Buttery, sweet muffin tops are the best part of these simple but ever so delicious cinnamon sugar doughnut muffins. Perfect for breakfast or snack!

Growing up, my mom used to make these tasty little muffins all the time. They are a classic!

Definitely more of a muffin and less of a doughnut, the “doughnut” in the recipe name is a nod to the delightful buttery cinnamon and sugar top.

cinnamon sugar doughnut muffin on white napkin with crumbs around napkin

Super Simple Muffin Batter

The batter for these muffins is very straightforward. Dry ingredients + wet ingredients = muffin magic.

Lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, the fairly basic vanilla muffin is as simple as you can get. And that’s a good thing!

If you’re looking for a whole grain variation, these muffins work quite well using whole wheat flour in place of all-purpose flour. I recommend using white whole wheat flour for a lighter texture. See the note in the recipe for a few more details!

mixing dry ingredients into wet ingredients for doughnut muffins

No Muffin Liners

For these cinnamon sugar doughnut muffins, it’s best to bake them right in the muffin tin sans any paper liners.

Because the tops of the muffins get a dunk in butter and cinn-sugar goodness after they bake, the liner makes it harder to get full coverage of the topping. It just makes everything messy and complicated.

So. No liner. More peace. Better muffin topping. K?

scooping muffin batter into greased muffin tin

It’s All About the Topping

These muffins would be tasty but average without the cinnamon and sugar topping.

After the muffins have baked and cooled (mostly), dip the top of the muffin in melted butter and then roll it around in the cinnamon and sugar.

If you want to go full-out-glutton, you can dip the entire muffin in butter and then plaster cinnamon and sugar to the whole of the exterior. {This approach, while enticing, gets a little messy for me and my house, so I stick with just sugaring the tops to save me and my floors some anxiety.}

dipping baked muffin into butter and then dipping in cinnamon and sugar

Tasty Little Muffin

These cinnamon sugar doughnut muffins stand the test of time. They were a favorite of mine growing up, and now my kids love them, too.

There’s nothing fancy, frilly, or fussy about them. But they are a testament that sometimes it’s the simple things in life that bring the most happiness. Try one of these warm with a glass of cold milk and that’s basically after school snack heaven.

Mini Muffin Note: if you have a hankering for mini muffins, this muffin batter works great baked in a mini muffin tin. The baked and dipped muffins end up like little doughnut holes. Irresistible! It’s impossible to eat just one!

half of doughnut muffin on white napkin

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cinnamon sugar doughnut muffin on white napkin

Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Muffins

4.92 stars (47 ratings)

Ingredients

Muffins:

  • 1 ¾ cups (249 g) all-purpose flour (see note)
  • ½ cup (106 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (53 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk or buttermilk
  • cup vegetable/canola oil or melted butter (see note)

Topping:

  • ½ cup (106 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) melted butter

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Set aside. (See note for mini muffin tin.)
  • For the muffins: in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, milk (or buttermilk), oil (or melted butter).
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until just combined and no dry streaks remain. Don't over mix.
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling the cups 2/3 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the tops spring back lightly to the touch.
  • Let the muffins cool for a few minutes before removing them from the muffin tin to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • For the topping: in a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon.
  • Dip the top of the muffins in the melted butter. Roll the top of each muffin in the cinnamon and sugar until evenly coated with cinnamon and sugar.

Notes

Mini Muffins: this batter can be baked in a mini muffin tin. Check the baking time around 7-9 minutes. The recipe will yield around 36 mini muffins.
Flour: these muffins do well with whole wheat flour; I highly recommend white whole wheat flour (red whole wheat flour can make the muffins dense). If using whole wheat flour measure lightly so the flour isn’t packed into the measuring cup.
Butter: if using melted butter in the batter (instead of oil), use 6 tablespoons.
Serving: 1 muffin, Calories: 274kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 33mg, Sodium: 244mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 22g
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Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe