Cinnamon streusel muffins are one of my favorite breakfast treats. They taste like moist cinnamon coffee cake with a buttery, crunchy cinnamon streusel topping. These are gluten free and perfect for breakfast or a quick snack when you're about to head out the door and take on the go.
These fluffy muffins are delicious severed with a hot cup of coffee or tea in the morning. The moist cinnamon cake has a sweet, crumbly swirl of cinnamon streusel in the middle and on the domed muffin tops. They taste like muffins straight from the bakery but are super easy to make at home without a mixer!
Why This Recipe Works
- Cinnamon in the batter- Ground cinnamon is in the muffin batter and the streusel.
- Crumbly streusel- The crisp cinnamon streusel topping is made with almond flour for extra crunch. It's inside and on top of the muffins!
- Easy to make- You don't need a mixer for this recipe. You only need pantry staple ingredients and basic baking tools.
- Take on the go- You can easily grab a muffin before heading out the door as a quick breakfast, afternoon snack, or weekend treat.
Watch How to Make This Recipe
Ingredients & Substitutions
Here are some notes about the ingredients used. See the recipe card below for quantities.
- Gluten free flour- Use gluten free baking flour that lists xanthan gum in the ingredients. This helps stabilize ingredients in gluten free baked goods. My favorite is Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour.
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Ground cinnamon- Any kind works (Cassia, Ceylon, Saigon, ect).
- Unsalted butter
- Coconut sugar- This adds a deep flavor and more acidity to the batter.
- Large eggs
- Vanilla extract
- Almond extract
- Buttermilk- If you don't have any on hand, you can mix 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and then let it sit for a few minutes to curdle slightly. The acidity and added moisture will result in softer muffins!
- Almond flour
- Gluten free flour: Regular all purpose flour can be used.
- Coconut sugar: Granulated white sugar can be used instead. This will change the taste of the muffins slightly, but they're still super tasty.
- Buttermilk: Plain kefir can be substituted. You could also mix sour cream or yogurt with a little bit of milk.
- Almond flour: The almond flour is for the streusel topping. You can use regular or gluten free all purpose flour instead.
Helpful Equipment and Tools
You'll need a 12-tin muffin pan filled with muffin liners. You'll also need basic baking equipment like measuring cups, measuring spoons, mixing bowls, whisk, and rubber spatula. I recommend a food scale too.
Mix by hand, not with a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, since muffins require little mixing.
Step by Step Instructions
Before you start, read all the directions carefully. Then, preheat the oven to 425°F and add liners to your muffin tin. Prepare your homemade buttermilk if needed.
STEP 1: Whisk the dry ingredients. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk until combined and set aside.
STEP 2: Mix the wet ingredients. Melt the butter in the microwave in a large mixing bowl and let it cool slightly. Then, mix in the coconut sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until well combined.
STEP 3: Fold in the dry ingredients and buttermilk. Alternate between stirring the dry ingredients and buttermilk into the wet ingredients, starting with the flour and ending with the buttermilk.
STEP 4: Rest the batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything gets mixed together; the batter will be thick. Let the muffin batter rest while you make the streusel topping. Resting the batter helps the muffins rise!
STEP 5: Make the streusel. Add almond flour, coconut sugar, ground cinnamon, and cold butter to a small mixing bowl. Mix and press down with a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands until a crumbly dough forms. The streusel dough should stick together in a clump when squeezed in your hand.
STEP 6: Assemble the muffins. Add 1 tablespoon of muffin batter into each tin. Then, add 1 teaspoon of streusel on top. Cover with more muffin batter until the lined tins are ¾ full and cover with more streusel. Sprinkle a little coconut sugar or turbinado sugar (demerara sugar) on top for an additional sweet crunch!
STEP 7: Bake. Place the muffin tin in the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F. This makes the muffins rise quickly and creates domed tops. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Let the cinnamon streusel muffins cool in the tin for a few minutes and then carefully transfer them to a cooling rack.
- Make sure the flour is measured correctly, ideally in grams with a food scale. You can also gently scoop flour into a measuring cup and swipe the excess back into the flour bag with a butter knife.
- Don't overmix the batter. Overmixing with result in tough, dense muffins.
- If you struggle to get the muffins to rise, try baking only 6 muffins in every other muffin tin (pictured in the instructions above). This allows them to have extra space to rise and form crusty edges like bakery-style muffins.
- Let the muffins cool completely before storing. If they aren't completely cool, condensation can form inside the storage container and make the muffins and streusel topping soggy.
Additions and Variations
- Orange- Stir 1 tablespoon of orange zest into the batter or the streusel.
- Spiced- Add a little nutmeg, allspice, or ground cloves.
- Nuts- Add chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter.
- Chocolate chip- Stir in milk, dark, or white chocolate chips.
Frequently Asked Questions
The muffins are done baking when they have domed, slightly golden brown tops. The top will spring back when lightly touched. When you insert a toothpick into the center, it should come out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
This could be from either over-baking or over-measuring flour. I recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh it in grams for the most accurate measurements. Spooning flour into a measuring cup and leveling the excess is the second best method. Also make sure your oven setting is correct and not set to convection.
You may have over-mixed the batter or measured your wet ingredients inaccurately. More liquid and less dry ingredients could cause this.
This recipe makes 12 delicious cinnamon crumble muffins! You could also make 6 jumbo muffins but the cooking time will be much longer.
- Make ahead- To get a head start on making cinnamon muffins with streusel topping, make the streusel up to 2 days ahead of time. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake.
- Room temperature- You can enjoy the muffins for 2-3 days after baking if they're stored in an airtight container on the counter. You can eat them cool or heated in the microwave for about 10 seconds for a freshly baked feel.
- Freezer- Make sure the muffins have cooled completely and then store them tightly wrapped in plastic in a freezer-safe bag for up to 1 month. Label them and write the date on the bag. When you're ready to enjoy, heat them in the microwave for 30-60 seconds or let them thaw on the counter.
More Breakfast Recipes to Try
Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
- Muffin pan lined with muffin liners
- mixing bowls
- Measuring cups or food scale
- measuring spoons
- ½ cup almond flour finely ground
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter cold and cut into pieces
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and prepare the muffin tin with liners (or spray with cooking oil if you don't have liners).
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.1 ¾ cup gluten free flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- In a large mixing bowl, melt the butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Let it cool slightly and whisk in the coconut sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well.½ cup unsalted butter, ¾ cup coconut sugar, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Gently stir one half of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and then add one half of the buttermilk. Repeat and mix until no streaks of flour remain. The batter will be thick. Set aside to rest.¾ cup buttermilk
- Mix together the almond flour, coconut sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Mix the cold butter in with a fork or your hands. The streusel should be crumbly but stick together when pressed between your fingers.½ cup almond flour, ½ cup coconut sugar, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Add 1 tablespoon of muffin batter into each tin. Then, add 1 teaspoon of streusel on top. Cover with more muffin batter until the lined tins are ¾ full and cover with more streusel (optional: sprinkle a little coconut sugar or turbinado sugar on top).
- Place the muffin tin in the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F. Bake for 20-24 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs.
- Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire cooling rack.