The Easy Streusel Swap For A Quicker Cake Topping Without The Mess

If sweet breakfast treats such as apple cider doughnuts and fluffy blueberry muffins are among the items you like to enjoy in the morning, then the chances are good you've partaken of a slice or two of moist coffee cake. The ideal companion to a hot cup of java, a good piece of coffee cake is rich and tender, and only mildly sweet (via King Arthur Baking). Enriched with plenty of eggs and butter, it's also a cake that keeps well, and can be enjoyed on repeat throughout the week without going stale, according to Southern Living.

There are tons of variations on coffee cake recipes, from studded with strawberries to swirled with tahini to drizzled with vanilla glaze. But one addition to a coffee cake we all expect is streusel — that sweet, crunchy stuff that typically runs through the middle of the cake and is also heaped on top. Usually made from butter that's worked with brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nuts, streusel creates little pebbly nubs of goodness that bring a ton of crunch and sweetness to each and every part of a coffee cake (via King Arthur Baking). But if you're on a quick baking mission and don't have the time to make a from-scratch streusel, there's an easy swap you can make that's just as delicious.

Sub in packaged granola for a quick and convenient streusel swap

Any coffee cake worth its salt features moist-crunchy streusel, the cake filling and topping typically made by mixing melted butter into the rest of the ingredients, or else pulsing them with a food processor or a pastry cutter (via Bon Appétit). While not the most labor-intensive endeavor in the world, it does create yet another dirty bowl, so for days when you're short on time or energy you might want to grab a bag of granola, instead.

This favorite breakfast-time yogurt topping makes an excellent streusel substitute, after all, its flavors and ingredients are rather similar. Packaged granola should provide the sweetness and crunch factor of a homemade streusel. However, the outlet counsels, you'll want to look for a specific type at the store. Avoid granolas with dried raisins or other fruit, which will dry out or burn in the oven, and go for a cluster type as opposed to one that more closely resembles rolled oats. Brands such as Nature's Path and Cascadian Farm are good choices since they're not overbaked, meaning they'll toast nicely in the oven but not burn.

And remember, this quick "streusel" can be used for more than just coffee cake. Try sprinkling granola on top of a fruit pie instead of using a double crust, work it into pumpkin muffins, or use it as a base crust for cheesecake instead of graham crackers (via Cook'n).