Coffee cake already borders the boundary between breakfast treat and decadent dessert. It doesn’t take much to turn your favorite weekend brunch or late morning snacks into an excuse to have cupcakes for breakfast. Many of the recipes I found for coffee cake cupcakes labeled themselves “coffee cake muffins” but if the word “cake” appears anywhere in the description, I think calling them “muffins” is misguided. You can use a muffin pan, but they’re still cupcakes. Especially when they’re glazed or have any kind of icing. These three recipes rightly asserted themselves as cupcakes.
Let’s start with a recipe for Mango Rum Streusel Cupcakes from Presley’s Pantry. These start off by preparing a traditional boxed yellow cake mix filling your cupcake liners about half way. Peel and dice a mango, sprinkle those pieces on top of what would ordinarily be a cupcake. On top of that add the rum infused streusel and bake. This recipe could easily be modified to use other fruits (apples, peaches, pears, etc.).
Along more traditional lines are glazed pecan streusel coffee cake cupcakes from The Shiksa in the Kitchen and Mike Kostyo’s coffee cake cupcakes with brown sugar buttercream frosting. The Shiksa’s recipe is tailor made for modification or playing. She suggests swapping walnuts for the pecans in the streusel or using Greek yogurt as a low fat substitute for the sour cream. Mike Kostyo’s recipe uses a dash of maple syrup but it’s the brown sugar meringue buttercream frosting that helps these coffee cake cupcakes to truly stand out. So go ahead and have a cupcake for breakfast.