Sweet Cherry Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping

cherry muffins

Thanks to my Liberté yogurt post, I had a bunch of fresh cherries still in my refrigerator. I absolutely love fresh, sweet cherries, as do my kiddos, but I’ll admit to being a bit lazy and thinking all that pitting and the resulting massacre of bloody red juice that seems to squirt literally everywhere in my kitchen is not worth it for just any day.

I hadn’t made muffins in a very long time {for me} and decided these cherries were dying to be in a muffin… a cinnamony spiced muffin with a buttery, crunchy pecan streusel topping to be exact.

I went back to my post about Lemony Blueberry Streusel Muffins and altered it to create this recipe. And oh my gosh, these are definitely keepers! I made them late last night after the kids were in bed and ate the first one warm out of the oven while listening to iTunes and pinning on Pinterest… don’t be jealous, that was my Friday night! So the rest were waiting for us this morning for breakfast and they’re even better now that they’ve totally cooled… making them a good choice to make the night before a special breakfast or brunch. Enjoy!

Sweet Cherry Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping
Yields 18
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for the streusel
  1. 1/2 c. sugar
  2. 1/3 c. pecans, finely crushed
  3. 1 T. all-purpose flour
  4. 4 T. cold, unsalted butter, cut into smaller pieces
for the muffins
  1. 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  2. 1 c. sugar
  3. 2 1/2 t. baking powder
  4. 1 t. cinnamon
  5. 1 t. salt
  6. 1/4 t. cardamom
  7. 1/4 t. nutmeg
  8. 4 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  9. 3/4 c. milk
  10. 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  11. 2 large eggs
  12. 1 t. vanilla extract
  13. 2 c. fresh sweet cherries, pitted, quartered, rinsed and drained
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. To make the streusel, combine the sugar, pecans, flour, and butter in a medium-sized bowl. Using a pastry blender or fork, mash together the ingredients until streusel resembles the texture of wet sand. Save in refrigerator until ready to use.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and salt, whisking to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the melted and cooled butter, milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract, whisking to combine. Add the wet ingredients to dry ingredients and gently stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. When there are still a few streaks of flour in the batter, add the fresh cherries (that you have prepared beforehand by pitting them, slicing them into quarters and placing them in a mesh strainer to rinse and drain) and fold them into the batter until just combined.
  4. Line muffin pans with 18 paper or foil muffin cups. Fill each 3/4 full with batter. Remove streusel from refrigerator, and top each muffin with a generous tablespoon of streusel topping. Bake muffins for 20-22 minutes, or until muffins spring back when gently pressed with finger.
  5. Cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then remove from pans and allow to finish cooling on racks on the counter for about another 30 minutes.
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