Cherry Jam Streusel Muffins

This past November I had the good fortune of joining the California Secretary of Agriculture, Karen Ross, some California Grown team members and a group of bloggers, writers, photographers and cookbook authors on a 2-day Agri-Tour around California’s Central Coast (also known as my neck of the woods). I created these really delicious Cherry Jam Streusel Muffins (with mostly ingredients from California!!) to celebrate the occasion! You can find the recipe towards the end of the post, but I hope you’ll scroll through the pretty pics of farms, caviar limes and ocean views on your way there!

I was pretty excited to tour some local farms, sip Santa Ynez Valley wine, nosh on passionfruit in a location that I am known to refer as: the MOST beautiful place in the world. It’s a bold statement for sure and I’m confident your fair village is equally lovely…but really, she’s a stunner. I was even more excited when I checked into my room at the The Biltmore and looked out to the view below. Can you even?

Our first stop on the tour was tomato-grower extraordinaire Houweling’s in Camarillo, just south of Santa Barbara. We toured their greenhouses and marveled (I mean MARVELED) over the height of the tomato vines. For reference as to how high they were growing, look at the photo below. 

Houweling’s is employing some amazing, innovative farming methods by looking for ways to conserve water, maximize sunshine and minimize pests. They’re just about to start a Free The Cucumber campaign aimed at eliminating single-use plastic packaging on cucumbers. I’m obsessed with the campaign slogan and 100% on board.

I love this photo taken just outside one of their greenhouses. The height of the tomato vines was bonkers!

Image credit: Alycia Moreno for CA GROWN.

After Houweling’s we headed back north to Goodland Organics, home to Frinj Coffee as well as heaps of really beautiful exotic fruit. We sipped on coffee (spoiler: I couldn’t sleep that night) while the owner, Jay Ruskey, chatted about inter-planting avocados + coffee and environmental impacts and wind and some of the challenges (+solutions) facing California farmers. I’ve been reading so much about regenerative farming that it was comforting/interesting/informative to hear directly from farmers on how they’re taking care of soil, handling droughts + increased winds and creating more thoughtful, long-term farming methods.

We ended up by their pond, sipping Pacifico’s stuffed with floating caviar limes (DO THIS AT HOME!!), eating California cheese, watching the sun set over the Pacific. I was chatting up Adam & Ryan from Husbands that Cook (I love when we get to work together!!) and Aliza Sokolow (who I met on this trip and love already) and thinking about how incredible California is. I’ve traveled all over the world and love so many places but I’m always so excited to come home to this place. You should really come visit us. 

That evening we dined on the most delicious dinner with everything on the table from the flowers to the wine to the fruits and veggies primarily sourced from California. During appetizers we sipped on Sea Smoke bubbles and I nearly died. I proceeded to seek this out almost obsessively throughout the holidays. My photos were rubbish from the dinner so you’ll have to use your most creative imagination: heaps of flowers, lots of wine glasses for tasting all the wine (I said no to none of it), candles, very veggie forward…you get the vibe…

Adam and Ryan and I snuck up to my room after dinner and had a nightcap. We could hear the crashing of waves as we sipped what I promised would not be a heater and decided we’re never going home. 

The next morning over breakfast (again with the views) Karen Ross talked about sustainable farming practices and the ways in which California farmers are dealing with climate change. Karen grew up on a farm and has been surrounded by farmers her entire life. Her passion for California farming was evident in everything she said — she was such a wonderful host over the course of the tour. Full of info and warmth and always up for answering questions. Wanted to add this because good kind people should be celebrated.

We then went for a quick ride to Ocean Breeze Farms in Carpinteria which is all about cut flowers. Beautiful flowers everywhere and a lovely chat with the owners, originally from Holland. Again we got to talk lots about sustainable farming, as well as the business end of farming (as in, getting the goods to the marketplace). The bottom takeaway that they wanted us to relay to you: if you care about sustainable and/organic farming practices the best way to show it is in your purchases as a consumer. Spending the extra money on sustainable and/or organic goods gives farmers the means to invest more in these practices.

Also this: 75% of the flowers in the US are grown in California. Again with my fair state!! 

So I always want to give you a treat when I post, so I created these Cherry Jam Streusel Muffins just for the occasion. I have several cherry trees and to me, they’re one of the most perfect fruits.

We start by making a quick jam with frozen + dried California cherries because it’s winter and this lets us enjoy the joys of cherries all year long. We squeeze in some fresh lemon juice, a touch of almond extract and a pinch of cardamom and then we set aside to cool completely. After a minute you can stash it in the fridge to expedite the cooling down process.

Then we throw together some streusel which is what I consider one of the many wonders of the world. If we can streusel it, I’m here for it. I added sliced almonds (from CA, of course), but you can add any nut you’d like (pecans maybe?).

Now can we finally talk about this muffin’s base? I kept telling Stella that I swear this is the most delicious muffin base I’ve ever made. Another bold statement, but I mean it. For the fat, I used California olive oil, eggs, heaps of lemon zest, more almond extract and the usually baking suspects (flour + sugar). These guys are soft as the fluffiest pillow and so incredibly moist. I cannot recommend them enough.

I started out wanting to create an overnight muffin, so that we could prep everything the night before and then just assemble and pop in the oven to eat warm in the morning. And yep, you can do that with these I’m happy to report. But you can also make them the same day, so I was hesitant to call them overnight lest anyone think they couldn’t go that path.

I want to give a shout out to Michelle Lopez of Hummingbird High. All of my usual tips for getting height out of your muffins are in this recipe except I added one trick I learned from her Levain Bakery Blueberry Muffin’s post and that is to add water to the unfilled muffin wells while baking. I often recommend only filling every other well with muffin batter, but she has you add water into those empty wells and it really helps the muffins to rise even more. Try it — you’ll be dazzled.

Let’s make some delicious Cherry Jam Streusel Muffins, shall we?

cherry jam streusel muffinscherry jam streusel muffinscherry jam streusel muffins

Cherry Jam Streusel Muffins

Makes 12-13 Muffins

INGREDIENTS

Quick Cherry Jam

  • 10 oz (284 grams/2 cups) frozen cherries
  • ½ cup (96 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (32 g) dried cherries
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom

For the Streusel

  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoons (54 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (23 g) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup (70 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons (2 oz/58 g) unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into 4 pieces
  • 3 tablespoons chopped almond slices

For the Muffin

  • ½ cup (118 ml) olive oil
  • 3/4 cup (144 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons (281 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup (236 ml) milk, room temperature

INSTRUCTIONS

For the Quick Jam

  1. Place the frozen cherries, sugar, dried cherries, lemon juice, corn starch, almond extract and cardamom to a heavy-bottomed, medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Use either a potato masher or the edge of a spatula to mash the cherries so you have some smaller bits. Bring the mixture to a boil, mashing as you go, and after a minute or two of boiling it should start to thicken. Lower the heat to a simmer and let it cook for 4-5 minutes or until the liquid has reduced a bit and the mixture has thickened. It will continue to thicken as it cools. Set aside to cool completely before assembling the muffins.

For the Streusel

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt. Using a pastry blender or your hands, work the butter into the mixture until it resembles wet sand and when pinched together it holds into clumps. Gently mix in the almonds and place in the fridge. If storing overnight, cover; otherwise it’s fine for an hour-ish. After you bake the muffins you will have some leftover streusel which freezes beautifully, fyi!

For the Muffins

  1. In an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the oil and granulated sugar on high until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl periodically so that everything is well mixed together. With the mixer on low add the eggs one at a time, mixing the first completely before adding the second. Finally add in the lemon zest and almond extract and mix until smooth and combined. Take the bowl out of the mixer.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk into the oil-sugar mixture in two batches, ending with the milk. Stir until just combined. Cover and let sit in the fridge at least one hour. **IDEALLY, let this batter chill in the fridge for at least one hour. It can sit covered in the fridge overnight as well. This gives the flour time to absorb the moisture and makes for a puffier crown. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C) and place a rack in the top 1/3 of the oven, at least 6-inches from the heat source. Line every other muffin well with a muffin liner. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter to the muffin liner, top with 1 teaspoon of cooled jam, another 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter, another 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of jam and then crumble some streusel over the top. Make sure to pinch the streusel as you drop it over the top in little clumps. Also, you want your muffin liner filled 3/4s full. Fill the empty muffin wells with a little bit of water; fill them about 1/4 of the way full. Be careful transferring the tray to the oven.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes in the top third of the oven or until a toothpick comes out clean and/or they bounce back when gently pressed in the center. For best results, bake one tin at a time. Let cool in the muffin tin for about 10ish minutes, then use a butter knife to help get them out to finish cooling on a rack. Serve with leftover cherry jam!
  5. Thank you so much for baking these Cherry Jam Streusel Muffins!! Please tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so that I can see your gorgeous muffins!! 

This post + recipe was created in collaboration with California Grown!! A big THANK YOU to them + you for supporting the brands I work with! When shopping, look for the California Grown license plate logo to know that you’re getting the goods from our awesome state!! 

 

 

 

Cherry Jam Streusel Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Muffins
Cuisine: Breakfast
Serves: 12-13
 
Quick cherry jam, an olive oil-y, lemony muffin base dotted with crunchy streusel. These are delicious and can be made the night before and assembled + baked off in the morning! xo
Ingredients
  • Quick Cherry Jam
  • 10 oz (284 grams/2 cups) frozen cherries
  • ½ cup (96 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (32 g) dried cherries
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • For the Streusel
  • ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoons (54 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (23 g) old-fashioned oats
  • ⅓ cup (70 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons (2 oz/58 g) unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into 4 pieces
  • 3 tablespoons chopped almond slices
  • For the Muffin
  • ½ cup (118 ml) olive oil
  • ¾ cup (144 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons (281 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup (236 ml) milk, room temperature
Instructions
  1. For the Quick Jam
  2. Place the frozen cherries, sugar, dried cherries, lemon juice, corn starch, almond extract and cardamom to a heavy-bottomed, medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Use either a potato masher or the edge of a spatula to mash the cherries so you have some smaller bits. Bring the mixture to a boil, mashing as you go, and after a minute or two of boiling it should start to thicken. Lower the heat to a simmer and let it cook for 4-5 minutes or until the liquid has reduced a bit and the mixture has thickened. It will continue to thicken as it cools. Set aside to cool completely before assembling the muffins.
  3. For the Streusel
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt. Using a pastry blender or your hands, work the butter into the mixture until it resembles wet sand and when pinched together it holds into clumps. Gently mix in the almonds and place in the fridge. If storing overnight, cover; otherwise it’s fine for an hour-ish. After you bake the muffins you will have some leftover streusel which freezes beautifully, fyi!
  5. For the Muffins
  6. In an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the oil and granulated sugar on high until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl periodically so that everything is well mixed together. With the mixer on low add the eggs one at a time, mixing the first completely before adding the second. Finally add in the lemon zest and almond extract and mix until smooth and combined. Take the bowl out of the mixer.
  7. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk into the oil-sugar mixture in two batches, ending with the milk. Stir until just combined. Cover and let sit in the fridge at least one hour. **IDEALLY, let this batter chill in the fridge for at least one hour. It can sit covered in the fridge overnight as well. This gives the flour time to absorb the moisture and makes for a puffier crown.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C) and place a rack in the top ⅓ of the oven, at least 6-inches from the heat source. Line every other muffin well with a muffin liner. Add 1½ tablespoons of batter to the muffin liner, top with 1 teaspoon of cooled jam, another 1½ tablespoons of batter, another ½ to 1 teaspoon of jam and then crumble some streusel over the top. Make sure to pinch the streusel as you drop it over the top in little clumps. Also, you want your muffin liner filled ¾s full. Fill the empty muffin wells with a little bit of water; fill them about ¼ of the way full. Be careful transferring the tray to the oven.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes in the top third of the oven or until a toothpick comes out clean and/or they bounce back when gently pressed in the center. For best results, bake one tin at a time. Let cool in the muffin tin for about 10ish minutes, then use a butter knife to help get them out to finish cooling on a rack. Serve with leftover cherry jam!
  10. Thank you so much for baking these Cherry Jam Streusel Muffins!! Please tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so that I can see your gorgeous muffins!!

26 Comments

  • Rebecca Moore 2020/03/23 at 7:52 PM

    Hello! I was wondering if there is another type of oil I could easily swap out instead of olive oil! I don’t have the full amount on hand but have canola and vegetable, would either of those work as well?

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2020/03/23 at 7:59 PM

      Hi Rebecca — YES!! Supplementing with another oil or completely using a different oil is fine…I just love me some olive oil! You can use either of the oils you mentioned. If you can, let us know what you used and how it went to help other bakers. Have fun!!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Amy 2020/02/26 at 4:00 PM

    Sweet or tart cherries for the jam? I’m guessing it really doesn’t matter and a mix of both might be good.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2020/02/26 at 4:28 PM

      Hi! I use the Cadia Organic Dark Sweet Cherries and they are delicious! I agree either type or a mix would be delicious too!! xox

      Reply
  • Yasmin 2020/01/18 at 7:09 PM

    Hi there! Excited to make these so I was looking ahead at the instructions. For the muffins you mention the butter mixture when adding flour and milk. I’m wondering if the oil/sugar mixture is supposed to have butter in it as well or if the mixture is without? Thanks!!!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2020/01/18 at 7:52 PM

      OMG!! Are you available for editing?!? Thank you so much for catching that!! It’s fixed above — no buttah in this recipe!! I hope you love them as much as we do!! xoxo

      Reply
      • yasmin 2020/01/18 at 11:40 PM

        :) currently waiting for them to come out of the oven! can’t wait!

        Reply
  • Michele 2020/01/17 at 4:06 PM

    Hello!
    I made these muffins today using the strawberry jam as you suggested and wow! they are amazing!! so tender and moist.
    thanks for this wonderful recipe ! I tagged you on Instagram.
    Michele

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2020/01/17 at 4:30 PM

      Hi Michele!!!
      I just looked on IG and I can’t find it (sometimes Instagram doesn’t notify me when I’m tagged…I have no idea why!!) — if you have time DM the pic — I would love to see them!! I’m so happy you love them and all the YES to strawberry jam!! xo

      Reply
      • Michele 2020/01/17 at 6:40 PM

        Just DM the pic!!
        Michele

        Reply
  • Anja 2020/01/17 at 4:15 AM

    I’m looking at the amount of lemon zest and it seems a lot! Could you possibly mean teaspoons instead of tablespoons?

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2020/01/17 at 3:43 PM

      Hi Anja! Nope, I mean tablespoons! Trust me — so delicious!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Husbands That Cook 2020/01/16 at 7:20 PM

    First of all, these muffins sound delicious!! And we’re so glad that we got to go on this adventure with you! Such a fun (and informative) trip, and having you there made it even more special! Can’t wait to hang again soon!! xoxo

    Reply
  • Rick 2020/01/15 at 6:30 PM

    Hey Rebecca! These look great. What would you think about swapping out the cherries (both frozen and dried) with blueberries?

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2020/01/15 at 6:34 PM

      Hi Rick! Yes, you could totally do that — I would swap equal weight for weight, if that makes sense? Let me know how it goes! xo

      Reply
  • Sage 2020/01/15 at 6:28 PM

    These look amazing! I want to try with blackberry jam! xx

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2020/01/15 at 6:32 PM

      Hi Sage! You could totally do that — would be absolutely delicious!!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Morgan 2020/01/15 at 4:39 PM

    These LOOK gorgeous and I bet they taste even better!!! Can’t wait to make them!! XO

    Reply
  • MIchele 2020/01/15 at 4:31 PM

    These look and sound absolutely amazing!! Cannot wait to try. Can you recommend another type of jam that would be really good as well.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Michele

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2020/01/15 at 5:03 PM

      Hi Michele! I think most any jam would be delicious! If I wasn’t going to use cherries, I would probably go for strawberries…maybe raspberries…apricots would be yummy (I love apricot jam!). Let me know if you make them with another jam!! Have fun! xo

      Reply
      • Michele 2020/01/16 at 12:30 PM

        thank you so much, will let you know!
        Michele

        Reply
      • Michele Scala 2020/01/17 at 4:09 PM

        Hello Rebecca
        Well I made these muffins this morning using the strawberry jam and Wow they are amazing and so delicious. So tender and moist and the flavors are wonderful. Thanks for this great recipe!! I tagged you on Instagram

        Reply
        • Rebecca Firth 2020/03/01 at 2:35 AM

          Hi Michele!! These would be so good with strawberry jam — trying it!! I’m so glad that you liked them!!! xoxo

          Reply

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