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Cardamom Coffee Cake is one of my all time favorite things ever.  It’s from the original Moosewood Cookbook, written by Mollie Katzen in 1977.  The hand lettering and hand drawn illustrations make it seem downright quaint next to today’s flashy publications, but the humble collection of vegetarian recipes became one of the top ten best selling cookbooks of all time and was one of the first cookbooks I ever owned.  The other day while I was trying to think of something to make for breakfast, a little light bulb went off in my head…why not halve the recipe and make muffins?! I’m eating the first muffin fresh out of the oven right now as I’m typing this and all I can say is OMG.  I know, you’re a seasoned blog reader and you’ve heard all this before. You know that bloggers are forever claiming they’ve made the perfect this or that, just to up their readership or go viral on Pinterest.  I don’t blame you if you just go on with your day and don’t give me and my muffin another thought.  Of course if you do, you just might be missing the muffin of a lifetime. Anyway, whether you …


makes 12 muffins

Total time

0 minutes





  • 2 sticks, 1/2 lb, unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.25 tsp baking soda
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tbs cardamom
  • 1 cup sour cream or buttermilk
  • for the streusel
  • 0.25 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 cup walnuts


  1. set oven to 350F
  2. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray, or use muffin liners.
  3. Mix the streusel in a small bowl and set aside. Make sure your walnuts are finely chopped, and that you get the lumps of brown sugar broken down.
  4. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom in another small bowl and set aside.
  5. Measure out the sour cream or buttermilk, or mix the two if you are using both, and set aside.
  6. Cream the butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
  7. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Blend in the vanilla.
  8. Fold the flour into the butter mixture in thirds, alternating with the sour cream/buttermilk. Just stir enough to blend, don't beat or over mix.
  9. Spoon a small scoop of batter into the bottom of 12 muffin cups. Top with a teaspoon or so of streusel mix. Scoop the remaining batter on top and then top with another teaspoon of streusel, use up all the streusel.
  10. Bake for about 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Cool for a few minutes before removing them from the pan to a rack.