Wednesday, February 10, 2010

January's Cupcake of the Month: Streusel Cupcakes

As I mentioned previously, my friend Leah gave me Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat for Hanukkah/Christmas/Solstice/Kwanzaa/New Year 2009. My goal this year is to post once a month about my experience baking a recipe from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes. Admittedly, this post is even later than the post for January's Cookie of the Month and whereas at least the cookies were actually made in January, these Streusel Cupcakes weren't made until February. But I did pick out the recipe in January. Does the thought count?

One of the neat things about Martha Stewart's Cupcakes is that it's got a broad definition of cupcake. For example, this month's Streusel Cupcakes come from the Dipped and Glazed section of the book which includes Brown Sugar Pound Cakes, Triple-Citrus Cupcakes, Coconut-Pecan Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache, Iced Pistachio Cupcakes, Pumpkin-Brown Butter Cupcakes, Apricot-Glazed Black and White Cheesecakes, Mrs. Kostyra's Spice Cupcakes, Sticky Toffee Pudding Cupcakes, Stout Cupcakes, Chai-Tea Mini Cupcakes, Chocolate-Spice Cupcakes, Coconut Rum-Raisin Cupcakes, and Lavender-Iced Brownie Cupcakes (someone got a little hyphen-happy towards the end of that section).

The Streusel Cupcakes turned out super moist. The batter is somewhere between a cake batter and a bread dough. It's not pourable. So don't be surprised by that. The Milk Glaze is the perfect ratio of powdered sugar to milk. I used skim milk and it turned out lovely.

One reason I picked this rather nontraditional cupcake for my first cupcake of the month is that I have been pursuing the perfect topping for muffins for months now without success. I thought maybe this topping would be the answer. The original recipe calls for about 3/4 of a cup MORE flour in the topping. My topping, which is typical of my attempts to make muffin topping, turned out way too floury and didn't glom together into little pellets of goodness like I was hoping for. Also, even putting on a wretched excess of topping on each one, I still had 3/4 of a cup of topping leftover. Hence, the adapted recipe below reduces the amount of flour in the topping. But if you've got other suggestions for improving muffin topping, please share.

Also, though the recipe in the book doesn't explain it well, and maybe this is me taking it in a totally different direction, I think you're supposed to kinda half fill each lined cup with the batter and then mush a bunch of the topping INTO the batter, so it's sort of like chunks of cinnamon goodness mixed in with the cakey parts, kind of like Corner Bakery's Cinnamon Creme Cake (of which David is a huge fan, and he loved these, so if you're looking for a homemade Cinnamon Creme Cake analog, this might be it). If you take that approach, use light colored muffin cup paper liners, so you can see through to all the marbled cinnamon/cake goodness.

Streusel Cupcakes adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat


  • 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t coarse salt
  • 1/2 C plus 2 T (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 C sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 C sour cream

Streusel Topping

  • 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C dark-brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 t coarse salt
  • 1/2 C plus 2 T (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

Milk Glaze

  • 1 1/2 C confectioners sugar
  • 3 T milk

1. Make the streusel topping; whisk together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt; cut in butter using a pastry blender until combined but still crumbly. Refrigerate 30 minutes before using.

2. Preheat oven to 350. Line standard muffin tins with light colored paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt (I sifted these together and it seemed to work just fine).

3. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla and beat again until incorporated (the original recipe calls for mixing in the vanilla by hand . . . can anyone think of a reason why?). Add flour mixture and sour cream; stir until just combined.

4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, about half full. Sprinkle half the topping over cupcakes, gently pressing into the batter until submerged. Sprinkle evenly with remaining topping. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

5. Make the milk glaze immediately before using; whisk together ingredients until smooth.

6. Place cooled cupcakes on a wire rack set over a baking sheet; drizzle evenly with milk glaze.

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Bill said...

May I say: Yum!

laughingmuse said...

Want. Want cupcakes with topping. Want now. *drool*

tina_bakes said...

hi there! some of my friends and I too are baking from MS' 175 Cupcakes!! and we're baking the streusel cupcakes next week!!

brittany said...

I think picking out the recipe in January counts! The cupcakes look and sound amazing... and I'm not even a big cupcake person.

Thanks for checking out my blog and following me on twitter. I'm glad you did as it lead me to yours!