Dessert Comes First

An obsession with dessert and other unabashed opinions of a food writer

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Doughnut Muffins

posted by in Recipes

doughnut-muffin_rs.JPG

I’ve made doughnuts, and I’ve made muffins; but I haven’t yet made doughnut muffins – or to put it more clearly, muffins that taste like doughnuts. Whether you spell ‘doughnut’ as such or ‘donut,’ this ring-shaped snack food is a culinary testament to the glory of deep-frying — indeed, throw anything edible in an abyss of hot oil and its deliciousness factor jacks up several notches.

But deep-frying (even frying!) is a lot of work, and sometimes I’m not in the mood to knead dough, wait for it to rise, then shape, let rise again, fiddle with the temperature of oil, and (finally!) cook the damn things. My appetite is as impatient as I am and when it’s feeding time, it’s feeding time. As I’ve detailed in another post, frying is an art form that comes about only through practice and untold liters of cooking oil.

a baker's breakfast

Wanting to bake something for breakfast today but not entirely sold on making yet another batch of scones or biscuits, I come across a recipe that’s as intriguing as it is tempting — doughnut muffins: muffins that taste like doughnuts. Ooh la la. I make it to my kitchen in record time and soon, the flour is flying.

Remarkably easier to make than regular doughnuts, these doughnut muffins are made like a cake: butter and sugar beaten together, eggs mixed in one at a time, and then the wet and dry ingredients are added alternately in five additions. This method, also known as the creaming method, produces a crumb that’s soft and cake-like with a pleasingly crunchy top.

In my baking, I discover that nutmeg (alone, and not in tandem with other spices) is the “secret ingredient” in making anything taste old-fashioned, especially doughnuts. It’s responsible for that great flavor that “I can’t quite put my finger on.”

Using a large ice cream scooper, I place the muffins in a regular muffin pan, filling it until the batter is even with the rim of the cup. If you like muffins with a domed top just like the commercial ones, then mound most of the batter in the middle.

cinnamon and sugar

These muffins don’t really give off any heady aromas while baking, no hint of the lip-smacking goodness that awaits. They’re done when they’re firm to the touch. I’m supposed to wait until the muffins are “cool enough to handle,” but because I possess what I’ve been told are “asbestos hands,” I pick the muffins up as soon as they come out of the oven and dip them into a waiting bowl of melted butter. I try brushing on the butter with a pastry brush but the butter doesn’t adhere as well as just dunking the muffin in. It’s this lustrous glaze that satisfyingly mimics the “just fried” taste of a regular doughnut. A quick smooch with the cinnamon-sugar mixture and these babies are ready to go.

Pairing it with my homemade latte and perched on my favorite stool, I enjoy this doughnut muffin, its buttery crumb merging with the steam that escapes from its divine depths. Obviously, I can’t mistake this for a real doughnut, not even cake doughnuts (like what Dunkin’ Donuts sells), but for a baker’s breakfast, it’s immensely gratifying.

As I’m cleaning up, Boo comes down all dressed for school. She regards the cooling doughnut muffins with a glare and when told what they are, tells me, “You don’t make scones anymore, Mom,” her tone as accusing as any 5-year-old can muster.

donut muffin

“Just try them honey, you might like them.” Picking up one of the two lone muffins that I’ve yet to dunk in the cinnamon-sugar coating, she nibbles tentatively. “Hmm, yum, mom!” Her face brightens considerably. “But I still like your scones better,” she tells me, her mouth full of crumbs.

Want the recipe? It’s right here.

31 Responses to “Doughnut Muffins”

  • These look delicious Lori! Boo and Bin are so lucky to have you whipping up these great breakfasts for them…I have been sadly amiss in that area!

    After tasting your scones I can so understand Boo’s clamoring for them :) They are truly one of the best I have tried!

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  • I’m with Boo and Joey — your scones are unforgettable! But I wouldn’t at all mind having these doughnut muffins for breakfast, either.

    Once Boo’s friends at school learn about her baker mom, they’ll all be wanting to come over and “play!” And how I wish I could be one of them… ;-)

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  • “asbestos hands”? i laughed out loud–thanks for the chuckle (and yummy recipe)!

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  • your doughnut muffins looks even better from the recipe. Can you suggest a substitute for cinnamon-sugar mixture? — I’m not a fan of cinnamon :(

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  • I have been absolutely craving donuts since last Saturday when my boyfriend went out to buy one for me and came home with breakfast sandwiches instead. Gorgeous photos and it’s nice to hear that these are “daughter” approved.

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  • These look delicious and heavenly. A combination of what I like to have in the morning. I will definitely make some of these and also try making your scones. Those look so delicious as well. Thanks for the recipes of both.

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  • I must make these in the morning. They look amazing!
    There’s nothing like the raw honesty of a child, eh?

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  • I’ve made something similar is the past and this post reminds me that I must make them again soon!

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  • I must try these! Where do you get your buttermilk?

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  • doughnut muffins: muffins that taste like doughnuts. Look so delicious. I must try to make those delicious looking doughnut? Hmm muffins?… DOUGHNUT MUFFINS :)

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  • I just made these for breakfast and messed them up, and they were still delicious! I will try again when I’m less sleep deprived. I tried to halve the recipe, which was fine until I got distracted and still put all 4 eggs in! LOL. Anyway, for a variation I added chocolate chunks in half the batter and left the cinnamon sugar off those ones and they were still awesome. Yours look beautifuk!

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  • Those look amazing, Lori, and I’m pretty sure they taste fabulous, too. I was thinking of making apple butter or orange marmalade centers (jelly doughnut muffin!); would that work?

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  • wow. looks yummy.

    i’m a newbie baker it would be nice if you could share some suppliers/stores where you buy muffin pans and other baking stuff.

    thanks!

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  • This was a wonderfully fun post to read this morning,at work with my coffee and yogurt (alas, no doughuts or even muffins!) I enjoyed it!

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  • Extremely easy to make. Coworkers loved them but I did not like the flavor at all.

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  • I did make these yesterday and they are wonderful!!! Thanks for sharing such a terrific recipe!

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  • Hi lori! Where do you buy your buttermilk and nutmeg here in Manila? You have a wonderful site!!! Can you adopt me? hehe =P

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    Maja Reply:

    I just bought a bottle of whole nutmeg at Gourdo’s because I like using it in my apple pie and cream based sauces. One bottle has about 11 nutmeg seeds (is this the proper term?). There’s no expiration date written on the bottle but since whole nutmeg is hard to come by I bought it anyway. I’m just wondering what is the usual expiration date for this?

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  • i made these today and they turned out great! they even look so much like those in your pics, lori, so i think i did a great job :D

    they’re best served freshly baked, i think; and to anyone else who would give the recipe a try, i suggest that you do the butter+cinnamon-sugar coating just before serving. yum!

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  • WAAH LORI, YOU MAKE ME HUNGRY.

    IF I EVER VISIT YOU, I WANT THESE MUFFINS!

    :)

    Also, I posted about this on Serious Eats. Yaaay? Your cute muffins stole my heart.

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  • i made these yesterday and they turned out great! they even looked so much like lori’s, so i think I did a great job with it :D

    they’re also great with tea; we had ours with plain passion fruit tea from singapore and it was a real treat. really yummy! i use chocolate too often in baking that it’s always refreshing to find recipes that are great without it :)

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  • Those look so delicious! What can I substitute for buttermilk in your recipe?

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  • are these like those sugar-free muffins in gloria jeans? my friend just gave me one and it’s like a cinnabon-flavored muffins. they’re good but they were dry a bit…

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  • So glad I found your website. I love it!
    Eileen

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  • Ana5678: I wouldn’t omit the buttermilk, it’s an important component in the tenderness of these muffins. Substitutes are best employed sparingly. If you insist however, you can replace the buttermilk with yogurt or sour cream.

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  • These look amazing! I’m off to the kitchen – you’ve inspired to bake something right now. :)

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  • these are eye-popping. what would i give to have a mother who bakes like you. i’m banned from using the oven, much less deep frying things.

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  • This made me hungry…plus I am a sweets lover!

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  • I think I should buy a deep fryer just to make these.. The pictures honestly, truly made my mouth WATER. Unbelievable!
    -Sylvia

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  • Great reading, keep up the great posts.

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  • I made these awhile ago and I found the texture really rubbery and dry and the flavour was pretty lacklustre. I think I did something wrong considering what everyone else is saying on here!

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