Thursday, December 1, 2011

Streusel Topped French Toast Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream

by Darla

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

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{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maria December 1, 2011 at 11:18 am

You know I am crazy about streusel and French toast is my favorite breakfast treat. LOVE these!


2 Miriam @ Overtime Cook December 1, 2011 at 11:18 am

These cupcakes look so amazing…the cake, the streusel, the frosting the cinnamon sugar…oh wow! I’m bookmarking this recipe!


3 Heather December 1, 2011 at 11:26 am

To. DIE. For.


Im having one right now.


4 Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. December 1, 2011 at 11:28 am

Oh, I’m with you on the Black Friday thing. I hate crowds and much prefer to do my holiday shopping online! These cupcakes are so pretty! Because they are french toast cupcakes, that means I can eat them for breakfast, right?!


5 Ingrid December 1, 2011 at 11:29 am

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).


6 Kim December 1, 2011 at 11:48 am

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.


7 Tara December 1, 2011 at 11:50 am

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.


8 Darla December 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm

You can also just use milk, which is still super yummy, just slightly less rich. :)

I hope you love them as much as I do!!


9 Tara December 2, 2011 at 12:48 am

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.


10 Ashley December 1, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Holy cow. That is all.


11 Tara @ The Butter Dish December 1, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Be Still my buttery beating heart!!! Darla what have you done lady? — I’m gonna die and go straight to heaven with these darlings!! They have been completely and utterly pinned to my Pinterest Cupcake board!!!


12 Tara @ The Butter Dish December 1, 2011 at 1:58 pm

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.


13 Choc Chip Uru December 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Love it when breakfasts are converted to cupcakes – you are the queen :)


14 Mary Anne December 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Did you know that this past Monday was French Toast Day? Yup, it was. We had French Toast for dinner. My Girl was very happy, and she is SO going to want these cupcakes!


15 Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau December 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Wow! These sound like one perfect mouthful!


16 Jo December 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm

These look delicious. Would love for you to come and share this with us over at


17 Honey For Jam December 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Oh my goodness, these cupcakes look so delicious!!


18 Joanne December 1, 2011 at 5:36 pm

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!


19 nicole {sweet peony} December 1, 2011 at 8:44 pm

oh these are so pretty!!! i love french toast & in cupcake form? yes please!

hahaha i haaaate abercrombie & hollister when they flaunt their man-boys too! also, their stores are just too smelly for me!


20 sweet road December 1, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Wow. I am floored by these cupcakes, they are so beautiful. I have seen a lot of cupcake flavors in my life but this is totally new! I have to try it!


21 Becca December 1, 2011 at 11:42 pm

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 :)


22 Angela @ The Dancer Bakes December 1, 2011 at 11:45 pm

These look HEAVENLY! I feel like these or your quick Maple Pecan cinnamon rolls will have to be my family’s brunch this year…


23 Lucy December 2, 2011 at 10:44 am

These cupcakes look am az ing

I am practically dribbling!!

The half naked man child sounds bad. Half naked man though – yes please.xx


24 Jess Wakasugi {Life's Simple Measures} December 2, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Absolutely gorgeous cupcakes! They sound so incredibly delicious, I can’t wait to make these!! Pinned :)

Also, I love your blog and am glad to be your newest follower!


25 shutterbug December 2, 2011 at 2:21 pm

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.


26 Dana at Cooking at Cafe D December 2, 2011 at 5:01 pm

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


27 bttrflybabydoll December 2, 2011 at 7:23 pm

I think I just need a big bowl of the buttercream! Yum! I love maple!


28 Stacey December 2, 2011 at 7:39 pm

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!!!)


29 Darla December 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Hi Stacey, You can totally use white cake for this. Any recipe that you like will work, just add the spices. :) Enjoy!


30 Lior December 2, 2011 at 8:15 pm

omg! the mini streusel cupcakes look so delicious !!


31 Krissy's Creations December 3, 2011 at 2:46 am

Yum Yum Yum Yum Yum!!! Love French Toast = Love French Toast Cupcakes… Great recipe :)!


32 Alba December 3, 2011 at 6:48 am

I looooove these cupcakes, Darla! They seem to be easy, and so yummy! Can’t wait to try them. (;


33 Miss G. December 3, 2011 at 8:20 am

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 :)


34 Darla December 3, 2011 at 10:23 am

You sure can. I haven’t noticed much of a flavor difference between pancake syrup and maple syrup in baked goods, so it should work out great. :)


35 Miss G. December 3, 2011 at 11:48 am

Thaaankk youuuu :)


36 Nicole December 3, 2011 at 3:42 pm

What do you preheat the oven to? I didn’t see it anywhere….


37 Darla December 3, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Thanks, for the head’s up, Nicole. I’ve modified the recipe, to show the oven temp as 350 degrees…sorry about that!!


38 Nicole December 3, 2011 at 7:14 pm

No worries :) Thank you so much…I am making these cupcakes right now….super excited to try them!


39 Erica McPhee December 5, 2011 at 3:09 pm

When I grow up I want to be Darla. Hilarious post and French Toast Cupcakes?. . . seriously … will you adopt me?! You are just gifted – LOVE your blog!


40 Eidilia Thomas December 9, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I love the streusel idea. I made similar muffins and embedded a piece of bacon to the frosting for that whole breakfast taste. They didn’t last at all!


41 Kaela December 13, 2011 at 4:56 pm

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.


42 Jillian December 14, 2011 at 3:51 am

These sound absolutely delicious! Just curious how do you think these cupcakes would pair with a maple-cream cheese frosting?


43 Darla December 22, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I think that would be divine!!!


44 Sarah from 20something cupcakes December 17, 2011 at 2:53 pm

So funny…I just got this idea into my head waking up from a nap, and I become obsessed. Of course, I google this idea, and here it is! You may just have convinced me to use this recipe, only I’ll probably add bacon! Thanks for posting.


45 Kimberly December 21, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Can you use just Mrs. Butterworths maple syrup or does it need to be the real maple syrup?


46 Darla December 22, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Hi Kimberly, yes you can use “faux” syrup. :) I prefer the real thing, but it’s wayyyy pricy and in the end, you get about the same amount of flavor.


47 December 25, 2011 at 10:34 pm

I made these as a two layer cake (and topped it with chopped toasted pecans) for Christmas dinner and it was a big hit!


48 megan m December 29, 2011 at 10:22 pm

These were amazing, I added bacon on top and served them to my husband and his friends..they almost was great!! Thanks!


49 lesley utting December 30, 2011 at 7:56 pm

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?!


50 Jessica February 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm

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


51 Terry March 4, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Thanks for the incredible recipe. These made for a brunch I’ll never forget. The streusel topping was an inspired touch. Aside from the addition of bourbon to the batter, I also used a cinnamon maple cream cheese frosting and garnished with sugar decorations and bacon (the salt really helped cut the sweetness). You can read about it here.


52 Ilan (IronWhisk Blog) March 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Gotta make these soon.. just made chocolate cupcakes filled with marshmallow cream and topped with hot chocolate buttercream, so these will be great alongside those :)


53 Rae Simpson March 21, 2012 at 5:50 am

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 :)


54 Stephanie B April 4, 2012 at 4:59 pm

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!


55 apryljennifer April 19, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Tonight I fell in love with these cupcakes. Amazing!


56 anickH April 22, 2012 at 2:49 am

your base cupcake recipe is same i use. because its so lawless its hard or me to ever try any other cupcake recipe.


57 Carol Ann September 11, 2012 at 11:29 am

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.


58 Neena October 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm

I have a question, did you add all of the ingredients to the cake mix and is it suppose to be thick. Thanks


59 Darla October 22, 2012 at 7:29 am

Yes, I added all of the cake ingredients to the cake mix. The batter will be a little on the thick side, but it shouldn’t be very thick.


60 CatherineW December 2, 2012 at 12:29 pm

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!


61 barb January 21, 2013 at 9:13 am

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???


62 Darla March 9, 2013 at 11:14 am

Sounds like you’re over-mixing the batter, which causes the batter to flatten. Stop mixing as soon as the flour is just incorporated.


63 Carrie (The Cake Blog) February 15, 2013 at 4:03 am

These look incredible! I must give your recipe a try! They sound delicious. Gorgeous styling and photography as well.


64 Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers February 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm

You know I’ve made many things off of your blog, but I think that you and the world at large (or, well, the people reading these comments) should know that these are my. very. favorite…. So far anyway!



65 Christine March 16, 2013 at 10:10 am

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.


66 Charlotte April 17, 2013 at 4:25 am

These are amazing! Now one of my go-to recipes.

I was going to say I posted some photos of a batch but looks like it’s picked it up on the trackbacks =)

Love them!


67 Jaxx April 19, 2013 at 6:04 am

I am not big on streusel, do you think they would come out just as good if I left that part out?


68 Beth June 1, 2013 at 8:14 am

I made these and they are incredible! Thanks for the recipe. I already want to make them again!


69 jen June 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm

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?


70 Alice July 9, 2013 at 6:25 pm

These are the best cupcakes I’ve ever baked. They were delicious!


71 Vera Zecevic – Cupcakes Garden August 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm

I just Love the idea of streusel on top. I’ve featured this recipe on my blog, hoping that you don’t mind, but if you do, please contact me and I’ll remove it. All the best.


72 Dana L November 8, 2013 at 11:48 am

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! ; )


73 Victoria November 30, 2013 at 8:12 pm

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!


74 Darla December 6, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Yes you can. :) I freeze it all the time, and it thaws beautifully.


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