Coffee Cake Muffins


Some of my favorite recipes that I’ve collected on my travels have come from the people I’ve worked with and not from the destinations. My shore time was spent exploring castles, dormant volcanoes, street markets and beautiful coast lines. I ate plenty of food along the way, when I wasn’t able to pick up the recipes I just noted ideas for new things to research and try creating on my own. The recipes I did collect sometimes came from fellow crew members, mostly my cook’s mates or students who were eager for me to recreate a taste of home.

This muffin recipe comes from my first cook’s mate, Phoebe. She made them one afternoon with a student who didn’t go ashore because of an injury, she was hopped up on pain medication and acting a bit loopy. Andrea was put in charge of making the streusel topping, she dove right in to the flour mixture with her hands and started rubbing the butter in. Phoebe panicked for a moment when she recalled that Andrea has Celiac disease and maybe being around this much gluten could be bad for her. She asked if she was okay, Andrea put some thought into the question … maybe a little too much thought and the long pause made the situation seem worse. But everything was okay, she could make the muffins, just not eat them.

My favorite part of these muffins is the double topping, some of the streusel topping is put in the center of muffin and then more on top before going in the oven. The muffin cake itself is sweet, enriched with sour cream and scented with vanilla a really nice balance to the brown sugar and cinnamon topping.


Coffee Cake Muffins



  • ½ c flour
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ c cold unsalted butter, cubed

Muffin Batter

  • ½ c unsalted butter, soft
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 ½ c flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt



  1. Mix the dry ingredients together, cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender, your fingers or a food processor until you have small pea sized lumps of butter.
  2. Set the streusel aside until the muffin batter has come together.

Muffin Batter

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together, add the vanilla, eggs and sour cream, mix well.
  3. Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined.
  4. Line muffin cups with papers and fill each cup a little less than half way, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of streusel, add another scoop of batter and top with the remaining streusel, about 1 heaping teaspoon.
  5. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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