I’ve made a delightful little treat for you today.
Actually, I made this delightful little treat for my son’s Fall Festival celebration at school last week. The celebration was scheduled for the morning, so instead of cupcakes, I made Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Muffins. I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to make some Halloween oriented treat like candy corn shaped cookies, or mummy, ghost or spider cupcakes as I have in the past, but these little muffins were a hit with the kids and there wasn’t a single one left over.
So what is a doughnut muffin? It’s basically cake doughnut batter baked in a muffin pan. The warm muffin is then dipped in melted butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar. When you bite into it, it tastes just like a cinnamon sugar cake doughnut. So, I figure you’re thinking one of two things right now. The first is, “Wow, that sounds delicious!” The second is, “So, you didn’t make cupcakes for a morning party because it was too much like dessert, but you made these buttery sugary treats instead?” Yes. Yes I did. I think we all know that doughnuts, Danish pastries, muffins and quick breads are just dessert masquerading as breakfast food. Perfect for a morning kid party.
Why are doughnut muffins such a wonderful idea? Most people never think of making doughnuts at home, yet make muffins frequently. Not everyone has a doughnut pan and it’s much easier to fill a muffin pan than it is to fill a doughnut pan. Speaking of filling the pan, take a good look at my pictures. When I was setting up my little muffins on the tray for the treat table, one of the moms said, “Look how cute! They look like mushrooms!” (Yep, that’s EXACTLY what I was going for, now missing my little ghost/spider/mummy cupcakes even more.) If you don’t want your muffins to look like little mushrooms (as cute as that may be) don’t fill your pan as much as I did. The original recipe recommends filling them completely to the top and I held back just a bit from that and pulled some of the batter out of each cup, but they still rose higher than I expected and ran over.
Thankfully, the lip of the muffin (mushroom?) did not stick to the pan and they all popped out beautifully. I got 40 mini muffins from this recipe. If I had put a bit less batter in each cup, I think I would have yielded a solid 48 or possibly more. Now, the picture of the baked muffins looks a bit over baked and I could have easily cut the baking time, but I think I was looking for a more golden appearance on top? I forgot that it’s the cinnamon sugar topping that actually adds all that color. I was worried that I would have to start over but to my surprise, they were still moist and yummy (phew!) I’m sharing the pictures so that you know what to look for. I would probably bake them about two minutes less and not let them get quite so golden around the edges next time.
You might have noticed that there IS a definite bonus to the larger muffin cap. You get more surface area for the buttery cinnamon sugar topping.
That’s a bonus worth thinking about…
Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Muffins
For the doughnuts:
- 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup + 1/3 cup whole milk see note below, this is half of a 1 and 2/3 cups measurement
- 2 Tablespoons buttermilk
For the topping:
- 8 Tablespoons one stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin tin(s) or spray with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. (I used my stand mixer.)
- Beat in eggs, one at a time until just combined.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.
- Combine the milk and the buttermilk in a liquid measuring cup.
- Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk mixture to the butter starting with 1/4 of the flour mixture, followed by 1/3 of the milk mixture, repeating until you end with the last 1/4 of the flour mixture. Stir after each addition. (I still used my stand mixer for this step.)
- Mix just until well combined and smooth, taking care not to overbeat.
- Scoop batter into tins and fill about 2/3 full.
- Bake on middle rack for 10-15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs and edges are just lightly golden.
- Melt the butter in a bowl.
- Combine the cinnamon and sugar in another bowl.
- While the muffins are still warm, dip the tops of each into the butter, then roll into the sugar. You may also choose to coat every side of the muffin in the butter and sugar mixture, but I found just dipping the tops was perfect for me.
Some of the measurements may look strange because they are half the original recipe. If you want to make a larger batch, this recipe definitely doubles. I made mini muffins and I'm glad I did. They are sweet and a bit rich, so mini muffins offer some sense of portion control. You can make them in regular size muffin tins, just adjust your time accordingly. I would check them at 15 to see how they are progressing, but they may take up to 20-25 minutes. Store covered at room temperature. I baked mine the night before and they were still great the next day.
Recipe from Fine Cooking
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