These cinnamon muffins have tender and moist crumbs and topped with crunchy-sweet walnuts crumbs. They are perfect breakfasts or on- the- go treats anytime of day.
Today, let’s enjoy easy baking on an idle afternoon. Let’s steer away for a moment from the breads that I bake a lot of lately. Our goal today is to yield delightful, tasty treats without the long wait.
Today is the day for these cinnamon muffins.
Last week, we headed out to camp for two nights with our little family and our friends. And when we camp, the level of my stress packing for clothes and food seems to elevate each time.
I don’t know. I start packing days before departure but when it is the day itself, I always find myself rummaging through the house looking for some miscellaneous items that I believe we can’t live without on the camp site. You know, I look for things like nail clippers, hand sanitizers, pony tails, kid’s vitamins, cotton pads etc. Things that we would probably be fine without for a couple of days, but I just think they needed to be packed just in case. I tell you, I drive myself crazy when packing for little girls.
So on the afternoon that we were leaving I made a batch of these cinnamon muffins at the very last minute. You know, after I tire myself collecting little things to pack here and there, I decided I wanted to bring some snacks for the kids. And I can’t think of any other simpler recipe than this one.
This wonderful recipe is from the book Baking with Julia. It is originally written as Buttermilk Crumb muffins, but I decided to add walnuts to the toppings after being very pleased with the Chocolate Walnut Bread from last week. I love the subtle crunch of walnuts against the delicate crumbs of baked goods.
As described in the book, these muffins are flat top muffins. They are not your typical domed muffins, instead they stay level and flat on the surface. Now because we are topping them with walnuts, don’t be surprised when you see during baking that the muffin batter seems to be sinking in the middle because of the weight of the nuts. Don’t panic like I did. They will level themselves out just fine as it bakes.
Actually, what if they don’t? These cinnamon muffins are great irregardless of how they look. I made them twice already , both times using white sugar instead of brown ( recipe calls for brown sugar). They turned out fine and both my daughters love them. Although I want to beat myself for not having brown sugar in the pantry both times.
But irregardless, these are amazing. It is the recipe you turn to when you don’t want to mess with too much bowls and dishes, and no mixer is required even! All you need to do is to cut the shortening into the sugar and flour by rubbing them together using your fingers. Once the mixture looks like a coarse meal with some lumps, you have incorporated them well. Scoop out half of the mixture and reserve. That will become your topping.
Then add in your baking powder and baking soda to the remaining flour mixture, and mix in the wet ingredients. It could not be any more simple than that.
- If you don’t have buttermilk, add 2 tbsp of vinegar to a 1 cup measuring glass and fill the cup up to the 1 cup mark.
- When cutting in the shortening to the sugar-flour mixture, you want to achieve a coarse meal texture but some little lumps remaining are okay.
- These muffins have flat tops instead of the domed top of most muffins.
Buttermilk Cinnamon Muffins
Moist and tender cinnamon muffins topped with crunchy-sweet walnuts crumbs.
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 cups packed light brown sugar (you can use white sugar)
- 2/3 cup solid vegetable shortening
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs well beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 F and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners (plus extra 2-4 holes from another muffin pan) for a total of about 14-16 holes).
Combine flour and sugar in a large bowl and stir until incorporated. Break the shortening into small bits and cut them into the flour mixture using your fingers. in a rubbing motion. Once the mixture looks like a coarse meal with some lumps, scoop about a half a cup from it and set aside.
Add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt to the remaining flour mixture in the large bowl and mix well. Add the buttermilk and eggs and mix everything until the batter is shiny and thick.
To make the crumb topping, add walnuts to the reserved flour mixture in step 2 and stir well. Scoop batter into the muffin liners until they are about 2/3 full. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of the crumb topping to each muffin batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center of muffin comes out clean.
Adapted from the book, Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan, Buttermilk Crumb Muffins.
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