Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Doughnut Muffins, our most popular post ever!

As part of our 12 days of Christmas recipes, we really could not let the season pass without sending you this wonderful recipe.  It is by far the most viewed page out of all 250 recipes we've published.  Nothing we've shared with you comes close.  And with the most comments we've ever gotten on any post, this is clearly a winner.  It is off the charts in another way too.  These muffins are absolutely, insanely delicious.  They taste like the best doughnut you ever ate.  Rolled in butter and cinnamon and sugar, they are, my friend Luka (aged about 12), messy to make but oh what fun to eat.  I think they might be the perfect Christmas morning treat while sitting around the tree.  Here's the back story for you. 

Food Network has been running a series called “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”.  I was pretty sure they’d run out of “best things” fairly quickly—but the show divvies them up into categories.  So one is about the best thing with bacon, the best pizza, the best barbecue—you get the picture.  Well one night, while watching the horribly named “The Best Thing I ever ate—Snack attack”,  Candace Nelson, who owns 6 California bakeries called “Sprinkles”, waxed on and on about a “Doughnut Muffin” she’d discovered at Downtown Bakery and Creamery in Healdsberg, CA.        
        My personal Pastry Chef, Andrew Phillips, had taken a run at doughnuts in the not-too-distant past.  He was underwhelmed by the results.  When the Doughnut Muffin presented itself, he was intrigued.

But “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” doesn’t offer up recipes.   So it was off to the search engines and the quick discovery that “Fine Cooking”, the magazine I wrote about last month--(go to, had the recipe for the Doughnut Muffin dating all the way back to January 2001!  This was accompanied by a really detailed article by Kathleen Stewart so Andrew was in business.
        What I know about “Fine Cooking” is that every recipe is triple tested.  Actually, quadruple-tested, according to what Laurie Buckle, their Editor in Chief and my instructor at Food Writing Boot Camp, told me.  They actually test every recipe three times, then give it to someone who has never laid eyes on it to cook.  Only if that session is successful does the recipe get a place in the book.  So going into making these superb muffins, we knew we could count on it. 
        These muffins really do capture the essence of a doughnut.  The sugar and cinnamon coating helps but even the cake has a doughnut consistency and texture.  They’re truly wonderful and a great thing to whip up on a weekend morning.  Here is the recipe:

Recipe for Doughnut Muffins:

For the muffins:
12 oz. (24 Tbs.) unsalted butter, warmed to room temperature
1-3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 lb. 11 oz. (6 cups) all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1-2/3 cups milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
For dipping:
8 oz. (16 Tbs.) unsalted butter; more as needed
2 cups sugar
2 Tbs. ground cinnamon

To make the muffins
Put a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. In a stand mixer or a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just mixed in. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Combine the milk and buttermilk. With a wooden spoon, mix a quarter of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Then mix in a third of the milk mixture. Continue mixing in the remaining dry and wet ingredients alternately, ending with the dry. Mix until well combined and smooth, but don't overmix. Grease and flour a standard-size muffin tin. Scoop enough batter into each tin so that the top of the batter is even with the rim of the cup, about 1/2 cup. (A #16 ice-cream scoop gives you the perfect amount.) Bake the 
muffins until firm to the touch, 30 to 35 min.

To Finish the Doughnut Muffins....

Melt the butter for the dipping mixture. Combine the sugar and cinnamon. When the muffins are just cool enough to handle, remove them from the tin, dip them into or brush them all over with the melted butter, and then roll them in the cinnamon sugar.

Serve while still warm.


  1. I will make this soon. Can I have Andrew's autograph?

  2. Monte,

    This is cruel and unusual punishment. I asked Andrew NEVER to bring them to work again and now here is the receipe. Of course even I might have to try and make these oh so yummy diet busters. My butt and thighs are not thanking you.

  3. Please just exhibit some interest in portion control and you'll do fine!

  4. These outrageously delicious muffins are eveything I love--muffins, doughnuts, cinnamon, but not fried. Mea culpa, I ate them both myself!

  5. Wow, these look awesome! I'm going to make some this week and while eating them, will assure myself that it's the healthier alternative to doughnuts. Notice I said healthier and not healthy. 'Cause I know I'm going to love them! I'll let you know how they work out.

  6. I saw that same episode and immediately wanted to make these muffins. Thanks so much for posting the recipe! I am going to make these soon!!

  7. Wow. You certainly got my attention on this one. My kids are going to LOVE making and eating these.

  8. My son just bragged about these muffins to 2 of my friends and they wanted the recipe. I directed them to your site with the warning the muffins are dangerous. They are too good.

  9. Thank you all so much. You might be interested in knowing that this is the most popular post of everything that's been published so far. Stay tuned for Coconut Cupcakes.

  10. just made the Doughnut Muffins and they came out perfect! SOOOOO yummy!! It was very easy but a little messy...But so worth it! Thanx for the great recipe!!

  11. this looks amazing we'll make it in few days

  12. Luka, So glad you found the page! And I can't wait to hear what you think o of these. Monte

  13. they are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    a little messy
    i was also suprised at how much it made

  14. Luka! So glad you liked them. Yes, there's a lot of sugar and cinnamon to make a mess but so worth it when you get to taste them after you're done.

  15. These are just EVIL. So oto the Pure Evil board they go!