Doughnut Muffins

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Sweet, cake-like and scented with cinnamon and nutmeg, these muffins taste remarkably like doughnuts.

doughnut muffins

Sweet, cake-like and scented with cinnamon and nutmeg, these muffins taste remarkably like doughnuts. Kids love them because they’re deliciously plain, and adults love them because they’re just plain delicious. Unlike doughnuts, they’re baked not deep-fried so you can feel more virtuous eating them. They’re a perfect accompanient to coffee, tea, or milk and if you need one more reason to try them, they’re easy to make with ingredients you probably have on hand.

What you’ll need to make doughnut muffins

ingredients you'll need

How to make them

Begin by combining the milk and lemon juice. This is essentially making your own buttermilk (since you only need 1 cup), which reacts with the baking soda in this recipe to give these muffins a nice, open crumb.

Milk and lemon

Next, combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. All that nutmeg is what makes these muffins taste like doughnuts.

dry ingredients

Whisk to combine and then set aside.

how to make doughnut muffins

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, a few minutes.

how to make doughnut muffins

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined.

how to make doughnut muffins

Mix in the vanilla extract.

how to make doughnut muffins

Add a third of the dry ingredients.

dry and wet ingredients

Mix well, then add half of the milk mixture.

batter

Continue alternating the dry and wet ingredients until the batter is well combined. It will be quite thick.

batter

Scoop the batter into a greased muffin pan, filling the tins to the rim.

how to make doughnut muffins

Bake until firm to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the toppings: melt the butter and whisk the cinnamon and sugar together.

how to make doughnut muffins

When cool enough to handle, brush the muffins with melted butter and roll in the cinnamon-sugar.

how to make doughnut muffins

Serve warm out of the oven or reheated in the microwave. I especially love them slathered with jam.

how to make doughnut muffins

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Doughnut Muffins

Sweet, cake-like and scented with cinnamon and nutmeg, these muffins taste remarkably like doughnuts.

Servings: 12 muffins
Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

For Muffin Batter

  • 1 cup milk (low-fat is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For Muffin Topping

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Spray a standard muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine the milk and lemon juice in a measuring cup or bowl and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the vanilla.
  5. Add a third of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix on low speed to combine. Add half of the milk mixture and mix well. Mix in another third of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk mixture, and finally the remaining flour mixture. Mix until evenly combined but don't over-mix. The batter will be very thick.
  6. Scoop the batter evenly into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup to the rim. (I like to use an ice cream scoop with a wire scraper for this.) Bake the muffins until firm to the touch, 25-30 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.
  7. In the meantime, prepare the toppings: Melt the butter in a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk the cinnamon and sugar together.
  8. When the muffins are cool enough to handle, working one by one, use a pastry brush to paint the top of each muffin with butter, then roll in the cinnamon-sugar. If you have cinnamon-sugar left over, sprinkle muffins again. Serve warm, or cool on a rack and wrap airtight. Store at room temperature. Reheat muffins briefly in microwave for that fresh out of the oven taste.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (12 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 muffin
  • Calories: 342
  • Fat: 16 g
  • Saturated fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 46 g
  • Sugar: 21 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 234 mg
  • Cholesterol: 70 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Please, PLEASE make these. I was looking for something to bake out of boredom and was hopping between this and my normal banana bread. I’m SO happy I decided to go out of the box and make these muffins. While they were a bit crumbly, I didn’t mind. The nutmeg works perfectly in this muffin and that’s coming from someone who’s not the biggest nutmeg fan. And DO NOT skip out on the cinnamon sugar topping, it makes the muffin. My family loved these and consumed soooooo many. I’m definitely going to make them for the next party I go to (when we can all safely get together, of course.)

    • — Lindsey on April 9, 2021
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  • These Doughnut Muffins were definitely a hit at my house! Will be making them again very soon. Taste so fresh! Followed the recipe exactly and they turned out great! Making homemade desserts are soooo much better than buying them. Jenn has made me a much better baker and cook. Her recipes have helped me get excited about making food for my family that I know they will love!

    • — Debra on January 28, 2021
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  • In a word – delicious! These freeze well so easy, so quick to pull out of the freezer for breakfast.
    Anything with cinnamon is so tasty.

    Lois

    • — Lois on January 28, 2021
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  • My daughter loves donuts, so trying these was a no-brainer! They have a nice texture and taste best when they’re warm.

    • — MaryEllen on January 28, 2021
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  • These are SO GOOD! My daughter loves a cinnamon muffin that I have made for years and requested it. Wouldn’t you know, I couldn’t find the recipe! I was almost in a panic because my daughter likes those muffins so much. Jenn to the rescue! I came across this recipe and wasn’t sure if the muffins would make the cut with my daughter or not – she’s quite stubborn and not easily fooled. Success! Not only did she like them – she liked them more than the originals that she had loved. Whew! The only problem was the recipe only made a dozen. LOL

    • — Terri on January 28, 2021
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  • So delicious. A huge hit in our family. Thanks for the tasty recipe. I did not make any changes, or substitutions. Worked perfectly

    • — sandy on December 10, 2020
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  • Absolutely delish! I followed the recipe exactly and the texture turned out amazing. I think the taste of nutmeg was just a smidge strong so I might try 1.5 teaspoons instead of 2 teaspoons next time. Thanks for another winner, Jenn!

    • — Cat on October 25, 2020
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  • Another great recipe! Followed exactly and had no issues. Good size, great texture and overall yummy! A glaze topping would be delicious too! Thanks for another winner Jenn!,

    • — Stacy on September 30, 2020
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  • Hi, my family is not a fan of butter (I know, what’s wrong with them?!). Could I sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon on before baking? or substitute oil for butter (which seems weird here), or maybe just use less butter and see if I can get away with it?

    • — Rachel on September 24, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Rachel, are you just referring to the butter that tops the muffins? If so, you could probably get away with just sprinkling with them cinnamon and sugar. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on September 24, 2020
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  • Just pulled mine out of the oven and I, too, had an overflow problem with a few of the muffins. It was not bad, just a few drips, but I think it is simply from overfilling. The yield says 12, but I think it’s more like 12-14, depending on how much batter you end up with. I made these GF using King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour. Works perfectly, but I recommend weighing it (375g for this recipe).

    The mixing step is very important and I followed the instructions precisely – ended up with very tender muffins. Sublime! I think these would be wonderful in the mini size as it is a decadent and rich muffin – maybe too much so for standard size.

    I also ended up with pooled butter in the muffin tins and I did not grease the pan! I do not recommend leaving the muffins in the muffin pan, and these are not ‘pretty’ muffins. Like the pictures on this blog, there are inconsistencies in shape. Some came out domed, some a little flatter and expanded. These would be amazing with a light drizzle of vanilla or maple glaze.

    • — London on June 5, 2020
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  • Hi! Can you make the dough in the evening and make it the next morning?

    • — Emma Tanzer on May 6, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Emma, Unfortunately, it won’t work to refrigerate the batter as the muffins won’t rise well when you go to bake them. If you’d like, you can mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another and then combine them and proceed with the recipe when you’re ready to bake it.

      • — Jenn on May 6, 2020
      • Reply
  • I usually love your recipes. I made these over the weekend. Followed the directions except made into 48 minis and baked for 12 minutes. They were beautiful, the topping delish but muffin rather bland and flour taste. Texture was nice. Mixed reviews from guests. Have gone over the recipe to see where I went wrong but it was followed to a T. Other “donut muffin” recipes have you sugar the entire muffin but liked yours because it didn’t seem as messy. But thank you for your blog and excellent recipes.

    • — Barb Burkham on February 17, 2020
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  • I am not sure what happened…I followed the recipe but after about 10 min of baking they overflowed the muffin pan onto the bottom of the oven so I pulled them out to avoid smoking up my entire apartment. I was really looking forward to eating these!

    • — Christie on January 24, 2020
    • Reply
    • Oh my goodness, Christie – I’m so sorry you had trouble with these! They should not overflow. Did you by chance make any substitutions? Did you use a standard size muffin pan?

      • — Jenn on January 24, 2020
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  • Hi! Can these be made as mini muffins?

    • — Ali on October 13, 2019
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    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on October 13, 2019
      • Reply
  • Easy to make and tastes like doughnuts!

    • — Dedric on August 21, 2019
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  • Nice! My mother and daughter thought the topping looked too dark and not appetizing. I thought the taste was perfect. To each there own. Next time I may adjust the ratio of cinnamon to sugar to make them happy. Thanks for the recipe!

  • These turned out kind of dry for me, especially once the cooled all the way 🙁 The flavoring on top though is delicious!

  • This is a recipe that I had made with my children when they were small. Now I make them with my Granddaughters. I like the addition of the lemon! The texture of the muffin is wonderful and the taste is one that is hard to beat! They are best right out of the oven but can be warmed up and still taste great! Give this recipe a try, you won’t be disappointed!

    • — Connie Peterson
    • Reply
  • Super wonderful recipe. Defiantly are something you don’t want to serve cold as they tend to be a little drier. When we are out an about and don’t have the opportunity to heat them up we serve with a little butter! mmmmmm!

    • — Jordynn McMullen
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  • I’d been waiting for an occasion to make these with my three year old. Rainy Saturday morning was the time. The texture was outstanding – moist and light, fluffy crumb yet deliciously crisp top – but I found them super rich. There were pools of butter in each of the muffin compartments, under the muffin liners, which made me wonder: is all that butter really necessary? Still, a quite good recipe.

  • These look delicious except I am not a fan of nutmeg. Can I substitute cinnamon for nutmeg in this recipe? Or will it really change the whole doughnut concept?

    • Hi Lissa, they’ll taste slightly different but will still be delicious. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

  • I made a version of these when my kids were little. We loved them! When I saw this recipe I decided to make them to bring back memories. These are so good! I followed the recipe and like the addition of lemon juice. The only thing I do differently is I roll the entire muffin in butter and the sugar mixture. Yum!!

  • I made these and they were fantastic! I brought them to work and within seconds they were gone! Thanks for sharing this recipe 🙂

  • These were rather bland. The texture was amazing, but the only thing that kind of saved them was the sugar topping. I only added 1/2 t nutmeg and it felt a bit too strong (this is a personal preference). It seemed to me these muffins are a vehicle for jam, but don’t shine on their own.

    • — Deniza Constantinescu
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  • These muffins were perfect! Loved how easy they were to make and did taste like a doughnut and a muffin at the same time! This recipe is also very easy to cut in half if you only need a half dozen. I wouldn’t change a thing!

  • Easy to make, lovely light sponge, we devoured them! Lovely for a cooler and rainy weekend, thank you 😊

    • — Becky from the UK
    • Reply

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