Cinnamon Streusel Muffins are the perfect on-the-go snack or breakfast! Think of a fluffy sour cream coffee cake base, layered with cinnamon sugar filling and baked with a buttery, cinnamon streusel topping. Delish!
The base of this recipe also makes our favorite Springtime treat: Rhubarb Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel!
This easy cinnamon muffin recipe is made with a handful of pantry and baking staples. Here's what you'll need:
- Sour Cream & Buttermilk - This recipe uses both sour cream and buttermilk for a rich muffin batter that is thick and tangy. The natural acidity of these baked goods helps to inhibit gluten so that the crumb stays moist and tender! I like the combination of both ingredients. However, if you only have one or the other, you can make this recipe with all buttermilk, or all sour cream.
Baker's Journal: Baking with Buttermilk - Baking with buttermilk helps to keep baked goods tender and moist while imparting a hint of tangy flavor. If you don’t have real buttermilk, you can make your own by adding a splash of lemon juice to whole milk and letting it sit for about ten minutes.
How To Make These Muffins
Cinnamon streusel muffins come together with three easy components: 1) the batter, 2) the cinnamon sugar filling and 3) the crumbly cinnamon topping!
Cinnamon Streusel Topping
1. First, make the streusel topping. Combine the dry ingredients and whisk together. Drizzle over the melted butter. Stir with a fork until combined and crumbly. Chill the streusel in the refrigerator while you prepare the batter.
2. To make the cinnamon muffin batter, start by combining the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk or sift the ingredients together and set aside.
3. Then in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl with an electric mixer). Combine the eggs and sugar until the ribbon stage is reached.
Baker's Journal: The Ribbon Stage - The ribbon stage refers to a certain texture achieved when whipping egg(s) and sugar together. At this stage, the egg(s) and sugar will be very pale, aerated, and fall in thick ribbons from the whisk or paddle attachment. The air incorporated into the egg and sugar mixture helps to leaven the bread and create a tender, fluffy cake.
When done correctly, ribbons of batter will sit on the batter's surface for several seconds before blending in. Try drawing a figure 8 in the batter to test if your mixture has reached the ribbon stage.
4. Once the eggs and sugar are combined, mix on low speed while slowly adding in the cooled melted butter and vanilla. Then, add the buttermilk and sour cream in 2 - 3 additions. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl, as needed.
5. Finally, add in the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until about 90% combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl and finish mixing the final 10%. Do not over mix!
6. In a small separate bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon for the filling.
Layering and Baking
Prepare a muffin tin with liners in every other vessel. You can use any muffin or cupcake liner you like but for a fresh-from-the-bakery look, check out how we make homemade parchment paper muffin liners!
7. Scoop about 2 - 3Tablespoons of batter into each muffin liner. Then, top with a heaping Tablespoon of cinnamon sugar filling. Top with an additional 2 - 3 Tablespoons of remaining muffin batter.
8. Top each muffin with an equal portion of the chilled cinnamon streusel topping. (It's a lot of crumb topping! Just, trust! This is easiest when using oversized or homemade parchment paper muffin liners, since they are a bit taller.)
9. Bake for 20 - 22 minutes until domed and golden! Transfer muffins to a cooling rack but be sure to try one when it is still a bit warm from the oven! Simply the best!
5 Tips for Magnificent Muffins
Mastering muffins is easy but there are definitely a few tips and tricks to making them magneficent! Here's my best advice!
- Use room temperature ingredients. This is super important for this recipe since so many ingredients (eggs, buttermilk and sour cream) can be so cold and effect even baking. Also, if your butter is too warm, you can scramble the eggs in the batter!
- HOWEVER: The streusel is the exception! Unlike the batter that benefits from baking at room temperature, crumb toppings bake best from cold! Keep the crumble topping refrigerated so that it holds its' shape and crumbly texture throughout the bake.
- Do not over mix! The easiest way to mess up muffins is over beating the batter. Mix until the flour mixture is JUST combined. A few lumps are okay.
- Bake the muffins in EVERY OTHER space in your baking pan. This is a game changer!!! Spacing the muffins this way allows air to circulate around each muffin and ensures that perfectly risen domed muffin top!
- Grease your muffin liners. For muffins that release perfectly from their paper packaging, spritz each liner with nonstick baking spray.
- For an artisanal bakery look, make your own parchment paper muffin liners! They look great and are super easy!
Saving & Storing
Leftover cinnamon streusel muffins can be kept in an airtight container on the countertop for up to 5 days. I like to reheat mine split in half, on a griddle with a bit of butter.
Muffins can also be frozen for up to 2 - 3 months. I usually wrap them in plastic wrap and a freezer safe bag to help avoid freezer burn. They thaw quickly in the microwave and can make for the perfect grab and go breakfast for busy mornings!
More Breakfast Bakes
For more scratch baking recipes, checkout our collection of Sweets & Desserts, too!
Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
- 1 Stand Mixer with the Paddle Attachment (or Electric Mixer or Whisk)
- 1 Muffin Tin
- 12 Paper Muffin Liners (We use 6 inch homemade parchment paper liners)
Cinnamon Streusel Topping
- 1 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
- ½ Cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon fine kosher salt*
- ½ Cup unsalted butter melted
- 2 ¼ Cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine kosher salt*
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 Cup granulated sugar
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ Cup full-fat sour cream room temperature
- ¾ Cup buttermilk room temperature
- ¼ Cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Arrange a rack in the center third of the oven and preheat to 375° Fahrenheit (190° celsius). Prepare 12 alternating spaces in a muffin tin(s) with paper liners.
- To Make Cinnamon Streusel Topping: In a small mixing bowl, combine the cinnamon streusel topping flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Use a fork or whisk to combine. Add in the melted butter and stir until combined and crumbly. Chill in the refrigerator while preparing the muffin batter.
- To Make the Muffin Batter: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer or whisk) combine the egg and sugar. Mix on medium low speed (or whisk) until pale, aerated and the ribbon stage is achieved (batter falls in thick ribbons on the mixtures surface).
- While mixing on medium-low speed (or whisking), drizzle in melted butter and vanilla. Then, add the sour cream and buttermilk in 2 - 3 additions, mixing to incorporate between each addition. Scrape the bowl, as necessary.
- Add the flour mixture to the stand mixer (or mixing bowl) and mix on the lowest speed (or fold together with a rubber spatula) until just incorporated. Do not over-mix!
- Assembling & Baking: Using a small scoop (or spoons), fill each muffin liner with 2 - 3 Tablespoons of batter. Gently tap the muffin tin on the countertop to help level the batter.
- Meanwhile, combing the brown sugar and cinnamon to make the cinnamon sugar filling. Spoon about 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon sugar over each muffin. Then, top the cinnamon sugar filling with 2 - 3 Tablespoons of remaining muffin batter.
- Distribute the chilled cinnamon streusel topping evenly among the tops of the muffin batter. Bake in a preheated oven for about 22 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and spring back when gently poked.
- Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes in the tin before transfering them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Serve room temperature or slightly warm and enjoy!
* A Note About Salt
Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on The Sage Apron are developed using Diamond Crystal Kosher salt. It is a great all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If using table salt, reduce quantities by about half.