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New York-Style Coffee Cake Crumb Muffins

I like big crumbs & I cannot lie…you other toppings can’t deny!

How cute are these packaging ideas from King Arthur Flour? I pretty much share all my treats with coworkers & friends (ya know, bake & give!) because there’s no way it’s healthy if Jason and I ate all of them! I love that the panettone baking cups stand up on their own so you don’t even have to put them in a muffin tin. You just place them on a baking sheet and bake! They fill a lot too, which was great for this recipe since the crumb to cake ratio was about 3:1 – the best!

Show of hands – er comments – who missed me? Hehe, just kidding, I know y’all secretly did ;)

Last week’s outage and downtime was definitely not something I saw coming but it was a blessing in disguise. I definitely feel more at ease now with blogging and I feel more “chilled out” about it. Which is great. It’s like I went on vacation and back, except, not really and I’m just wishing I were on vacation in the tropics somewhere. I mean, really, it’s spring and yet we’re supposed to get 4 inches of snow today. I feel like winter just decided to show up late. They’re like that one person you dislike who shows up and ruins the party. Well, that’s winter right now. No one wants you here..leaveeeee!

You know what’s worse than craving Chick-Fil-A on a Sunday and having it be closed? Rolling up to a Chick-Fil-A on a Thursday evening and seeing that it’s CLOSED due to renovations. What the what?! So inappropriate! We pulled up to the CFA parking lot and there were about 7 other cars just parked in the parking lot looking as confused as we were trying to quickly think of plan B for dinner. Can you imagine if you had a wailing 5 year old in the backseat? “But I WANT Chick-Fil-A!!!!!” Yeah, good thing we don’t have one of those yet. This lady even got out of the car to see if this was a joke. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a joke. Lame-o.

When it comes to crumb cakes, especially the New York-style coffee crumb cakes, I’m all about the crumb. I prefer very little cake and a massive crumb topping. When I found this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, I knew I had to try it. If you’re tempted to substitute all-purpose flour for the cake flour – don’t. Just go to the store and buy cake flour. Why? If you use all-purpose flour, you’re going to end up with a dry, tough muffin. Also, use buttermilk! If you don’t have it, you can always substitute it with plain yogurt. The recipe says it makes a dozen and you might find that a little unbelievable, but remember: this recipe is more about the crumb topping than the cake. This recipe has just a cushion of cake compared to the massive crumb topping. If you want to make an even ratio of cake vs. crumb, then it’ll only make 6 muffins.

New York-Style Coffee Cake Crumb Muffins
Recipe type: Breakfast, Dessert, Cakes, Muffins
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 dozen
  • For the crumb topping:
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1¾ cups cake flour
  • For the muffin:
  • 1¼ cup cake flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces, softened but still cool
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk (or ⅓ cup plain yogurt)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin pan with baking cups or prepare panettone baking cups by spraying them lightly with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Pour the butter over top and using a wooden spoon, mix until incorporated. Then add the cake flour and mix until mixture resembles a thick and cohesive dough. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt on low speed to combine. With mixer at low speed, add butter one piece at a time; continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no visible butter chunks remaining, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract and buttermilk and mix until all has been incorporated and batter is light and fluffy.
  5. Using a ¼ cup measuring cup (**see NOTES below), divide up batter into prepared muffin pan. Then, sprinkle a generous amount of the crumb topping on top, using your fingers to pinch the dough into a crumbly mixture, if not already. Do not press the crumb topping into the batter. Just let it sit on top.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until crumbs are golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. (Note: I did stick my muffins under the broiler at about the 15 minute baking mark so the tops would get nice and brown. If you do this, make sure to watch it carefully. You do not have to do the broiler step and can omit it completely.)
  7. Let muffins cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
You'll need to use deeper/taller than normal baking cups for this otherwise the crumb topping will fall off. If you use normal baking cups, use less batter then add the crumb topping.

Source: Cook's Illustrated


  1. 03/25/2013 at 7:19 am

    If I blink my eyes like Jeannie (have I lost you?) ;) will one of these appear before me? Way better than the breakfast I had!!

  2. 03/25/2013 at 8:00 am

    oh mah gawd, I cant wait to try these! There is never enough crumb topping..ever!! These little babies look like they just may fix that!

  3. 03/25/2013 at 8:35 am

    These muffins look a-maz-ing!!! I want one for breakfast! I would love some of that crumb topping!!!

  4. 03/25/2013 at 8:41 am

    I love crumb muffins. That crumb gets me everytime! I love KAF Bake and Give stuff too. I use the little loaf pans all the time!

  5. 03/25/2013 at 8:48 am

    Oh my word, look at that luscious crumb topping!! You can never have enough crumb topping :) These would be the best breakfast treat ever!

  6. 03/25/2013 at 8:52 am

    It is SO all about the crumb. I’d love to have one (or three) of these with my coffee this morning. Thanks for the note on the cake flour too–it’s always good to know where the flour makes a BIG difference.
    Welcome back from “vacation” Julie. Glad you were able to recharge :-)

  7. 03/25/2013 at 8:57 am

    Yum, yum, yum is right!! Experienced instant craving for these beauties!

  8. 03/25/2013 at 9:18 am

    Oh! What I would do to dive into these :)

  9. 03/25/2013 at 9:28 am

    Crumb muffins are so good! Man I wish I had one of those for breakfast! These look so yummy!

  10. 03/25/2013 at 9:29 am

    Coffee cake is totally about the crumb. The bigger the better!! These are too cute for words. And since they’re cute, I will have two. Fine, three.

  11. 03/25/2013 at 9:41 am

    Julie!!! These are amazing!

  12. 03/25/2013 at 9:48 am

    For Real… I need those ASAP. Do you ship? ;)

  13. 03/25/2013 at 9:52 am

    That packaging is adorable!!! I love a massive crumb topping too. These look incredible!

  14. 03/25/2013 at 9:58 am

    Too funny! I just made coffee cake muffins-we are always on the same page! Love yours!

  15. 03/25/2013 at 10:40 am

    I LOVE the muffin liners Julie. And of course, the muffins too. :) I mean just look at all of that crumb topping!!! The best part, obvs.

  16. 03/25/2013 at 10:45 am

    Sooooooo happy that I just bought cake flour. And have buttermilk made, too! I might be tempted to make these with a maple twist, though. ;) That’s all I have on the brain right now!

  17. 03/25/2013 at 10:53 am

    i have a serious addiction to coffee cake. It brings back memories of my childhood. My parents are huge coffee drinkers and every weekend a man from the entemanns outlet would come to the neighborhood with truckloads of entemanns products for $1 a piece. We would load up on coffee crumb cake and freeze the excess. Now, as an adult, i still love me some crumb cake and like you, feel the bigger the crumb, the better.

  18. 03/25/2013 at 10:54 am

    Are you kidding me!!! These look so good, and I love that you turned crumb cake into a portable muffin. Perfect!

  19. 03/25/2013 at 10:57 am

    Crumb cake as muffins = best idea ever.

  20. 03/25/2013 at 11:41 am

    omg. obsessed with crumb cake. I wish I could share these with you right this very moment

  21. 03/25/2013 at 11:41 am

    Why do I never make crumb muffins? It makes no sense, because I really love eating them. The crumb topping is my favorite part! I can’t wait to try this one!

  22. 03/25/2013 at 11:43 am

    New York Style crumb topping is the best! Your muffins look so scrumptious! Love the adorable tags!

  23. 03/25/2013 at 11:43 am

    I agree! the crumbs totally take the cake :) These look amazing Julie!

  24. 03/25/2013 at 12:06 pm

    OMG I need these muffins! Please send me these in a package. Thank you ;) Oh yeah and some CFA too since Ive never been…

  25. Kristen M.
    03/25/2013 at 12:22 pm

    It must be a subconscious thing because when I get Chick Fil A cravings it tends to always be on Sundays. These muffins look so good. Oh that crumb topping! :P

  26. 03/25/2013 at 1:13 pm

    Innnn love. Giant crumbs–the more the better!! ;)

  27. 03/25/2013 at 2:36 pm

    I’m seriously in love with all of those crumbs!!

  28. Kay
    03/25/2013 at 3:16 pm

    These look amazing!!!

  29. 03/25/2013 at 4:11 pm

    I totally feel you! Craving CFA is like craving Chipotle. When one isn’t open, the world doesn’t seem right. Good thing there are epic crumbly muffins to keep us distracted! These look so maj!

  30. 03/25/2013 at 7:17 pm

    You’ve gotta be kidding me, woman! Yummy. And yeah, that packaging is SO flipping cute!

  31. 03/25/2013 at 7:29 pm

    You can never have too much crumb, love these muffins!

  32. 03/25/2013 at 7:40 pm

    Yummy coffee cake crumb muffins!! And I agree, you can never have too much crumb. Pretty cute packaging too!

  33. 03/25/2013 at 8:39 pm

    These look absolutely delicious!! I seriously wish I was your co-worker lol!

  34. 03/25/2013 at 8:50 pm

    Oh my! Those look so good. I’ll be dreaming of these when I drink my coffee in the morning.

  35. 03/25/2013 at 10:44 pm

    The more crumb topping the better! I love these muffins.

  36. 03/25/2013 at 11:21 pm

    The panettone baking cups are ridiculously cute!

  37. 03/26/2013 at 8:53 am

    Wowza! Now that’s how I like to see a muffin! That topping is to die for, and the packaging is super cute!!!!

  38. 03/26/2013 at 10:55 am

    Oh my soul. I want to scoop up that crumb topping now!

    And, yes, we’ve craved Chick-fil-a many Sundays and even pulled up to one that was closed for renovations before, too! The worst was when we used to not have a Chick-fil-a near us and would depend on getting it during road trips, but would be out of luck if we were driving by one on a Sunday! Grrrr.

  39. 03/26/2013 at 10:56 am

    I love the way you packaged these. They look stunning!

  40. 03/26/2013 at 11:41 am

    Haha, I opened your post and immediately wanted to tell you that Cooks Illustrated has the bestest version ever, but it looks like you were totally aware. Haha. Oh, and lady, these are my favorite photos you’ve take. so lovely.

  41. 03/26/2013 at 11:52 am

    these look amazing! I love that they are portion sized so that I can pretend that I’ll have restraint ;)

  42. 03/26/2013 at 1:01 pm

    I am all about the crumb too! My Italian New Yorker great grandma used to make a crumb cake with HUGE crumbs – the recipe is now cherished among us ladies of the family :)

    Those muffin tins are so cute!

  43. 03/26/2013 at 8:23 pm

    First of all, I would give my right arm for one of these coffee cake muffins. Second of all, those packaging cards are adorable! Love!

  44. 03/26/2013 at 9:54 pm

    Crumb cake is for sure all about the crumbs! The muffins look great. Always wondered about those panettone papers – I’ll have to give them a try.

  45. 03/27/2013 at 2:44 am

    Anything crumb topped is awesome and these look so good, wait can you imagine a crumb topped spicy chicken sandwich…i’m in love with the spicy chicken and buffalo sauce :)

  46. 03/27/2013 at 2:50 am

    Oh my gosh, Julie, these look so incredible! The crumb topping is definitely the best part and I love that cute packaging!

  47. 03/27/2013 at 8:40 am

    I could definitely go for some of those muffins for breakfast right now!

  48. 03/27/2013 at 11:41 am

    Love this recipe from Cooks Illustrated! these look great

  49. 03/27/2013 at 5:24 pm

    Hooooly bejesus. Look at the crumb on that thing! INSANITY. Crumbs are the best part of any kind of coffee cake, muffin or crumb cake, am I right or am I right?! LOVE THESE.

  50. 03/27/2013 at 6:17 pm

    those gift tags are so cute…and i’ve gotta try those baking cups…and hahaha nice throw back to big butts…big crumbs yes please. :-)

  51. 03/28/2013 at 12:16 pm

    The tags are so cute :) and those large sweet crumbs are just calling my name! This looks awesome.

  52. Annie
    03/29/2013 at 12:27 pm

    These looks amazing! And now I need to buy everything in the bake & give section of King Arthur Flour!

  53. Sarah
    03/31/2013 at 2:27 pm

    I’m confused, the crumb topping is the only thing that needs the cinnamon but in the directions making the crumbs doesn’t need the cinnamon? What is first being made the crumb or the batter?

    • 03/31/2013 at 5:00 pm

      Yes it does. In step 2 it says: In a medium bowl, whisk together sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Pour the butter over top and using a wooden spoon, mix until incorporated. Then add the cake flour and mix until mixture resembles a thick and cohesive dough. Set aside.

      The crumb is being made first and then set aside to add on top of the batter before baking.

  54. 04/02/2013 at 11:37 pm

    These look amazing. I can’t wait to try them.

  55. 04/03/2013 at 11:20 pm

    It snowed on April 1st in Utah. =( Mother Nature was playing a joke on us because here it is, two days later, at almost 70 degrees today during the day. (It gets down to 40~ at night.)

    Also, that’s exactly the crumb to cake ratio I prefer as well. NY Style it is!

  56. Jessica L
    04/07/2013 at 10:05 pm

    These tasted GREAT – only problems I had was that 1/4th a cup was WAY too much to put into each up. Luckily I made two batches and filled the second ones WAY less. Also.. as the muffins rose while baking in BOTH batches the crumbs fell off so many of my muffins suffered partial baldness…assuming this probably happened when the “muffin top” was forming. :/ Any tips? Is it because you used those special muffin holders? The one I used don’t look as tall as the ones you used. The ones I used were those plain old store bought ones that are about the same height as the muffin pan itself. Awesome recipe anyway! ♥

    • 04/08/2013 at 10:41 am

      Hi Jessica! Darn, that stinks. You should try to press the crumbs into the batter a bit because your muffin holders aren’t that deep. Like push them down gently into the batter so they “stick” to it more. It’d probably help. But yes, I assume mine were able to hold so much more because of the muffin holders I used.

  57. 04/12/2013 at 1:33 am

    I made these for Easter brunch and they were a total hit! So glad I used cake flour, as you suggested. They turned out super moist and everyone wanted more. Thanks so much for posting :)

  58. Tori
    04/14/2013 at 9:37 am

    I followed the recipe precisely, and there definitely wasn’t enough batter for twelve muffins. Also I wouldn’t suggest using this recipe with the regular muffin cups because the crumble didn’t produce the desired look. There were bare spots even after pressing the crumbs in a bit. I definitely want to try them again with the panettone baking cups.

  59. Jean
    05/19/2013 at 11:16 am

    Hmmm. Only had enough batter for 9 muffins. Followed the recipe to a tee. Had way too much topping (I guess cause I did not get 12 muffins). Waiting for them to come out of the oven. Will post after they are done. Used regular muffin cups and 1/4 cup or less of batter.

  60. Jean
    05/19/2013 at 11:28 am

    Definitely do not use 1/4 cup for regular muffins. Pushed up when baked and poked through the topping. Maybe I need to push the topping down next time (if I make them again).

    • Lindsay
      11/15/2013 at 1:18 pm

      I agree! I made these delicious muffins last night and I brought them to the office for a Friday morning treat. They were SUCH a big hit! I doubled the recipe, so it was hard to know how much batter to fill the cups with. I did 1/4 as the recipe states, but they overflowed BIG time! Beware for those of you that double the recipe – be sure to use less than 1/4c per muffin cup. I also used nonfat greek yogurt instead of buttermilk and they turned out great. Thanks for the recipe!

      • 11/17/2013 at 10:13 am

        Your coworkers must love you, Lindsay :) so glad you enjoyed these and great tips!

  61. Jean
    05/24/2013 at 9:07 pm

    I must say these were really good. Loved them. Will work on gettin more topping on and 12 muffins next time.

  62. 09/12/2013 at 5:00 am

    Wow! Really Very nice and fantastic post for Crumb Cake, This is such a pretty and impressive crumb cake! It’s the perfect season for peaches too. I want to eat every time Crumb Cake, Thanks for sharing….

  63. Jade
    01/21/2014 at 11:26 pm

    These are in the oven as we speak. I am hoping they turn out alright! I was a little confused with the directions. The crumb was like a dough but I didn’t understand how to “crumble” it on top of the mix.. I felt like I had too much dough, crumbling was very hard, and the crumbles sunk in. Everything else was easy to understand! They smell delicious by the way!

    • 01/22/2014 at 10:38 am

      Hi Jade, hope you enjoyed these! The crumb shouldn’t be like dough. They should be like little pea-sized crumbles. As long as you were able to get them on the muffin, they should turn out ok!

  64. Melissa
    01/31/2014 at 2:12 pm

    Hi there! Made these before and loved them! This time around I don’t have buttermilk or yogurt. You think I can use sour cream instead?

    • 02/01/2014 at 1:46 pm

      Hi Melissa, I’m not sure. I haven’t done that before. I just would hate for the cake part to be too sour for you. You can certainly try though.

  65. Lekha
    03/15/2014 at 4:55 am

    Looks lovely …

    Wondering if these can be made in the microwave ? Any idea regarding time etc would really be appreciated.

    • Julie
      03/16/2014 at 10:06 am

      Hi Lekha, these can definitely not be made in the microwave. If you’re looking for microwaveable desserts, I suggest you try my chocolate mug cake or my very vanilla mug cake. They’re both microwaveable desserts.

  66. Katie
    03/17/2014 at 8:15 pm

    These look great! I’m making them now… but I’m confused :/ I added 1 and 1/4 cup cake flour to 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 white sugar, and cinnamon, and 8 T butter… was that wrong?

    • Katie
      03/17/2014 at 8:24 pm

      I figured it out… :) sorry!

  67. Carol
    04/27/2014 at 9:35 am

    Julie I love this recipe and have been making the regular crumb cake for years so I was equally happy to see it in muffin form. I may be wrong, but I did not see in the instructions for the crumb mixture for people to let it sit for 15 minutes after mixing and then using your fingers pinch off nice sized pieces of crumb. You just left it at the mixture forming a cohesive dough. Thanks for sharing.

    • Julie
      04/28/2014 at 11:11 am

      Thanks for pointing this out, Carol! I added that step in there to clarify what you’re supposed to do. So glad you enjoy this recipe!

  68. Margarita
    05/07/2014 at 2:19 pm

    Looks like an awesome recipe…question: can you use regular flour instead of cake flour and what if I have only a regular hand mixer? (so deprived…lol)

    • Julie
      05/08/2014 at 8:18 am

      Hi Margarita, you’ll definitely need cake flour in this recipe otherwise the muffins will be too dense. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to make cake flour at home with just regular all-purpose flour: – also, you can make this muffin recipe with a regular hand mixer!

  69. Mike
    05/31/2014 at 1:36 pm

    I’ve made muffins using all purpose flour, vegetable oil and buttermilk and they were moist and rose high because of the acid in the buttermilk.

  70. Susie
    06/01/2014 at 11:45 am

    I’m gluten intolerant, so used gluten free flour mix that had baking powder already and subbed sour cream and they came out amazing! No issues with crumbs falling off, moist and buttery…best muffins ever. Thank you!

  71. Suzie M
    06/09/2014 at 8:38 pm

    I tried these Saturday night for coffee at church Sunday morning. They were fantastic (but not better than tasting them 10 minutes after I took them out of the oven!). I even had the King Arthur baking cups you recommended. In fact today I went to my local ‘Cake Art’ store and bought what I hope are similar paper cups to make lots of these for our work fundraiser bake sale this coming Friday. I actually substituted regular flour (I have a conversion from my old Doubleday cookbook – sift, then, for each cup of flour, remove two tablespoons of the flour) Sat. evening. Now, for this bake sale I have cake flour. I am excited! Thank you for a GREAT recipe!

    • Julie
      06/09/2014 at 9:07 pm

      Awesome!! So glad these worked out for you and you’re making them again :)

  72. RISA
    06/17/2014 at 10:35 pm

    would you use this crumb topping on a sweet bread, example challah?

    • Julie
      06/18/2014 at 8:32 am

      Hmm interesting. I don’t think I would but if you think it sounds good, go for it!

  73. Jan K
    06/23/2014 at 7:37 pm

    Hi Julie.. do you subscribe to Cooks Illustrated? I just made this exact recipe tonight from their magazine and wanted a denser cake so was looking online and found yours. But the recipe is exactly the same. Weird.

    • Julie
      06/24/2014 at 6:52 am

      Hi Jan! Yup, at the time I made this recipe, I did subscribe to Cooks Illustrated and this is their recipe! I note it in the source below :)


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