Soooooo, I guess a recipe is a success when, while testing these, I promptly ate 3 muffins back-to-back with no shame?? Yes, I think so. They are that good. I use to love traditional cinnamon streusel muffins back in the day, but they were always loaded with so much butter. Even the vegan versions I've seen are loaded with butter or oil. Well, these have NO OIL! And I promise you won't be missing it either. These babies are SUPER moist and buttery. A cinnamon streusel muffin without any oil? Has it been done? I don't know, but today it's happening folks, lol!! Ok, I'm just a wee bit giddy over these.
So, typically streusel toppings are made with flour, sugar and butter. The butter is needed to hold the flour together and make that crunchy topping after they bake. Yum, right? Well, my "butter" idea is using almond flour. It has the fat needed to give that buttery taste and it crisps up with the brown sugar beautifully in the oven. I got this idea for my topping based on the fact that I almost always use almond flour in place of oil in my baked goods for the past 4 years. You do NOT need oil because the almond flour is so buttery and moist and gives the fat needed for the structure, taste and texture that fat gives. I didn't want these to taste like diet streusel muffins, no thanks. So, the almond flour makes them SO moist and rich, but still much less heavy than the butter or oil-loaded versions.
I used almond flour on top of my Cinnamon Pecan Crispbefore, so I knew it would work well here. However, on that crisp, the topping is rather hefty, thick and loaded with oats. I didn't want a heavy topping like that, so just using almond flour mixed with the sugar and a small amount of milk did the trick.
I used spelt for a whole grain version instead of all-purpose flour. It has a more earthy taste to it than the all-purpose versions, but it's still an oh-just-as-delicious version! In fact, I prefer the depth of flavor, as it really brings out the cinnamon more.
What makes these muffins so bakery-ish and incredible?? Well, they are super moist thanks to the almond flour, coconut milk and light brown sugar. Since there is no oil and not a lot of fat, the light brown sugar is pretty important here. The molasses in the brown sugar gives extra moisture and also gives a wonderful hearty texture to these muffins. I really love texture in a muffin. The muffin base itself is perfectly sweetened, not too sweet, so that the topping is the sweeter part. Think...sweet, crunchy, cinnamon-y and addicting! I'm telling you, even Mr. Picky (hubby) absolutely LOVED THESE. Go make them and leave me feedback below after you do. I'd love to hear!
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Vegan Bakery Style Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
Yields 9 tall muffins
These Vegan Bakery Style Cinnamon Streusel Muffins are a beautiful memory to the ones we ate growing up, but don't have all of that butter or oil. These are dairy-free, oil-free and made with whole grain spelt flour and almond flour. They bake up deliciously moist, perfectly sweet and with a glorious crunchy cinnamon topping!
15 minPrep Time
22 minCook Time
37 minTotal Time
Cinnamon Streusel Topping
1/2 cup + 2 tablepoons (70g) blanched almond flour
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons (17g) potato starch
1 1/4 teaspoons (2g) cinnamon
7 tablespoons (90g) light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons "lite" canned coconut milk
For the Muffins
1 cup (132g) spelt flour
1/2 cup (56g) blanched almond flour (See NOTE)
2 tablespoons (20g) potato starch, not flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (4g) fine sea salt
1 tablespoon (6g) ground cinnamon
1/2 cup lightly packed (95g)light brown sugar (do not sub this, the molasses in the brown sugar is needed for moisture. For a refined sugar-free option, you can make my 5 minute homemade coconut brown sugar here )
1 cup (250g) "lite" canned coconut milk, room temp, shaken well
2 teaspoons (10g) vanilla extract
Note: Do not use Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour for these muffins. His almond flour is gritty and gives very poor results in baking. They will end up too wet/dense. I recommend HEB brand (if in TX), Kroger "Simple Truth" brand, Honeyville or King Arthur are all good. You can buy them on Amazon as well. As always, I highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking. We all measure differently and it's important to weigh ingredients for accurate results. I use this scale and love it. If you absolutely cannot use a scale, then measure your dry ingredients by placing your cups and scooping up the flours, making sure there are no gaps and leveling off. With almond flour and starch, you will want to make sure to lightly pat down before leveling off. Do the same with the brown sugar.
Preheat an oven to 375 F degrees and lightly spray a muffin pan for 9 muffins. This number ensures they are nice and tall and resemble close to a bakery-style look. I typically always use liners for muffins, but in this case, I lightly sprayed my pan with nonstick spray. This makes the muffins bake up better and create that beautiful dome top and streusel spread look. Using liners will not bake up the same way, but will still be delicious, so use the liners if needing to 100% avoid any oil.
To a medium bowl, prepare the streusel first so it is ready to go as soon as the batter goes into the muffin pan. Add all of the "topping" ingredients to the bowl and whisk well. Add the milk and stir with a spoon. You are going to press the mixture together with the back of the spoon repeatedly until it all comes together in damp crumbly pieces. Refer to video to see the look. It should be damp and sticky, but not super wet. Make sure all the flour is coated. Set aside.
To a large bowl, add the spelt flour, almond flour, starch, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Whisk very well until no lumps remain. Whisk in the brown sugar briefly.
Pour the milk and vanilla over the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until just incorporated and smooth. You want to avoid over-mixing the batter so the muffins don't turn out too tough from the gluten.
To the pan, divide the batter to 9 muffins. The batter will fill up fairly high. Using your fingertips, crumble the streusel topping evenly over each muffin covering all of the batter well. Break the clumps into little pieces so all the batter is covered. Gently press any pieces that fall to the side to the streusel topping, making sure they will stick once baked.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick is clean and they have risen high and have a dome shape. Each batch I did was perfect at 22 minutes. Let cool 20-30 minutes, as they will still be rather moist and finish cooking. If you sprayed the pan, then you should be able to gently rotate the muffins to release them. Enjoy! Keep them stored at room temperature in a sealed container. The crunchy topping will soften overnight some.
The Vegan 8
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Hi! I'm Brandi, a wife and mom behind this blog who healed her husband's gout and my digestion issues through a plant-based diet. I'm not complicated, I keep things simple. All my recipes are 8 ingredients or less, not including salt, pepper and water. They are allergy-friendly, as they are all vegan, oil-free and nearly all are gluten-free. You'll find lots of baked goods here, as I've been a baker all my life, it's my passion!