It’s my sister’s birthday today and so in honor of her and her special day, I’ve decided to share this recipe for Birthday Coffee Cake Muffins. They’re basically like classic bakery-style coffee cake muffins, minus the cinnamon, and with lots of sprinkles instead. It’s the best way I know how to celebrate a birthday. The great part about it all, except for the fact that you’ll have something delicious to eat at the end of it, is that it can easily be transformed into a cake if you’d like. Just pour the batter into a bundt or tube pan instead, top with streusel, and bake a bit longer. Pop some candles on it and you’ll be good to go; ready to celebrate any birthday or special occasion that comes your way. Nothing can stop you now.
Let’s start with what I think happens to be the best part of any coffee cake, and that’s the streusel/crumb topping. This one is even better because sprinkles are involved. Combine the flour, sugars, salt and butter in a large bowl, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
**Tip: You can use your fingers, a pastry blender, fork or even a potato masher for this! I find that working quickly with your fingers (so as to not warm the butter up too much) is the best tool!**
Add in the multi-colored sprinkles and give it a gently stir to evenly combine, then set aside.
**Note: I like using these types of sprinkles for baking instead of those nonpareils because those tend to bleed color a lot and are sometimes tough to bite into for these muffins.**
I like making a big batch of this stuff and keeping it in the freezer, in a food storage bag, and then it’s there waiting for me the next time I’m in the mood for coffee cake!
Let’s move onto the batter now. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Then add in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract, imitation vanilla, and almond extract.
**Note: I know that the imitation vanilla might scare you a bit and you might be thinking, why on earth is he using that?!? First off, it’s completely optional so feel free to skip it if you have a big aversion to it. Second, I know it sounds crazy but the flavor of imitation vanilla combined with real vanilla and almond extract all come together to give this cake that “funfetti boxed cake” taste. It’s so good!**
Add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients (mix together the buttermilk and sour cream in a large measuring cup), starting and ending with dry ingredients. Just make sure you do not over mix and only stir until just combined after each addition.
Fold in the sprinkles until evenly distributed. Again, just be careful to not over mix the batter at this point, or else you’ll end up with dry tough muffins.
Scoop out the batter into a cupcake pan that has been lined with paper liners. Then load the top with the streusel mixture we made earlier. Really pack it in and gently press on the top so that it sticks to the batter.
**Tip: I like to use an ice cream scoop for this because it ensures that all the muffins are the same size. I also like to slightly overfill the pan so that the muffins create that “muffin top.”**
Bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes in the pans before removing to a wire rack to cool completely, if storing for later. These are great slightly warm.
You could dust them with powdered sugar before serving or you can make a simple vanilla powdered sugar glaze and drizzle the tops with them if you’d like. I find that the muffins are sweet already and perfect just like that. But I wanted to give you some options just in case you want to take them over the edge.
As with most coffee cakes, they’re best when eaten the day you make them, but if you have any leftovers you can wrap then in plastic and store them at room temperature for up to 2 days.
This would make a great cake as well, if you’re not feeling the muffin route. Just pour the batter into a greased and floured tube or bundt pan and top with the streusel. Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, or a toothpick inserted in the middle, comes out clean!
- 1½ cups all- purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup packed light-brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup multi-colored sprinkles
- 3 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon imitation vanilla extract (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup multi-colored sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners, set aside.
- To make the crumb topping, combine the flour, sugars, salt and butter with your fingers or a pastry blender until the mixture comes together to form coarse crumbs. Stir in the sprinkles and set aside.
- To make the cake batter, in a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and yolk, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract, imitation vanilla (if using) and almond extract. In a glass measuring cup, stir together the buttermilk and sour cream. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, starting and ending with dry. Make sure to only mix until just combined. Fold in the sprinkles.
- Using an ice cream scoop, fill the prepared cupcake pan. It makes about 18 cupcakes, so you'll need to fill half of another pan. Sprinkle the top with the streusel and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before eating. Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days. Enjoy!