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Buttermilk Crumb Cupcakes

Photo by: Joey DeLeo
Comments: 0


When my children were in elementary school I used to bake these cupcakes every year for the Bake Day Sale, to help raise money for the school. I baked so many cupcakes during those years that if they were put in a straight line I’ll bet they would go from California to New York. They were the most popular item at the bake sale.

Yield: 7 cupcakes


  • Vegetable shortening for greasing muffin cups
  • 1 egg
  • 1¼ cups flour
  • 1 cup light-brown sugar (push the sugar firmly down into the measuring cup.)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup buttermilk


  • Muffin Pan
  • Small Bowl
  • Fork
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Large Spoon
  • Kitchen Timer
  • Pot Holders
  • Cooling Rack


Turn the oven on to 350°F. Grease the inside of 7 muffin pan cups with a little vegetable shortening, using your fingers.

Crack open the egg and drop it into a small bowl. Stir the egg briskly with a fork until the white and yolk are mixed together and the egg is all yellow.

Put the 1¼ cups flour, 1 cup brown sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a fork to get it well mixed.

Add 1/3 cup vegetable shortening to the bowl with the flour and brown sugar.

Lightly rub the shortening and flour together with your fingertips, letting the bits fall back in the bowl. Keep reaching to the bottom and all around the sides of the bowl and rubbing the shortening and flour together to make crumbs. When the mixture looks like coarse bread crumbs, you have mixed enough. Remove ¼ cup of this crumb mixture and set aside to sprinkle on top of the cupcakes just before they bake.

Add the 1 teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg to the flour mixture that remains in the bowl and stir it all around with a fork so it is mixed together. Add the ½ cup buttermilk and the beaten egg, and for the last time, stir everything together with a large spoon so the batter is mixed well.

Use a large spoon to put the batter into the greased cups of the muffin pan, filling each one about half full. Sprinkle the top of the batter in each cup with 1 rounded teaspoon of the crumb mixture you set aside. Put the muffin pan in the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. When the timer rings, take a pot holder, pull the muffin pan toward you to the edge of the oven rack, and stick a toothpick in the center of one of the cupcakes. If the toothpick comes out clean with no gooey batter on it, the cupcakes are done, If there is batter sticking to the toothpick, push the muffin pan back into the oven, set the timer for 5 more minutes, and continue to bake the cupcakes. When the timer goes off again, check them again for doneness.

When the cupcakes are done, use pot holders to remove the muffin pan from the oven. Put it on a rack and let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then they will lift right out. If they’re sticking a little, run a knife carefully around the edges of each one and then gently lift them out of the pan and put them on a plate.

© 1995 Marion Cunningham

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Serving size is 1 cupcake. Nutritional information includes 1/2 teaspoon of shortening per muffin cup to grease.

324kcal (16%)
93mg (9%)
0mg (0%)
12mcg RAE (0%)
31mg (10%)
235mg (10%)
3g (17%)
13g (20%)
1mg (8%)

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