Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins

coffee cake muffins

The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yields: 12 muffins

Coffee cake is everybody's favorite breakfast treat and if made into muffins—meaning everyone gets their own individual "cake"—that's even better. These delightful, sweet (but not overly sweet), cuties have the most delicious, slightly sunken, crunchy tops. The crumb topping is made from dark brown sugar and butter and not only tops the muffins, but is also swirled throughout. These treats might take a tad more time to assemble than your average muffin, due to the swirl and topping, but it is completely worth it. And even though you should absolutely serve these for breakfast or brunch (and be everyone's hero), they are also lovely warmed in the toaster and served à la mode for dessert post-dinner—or really whenever the craving strikes. The recipe calls for oil, which makes for an ultra moist muffin and also means they come together quickly. The sour cream adds a wonderful tang and an extra egg yolk makes for the moistest of muffins. As mentioned above, the tops do sink, particularly after they are pulled from the oven, so this is not the muffin you make when you are in search of the perfect "domed" muffin top, but it is the muffin you make when you want something extra special and truly delicious.


  • For the Topping:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • For the Muffins:
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400 F and place muffin liners in a 12-cup muffin pan.

    The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  2. For the crumb topping and swirl, mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl with a fork, or your fingers, until thoroughly combined and refrigerate until ready to use.

    The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  3. For the muffins, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, and vanilla until well combined.

    sugar, oil and vanilla
    The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  4. Add the egg and yolk, one at a time, whisking after each addition.

    adding the egg and yolk
    The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  5. Add the sour cream and whisk again.

    add the sour cream
    The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.

    dry ingredients
    The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  7. Gently fold the the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a flexible spatula.

    dry folded into wet
    The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  8. Fill each muffin cup halfway with batter, about 1 1/2 tablespoons.

    half filled muffin liners
    The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  9. Sprinkle two teaspoons of the topping/swirl mixture evenly over each muffin.

    The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  10. Add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter to each muffin and spread the batter over the swirl mixture with a small offset spatula, butter knife, or the back of a spoon.

    cups are filled
    The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  11. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture evenly on top of each muffin, about, 1 1/2 teaspoons, per muffin, pressing down lightly.

    ready for the oven
    The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  12. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan and turning the oven down to 350 F at the halfway point. The muffins are ready when a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with a moist crumb or two. Let cool to room temperature before removing from the pan.

    muffins out of the oven
    The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan
  13. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving. The muffins will keep, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, on the counter for up to 3 days.

    The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan

Recipe Variation

  • You can add chopped and toasted nuts to your topping and swirl.
  • You can add other warm spices to the topping and swirl, such as nutmeg and allspice.

Recipe Tip

  • Be generous with your sprinkle of swirl and topping.
  • Do not be generous with your batter or your muffins will spill over the top of the pan. Instead save the extra batter for another muffin or two without the crumb - still delish . .
  • when making the topping and swirl, use your fingers, as well as a fork, to thoroughly incorporate the brown sugar, butter and flour.
  • Use your fingers tp make the swirl and topping so that you can break up any large bits of brown sugar more easily.