Streusel Topped French Toast Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream

Did I tell you guys that I did the whole Black Friday thing for, like, the first time ever this year?

Well, I did.

Here are the facts:

1. I do not live in a big ole city with lots and lots of people in and around it (thank goodness…zombie apocalypse, hello?).

2. I have to ship a lot of gifts, which can be really expensive.

3. I usually order all of my gifts online because shipping is almost always completely free.

4. I heard that in-store Black Friday deals were better than online ones, or Cyber Monday ones.

5. I had no way of knowing if this was true or not without going in and seeing for myself, because stores are, like, really super secret about their sales. Like, really.

6. It’s not true. Online shopping is the same. Really. Sometimes, it’s better.

7. But it was still kind of fun to go in and shop at 5 a.m.

8. I now have to pay for shipping for all of the gifts that I bought and saved no extra money on.

Moral: Online shopping is still my very best friend in all of forever and the interwebs, but for the stuff I don’t have to ship, Black Friday is not so bad.

Of course, if you’ll revisit fact numero one, then you’ll see that that is probably why. I’m in a little city where most people probably just want to keep sleeping in, so while the mall was pretty darn busy for 5 a.m. on a Friday, it was no busier than a typical 5 p.m. Friday.

The worst thing about the whole experience was going into, or even just walking by, Abercrombie or Hollister.

They both had half naked man-children greeting people.

It was humiliating.

For me.

I was completely mortified…seriously.

It felt so wrong and dirty.

They were so young, it was just…not ok.

I wanted to throw my coat over their bare chests and call their mothers.

I should clearly be kept far, far away from strip clubs.

Anyway, I decided that next time I decide to do Black Friday, I should be more prepared, physically, for the toll that it takes on me. I need a super special breakfast of champions.

I need cupcakes.

Breakfast cupcakes to fuel my sale shopping rampage.

Enter French toast cupcakes. And try not to die, because they are a-flipping-mazing.

**I should clarify that I did very, very little toy shopping, so if you’re curious about Black Friday shopping for little ones…I can’t help you. All I can say on that note is that the one toy that my youngest nephew has literally just been completely and utterly dying over, that one was 50% off. So…good, eh? My nephew can live to die over a new toy another day.**

For the cupcake part of these, I decided to start with a basic yellow cake recipe, but I spiced it up a bit. You’ll need all-purpose flour, sugar, sour cream, unsalted butter (at room temperature), baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, and eggs (at room temperature).

I was inspired by my trip to Charleston to add streusel to the top of these. When I visited the cupcake bakery there, they had done this with their French toast cupcake, and I loved it. My streusel has all-purpose flour, cold unsalted butter, brown sugar, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in it.

It is super easy to make, but make sure that it’s very cold before baking it. I mix mine up first, then freeze it while I mix the cupcakes up.

After filling each cupcake mold with three tablespoons of batter, I put about a tablespoon or so of the streusel on each one, trying to make sure that the all got some of the bigger chunks.

The cupcakes crowned beautifully in the oven, and I love the look of the cinnamon streusel on top. Once they were cool, I frosted them with my maple buttercream frosting, and tried really hard not to eat them all on the spot.

I wanted to dress my cupcakes up a little bit, so after I got them frosted, I rolled the edges in some cinnamon-sugar. Just tilt the bowl slightly towards the cupcake and gently roll the bottom edge of the frosting int he sugar. If you want it to be even easier, simply sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar on top.

I like what the cinnamon-sugar adds to the look of these cupcakes, but flavor-wise, you can definitely skip it, if you like. I didn’t notice much of a difference between a cupcake with the edges coated, and one without. If you want to add a little something, I say go for it, but it’s not a necessity.

To finish the cupcakes off, I sprinkled them lightly with confectioners’ sugar because, well, that’s how I have my French toast. Lots of butter, lots of syrup, and lots of confectioners’ sugar.

Plus, it looks pretty.


The cinnamon and nutmeg in these cupcakes is wonderful…the perfect complement to the frosting, but what I reall love is the streusel topping. It adds such a delightful, almost crunchy texture to the tops of these, while the remainder of the cupcake is soft and light. Each element of these cupcakes is fantastic on it’s own, but together they create a seriously sublime cupcake. No, really. They seriously, seriously do.

I was really hopeful for these cupcakes, but also really worried that they would maybe be too sweet or too spicy. Instead, they were utterly perfect. They are on the sweeter side…once you roll them in cinnamon-sugar and sprinkle them with confectioners’ sugar…but you can totally skip those steps, if you want to. These ended up beinf absolutely what I was going for, and I adore them. The cake is like a slightly sweeter, caky slab of French toast, while the frosting is the perfect cupcake version of maple syrup to go on top. These have proven to be one of the most popular recipes I’ve ever made…all of the cupcakes, save a couple, were eaten in one day. One. Day. And we thoroughly enjoyed them. Then…we got all depressed because there were no more to eat. But they’re so easy, it’s a cinch to make more…so I did!

You won’t regret making these. Well…until they’re all gone, but then you’ll make more, and be happy again. 🙂 Enjoy!

French Toast Cupcakes [Printable Version]
Makes 24 standard cupcakes


1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

3 cups (381 grams) all-purpose flour
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract

To make the streusel: In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Mix the cold butter into the mixture by hand, squeezing the pieces in to mix it.

Cover and freeze while you prepare the cupcakes.

If you’re not using the streusel right away, refrigerate it until ready to use.

To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners; set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the butter, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla and mix well, until the mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Get rid of any remaining flour by stirring the mixture by hand, with a spatula.

Place three tablespoons of batter in each prepared baking cup. Divide the streusel evenly among the cupcakes, and sprinkle it on each one. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Maple Buttercream [Printable Version]


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 lb. (4 cups or 500 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons (30 ml) heavy cream

Beat the butter on high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar until combined. Stir in the vanilla, salt, and syrup. Add the heavy cream and whisk on high for 4 minutes.

Recipes by Darla

Leave a comment


  1. says

    I definitely NEED to try this cupcakes, I’m dying just looking at them! I have that hint of cinnamon flavor on my tongue just imagining this babies as a breakfast sweet…. Yummy! Thanks for the inspiration. If I do try them I will leave you a Tweet about it (just like I did for the sugar cookies recipe).

  2. Kim says

    And here I thought my French toast cupcakes were all original, though mine were more of a maple spice with a cream cheese frosting. I like the idea of the struesel, though. My favorite French toast is crispy French toast from a local bakery and I like the idea of adding a crunch to it. I’ll have to try your’s now.

  3. says

    I LOVE french toast. I just read this and I’m making it. TODAY. I texted my boyfriend from class and had him take out the butter and eggs so they will be room temp by the time I get home. Except I’m not making the buttercream (eck) even though it sounds good, plus I don’t have any heavy cream and I’m can’t afford to buy any either.

      • says

        I made them! O..M..G.. they are good! I made the first batch with no icing and felt they did need a little something. Then I chopped up some homemade pecan candy my grandma sent me and added it to the streusel…O yes! So delish, definitely going into my “go-to” recipe list. Also, I replaced 1 cup flour with 1 cup cake flour because I didn’t want it to be to thick, but I couldn’t spare 3 whole cups. Just in case I have a baking emergency. Yes, there is a such thing as a baking emergency.

  4. says

    PS: Got so caught up in the cupcakes, I forgot to mention…

    I’m sooooooo with you on the whole online shopping. I have never and will never participate in any “shopping frenzy” regardless of the color it comes in. I’ve been doing all shopping online for nearly 12 years now and would never look back. I despise being in malls. truly I do.

    Way to go D.

  5. says

    I went black friday shopping exactly once. Sans sustenance. I totally fainted when i saw the half naked man-children. Although I think really I was approximately their age at the time, so I probably salivated. Or something.

    I wish I had had these muffin/cupcakes though!

  6. says

    These look like the perfect cupcakes! I love cinnamon sugar and maple syrup and french toast. Your cupcakes look beautiful and you give us all an excuse to eat a frosting covered treat for breakfast 🙂

  7. says

    The cupcakes look delish! And what did we ever do without computers/internet/online shopping?? Online shopping is often a lot easier than fighting through crowds of people.

  8. says

    First, I usually do not like *swoon* over cupcakes. (I know, weird, right?)
    But, these look amazing.
    Couldn’t resist Pinning them.

    Second, yeah, I’d be the one helping you put your coat over the nice young man. And, I would loan him my cell so he could ask his Mom for a loan to buy clothes. 😉

    Lastly, oh, how I would love if you would share this recipe on our Friday FREE-FOR-ALL Linky Party. I bet these would be perfect for a holiday brunch – or even contemplating decorating the tree! (Link is below.)

    All the best,
    ~ Dana at Cooking at Cafe D

  9. Stacey says

    These sound wonderful. HOWEVER, I have an issue with yellow cake. Not sure why, but just the thought of yellow cake WILL make me gag. Is there a way to make this with white cake instead of yellow. (Please, oh please, oh please I hope there is!!!)

  10. Miss G. says

    I LOVEEE ITT! Absolutely amazingg!
    I have a question though. See i live in Egypt and i can’t find maple syrup here.. Can i use pancake syrup instead?

    Thank you 🙂

  11. Kaela says

    OMG! I baked these fabulous cupcakes yesterday and they are AMAZING!!!!! I have decided to make them as holiday treats for my Husband to take to work. Thank you for the recipe.

  12. lesley utting says

    So good!!! I didn’t sprinkle confectioners sugar on top but just some light cinnamon/sugar mixture. They are yummy! I had to stop myself from eating the topping mixture that you froze. QUESTION … did you ever freeze them? How did they come out?!

  13. Jessica says

    These were fanastic! I completely understand what you mean about them vanishing quicky. I should have doubled everything. Haha! Thanks for a great recipe!

  14. says

    I have to say this was such an easy recipe. Both my kids and I had a blast making these last night for our breakfast this morning! My husband said this is one recipe that is definitely a keeper! This was also the 1st time I made a buttercream frosting… So easy! Thanks 🙂

  15. Stephanie B says

    These are in the oven RIGHT NOW! Can’t wait to eat them…they are smelling up my entire house! Yum! Thank you for the recipe. Pinned!

  16. Carol Ann says

    I wanted to note that the first time I made these little gems, I used Creme Fraiche in lieu of Sour Cream. Fantastic! also, towards bottom of recipe for Buttercream frosting, you note to use Salt in your ingredients, but then later you mention to “Stir in the vanilla, sugar, and syrup. ” Guessing you meant Vanilla, Salt and Syrup?

    Also, I actually lilke to frost them on the heavy side, and doubled the frosting recipe and it worked out perfect.

  17. CatherineW says

    Divine Darla – Perfect Cupcakes 2012!
    Each year our group of girlfriends does a sweets exchange. For cookies and candy, you need to bring 6 dozen separately wrapped items to exchange. For cupcakes 36, 9 sets of 4 (most boxes hold 4). We draw a number and alternate selecting our favorites. The best recipes win a prize.
    These are my recipe for this year. I made them almost exactly as you described, except I layered about 1/4 of a piece of chopped candied bacon in the middle. (Candied bacon (Mrs. Wrights is the best) on parchment on a cookie sheet coated with brown sugar on both sides, 6 pieces, bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees, then bake for 10 minutes on 400 degrees, then flip the bacon over, then 12 minutes at 350 degrees [total of 30 minutes] remove from oven and cool on a non-stick sprayed cooling rack – chop when cool). This way, your awesome french toast and maple combine with bacon for the best cupcake ever~! Thank you!

  18. barb says

    i have made these several times and i cant seem to be doing something right….they turn into flat muffin tops that you can remove from the pan without breaking off the top. i have tried reducing the muffin mix in the papers but still same thing…can you help???

  19. Christine says

    Just pulled my first batch out of the oven. They taste incredible. One thing I noticed – your printable recipe says to put 2 tablespoons of batter into each cup instead of the three online. I ended up with 42 cupcakes. Pretty funny because I needed more then 24 cupcakes for my nephews bday so now instead of doing two different kinds I can just take these. I haven’t prepared the frosting yet, but I am sure it will be delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

  20. jen says

    Hello. I just made these and they taste magnificent! However they are pretty dense…muffin-like. What do you think went wrong? How can I make them more fluffy?

  21. Aubrey Maryniak says

    I tried these for my friends birthday and they were absolutely outstanding! I actually decided to go daring and add some savory to the whole ordeal. I topped them with bacon bit sprinkles and oh my gosh. They were just flat out unreal.

  22. Dana L says

    These cupcakes are amazing! I have come back to this recipe several times, wanted to share- I made this recipe into a cake yesterday and instead of doing the streusel on top- in each pan I put down some batter, did a layer of streusel, then more cake batter- it is/was- just as amazing- the buttercream really sets it apart! Thanks so much for the recipe! ; )

  23. Victoria says

    Can I freeze leftover frosting for later use? My whole family LOVED these cupcakes! My dad even asked for me to forego making him a cake for his birthday, and to just make these! I love how easy they are to make and how deliciously everything tastes together!

  24. Robyn says

    In your ingredients you don’t have the yellow cake listed but you do add the listed ingredients to the yellow cake mix correct

    • says

      If you want to make these using cake mix, rather than making them from scratch, then you will make them according the directions on the box. The only ingredients you would add are the spices.

  25. Lori c says

    Made these tonight and haven’t iced them yet. They are delectable and perfect without the icing. I will ice them tomorrow but just had to say how delicious the cupcake itself was on its own. Love it!!! Thank you!

  26. Amy G says

    Last month I had a French ‘Let Them Eat Cake’ theme for my daughter’s first birthday, complete with French-themed menu. I baked these as a thin cake in a jelly roll pan, used a heart shaped cookie cutter, and piped a big rosette of the frosting on the tops. They were the hit of the pastry table! Thanks so much for a great recipe! I made them again since and my hubby adores them!

  27. says

    I made these last night. I got 96 minis, I could have probably made another 24, but 1: I was out of streusel and 2: I was kind of tired of baking by then! Also, I baked them at 325 (my mini pan is darker) for ~15minutes. I tweaked the frosting only because I wanted a more maple flavor, but the frosting per the recipe is still tasty. This was a trial run for a wedding that I’m doing in a few weeks. Thanks for the recipe, they reminded me of Christmas!

  28. Baker K says

    Making these for a friends birthday next week but I’m on a very tight budget and don’t have a lot of time to spend on them (poor college student).
    Do you think I can use a boxed yellow cake + add 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and use a container of pre-made cream cheese icing + add 1/3 cup maple syrup? I will leave strusel recipe as is.

  29. says

    These sound amazing and combine my favorite breakfast items –French toast, maple syrup, brown sugar, butter — into one! I’m going to make them tomorrow for our community yard sale participants and was wondering … if I wanted to make a double batch, what would the recipe be? I know in baking you can’t simply multiply all the ingredient amounts by two. Thank you!

  30. sophie sitton says

    This is one of the very few recipes that when they say makes 24 cupcakes ACTUALLY MAKES 24 CUPCAKES!
    Love it I made them Saturday and all gone!
    I love them <3
    Going to make them again.


    • says

      Yes, more or less. It should only take about thirty seconds of mixing, on about medium speed, to bring the batter together (plus some hand mixing with a spatula, if needed). You may need a few seconds more, depending on your mixer. If you’re mixing by hand, it will, of course, take a little longer. It’s a very short mixing time to prevent the build up of gluten, which makes cakes and cupcakes to firm. By mixing everything together quickly, it helps the cupcakes stay soft.

  31. nicole says

    I so want to make these but pressed for time would a regular box of white cake mix work then adding the nutmeg cinnamon sour cream and vanilla?

    • says

      Yes, this will work, but you don’t need to add the sour cream. Also, it would be better made with a yellow mix, as opposed to white. Just make the cupcakes as directed on the box, adding the spices and vanilla.


  1. […] Skip the traditional breakfast and go for this hand-held and super-sweet version of french toast: streusel topped french toat cupcakes with maple buttercream frosting! Make a slightly altered vanilla cupcake batter complete with the addition of cinnamon and nutmeg, then add a homemade crumbled streusel to the top before baking. Once they cool, top with a delicious maple buttercream frosting before dipping them in an extra layer of both cinnamon sugar and confectioners sugar. The results are irresistable! Source Bakingdom […]

  2. […] Skip the traditional breakfast and go for this hand-held and super-sweet version of french toast: streusel topped french toat cupcakes with maple buttercream frosting! Make a slightly altered vanilla cupcake batter complete with the addition of cinnamon and nutmeg, then add a homemade crumbled streusel to the top before baking. Once they cool, top with a delicious maple buttercream frosting before dipping them in an extra layer of both cinnamon sugar and confectioners sugar. The results are irresistable! Source Bakingdom […]