Cinnamon streusel muffins are one of my favorite dessert breakfasts! They're like sour cream coffee cake with delicious crumbly layers of cinnamon sugar. Perfect to grab when you're on the go! And by "on the go", I mean running from your kitchen to your office because you're late for a Zoom meeting...
I like to wash these down with a glass of milk, but they also go great with a cup of coffee! You can continue to enjoy them for 2-3 days after baking if they're stored at room temperature. For an even longer life, keep them in the freezer and then heat one in the microwave for 30-60 seconds when you're ready to enjoy it!
These muffins are made with sour cream and buttermilk, which help keep them moist and soft! If you don't have buttermilk on hand, that's okay! I rarely have it either. Instead, I mix whole milk with a splash of vinegar (see exact measurements in the recipe card notes). The acidity adds a nice tangy flavor and weakens the gluten, creating a softer & more delicious muffin!
These muffins are really easy to make! For the streusel, you just mix up some flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Then, take some cold butter and cut it up into the mixture. You can do this using a pastry cutter or fork (or even your hands, but that gets a bit messy). Try to break up the butter so that as much of it is covered in the flour mixture as possible! It should end up like wet sand with some small chunks in it.
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To make these cinnamon streusel muffins live up to their name, you'll want to do some layering. I start with sprinkling a little bit of the streusel in the bottom of the cupcake liners and then spread some muffin batter over it. Repeat and finish with cinnamon streusel on the muffin tops! The baked product will have a nice cinnamon layer in the middle and a cool marbled look around the sides!
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Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
- 5 tablespoons (71g) unsalted butter cold
- ½ cup (63g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (100g) light brown sugar packed
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup (164g) sour cream room temperature
- 2 cups (150g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup buttermilk *see notes below
- Mix together the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add 5 individual tablespoons of cold butter. Cut the butter into the mixture using a pastry cutter or fork until it resembles wet sand with some small chunks. Place this in the refrigerator while you make the batter.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cupcake pan with 12 liners (or spray with oil if you don't have liners).
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (~3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla and sour cream. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Gently stir half of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then mix in the buttermilk. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until only a few flour streaks are visible. The batter will be pretty thick.
- Pour 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon streusel into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Then, add a tablespoon of muffin batter over the top of it, followed by 2 teaspoons of streusel. Repeat until the muffin liner is about ¾ full. Try to spread the batter out so it's smooth and then finish by covering the tops with streusel. (Optional: sprinkle a little turbinado sugar on the tops too!)
- Bake for 13-18 minutes or until the tops are lightly tan and a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean.
- Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, and then carefully transfer them to a cooling rack.