Break Bread for Breakfast

Who doesn't love a delicious warm cinnamon bun? I'm ashamed to admit that the extent of me actually "making" a cinnamon coffee cake up until several years ago was a Sara Lee pecan coffee cake. Don’t tell a soul, but it’s still an infrequent guilty pleasure.

I've experimented with making coffee cakes over the years, but it wasn't until last year that I learned to make cinnamon buns in a class taught my friend Ann LoParo of Annie's Signature Sweets in Cleveland. The recipe had just the right flavor I'd been searching for and they weren't as daunting to make as I'd imagined. Those drool worthy cinnamon buns with icing were the inspiration for making cinnamon granola streusel coffee cake muffins.

The beauty of these muffins is that you can bake and freeze for later. I’ve made muffins and quick breads ahead of time during the holidays and have traveled with them successfully by car or airplane. I’ve even been stopped by airport security with my travel stash of Pat’s Granola! Whew—that was a very close call a couple of years ago leaving Cleveland to go to Washington, D.C. for Thanksgiving.

Here's the recipe.

Cinnamon Granola Streusel Coffee Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
3/4 cup buttermillk
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
Crumb Topping
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups + 2 tbs all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Ginger Spiced or Tropical Pat's Granola
Cinnamon Swirl
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tsp cinnamon

with paper liners, set aside


In a large bowl, gently whisk flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. In a smaller bowl or large measuring cup, whisk buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla until completely combined. Make a well in the center of dry mixture and pour in liquid. Beat until fully combined. Batter will be slightly thick.

For the crumb topping, whisk together all dry ingredients, except the granola in a separate bowl, then add the melted butter and stir until fully combined and crumbly. Stir in granola.

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.

Scoop 2 tbs of batter into each muffin tin. Place 1 tsp of cinnamon sugar mixture on top of each. Then, cover with more batter, filling them about 3/4 to the top. Sprinkle crumb topping between each muffin tin distributing evenly.

Bake muffins for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out moist with a few crumbs. Allow them to cool in their pans for 10 minutes or until firm enough to handle before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

These muffins will keep for up to 4 days stored in an airtight container. Or freeze individually in ziplock bags.

Make these to have on hand for the holidays--your family will thank you.

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