeal to all age groups.
A few teaspoons of cinnamon can be added to other quick bread recipes for an extra touch of sweetness. Cinnamon is often used to enhance muffins made from pumpkin, banana, apple, or zucchini. The spice is stirred into the batter for these types of muffins at the same time as the flour and other dried ingredients. The ground cinnamon is dispersed through the batter and adds flavor to the entire muffin.
Some cinnamon muffins are layered, with a band of cinnamon running through the middle. This savory band adds a touch of color and flavor to an otherwise plain muffin. For a band of cinnamon, plain batter is piped into a muffin cup, filling it about halfway. Next, a layer of cinnamon and sugar is added, and then the cinnamon layer is topped with more plain batter. Once baked, the muffin will have a band of cinnamon running through the center.
Blueberry and apple muffins are often topped with cinnamon to add an extra bit of sweetness and a decorative finish. Also called a streusel topping, this type of muffin is topped with a combination of cinnamon, butter, sugar, and flour before baking. Once baked, the topping will add a crisp, crumbly finish to the muffin. Streusel cinnamon muffins can be made with any fruit, but are generally used with fruits that are not overly sweet, like apples, cranberries, and blueberries.
Once baked, cinnamon muffins can be stored in an airtight container or breadbox to maintain freshness. Most cinnamon muffins freeze well; muffin recipes can be doubled to make an extra batch for the freezer. Cinnamon muffins don't have to be full-sized; most recipes can be used to make mini muffins as well.