My favorite way to end a holiday meal is to thoroughly discuss what we should serve at the next one. So get ready, you deliciously cozy Coffee Cake Muffins, ‘cause we’re coming for ya!
This recipe is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill.
One of the infinite reasons I love my family is that we, a group of serious food lovers, never end one holiday feast without a detailed game plan for the subsequent feast.
So naturally, at Thanksgiving we were debating the Christmas brunch menu and realized the possibilities for a sweet baked item are endless: Oatmeal Banana Bread; Chocolate Muffins; Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls; and so many more breakfast recipes.
No one could agree on a frontrunner, until one of us mentioned cinnamon coffee cake muffins. Voilà. Unanimous approval!
A Breakfast Everyone Will Love
Coffee cake is one of the most universally appealing breakfasts, as my family can attest. What’s not to adore?
A tender, buttery cake base, brown sugar cinnamon crumb topping, plus a drizzle of glaze and warm cinnamon spice are what makes a coffee cake a coffee cake. This recipe takes that same approach, then turns it into muffin form.
Whether a breakfast recipe should be designated a “muffin” or a “cake” can be up for debate. The difference between cake and muffins is that cake has a higher butter and sugar content and thus is usually meant for dessert, though many of the muffin recipes you’ll find online are essentially cupcakes masquerading as breakfast fare.
This coffee cake muffin recipe does lean more decadent than my usual line up of healthy muffin recipes. They straddle that fine line between sweet breakfast and dessert, which feels exactly right for the holidays.
I did take a few sneaky steps to make these coffee cake muffins healthy compared to other recipes you may have seen, without losing an ounce of flavor.
- Part of the granulated sugar is replaced with honey (the honey’s flavor is divine with the crumb topping).
- I used Greek yogurt instead of traditional sour cream coffee cake muffins. It has the same moisture and tang, but is high in protein and low in fat.
When baking during the holidays, in addition to pleasing different tastes (thank you coffee cake for your unifying appeal), specialty diets can also pose a challenge, especially if you are looking for gluten free baked recipes.
Whenever I want to make a recipe gluten free, my first stop is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. This product is extraordinary and something I recommend often whenever someone (including all of you wonderful readers!) needs a gluten free substitute for all-purpose flour in one of my baking recipes.
If you don’t need the muffins to be gluten free, you can use regular all-purpose flour, like Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached All-Purpose.
How to Make Coffee Cake Muffins
Meet coffee cake, in single-serving muffin form. The muffins bake up in a jiffy and make it easy for each person to take their own individual serving.
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Flour. My favorite gluten free baking flour. It makes these muffins fluffy and delicious! If you don’t need the muffins to be GF, you can use regular all-purpose flour.
- Whole Milk. Adds just the right amount of richness without being too heavy.
- Greek Yogurt. Instead of sour cream, I opted to use similarly tangy nonfat Greek yogurt. With protein and probiotics, Greek yogurt is a very nutritional swap.
- Cinnamon + Nutmeg. With its warmth and appeal, cinnamon is a coffee cake essential. Nutmeg takes things a step further by adding a nutty flavor.
- Allspice. With a flavor similar to a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, it adds a perfect homey, holiday taste in a memorable way.
- Honey. Instead of using all refined sugar in this recipe, I supplemented with honey for some natural sweetness. It pairs wonderfully with the other flavors.
- Vanilla. Cinnamon coffee cake wouldn’t be complete without the coziness of vanilla.
- Lemon Zest. I love how a touch of lemon zest brightens everything up.
- Streusel Topping. Flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and butter create our wonderful streusel topping. It’s sweet, crumbly, and packed with warm spices.
- Glaze. Powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk make up our glaze. It’s truly the “icing” on the (coffee) cake!
- Whisk the milk and yogurt together in one bowl and let it sit. Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl
- Make the streusel in a separate bowl.
- Whisk the remaining wet ingredients into the milk mixture.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the wells of a muffin pan.
- Scatter the streusel mixture over the tops.
- Bake at 400 degrees F for 18 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes.
- Drizzle the glaze on top of the muffins. DIG IN!
- To Store. Muffins can be stored in a paper towel-lined airtight storage container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- To Freeze. Freeze muffins in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw and enjoy as desired.
For even more storage tips and tricks, check out my post on how to store muffins.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Muffin Pan. A must-have for making coffee cake muffins.
- Muffin Scoop. Essential for even baking and it makes the muffins more fluffy too.
- Whisk. Once you try this smaller, more convenient size, you’ll never want to go back.
- Mixing Bowls. With an array of sizes, this set will help you prepare all the ingredients for this recipe.
These muffins make me SO excited for a festive breakfast! I hope they bring some sweetness to a morning soon for you too.
Coffee Cake Muffins
FOR THE MUFFINS:
- 2/3 cup whole milk at room temperature
- ¼ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt at room temperature
- 2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Flour or all-purpose flour if you do not need the muffins to be gluten free
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 5 tablespoons canola oil or light olive oil
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 small lemon
FOR THE STREUSEL:
- ⅓ cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Flour or all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground all spice
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
FOR THE GLAZE:
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a standard 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray or fit the cups with paper liners and coat the liners with nonstick spray (I find these muffins work best with liners, but if you don't have any on hand, they'll still turn out OK).
- Start the muffins: In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk and Greek yogurt. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- Make the streusel: In a medium bowl, whisk together the 1:1 flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and allspice. Add the butter and working quickly with your fingers, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until you are left with irregular crumbs. The dry ingredients should all feel moist; some crumbs will be like crumbs of wet sand; other crumbs can be as large as small peas. Place the mixture in the refrigerator.
- Return to the muffins: In a medium bowl, whisk together the 1:1 flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt.
- To the bowl with the milk mixture, add the eggs, oil, honey, vanilla extract, and lemon zest (if using). Whisk until well blended.
- Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients. With a rubber spatula, stir quickly but gently to combine, stopping as soon as the flour disappears. It will look a little lumpy.
- Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling them no more than ¾ of the way to the top.
- Remove the streusel from the refrigerator and scatter the crumbs over the top of the muffins (use it all!).
- Bake the muffins for 18 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Place the muffin pan on a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Gently remove the muffins from the pan (a butter knife can help) and place them on the wire rack to cool completely. Do not let them sit in the muffin pan for longer than 5 minutes, or they may become soggy. The muffins will be very delicate at first but will firm up as they rest.
- Make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Drizzle over the top of the cooled muffins. Enjoy!
- TO STORE: Muffins can be stored in a paper towel-lined airtight storage container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze muffins in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw and enjoy as desired.
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