Sour Cherry (or Any Berry) Muffins with Streusel Topping

Sour Cherry Muffins with Streusel Topping


For those of who love sour cherries, the season is far too short. Here in Ohio, if you blink, you miss it. Luckily, we have a good relationship with a local fruit and vegetable stand, so they keep me up to date on that brief window of opportunity. Besides the obvious, it’s incredibly rewarding to connect with those who grow and have their hands on your food… literally.

When the cherries are in season, I buy them by the quart. They are a splurge, but as one of my very favorite fruits, I stock up. With the stems and pits removed, they can be frozen in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Once they are frozen solid, they can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. They might actually be fine longer, but ours get eaten before then.

After making a pie and freezing a bunch of cherries, I used the last couple of cups to whip up a batch of muffins. As written, these aren’t very sweet. That’s how we like them.  They are sour cherries (and our favorite) for a reason. However, if you like your baked goods a little sweeter, feel free to increase the sugar in the either the muffin or the streusel, or both!

If you’re not a fan of sour cherries (what?), a single layer of blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries can be substituted.

Sour Cherry Muffins with Streusel Topping
Sour cherries are featured here in their mouth-puckering perfection! The lovely, light muffin provides a slightly sweet base, while the streusel topping sandwiches the cherries with a beautiful crunch.

For the Streusel
3/4 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup panko crumbs
1/4 cup brown sugar
Generous pinch ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil

For the Muffins
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups pitted sour cherries
Scant 3/4 cup vegan milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or almond extract)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

To make the streusel, stir together the oats, panko, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Drizzle in the oil and stir to moisten the dry ingredients. Set aside.

To make the muffins, whisk together the flour, sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Toss the cherries with the remaining tablespoon cornstarch and set aside. Whisk together the liquid ingredients. Pour into liquid ingredients into  the dry ingredients. Mix together, but do not over stir. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of batter in each muffin liner. Divide the cherries evenly among the muffins, layering them on top of the batter. Sprinkle with the streusel.

Bake for 15 minutes. If the tops are getting too brown, loosely cover with foil. Bake for an additional  8 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted (away from the cherries) comes out clean.

Yield: 12 muffins

Recipe Note: Sour cherries are sometimes called tart cherries. They are very different from sweet cherries. If fresh sour cherries aren’t available, canned or frozen cherries can be used. Drain the canned cherries before using. Frozen cherries may be used with thawing.

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  1. Posted July 15, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Wow! Those sound incredibly delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I’m bookmarking this one!

  2. Posted July 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Thank *you*, Carrie! I hope you like them. :)

  3. in2insight
    Posted July 15, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    These look so good! I’m with you about the season being far too short. LOVE cherries.
    But what really got my attention were the muffin cups. Those are way too cute.

  4. Posted July 15, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    I have these and pirate cups. :)

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