Cake for breakfast? Yes, I think so. Breakfast of champions! These really are every bit as indulgent as they sound. Their full title is Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins with Chocolate-Cinnamon Swirl and Streusel Topping, quite a mouthful, but we can abbreviate that to coffee cake muffins. It’s really a dessert masquerading as breakfast, but just give the cake the epithet “coffee,” and you’ll be good to go.
I made these as a portable yet delicious Mardi Gras Day breakfast. Squares of cake would be too messy (albeit delicious), so I opted for muffins instead. They provided a quick cake fix on the parade route and sweet fuel for the day (besides the obligatory king cake, of course).
They’re impossibly moist, due to the classic addition of sour cream, and have a perfect texture–delicately sturdy. Two ribbony swirls of chocolate-cinnamon sugar interrupt the rich cake, while buttery brown sugar streusel finishes off the muffins with a crunch and crumble.
Coffee Cake Muffins with Chocolate-Cinnamon Swirl
adapted from Baked
My major change was to switch these from 9 x 13-inch coffee cake to coffee cake muffins. I made 12 regular-sized muffins and 5 jumbo muffins, if I remember correctly. This should yield about 24 standard-sized muffins. I also doubled the about of cocoa powder in the swirl to make it equally chocolate and cinnamon flavored.
Makes about 24 muffins
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped finely
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Sour Cream Cake
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
16 ounces sour cream (do not substitute low-fat sour cream or yogurt)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, dark brown sugar, and salt. Stir in the pecans. Add the butter cubes and toss to coat in the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until the streusel is crumbly and resembles coarse sand. Cover and refrigerate.
Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl:
In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line muffin tins with paper liners, or grease with butter or cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth and pale. Scrape down bowl. Add the sugar, and cream until the mixture is fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the sour cream and vanilla, and beat just until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in three additions, scraping down the bowl as needed and beating only until each addition is just incorporated. Do not over mix! The batter should be very thick, smooth, and creamy.
Filling the muffins is pretty much a guess-and-check process. Pour an even layer of batter in the bottom of each muffin tin (filling it about 1/4), using 1/3 of the batter to fill all the muffins. If needed, use an offset spatula to spread batter evenly. Sprinkle half of the chocolate-cinnamon swirl mixture over the batter, covering the entire surface of each. Spoon half of remaining batter over the swirl mixture and spread it evenly. Top with remaining swirl mixture, then the remaining batter, and spread the batter evenly. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the tops of the muffins.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the muffins cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
The muffins will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, although they are best the first day.