Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Crumb Cupcakes

buttermilk chocolate chip cupcake

Let me get this out of the way:  these are stupid good.

You know that good.  That one where you get the wiggles, your tastebuds flutter, your eyes roll into the back of your head, knees buckle, your jaw drops.  Yep.

Just take one bite, I thought, no big deal, you’ll be fiiine.  You gotta taste it anyway, right?

Oh.  Oh my.  Oh my goodne…..marf mmmow gnow mmmrrff grunt slurp finger lick.

unwrapped cupcake on plate

Blink blink.

Holy crap.  What just happened?  Where did that cupcake go?

Aw man, I gotta put these away before there’s an epic and traumatic cupcake incident, as I hurriedly packed them up.  Wow.  Whoooo.  Wipes brow.

It was still the Week (though finally for the first time ever however inadvertently, Month [Mike always gets a month and it’s not fair]) of Becky, so it’s ok, right, it’s allowed, yes?   Right?

That evening Mike took one bite then shot me The Look, that how do you do this look, why do you do this to me look, that I’m so glad I married you, best life choice ever look.  mmrrrfff maw grrrawww oophfff mmmMM, “these are goooooood, babe, whoa.”

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Crumb Cupcakes.

Yeah.  I said it.  Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Crumb Cupcakes.

I’ll let that sink in.

They are as heavenly as they sound: ethereally light and airy, juuust properly moist, floofy, mildly sweet, slightly tangy yellow cakes broken by lil’ chocolate niblets, hints of mostly melted yet delicately crunchy crumb topping, all in a wee paper cup…….ugh.  Yep!

I’m not sure when or how I stumbled across this ditty from Love and Olive Oil but it is a gift of stellar proportions.  And while it’s mildly fussy in assemblage, it, yeah, just try it, you’ll see.

This recipe was one of three options narrowed for my birthday from my ridiculous repository.  Why did I not opt for this one?  Mainly because I was out of buttermilk, sick with a cold, couldn’t make it to the store.  Bzzzt, out of the running.

These haunted me though.  Bake me.  Baaaaake me, I’d hear whispers from the drawer housing the printed recipes.

I succumbed.  And gladly will again, and again, and again and….

Begin by warming up the oven and lining your cupcake pan with baking liners.  As I mentioned last time, these from If You Care* are the best and worth every hassle tracking down.

Mix up your crumb topping first. With a fork, stir together the flour and sugar then plop in the butter.

crumb topping ingredients

You can still use a fork here, or a pastry cutter,* but best are your fingers: mush the butter into the flour/sugar until you get flakes and clumps.

mixing crumb topping

If you haven’t tried the fingers method, smush the butter between your fingers, like using your thumb as if you’re smearing something off your fingertips. I’m literally doing this right now trying to figure out the best way to describe it clearly, heh, I’m a dork.


Drizzle the vanilla over the flour/brown sugar/butter goodness and with that previous fork, break up the chunky lumps a bit. Pop the bowl into the fridge while you make the batter.

crumb topping mixed

Toss the remaining dry ingredients into a small-ish bowl and whisk around to combine. Scoop out about a tablespoon and add it to a smaller bowl into which you’ll dump your chocolate chips.

Here I used my mmmm fave, the bittersweet Ghiradelli 60% cacao* which I slightly chopped.

A bag tagged semisweet is great too; if you use regular chips, give them a slight chop or use mini chips per the original recipe. Darker chocolate wins big here and I’d strong arm you into that though it appears 60% is still technically semisweet.  Well.  Huh.  Either way, semisweet, bittersweet, interchangeable.

So heh, ok, toss the flour and chips around together, set aside.
mixing some flour with chocolate chips

In the mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about three minutes or so.
creaming butter and sugar in mixer

Drop the mixer speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, combining them well.

adding eggs to mixer

Spill in your vanilla and then in thirds, dry ingredients to two halves of the buttermilk, alternate the bowl additions until everything is just barely mixed. 

adding remaining ingredients to mixer

Remove the bowl from the mixer and with a spatula, gently fold the chocolate chips with the flour into the batter.  Give it all a nice swooping gentle stir to make sure everything is melded.

chocolate chips mixed into batter

Sorry, don’t get confused: this is a photo from my first batch where I saved off a quarter cup of chips per the directions to sprinkle on top. Don’t fuss — just throw the entire 3/4 cup of chips into the pool. Sprinkle a couple extras on before they go in the oven if you’d like.

Here’s the fussier part and I tried this two ways for you (boo hoo for Mike and I):  as originally written and a more usual method.  Both worked out *mwah* tasty but as originally written, the cupcakes were indeed a smidge lighter.

A.  Measure out three tablespoons of batter per cupcake well then top each one with a kinda heaping teaspoon (spoon from your eating utensil drawer) and a half of the crumb topping.  Bake for about 14-18 minutes (I was around 17-18) at 400° F, aka 200° C.
measured batter into paper cups in muffin tin

It’s gonna be hard to tell here but this is how the cups look filled with three tablespoons of batter, less than half full.

Or B.  The more usual less messy route:  split the batter evenly between the wells and use the same amount of crumb topping per cupcake as above.  The bake time was more towards 18-20 minutes.
batter split evenly between cups

And then here the batter is split evenly between the cupcake wells.  Yeah, hard to tell but there is a difference.

As an important FYI, method A left me with fourteen cupcakes worth of batter.  Yessss.  A & B left loads of extra unused crumb topping but the perfect amount per cupcake.  I’d go so far as two heaping teaspoons.
crumb topping added atop batter

In either case, do not be tempted to split the crumb topping evenly.  Trust me, I tried it. In return for that attempt, I got greasy liner bottoms and not as impeccable cupcakes.

So ok….out of the oven we go.

baked cupcakes in muffin tin

Remove these awesomely ree-donk-u-lous suckers from the pan after about five to ten minutes to a cooling rack and then just try, try to stop yourself from eating every single damn one of them as you stand there drooling in awe.
cupcakes cooling on a rack

Good luck.  And you are sooooo welcome.
cupcake on a plate

Note: This content originally appeared on Flaky Bakers.

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Crumb Cupcake

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Crumb Cupcake

12 cupcakes
Prep time
20 Min
Cook time
20 Min
Total time
40 Min
Probably the best cupcakes you'll ever eat.


Crumb Topping
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (107 g) light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/4 cup cold butter (cubed, 28 g)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) vanilla
  • 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon (6 g) fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup (128 g) dark chocolate chips, chopped slightly (or semisweet chips or mini chips)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick, 8 tablespoons, 113 g)
  • 3/4 cup (149 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C ). Using baking liners, line a twelve well cupcake tin.
  2. Prep the crumb topping first by adding the flour and brown sugar to a small bowl and whisk together with a fork, breaking up the brown sugar chunks.
  3. Add the cubed cold butter and cut it into the flour mix with either a pastry cutter, a fork, or best, your fingers until flaky clumps form.
  4. Drizzle the vanilla over top and combine with a fork, breaking up any large lumps. Set aside in the refrigerator to keep cold.
  5. In another small bowl, combine the flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and the salt and lightly whisk. Remove about a tablespoon and stir it into a small bowl containing the chocolate chips.
  6. With a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium to medium high speed until airy or about 3 minutes.
  7. Turn the mixer to low and add one egg, mix well, then add the second egg and mix well. Add the vanilla.
  8. Add one third of the dry ingredients to the mixer then half of the buttermilk, alternating until everything is just barely combined.
  9. Remove the mixer bowl, add the chocolate chips with the flour, and fold them gently into the batter.
  10. For exactly perfect cupcakes, spoon 3 tablespoons of batter into the baking liners. Top each cupcake with about a heaping teaspoon (from your eating utensil drawer) and a half of the crumb topping, sprinkle a few extra chocolate chips on top, and bake for 14-18 minutes.
  11. Or for an easier route, split the batter evenly between the wells, top each cupcake with the amount of crumb topping as the exactly perfect method, top with a few extra chocolate chips, and bake for 17-20 minutes.
  12. In either case, test for doneness with a toothpick and when it comes out clean save a couple crumbs, remove the pan from the oven. After about 5-10 minutes, remove the cupcakes to a cooling rack to thoroughly cool.


Adapted from Love and Olive Oil.

This recipe can likely be made gluten free by using a cup for cup flour alternative.



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Please see the "info" section for nutrition details.

Created using The Recipes Generator

*The If You Care line of products, pastry cutters, and Ghirardelli chocolates are Amazon affiliate links.  Happy baking, thanks!  Please see the "info" tab for more, well, info.

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