This sweet, crunchy Nut Streusel Topping recipe is perfect for finishing baked goods, including coffee cakes, pies, cobblers, quick breads, muffins, and more. Or add it to yogurt, ice cream, cereal, for a delicious crunch and flavor boost!
What is Streusel?
Streusel means "sprinkled or strewn" in German, which describes the crumbly topping's function perfectly. It is most often sprinkled on top of baked goods - pies, cakes, cobblers, quick breads, muffins, and so on - to add flavor and texture.
Streusel topping was created in Germany, where it was originally made by cutting butter into a mixture of flour and white sugar. Over time, variations to the standard crumble topping recipe developed that included such things as brown sugar, flavorings, spices, and nuts. This recipe, for example, is specifically for streusel with nuts, or Nusstreusel.
Streusel Topping Ingredients
- Nuts: Use finely chopped nuts of any variety or combination, including: walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts (filberts), Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, etc.
- Brown sugar: In most cases, we preferred light brown sugar for this nut crumble recipe. Dark brown sugar lends a more intense flavor, and works well for topping molasses based quick breads.
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour. Almond flour also works.
- Cinnamon: Spices are can add flavor and depth to your crumble. I usually add spices that mirror those in whatever I'm topping; cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, and pumpkin pie spice are all good choices. Mix any dry spices into the flour and sugar mixture.
- Kosher salt
- Vanilla: Use vanilla extract, or sub in the flavor of your choice to go with whatever you're topping.
- Butter: We recommend using salted butter. Coconut oil also works.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make this Streusel Topping Recipe
Finely chop the nuts in a nut mill or food processor.
You want most of the walnuts to be finely chopped, but you don't want to make nut butter. It's good to have a few bigger pieces here and there. It gives the Crumb Topping a more interesting texture, too.
Whisk together chopped nuts, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.
Add vanilla and melted butter and mix until thoroughly combined.
Hint: I find that mixing the nut mixture with my hands is the most effective way to get the job done.
Variations & Substitutions
- Gluten-free: Sub in almond flour for all-purpose flour.
- Dairy-free: Sub in coconut oil for butter.
- Oat crumble: Substitute old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats for the nuts. (Rolled oats will give the crumble more crunch.)
A nut mill is an old-fashioned kitchen necessity; it does just one job, and it does it very well. The nut mill I use today is the same one I used to chop nuts for my mother when I was a toddler: this is not a piece of equipment you will need to purchase twice.
It takes a bit more time, but I much prefer using a nut mill over a food processor to chop nuts. Using the mill, I never have to worry about over-chopping; or worse yet, ending up with nut butter. More importantly though, the action of the mill presses the nuts as they are cranked through the hopper, extracting some of the nuts' oils, which in turn intensifies their flavors.
- Counter: Mixed nut crumble can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for up to a week.
- Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.
- Freezer: Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six months.
There are so many uses for this nut crumble recipe! Of course, streusel topping is perfect for baked goods: coffee cakes, cobblers, muffins, pies, and quicks breads. But we also love to keep streusel mix and on hand for adding delicious crunch and flavor to yogurt, ice cream, cereal, and more!
If your streusel topping becomes pasty (or even batter-like), chances are it's from adding butter that is too hot, or (less likely) over-mixing. To remedy this, allow the crumble to cool completely, then use a fork to break it up and add a tablespoon or two of flour to absorb the released fats.
Note that nut crumble topping is less likely to turn to paste because the nuts absorb and temper the butter, but it happens.
In the US, the terms streusel and crumble and crumb topping are generally used interchangeably.
More Basic Ingredient Recipes
How to Use Streusel Topping
Nut streusel is perfect for topping ice cream sundaes, fresh fruit, and oatmeal; or sprinkle it over baked items for an extra layer of flavor and texture! Some of our favorites baked items to top with nut crumble include:
- Blueberry Banana Muffins
- Easy Southern Peach Cobbler
- Mom's Classic Banana Bread
- Zucchini Banana Bread
- Nana's Old-fashioned Pumpkin Gingerbread
- Spiced Banana Bread with Crystallized Ginger
Nut Streusel Topping (Nusstreusel)
- Finely chop the nuts. You want most of the walnuts to be finely chopped, but you don't want to make nut butter. It's good to have a few bigger pieces here and there. It gives the Crumb Topping a more interesting texture, too.
- Whisk together chopped nuts, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Add vanilla and melted butter and mix until thoroughly combined. Hint: I find that mixing the nut mixture by hand is the most effective way to get the job done.
StorageCounter: Mixed nut crumble can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for up to a week. Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month. Freezer: Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six months.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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