Coffee Cake Muffins

After subjecting my household to an uber-healthy muffin, I decided to go in the opposite direction with dessert-style treat: The coffee cake muffin.

This soft and sweet muffin was also meant to have a drizzle of sugar icing over the top, but when they came out of the oven they looked and smelled so amazing that we didn’t wait to add that step. I’m sure it would have been great.

Coffee Cake Muffins

Adapted slightly from ATK: Baking Illustrated

1/2 cup pecans

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and softened

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup light sour cream

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon until the nuts are the size of sesame seeds, about ten 1-second pulses.

Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and set aside.

Return the bowl and metal blade to the food processor, add the flour, granulated sugar, and salt and process until combined, about five 1-second pulses. Sprinkle the butter evenly over the flour mixture and process until the butter is the size of oats, about eight 1- second pulses.

Remove 1/2 cup of the flour mixture and stir it with a fork into the reserved brown sugar mixture until combined. This will be the streusel. Set aside 3/4 cup of the streusel for the muffin batter and the remaining portion for topping the muffins.

Add the baking powder and baking soda to the remaining flour mixture in the food processor bowl and process until combined, about five 1-second pulses.

Whisk together the sour cream, egg and vanilla in a 1-cup glass measuring cup and add to the flour mixture. Process until the batter is just moistened, about five 1-second pulses. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of the streusel to the flour mixture and process until the streusel is just distributed throughout the batter and the batter looks crumbly, about five 1-second pulses.

Divide the batter among 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle a scant tablespoon of streusel on each muffin, pressing lightly so that the streusel sinks slightly into the batter.

Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out with several crumbs clinging to it, about 18 minutes, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time. Avoid over baking. Place the muffin tin on a wire rack and allow the muffins to cool in the tin for 2 minutes. Using the tip of a paring knife, loosen the muffins and gently transfer from the tin to the wire rack. Cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

One thought on “Coffee Cake Muffins

  1. Hi! The same company has a recipe for Cook’s Country Coffeecake Muffins, which have quite a lot of streusel on top and are delicious! They seem more decadent than this version which I’ve also seen on their website, so I thought you might want to know about them 🙂 This is the recipe if you’re interested:

    Coffee Cake Muffins
    Published August 1, 2007.

    Why this recipe works:

    With a swirl of cinnamon enriching a tender cake and a topping of sweet, nutty streusel, a big slice of coffee cake is pretty hard to beat. Compacting all that goodness into a muffin recipe seemed like a great idea, but most of the coffee cake muffins recipes we tried resembled dry, cottony yellow cupcakes with little or no cinnamon filling, while other recipes simply packed mounds of dry, gritty streusel on top. We set out to make a coffee cake muffin as good as a regular coffee cake—with the option of taking it to go. For muffins that were rich but not too dense, we cut back on the amount of butter and eggs most coffee cake recipes require, but kept the typical amount of sour cream—it gave the muffins a moist, velvety appeal. For the streusel topping, we cut a little butter and flour into our mixture of nuts, sugar, and cinnamon. The added moisture allowed the topping to clump and stay put on top of the muffin.

    Makes 12 muffins

    Be sure to use muffin-tin liners for this recipe or the cinnamon filling will stick to the pan.


    8 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
    1/2 cup pecans
    2 large eggs
    1 cup sour cream
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks and softened


    1. For the streusel: Pulse 5 tablespoons granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter in food processor until just combined. Reserve 3/4 cup sugar mixture for cinnamon filling. Add pecans and remaining granulated sugar to food processor with remaining sugar mixture and pulse until nuts are coarsely ground. Transfer to bowl and set aside for streusel topping. Do not wash food processor.
    2. For the muffins: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin tin with cooking spray and line with paper liners. Whisk eggs, sour cream, and vanilla in bowl. Pulse flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter in food processor until mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer to large bowl. Using rubber spatula, gradually fold in egg mixture until just combined. Place 1 tablespoon batter in each muffin cup and top with 1 tablespoon cinnamon filling. Using back of spoon, press cinnamon filling lightly into batter, then top with remaining batter. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over batter.
    3. Bake until muffins are light golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few dry crumbs attached, 22 to 28 minutes. Cool muffins in tin for 30 minutes, then carefully transfer to rack to cool. Serve. (The muffins will keep in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

    Another REALLY good recipe which kept really well over a few days are these, different enough to make it worth making both:

    Muffin Tin Doughnuts
    From Cook’s Country | June/July 2013 :

    To get the flavor and texture of a doughnut with the ease of a muffin, we add an extra egg yolk to the batter and cut all-purpose flour with cornstarch to create a tender, cakelike crumb. A hot oven helps replicate the crispy edges of a traditional deep-fried doughnut, and a final coating of melted butter followed by a roll in cinnamon sugar creates a rich, sugary exterior.

    Makes 12 doughnuts

    In step 3, brush the doughnuts generously, using up all the melted butter. Use your hand to press the cinnamon sugar onto the doughnuts to coat them completely.


    2 3/4 cups (13 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
    1/4 cup cornstarch
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1 cup buttermilk
    8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk
    1 cup sugar
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


    1. FOR THE DOUGHNUTS: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil spray. Whisk flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg together in bowl. Whisk buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs and yolk together in separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just combined.
    2. Scoop batter into prepared tin. Bake until doughnuts are lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 19 to 22 minutes. Let doughnuts cool in tin for 5 minutes.
    3. FOR THE COATING: Whisk sugar and cinnamon together in bowl. Remove doughnuts from tin. Working with 1 doughnut at a time, brush all over with melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar, pressing lightly to adhere. Transfer to wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Serve.

    Happy baking!


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