This crunchy, buttery topping will elevate almost any baked good! Use this simple streusel topping for muffins, cakes, pies, sweet breads, sweet casseroles, or whatever else you like!
* This post was updated with new photos 🙂
What is streusel?
I grew up eating streusel, but I actually never really knew the name for it until years later! If you've been to a bakery, odds are you've at least seen streusel topping - even without realizing it.
Streusel is basically the crunchy, crumbly topping that goes on top of coffee cake and certain muffins and quick breads. Those are the most traditional uses for streusel, but there are tons more!
• flour: to keep the streusel from melting into a hot mess!
• sugar: for sweetness AND it helps caramelize and crisp the topping! I love using brown sugar for my streusel, but you can also use granulated sugar instead or a combination of the two
• cinnamon: for flavor (but it is optional)
• butter: for richness and flavor!
How to keep streusel crispy:
Streusel is delicious when it first comes out of the oven because of how crisp it is! BUUUUTT it inevitably softens as it sits. First, let's look at how to keep streusel crispy for longer, and then we'll look at what to do if your streusel has softened!
The key to streusel that stays crispy longer is the type of sugar you use. Streusel made with all or mostly brown sugar will soften quicker than streusel made with all or mostly granulated sugar (because of the molasses in brown sugar). If you don't plan on enjoying the streusel the same day you bake it, you have a better chance at keeping your streusel crisp if you use granulated sugar!
Now here's a trick to re-crisp your streusel after it softens: just bake it again! It really is as simple as that. Heat your streusel topped baked good in a preheated 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until crisp again. And BOOM! Good as new!
Raw streusel keeps like a dreeeeeaaaammm!! You can store your unbaked streusel in your fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months! I like to keep mine stored in a plastic bag, but you can also keep it in an airtight container or jar.
Recipes to try with streusel!
- 1 & ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup sugar * see notes
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
- In a large bowl, combine all of the streusel ingredients together. Mash together with a fork until you're left with crumbly mixture that sticks together when you pinch it with your fingers. You also shouldn't see any visible streaks of flour or butter.
- Sprinkle on top of muffins, cakes, or whatever else you like before baking. Bake as you normally would.