This is one of my favorite muffin recipes ever! I don't know why strawberries aren't as popular as blueberries in muffins but after making this recipe, I definitely think they should be. The fresh strawberries help keep the muffins light and moist and then a little lemon zest is thrown in for added flavor. The muffin is then topped with a glorious cinnamon pecan streusel. Florida strawberries were on sale this week at the grocery store, and as a Florida native, I always feel like I need to support my home state by buying some Plant City, FL strawberries. These muffins were the first thing that came to mind to bake. I'm glad we have strawberry season to look forward to as I will be making these many more times this year!
Strawberry Steusel Muffins
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (or walnuts),
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cups light brown sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. grated lemon zest (you can also use orange zest)
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups diced strawberries
For the Topping:
Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl or workbowl of a food processor; add butter. If mixing by hand, use fingertips, a pastry blender, or 2 forks to blend the fat into dry ingredients until mixture looks like coarse irregular crumbs, with no visible lumps of fat. If mixing in a food processor, pulse about 10 times, then process 5 to 10 seconds, until there are no visible lumps or fat; stir in nuts and set aside.
For the Muffins:
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat to 400 degrees. Lightly grease the top surface of 1 to 2 12- cup muffin pan and then add muffin liners. The recipe says that it makes a dozen muffins but I got about 15 from it so you may want to prepare more than one pan.
Whisk 2 1/2 cups flour with baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar, oil, lemon zest, and egg; whisk in buttermilk and vanilla. Gently whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients to partially blend. Continue mixing batter with a rubber spatula, making sure that ingredients at the bottom are incorporated into batter; fold in the strawberries.
Fill muffin tins to the brim. This will give you that nice domed muffin that you see in the picture. Sprinkle a portion of streusel topping over batter in each muffin cup.
Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees; reduce heat to 350 degrees and then bake until muffins are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed with fingertips, about 10 to 12 minutes more. Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from A Singleton in the Kitchen originally from Cook's Illustrated