Sugar Donut Muffins



One of my sons had a friend sleep over the other night. He’s a huge fan of my baking, so I knew I had to make something really good for breakfast. I decided on Cinnamon Bun Loaf. Doesn’t that sound good? Well it wasn’t. In fact it was a TOTAL BUST! I couldn’t believe it; I had to throw the whole thing away. I actually should have known better since the batter contained yeast, and never once in my life have I successfully cooked with yeast. Each and every time I’ve tried it a disaster has ensued, and this time was no exception. The bread smelled great when it was cooking, but the batter never rose, and as a result I ended up with this dense, seemingly undercooked slab of disgustion. I know that’s not a word, but my husband uses it all the time to describe anything utterly gross and it makes me laugh.

Well, so much for my baking failure.  Thankfully it was quickly followed by a baking success. I made a batch of sugar donut muffins and all was right with the world. I had renewed faith in my baking ability and the kids enjoyed them. Actually I should qualify that – two kids enjoyed them. Our guest and one of my sons. One of my other sons took one bite, smiled, then looked at the muffin, noticed an infinitesmal speck of fresh nutmeg and promptly rejected the rest of the muffin. “What’s this brown stuff in the muffin?”, he demanded. Now my eyes are pretty good and I could barely see the speck of nutmeg, but I guess his eyes are better than mine because the rest of his muffin was met with flat-out rejection. Once he made his proclamation, two other boys jumped on the bandwagon and rejected theirs as well. This is what I live with everyday. It’s crazy. Who rejects a warm, fresh muffin whose top is rolled in sugar? Only someone insane and it looks like I produced three of them.

The directions call for rolling the entire muffin in sugar.  I thought that was a little too over the top, so I just decided to cover the muffin tops in sugar.    They were plenty sweet for me.  I’ll definitely make these again.

Sugar Donut Muffins
Recipe from Nicole at Baking Bites

3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking power
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk (low fat is fine)
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar, for rolling

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a muffin tin with cooking spray or vegetable oil.

In a large bowl, beat together sugar and egg until light in color.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Pour into egg mixture and stir to combine. Pour in vegetable oil, milk and vanilla extract.

Divide batter evenly into 10 muffin cups or ~24 mini-muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.

Bake for 15-18 minutes for standard-sized muffins or 11-12 minutes for mini-muffins, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

While muffins are baking, melt butter and pour remaining sugar into a small bowl.

When muffins are done, lightly brush the top of each with some melted butter, remove from the pan and roll in sugar. Cool on a wire rack.

Yield:  ~10 standard muffins or ~24 mini-muffins

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109 comments to Sugar Donut Muffins

  • Ryan

    Have you or anyone tried making these vegan? Egg replacer, earth balance and soy, almond or rice milk? Any luck?

  • StylishCuisine

    @Ryan – I have not tried to make these vegan, but would love to hear from anyone who has tried.

  • YumYum

    Can you add chocolate chips to these?

  • StylishCuisine

    @YumYum – I have never tried to add chocolate chips, because I don’t think the muffins need them, but if you try, please let me know how they turn out!

  • […] what you use to dip them in before rolling in sugar, cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar.   Normally the recipe calls for melted butter , however I have another idea that works just […]

  • Erin

    Perfect treat for a snow day! Easy and the kids loved helping. Will be making these again, thank you!

  • Janine

    Could you replace the nutmeg with cinnamon?

  • StylishCuisine

    @Janine – You can certainly swap the nutmeg for cinnamon, but the muffin will end up with a completely different taste. I think the nutmeg in this recipe is very important, but that might just be a personal preference. If you end up trying the recipe with cinnamon, please let me know how you like it!

  • Katie K.

    YOU GUYS – I made these into rainbow colored mini-muffins and they were awesome!!!! I followed the recipe exactly as written and then separated the batter in to 5 bowls and dyed them yellow, purple, red, blue and green using food coloring. Such a cool treat. My kids loved them. I really think they would be a hit at a party or if you had company visiting. Thanks for sharing your yummy recipe!

  • StylishCuisine

    @Katie – you rock! Would love to see a photo if you have one. They sound incredible.

  • Katie K.

    OK — took me a little bit to figure it out, but I think I’ve got a pic to share…

    (We’ve eaten half of them already!)


  • Katie K.

    P.S. When I got to the end of filling my muffin tin, I had a few scoops left of each colored batter, so I layered a couple colors in each of the last few muffin cups. Those ones turned out pretty cool too:

  • StylishCuisine

    @Katie – they are GORGEOUS!

  • Janine

    Well, I couldn’t resist trying this recipe. I did substitute cinnamon for the nutmeg. They turned out great, tasted yummy. But of course I am a lover of cinnamon. I even put cinnamon mixed in with the sugar for rolling them in. Thought of sprinkling chopped nuts over the top but not this time. Next time I will try the nutmeg.

  • Katie K.

    Hey – thanks! Thank you for inspiring me with your recipe!

  • StylishCuisine

    @Janine – I’m so glad that the recipe worked out with cinnamon. Thanks for letting me know.

  • […] I tried to keep myself busy and we were also in need of a sweet tooth snack so I whipped up some Sugar Donut Muffins that I found as I was catching up on my Pinterest. We later re-named these yummy things as […]

  • Anthea

    Did anyone ever do the vegan ones? I can bake but my daughters all turned vegan on me and I have no idea what to substitute..?

  • Amelia

    I made these tonight and let me say…DELICIOUS!!! I added cinnamon to the sugar topping. So wonderful. I have a little boy who does not like chocolate and these were a great treat for him. Printing this and keeping it for the future.

  • StylishCuisine

    @Amelia – so glad your son enjoyed them! They’re perfect for non-chocolate lovers.

  • Megan

    I made these tonight but I didn’t have any eggs so I substituted it with a mashed frozen banana. It turned out wonderful!I had to bake them a little longer but they are so yummy!

  • StylishCuisine

    @Megan – thanks for sharing that you had success substituting a banana for the eggs. I’ll have to give that a try!

  • Britney

    Have you tried using a glaze instead of the sugar topping?

  • StylishCuisine

    @Britney – I have never tried glazing these donuts. I always make them with the sugar topping. If you try a glaze please let me know how it works. -Diane

  • jen

    We did chocolate chips and they’re great!

  • StylishCuisine

    @Jen – thanks for letting me know! I’ll have to give them a try myself.

  • Colleen

    I just made these gluten free and they’re great, seriously GREAT! :o) I added a about 2 tablespoons more flour to the batter. It was a bit too runny; which happens with gluten free flour sometimes, but the two extra tablespoons of flour worked perfectly!

    Someone had mentioned their muffins not being so sweet with the gluten free flour and I came across the same “problem” (nothing a little butter and extra sugar on them couldn’t fix)! Haha next time I’ll have to add a bit more sugar to the batter.

    The gluten free flour mix I used was:
    1 cup almond flour
    1 cup white rice flour
    1 cup sorgum flour
    1 cup tapioca flour
    1 cup cornstarch

    It’s a mixture from a gluten free cook book my mum has. (NOTE: That mix makes way more flour mixture than you need for this recipe!)

    Thanks for this recipe! My family is devouring them as I type! :o)

  • StylishCuisine

    @Colleen – thanks so much for sharing your gluten-free tips! I’m so glad that they’re great as gluten-free muffins as well.

  • […] it is about a crunchy sugar coating on top of a delightful dessert, but when I saw this recipe for Sugar Donut Muffins, I made a point of waking up extra early this past Saturday to bake them for my sweety.  Nothing […]

  • Hello @Ryan and @StylishCuisine …
    I just tried a Vegan version and they taste great! In place of the egg, I used a 4oz cup of Motts unsweetened Applesauce and subbed the milk for unsweetened Almond Milk. I also spread Earth balance on top of the muffins when they came out in stead of melted butter.

    Additionally … I injected one muffin with Red Raspberry preserves to make it taste more like a Jelly Donut. I’ll be playing with that version further to perfect it.
    Thanks for the great recipe,
    Hello Sisters

  • StylishCuisine

    Thanks so much for the Vegan tips.

  • […] walks on the beach with Jim :)I also spent my free time trying out a new muffin recipe found via this post.  I amped up the flavor with a bit more spice to suit my taste and the result was quite […]

  • I made a non-dairy version… using Trader Joe’s 100% White Wheat flour, organic cane sugar, coconut oil, a pastured egg (thus not vegan), and almond milk as substitutes.

    The batter was pretty thick but not unlike other muffins I’ve made before. The flavor was good but I like wheat flour. Very hearty and weren’t too dense. I thought all the substitutes worked well. Thanks for sharing. We’ll be making this one again!

  • Nicole

    These taste just like cake donuts! I used a flax “egg” and a mix of almond/rice milk, and used a blend of brown sugar & agave. They were topped off with powdered sugar. They are delicious and satisfy the donut craving wonderfully! Thank you for this recipe!

  • I love this recipe! I’m adding it to my book! They look so cute and they taste so good!

  • […] and I did some more baking today.  This time we followed a recipe I found on Pinterest for these muffins.  The original recipe calls them Sugar Donut Muffins, but we’re calling them Nutmeg Muffins […]

  • Sarah

    I just made these using Gluten Free Pantry all purpose flour and they turned out beautifully! I sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar as others suggested and my boys thought they should be called snickerdoodle doughnut muffins.

  • Mel

    Just made these and they turned out beautifully!! I’d love to do it again using a mini muffin tin….super cute! They’re cooling now. Can’t wait to taste it!

  • Col

    has anyone tried filling them with jelly?

  • StylishCuisine

    I would love to hear how they are filled with jelly!

  • TheKitchenWench

    So I was GOING to make these using my mini muffin pan, but I couldn’t FIND my mini muffin pan, BUT in my travels I found my mini baked doughnut pan. Fate? Call it what you will. So I had enough batter to fill it twice, and to make 2 dozen mini doughnuts. As I was about half-way through shaking the first half of my perfect little doughnuts in granulated sugar, it dawned on me that I could use POWDERED sugar instead, and have my own homemade version of my guilty little pleasure, the Hostess Donette. OMG. These are better than Hostess, because I gobbled one down right out of the powdered sugar, while the doughnut was still warm. I have a fancy smancy oven that has lots of different controls on it, so I baked them on the “cake” mode. In my doughnut pan, they took exactly 17 minutes to bake. You can bet I will be making these again. These are delicious!

  • StylishCuisine

    @KitchenWench – wow, powdered doughnuts! They sound amazing. Thanks for the great suggestion.

  • Kristy

    I came across your recipe on pinterest while I was waiting for my nephew to arrive this morning. I didn’t have breakfast plans for him, so I decided these looked so good that I would go ahead and give them a try. I made them, ate 2 and put it in my recipe book! Yum!! My 9 year old devoured his and said it DOES taste like a sugar donut. Thank you for this recipe!

  • StylishCuisine

    @Kristy – thanks for the lovely comment. I’m so glad you enjoyed the muffins!

  • DeNean

    I don’t see where this tastes like a donut, but they are cute little muffins. They are good.

  • Ami

    Super easy and a big hit with both myself and the hubby! Thanks! I too would love to know how the jelly filling handled/tasted – anyone try?

  • looks so tasty. I have one of those flip open muffin makers. kind of like a george forman grill but with little cups inside. cheesy but it works and the kids love em.

  • Kar-lay

    Mmmmm….these are delicious! My boyfriend loved them….will def be making again!

  • Josie-Lynn

    I made these in mini donut tins…so they were actually DONUTS!! OMG. We loved them. 🙂

  • Kim

    I have made these to serve to a large groups. I used cinnamon instead of nutmeg. I think they taste like French toast so we drizzled some syrup on them and they were fabulous.

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