Coffee Cake Muffins

coffee cake muffinAs I’ve mentioned before, any time cake is considered a breakfast food, I’m on board. These coffee cake muffins are a great alternative to the full cake version, especially if you’re baking for a smaller crowd. Today, my small office team welcomed a new colleague, and I wasn’t in need of a whole coffee cake–so this 12-muffin recipe worked out very well. (That’s my desk in the photo to the left, and yes, my mouse pad looks a bit like the Wonder Bread logo.)

I adapted this recipe slightly from a recipe in my trusty Better Homes & Gardens 25th Anniversary Cookbook and have just a few suggestions for further adaptations in the future. Next time I’d like to use pecans instead of walnuts, and I’ll probably use vanilla extract in the drizzle instead of water. The drizzle wasn’t part of the original recipe, but I think it adds a nice hint of sweetness to these otherwise spicy muffins.


For the streusel filling and topping:

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts

For the muffins:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk*

For the drizzle:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • About 1 teaspoon water

*If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make sour milk by placing 1/2 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice into a glass measuring cup, then pouring in enough milk to make a full 1/2 cup. Let stand for 5 minutes before using. 


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

Make the streusel: in a small bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add butter and rub in until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in chopped walnuts; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Add butter and rub in until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Combine beaten egg and buttermilk or sour milk, then add all at once to the crumb mixture, stirring until just combined. Batter will be lumpy.

Using a one-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of batter into prepared muffin tin, filling about 1/3 full. Top with half the streusel mixture, then layer the remaining batter and the remaining streusel mixture.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before drizzling.

Make the drizzle: in a small bowl combine powdered sugar and about 1/2 teaspoon water. Stir, adding more water as necessary to reach a drizzle consistency. Place drizzle into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip and pipe in whatever pattern you like. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.