Most often, coffee cake is served in the morning, as a breakfast or with brunch. It is typically quite sweet, but not always, and may also have fruit, cinnamon, or other flavors, as well as a sweet frosting drizzled over the top. Although a coffee cake is usually made to be large enough that one cake will serve four to six people, coffee cake cupcakes are single serving option.
Coffee cake cupcakes can be an alternative to making breakfast muffins. They may have very similar ingredients in many cases, but the cupcakes are often a bit sweeter and have a more dense, cake-like texture. Cooks that want to add some extra nutrition can add whole grains or fresh fruit to the coffee cake recipe. They can also be made with ingredients such as yogurt, raisins, and cranberries to boost their nutritional value.
One advantage of coffee cake cupcakes is that they are easy to serve. Instead of using a pan, knife and serving plates, these treats come already wrapped in paper cupcake wrappers that simply need to be picked up and eaten. Coffee cake cupcakes can be served together with fruit or other breakfast foods to create a more complete meal.
Prior to a special event, coffee cake cupcakes can be made ahead and then frozen, where they should keep for a month or two with proper packaging. These treats are popular for many events held in the morning or the early afternoon, such as bridal showers or other adult get-togethers. They are especially popular when heated slightly in the microwave, making them taste more like they are just out of the oven.
Some favorite additives for coffee cakes in addition to cinnamon are apples, bananas, blueberries, and lemon. Other popular choices are pineapple, zucchini, pumpkin, and nutmeg. When making coffee cake cupcakes, it is possible to make a batch in each of several different flavors, choosing those that are most appealing according to the event and the season.
Coffee cake cupcakes can be served plain or with a topping or frosting. Each individual cupcake can have a slice of fruit placed on top, or cinnamon-crumble topping, or decorated in another way that both conveys the flavor of the cupcake and adds a finishing touch. A thin line of frosting zig-zagging over the top of the treat helps to tie it all together.