|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
This streusel topping (or crumb topping, as it's sometimes called) will really spruce up your homemade muffins, pies, coffee cakes, and quick breads. It takes only seconds in a food processor, or you can just mix it up in a bowl using a fork. Sprinkle it over your muffins or pie right before baking for a traditional, sweet, crispy, crumbly topping.
To always have the streusel on hand, you can mix up all of the ingredients except the butter and store in the pantry. Then when the time comes, simply pour into food processor, add the butter, and mix until crumbs form.
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until crumbly.
Alternately, you can mash the ingredients together in a bowl using a fork. Don't use your fingers, since the warmth of your fingers will soften the butter and cause the crumb texture to become mealy.
Sprinkle the topping over muffins, pies, or coffee cake immediately before baking.
Bake and enjoy!
Tips and Variations
This recipe is enough streusel topping for a single batch of muffins; to make enough to top a 9-inch pie, just double the recipe.
This is delicious as is, but feel free to enhance the recipe by adding in other ingredients. You can mix in some oats, or finely chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, and hazelnuts are nice). You can even crumble up some cookies—chocolate, vanilla, gingersnap, amaretto—and add those. Just make sure you combine the ingredients in the same ratio as the recipe and mix it together properly with the butter and brown sugar.
And when it comes to the brown sugar, it is important that you measure it "packed." This means that the brown sugar fits tightly in the measuring cup—after you spoon it in, you need to push it down and keep adding more until the sugar reaches the top of the cup. The reason this is necessary is that the sticky granules of the brown sugar form air pockets and packing helps eliminate the air so you get a proper measurement.
Recipes Using Cinnamon Streusel Topping
Although we may automatically think of topping coffee cake and muffins with a cinnamon streusel, there are many interesting desserts that benefit from this sweet and crumbly sprinkle. For a wonderful fall treat, try pumpkin bars, a simple recipe featuring the quintessential autumn squash, or a sour cream apple pie for a twist on the traditional. During summer when blueberries are in season, a blueberry snack cake covered in a streusel topping will become the family favorite. Or try something fresh with a tropical twist like a peach mango pie that is topped with the cinnamon and brown sugar mixture.