Best Streusel Topping

Streusel topping is super easy to make and will take your favorite muffin, bread and pie recipes to the next level! Add the best crunchy, sugary sweetness and texture to your treats with this simple recipe.

a copper basket containing muffins
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Streusel Topping Recipe

If you've ever wondered how to recreate that buttery crumb topping that bakery muffins have, now's your chance! I've adapted this streusel from the best blueberry crumb muffins ever (which, by the way, you should totally make!)

This streusel topping recipe only requires three simple ingredients and is adaptable to any recipe you want to use it with.

Adding a classic streusel topping on top of muffins makes them really like bakery quality muffins. And you don't have to use it just on muffins either! This crunchy topping tastes delicious on countless different baked goods like these pecan pie bars or an easy banana bread.

I've compiled all the best tips and tricks here so that you can use tasty streusel on just about anything your heart desires.

a blueberry muffin cut in half on a wooden plate

Crumb vs. Streusel Topping

There's some debate out there as to whether or not crumb and streusel topping are the same thing. I can see why it causes some confusion for home bakers.

But here's the thing... crumb, crumble and streusel toppings are essentially exactly the same. They're just different words for the same thing. Sure, there are different recipes out there for crumb topping, but they all serve the same purpose.

So, whether you call it crumble topping or streusel, it's just a buttery sugary topping that elevates the flavor and texture of your baked goods.

Why You'll Love this Recipe

  • With only three ingredients, it only takes 5 minutes to make this crumbly mix to add to the top of your next batch of muffins.
  • You can easily add extra ingredients and spices to this streusel topping recipe so that it compliments the baked good you're making.
  • Adding streusel topping to simple baked goods takes them to a bakery quality creation!

Take breakfast to the next level by making some banana muffins or oatmeal muffins with streusel topping. Talk about the perfect way to start off the day!

Streusel isn't just for muffins, either. Try it on pies, crisps, cobblers, sweet breads and more.

a basket of blueberry muffins on a striped kitchen towel

Ingredients

Check your pantry and fridge for these three simple ingredients:

  • melted butter: You can use salted or unsalted butter, either will work wonderfully.
  • all purpose flour: All-purpose flour helps hold the crumble together and make it a coarse crumbs to easily sprinkle on top of the muffins.
  • brown sugar: The caramel-like flavor of brown sugar really makes the best streusel topping!

So grab these ingredients that you likely already have on hand, and get to baking!

Variations

You can use a gluten-free 1:1 flour substitute, such as King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour, to make this recipe without gluten.

Add pecan or walnuts to this easy streusel for some added crunch and flavor! Just make sure they are finely chopped or crushed. You can put them in a food processor and pulse until they reach the desired consistency.

Turn this recipe into a cinnamon streusel topping by adding ground cinnamon to the mixture. Or, add some apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice for a special fall-flavored crumble topping.

You could also mix in some oats and put the streusel topping over muffins or a dessert like an apple crisp.

Want less refined sugar? Swap the brown sugar for coconut sugar!

If you love sweet-and-salty treats, keep reading. My friend Erin mixes streusel topping with bacon to go on top of baked apples.

blueberry muffins in a kitchen-towel-lined basket with a glass of milk

How to Make Streusel Topping

Mix the flour and brown sugar in a medium bowl to make the crumb topping.

Then, pour in the melted butter into the mixture of flour and brown sugar and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Use a spoon and scoop the buttery crumb mixture onto the muffins or other baked goods you are preparing.

If you're using this topping on a quick bread, make sure the distribute it evenly over the top of the loaf before baking.

Bake your sweet treats according to the instruction of the recipe you're following, and allow to cool on a wire rack before eating!

One thing you need to know: Because of the way it melts and crisps up while baking, streusel topping works best on muffins when the muffin tin has properly prepared muffin cups. You don't have to use paper liners or parchment paper, but it would be best if you did. The liners will help keep the streusel on top of each muffin. However, if you don't have liners, then check out this post with all the best tips and tricks on how to grease a muffin pan.

You could also bake streusel topping on a parchment-lined tray at 350°F for about 10 minutes or until it's crispy. Then let it cool and crumble it over cakes, cupcakes, pies or whatever you want!

These cappuccino coffee cake muffins are the perfect way to start your morning! A twist on a classic coffee cake recipe, these muffins have a crumble toppings and cappuccino icing drizzled on top. These make the perfect quick breakfast or a baked good to bring to a friend or neighbor.

Muffins with Streusel Topping

You can put this yummy streusel on just about any muffin recipe! Follow this basic muffin recipe, throw in your favorite add-ins and then top them with classic streusel topping.

Coffee cake muffins are some of the best muffins for this recipe. They are to die for and have a hint of coffee.

Caramel apple crumble muffins and pumpkin muffins are perfect for fall. They're the coziest treats during that time of year.

Other Uses for Streusel Topping

Streusel topping is so good on all kinds of recipes!

Sweet loaves: This brown sugar crumble would add the most incredible texture to the top of this quick lemon blueberry bread or strawberry bread.

Bars: You can also use a streusel topping on desserts like raspberry streusel bars, maple streusel cheesecake bars

Pies: Try streusel on top of pecan pie or sweet potato pie.

Coffee cakes: These breakfast cakes are well-known for their use of crumble toppings. Try this apple coffee cake recipe.

Cobblers: Add this streusel to your favorite fruity dessert recipes, like peach cobbler and mixed berry cobbler.

closeup of the texture on blueberry muffins with streusel topping

How to Store Muffins with Streusel Topping

Muffins are best fresh, but they can be just as good a day or two later — or even a month later — if stored properly.

Even though you can use homemade streusel on a variety of different baked goods, it's most commonly used for muffins. Here's a few the best ways to store homemade muffins (these tips would work well for quick bread too!):

Store in an airtight container, lined with paper towels to help collect condensation from residual heat in the muffins. Make sure they are completely cooled for best results.

I have a whole post about how to store and freeze muffins, but here’s the gist:

  • Within 3 days of baking them: Store them on the countertop at room temperature. 
  • In the next few days: Store them in the fridge, but with the risk of a change in texture. Alternatively, store what you’ll eat in the next few days using the countertop method, then freeze the rest. 
  • Within the next 3 months: Store them in the freezer — reheat when you get a muffin craving! 
blueberries in a glass bowl

Tips for Success

  • Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly before you add the melted butter. And be sure you allow the melted butter to cool before mixing it with the sugar and flour.
  • Evenly distribute the tender crumb over each muffin so that they all get plenty of the sugar sweet topping.
  • Add spices that will compliment the flavor of the baked goods you are making.

FAQ

Can I make streusel topping ahead of time?

It's really easy to make a large batch of this simple streusel topping recipe and store it until needed. Mix the simple ingredients together, and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature. Use as needed!

Why is my crumble not crunchy?

If you don't end up with a nice crunchy and crumbly mix, you may not have enough butter. Make sure that you measure it out according to the recipe so that it's the perfect ratio of moisture to dry mixture.

a copper basket of blueberry crumb muffins

More Baking Tips

a copper basket containing muffins

Streusel Topping

This brown sugar streusel topping can be used to top many of your favorite recipes. Make it really quick and top muffins, breads, pies, and more.
5 from 57 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 ½ cup
Author: Madison Wetherill

Ingredients

  • tablespoons melted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, stir together flour and brown sugar.
  • Pour in melted butter and stir until combined. The mixture will look kind-of like cookie dough.
  • Place the mixture evenly over whatever baked good you're making and bake according to the recipe you are following.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 16mg | Potassium: 107mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 53g | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg

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4 Comments

  1. Such a simple recipe, and one that's a great addition to many of my muffin and quickbreads. Saving this one to make again!

  2. I was looking for a different type of topping that I could add to my muffin aside from the common ones so I thought this was one of those 'new topings' that I was looking for!

    And true enough, it leveled up my muffin! I tried it with my pie and it also tasted great! I like that it's so easy to make too. Thanks 🙂

  3. I've always loved streusel topping and this was my first attempt at making it myself. It was exactly what I was looking for!

  4. Wow! This recipe truly took my favorite muffins to the next level! So yummy! It was so easy to make and your helpful tips and instructions gave me success. Thank you!