banana and chocolate chip buttermilk muffin with streusel

  • Dish: Lawsuit Buttermilk Muffins
  • Serving Size: 1 dozen muffins
  • Cookbook: The Best of Better


This weekend, I had an urge to try out a new breakfast recipe. I had originally wanted to make herb scones but none of our new Christmas cookbooks had such a recipe. The buttermilk muffins that I had passed on the way to the scone section sounded too good to pass up, and besides, Kurt had also gotten me a Kitchenaid silicon muffin tray that I still hadn’t christened.

I am pretty happy with this recipe: it was easy to follow, relatively quick to produce, and the book suggested doubling or tripling the streusel in case you decide to make another batch after the first. The versatility of the basic recipe is also nice. We tried blackberry, banana and nutmeg, and banana and chocolate chip (not suggested in the book, but doesn’t that sound good?). Kurt likes the blackberry one best, while I can’t help myself when it comes to chocolate chips.

I’m already thinking of the other variations I’d like to test out over the next few weeks…at least until we use up all of the buttermilk. If you were one of my guinea pigs, I’d appreciate a quick comment about what could be improved, or what variations you’d enjoy.

Streusel Topping

  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Batter Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated citrus zest [I used lemon]
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour [add 1/4 cup if batter still too runny]
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups coarsely chopped fruit [eyeball it, it’s more fun that way!]


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or spray generously with nonstick cooking spray. Grease the top of the muffin pan. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. For the streusel, mix all the ingredients together with a fork or your fingertips in a small bowl to make a crumbly mixture. Set aside. [Karen’s note: you can also just blitz walnut pieces in a food processor along with the rest of the topping ingredients. Goes a lot faster and you don’t melt the butter in the process.]
  3. For the batter, whisk the oil, brown sugar, citrus zest, and egg together in a large bowl. The mixture should be pasty. Stir in the vanilla and buttermilk.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add to the wet ingredients and blend. Fold in the fruit. The use of frozen fruit may help firm up the batter. If not, and the batter seems too loose, add 1/4 cup more flour to make the batter a bit stiffer.
  5. Using a large ice-cream scoop, fill the muffin cups to the top. Sprinkle streusel toppoing evenly over each muffin. Place the muffin pan on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15 mins, then lower the oven temperature to 350F and bake for another 12-15 mins, or until the muffins spring back when pressed lightly. Let cool in the pan for 5 mins before unmolding onto wire racks.