Coffee Crumb Cake Muffins


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

The Baking Bible

By Rose Levy Beranbaum

Published 2014

  • About
Oven Temperature 350°F/175°C
Baking Time 25 to 35 minutes

This is my all time most loved coffee cake baked in a muffin pan for individual size servings. I love the way the batter rises up and over part of the apple slices, resembling a wee chef’s toque.


Crumb Topping

walnut halves ½ cup 1.8 ounces 50 grams
light brown Muscovado sugar, or dark brown sugar 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons, firmly packed 1.3 ounces 36 grams
granulated sugar 1 tablespoon 0.5 ounce 13 grams
ground cinnamon ¾ teaspoon . 1.6 grams
bleached all-purpose flour ¼ cup (lightly spooned into the cup and leveled off) 1 ounce 30 grams
unsalted butter, melted 2 tablespoons 1 ounce 28 grams
pure vanilla extract ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) . .


1 small tart apple, such as Rhode Island Greening or Granny Smith . 5.5 ounces 155 grams
lemon juice, freshly squeezed 1 teaspoon (5 ml) . 5 grams
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (35 ml) 1.3 ounces 37 grams
sour cream cup, divided 2.9 ounces 81 grams
pure vanilla extract ¾ teaspoon (3.7 ml) . .
bleached cake flour (or bleached all-purpose flour) 1 cup (or ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons), sifted into the cup and leveled off 3.5 ounces 100 grams
superfine sugar ½ cup 3.5 ounces 100 grams
baking powder ¼ teaspoon . 1.1 grams
baking soda ¼ teaspoon . 1.4 grams
fine sea salt teaspoon . 0.7 gram
unsalted butter (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C) 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) 3 ounces 85 grams

Special Equipment

Six large cupcake liners set in a Texas size muffin pan or large custard cups (1 cup capacity)


Make the Crumb Topping

In a food processor, pulse the walnuts, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon until the walnuts are coarsely chopped. Remove ¼ cup/1 ounce/30 grams to use for the filling.

To the remainder, add the flour, butter, and vanilla and pulse briefly to form a coarse, crumbly mixture for the topping. Scrape it into a medium bowl and refrigerate for about 10 minutes to firm up the butter to make it easier to crumble for the topping.

Use your fingers to pinch together the refrigerated crumb topping, breaking up the larger pieces so that about one-third of the mixture is formed into small clumps and the rest is in small particles.

Preheat the Oven

Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

Prepare the Apple Slices

Just before mixing the batter, peel, core, and slice the apple into rings inch thick (6 slices/2.7 ounces/77 grams). Do not be concerned if they break in half. Use a fingertip to dab the slices with the lemon juice.

Mix the Liquid Ingredients

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, tablespoons of the sour cream, and the vanilla, just until lightly combined.

Make the Batter

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter and the remaining sour cream and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1½ minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Spoon the batter (2.3 ounces/64 grams) into each of the prepared liners. The liners will be about half full. Sprinkle each with 2 teaspoons of the crumb filling. With a small metal spatula or spoon, fold the crumb filling into the batter with three or four strokes. Set an apple slice on top of each and press it down so that some of the batter rises up a little above the slice. Smear it across the top of the slice. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the crumb topping evenly over the top of each muffin and use your fingers to press it down gently.

Bake the Muffins

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean and the muffins spring back when pressed lightly in the centers. (An instant-read thermometer should read about 208°F/98°C.)

Cool the Muffins

Cool the muffins in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove them from the pans and set them on a wire rack. Cool completely.


Room temperature, 3 days; refrigerated, 5 days; frozen, 2 months.