Coffee Cake Muffins
The best part of any coffee cake, arguably, is the top inch or so, where a heaping forkful will get you both the tender cake and the crunchy streusel topping. It’s always tempting to save that bit — like the middle of a cinnamon bun or the corner piece of a cake — for last. What we love about this recipe is that the streusel is swirled all the way through the muffins, so every bite is the best bite.
The batter is made with sour cream, so it has a lovely moist crumb and a tanginess that perfectly complements the sweet cinnamon-brown sugar crunch of the streusel. The muffins are so rich they feel like an extra special treat, but they’re the perfect last-minute breakfast or brunch because all of their ingredients are staples — and because they’re so easy your kids can whip them up.
In fact, our kids love making them. They can get their fingers sticky squishing the streusel together, and the batter’s got just enough mixing and beating action to be interesting — and lickable! — but not enough to be fiddly. If your kiddos are still little, they might need help getting the batter into the tins, but definitely give them a toothpick and let them swirl the streusel. It’s the best part, after all.
Our tips: If you want to dress up your muffins, throw some fresh berries, nuts, or chocolate chips in the batter. A little orange zest is nice in the streusel, too. And, if you don’t have sour cream, you can use yogurt.
For the streusel:
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the muffins:
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
Pinch kosher salt
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream (or substitute plain yogurt)
Preheat the oven to 350° and adjust a rack to the middle position. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners or grease them with cooking spray.
To make the streusel: In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Use a fork or your fingers to mash the streusel into a paste that resembles wet sand. Set aside.
To make the muffins: In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until combined.
In a separate bowl, mix together the butter, oil, and sugar with an electric mixer until evenly incorporated.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating between additions, until the mixture is smooth and all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Add the sour cream and mix until just incorporated.
Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until a thick batter forms.
Divide half of the batter among the muffin cups. Place a large pinch of the streusel in the middle of each cup, leaving the batter exposed around the edges.
Cover the streusel with the remaining batter and use a toothpick to swirl the streusel mixture up and down and side to side throughout the batter.
Finish by topping the muffins with the remaining streusel.
Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Allow the muffins to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Serve warm.
Recipe adapted from: Serious Eats