Cherry Streusel Muffins- A German Classic as a Muffin!

Cherry Streusel Muffins are my way of adapting a German Recipe to America. Kaffee Klatsch and Kirsch Streusel Kuchen are a traditional German combination. A  slice of Cherry Streusel cake, a cup of coffee and friends. What could be nicer for an afternoon treat?  Sadly, most of my American friends don’t drop in for a piece of cake. (We need to change that! It would be more Gemütlich to sit with a friend in my kitchen than at a Starbucks). So I don’t bake a cake as often as I would like. But I do love those flavors, and I wanted to make it without wasting cake (or eating the whole thing myself).

When my kids were younger, I was often asked to bring something for the PTA breakfast, or a Teacher meeting. Ha! Now was my chance!  I adapted this recipe from my favorite  Kirsch Kuchen / Cherry Streusel cake recipe. This isn’t a traditional muffin, but it’s not really a slice of cake either. And I could freeze the extras to pull out as needed for a quick treat, if there were ever any left over. (Funny, there never are.) The first time I made Cherry Streusel Muffins, I brought them to an elementary school performance. My son’s classmate came from Germany, and both her mother and Oma hunted me down to tell me how much they enjoyed them.

The Muffin is made from basic ingredients… flour, sugar, butter, eggs…. add some vanilla and lemon peel for flavor, and bake it with tart juicy cherries. I guess you can consider it your own personal cake. (And they are delicious enough to eat two, or maybe even three).

I originally used Morello Cherries from a jar because they are tart and juicy. (mine come from Trader Joes, but they don’t seem to carry them anymore), You can used canned cherries… just not cherry pie filling, and PLEASE don’t bother with Maraschino Cherries (not even sure if those things really are cherries). Fresh Cherries would work too…
You can use Apricots, Peaches, Boysenberries or Blueberries.

Be creative…. and if you don’t want to make this recipe as muffins… you can easily just put the batter into a 9 inch Springform cake pan. Bake it longer (around 45 minutes), and you have Cherry Streusel cake.


cherry streusel muffins

Cherry Streusel Muffins



  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Egg plus 3 Egg Yolks
  • 1 tsp Lemon Zest
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/4 cup Unbleached Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Jar Morello Cherries 12 oz drained 24 oz undrained 700g (I love to drink the juice!)


  • 1 1/4 cup Unbleached Flour
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 8 Tbl Butter


  • Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit
  • Line Cupcake Pan with paper liners.
  • Put the Butter and Sugar into the Mixer and let ‘er rip on medium speed. You want it to be light and fluffy.. should take 5 minutes. You have time to read a magazine article, brew a pot of coffee, and yell at the kid who was supposed to take out the garbage but didn’t.
  • Add the Egg and Egg Yolk (save the egg whites for something else) Beat and scrape down.
  • Add the Lemon Zest and Vanilla. Beat and scrape down.
  • Combine the Baking Powder with the Flour… add to the butter mixture gradually (seriously… gradually, unless you happen to look really good in white powder)
  • Beat to combined….scrape… beat… DONE.
  • Fill the muffin liners with the batter… 1/3 to 1/2 full.. should make 12 to 15 muffins.
  • Top the batter with cherries.. I use 6 on each.. no reason, six just feels right. Set aside
  • Make the Streusel….
  • Put the flour and sugar in a bowl. Cut the butter into the bowl. Using your fingers…rub the butter into the flour. It will look like crumbles.
  • Put the streusel over the cherries.
  • Bake for 20 to 23 minutes… should be beginning to brown on top.
  • Cool on rack.


Makes 12 - 15 muffins.

Where to find Cherries

Honestly, I’m frustrated that I can’t find the reasonably priced Morello Cherries in a jar at Trader Joes (time for a sternly worded email!) I’ve heard rumor that they sometimes appear at Aldi, but since I’m not exactly near an Aldi, that doesn’t help much. I’ve used the canned dark cherries, and they work. Check your grocery store to see what’s available. Just avoid Maraschino cherries.

Specially Selected Dark Morello Pitted Sour Cherries, Large 24 oz Jars, (2) PackSpecially Selected Dark Morello Pitted Sour Cherries, Large 24 oz Jars, (2) PackSpecially Selected Dark Morello Pitted Sour Cherries, Large 24 oz Jars, (2) PackOregon Fruit Pitted Red Tart Cherries in Water, 14.5-Ounce Cans (Pack of 8)Oregon Fruit Pitted Red Tart Cherries in Water, 14.5-Ounce Cans (Pack of 8)Oregon Fruit Pitted Red Tart Cherries in Water, 14.5-Ounce Cans (Pack of 8)


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