Let’s all just agree that the crumbs are the best part of crumb cake. Funny story, actually. I was at the dentist this week– I have a small cavity. Though I’m not really surprised. Looking at you, candy addiction. (I’m sort of embarrassed about the cavity! I haven’t had one since I was little!) While sitting in with the dental hygienist, we got to talking about crumb cakes. No idea how we got on that subject. Maybe she was looking at my cavity. Anyway, she said she recently made a crumb cake, brought it into the office, and people were just eating the crumbs off the top. Like, not even cutting themselves a piece.
I giggled because I totally do this at home. I don’t think I’d do it in a public setting– though I wouldn’t judge you if you did!!– but absolutely at home. No shame. Again, the crumbs are DEFINITELY the best part.
I feel like there is an exception when it’s pumpkin below that tasty crumb topping though. As in pumpkin crumb cake. Or even better– individual pumpkin crumb cakes, aka muffins, topped with pumpkin spice crumbs. (Yes, pumpkin spice crumbs!) Both the muffin itself AND the crumbs are equally awesome. No picking the crumbs off these orange beauties. Top it all with a little maple icing and there’s basically no need for any other breakfast food, ever.
Whip out that can of pumpkin and let’s do this.
Instead of using my iced pumpkin coffee cake recipe as the base, I decided to use my pumpkin chocolate chip bread. I LOVE using that bread recipe to make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. So here all you’ll do is take out the chocolate chips (sad face), reduce the sugar, and use milk instead of orange juice. Though you could definitely use orange juice if you’d like! Great flavor.
I reduced the sugar in these pumpkin crumb cake muffins because they’re getting an extra dose of sweet in the crumb topping and the maple icing. With that, I also reduced the salt to make sure the muffins didn’t taste salty with less sugar. It’s a super simple recipe and you don’t even need a mixer. Whisk the dry ingredients together in 1 bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together in another bowl. Then whisk together. Takes only a few minutes of prep work, max.
You’ll use oil in the muffins themselves. It makes them so dang moist! Then you’ll use melted butter in the crumb topping. F-L-A-V-O-R. The crumb topping also has brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, and pumpkin pie spice. All repeat ingredients you used in the muffins, so it’s not only an easy recipe– a convenient one too.
Maple icing is optional, but I don’t think we should ever label icing as an option! Honestly though, they taste great even without it. Also honestly, the maple icing seeping into the crumb topping is better than you can imagine.
It’s been chilly and rainy here all week, which I’ve secretly loved. We no longer hear city hustle and bustle outside our front door, we just hear the rain drops and the wind howling around the house. It really feels like fall these days! And I’m looking forward to making these tomorrow morning when my parents visit. I’ll make them on Snapchat if you want to follow along!
More festive fall muffins to try soon:
It looks like a lot, but most of the ingredients are pantry staples-- and they're used again in the crumb topping!
Make ahead tip: For longer storage, freeze muffins (with or without icing) for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature or warm up in the microwave if desired. Top with icing before serving if needed.
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