Chex, Coming to a Streusel Near You

October 13, 2017

Peek into most pantries, or kitchen shelves, and you'll find a box of cereal. I'm not a big cereal eater in general, but even I usually have a box of some simple kind of cereal stashed away. Cereal seems like the culinary equivalent of an umbrella: Even if you don't remember buying it, there's usually one in the closet.

Whether or not you eat a morning bowl of it, I'd like you to consider a new use for cereal. Today's recipe is a mash-up from a few sources of inspiration: The base is a riff on a killer muffin recipe from Vermont Creamery, which I've transformed into a tender, vanilla bean-flecked dessert that resembles a pound cake in its meltingly dense texture. The topping is inspired by the Ovenly blueberry cornflake muffins that my local coffee shop carries.

Cereal = culinary equivalent of an umbrella. Photo by Posie Harwood

The idea of using cereal to make a streusel isn't strange, considering many streusels already call for a breakfast staple: rolled oats. Making a cereal streusel is faster and easier than most though. Just crunch up cereal with some sugar, flaky salt, and softened butter. Spread it over your batter and ta-da!, you've got an addictively crunchy golden topping.

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Corn Chex is my cereal of choice for streusel toppings. I love the nutty flavor the corn adds, plus the waffled texture of Chex gives extra crunch to the streusel, especially if you don't fully crush the cereal. That being said, you can certainly try this technique with anything from crisped rice cereal to any sort of flaked cereal to even Shredded Wheat.

On the left is vanilla, on the right is chocolate, everywhere is streusel. Photo by Posie Harwood

While I highly recommend trying this vanilla-crème fraîche cake recipe, you can also use this streusel recipe on top of muffins (I like it on chocolate muffins!), other simple cakes, or quick breads (a banana bread would be a good partner). You can also opt to spread the streusel on a parchment-lined baking sheet, bake it until golden, and then use it to top anything from a bowl of yogurt to vanilla ice cream.

Try swapping the streusel in the chocolate muffin recipe below (or any chocolate muffin recipe) for Chex streusel above.

How do you like to repurpose cereal? Did you know our Baking Club is too? Let us know in the comments! For more info on our Baking Club, head here.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.

1 Comment

Chris G. October 14, 2017
Not exactly the same thing, but I'm betting "Honey Bunches of Oats" would make a great streusel, too! I'm also thinking that your muffin recipes in this article would adapt well to the Sheet-Pan Muffin cakes along with the streusel? And one more thought/for those of you on a limited budget, My local Business Costco has aluminum 1/4, 1/2 and full sheet pans for very reasonable prices. About 4 years ago, I bought 3 - 1/2 sheet pans for under $4 each! (I truly can not vouch for the prices in the "regular" Costco's because I've not been in one in about 8 years! They are a very dangerous play for a person with a serious case of the "I want's" and limited will power!) :-)
Thanks to everyone that is sharing their recipes and tips etcetera, for the sheet-pan muffins, cakes and etc! My eyes and sweet tooth are
going crazy! (not to mention my imagination! I'm imagining a 1/2 sheet "full-dress" German Chocolate Cake with the coconut, brown sugar & pecan frosting and filling! :-) Not to mention, A carrot cake with the cream cheese frosting, and having nuts and raisins in it! (Those two are my favorites!)
One last thing, has any other person tried or seen this yummy recipe:
I needed two 1/2 sheet pans to roast the 2 & 1/2 pounds of plum tomatoes and 1 & 1/4 pounds of cherry tomatoes...this recipe took me quite and while and forever to clean up...but man oh man was it worth it!