Two fall favorites in one.
This pumpkin donut muffins recipe combines two great all and winter desserts (pumpkin muffins and donuts) into one amazing, easy treat. Rolled in cinnamon sugar for extra oomph.
About this Pumpkin Donut Muffins Recipe
Everyone loves donuts. Everyone loves muffins. Why not have both in one?
Moist pumpkin donut muffins rolled in cinnamon sugar are the best of both worlds: You get the texture and flavor of traditional spiced pumpkin donuts, but baked with the ease of a simple muffin tin to avoid deep-frying complexity or buying special equipment. Think of them as giant donut holes.
You’ll also like: Pecan Pumpkin Bread and Easy Apple Crisp
Why This Is a Pumpkin Donut Muffin
At first glance, this recipe may seem to lean in the direction of pumpkin bread — it is a spiced pumpkin batter baked in a muffin tin, after all. But the difference becomes clear in the finished product. These pumpkin donut muffins may look like muffins, but they have springy, slightly bready texture of a donut.
It is worth acknowledging the pros and, yes, cons of baking a donut.
Pros. Definitely more ease. Mix a batter, scoop into a greased muffin tin, bake, roll in cinnamon sugar. On the other hand, frying donuts means heating a sizable quantity oil to a fairly precise temperature, frying just a few at a time, draining them on paper towels, rolling in sugar, and then letting all that oil cool before disposing of it.
Cons. There is a slight trade-off in baking a donut instead of frying one. Very fresh, fried cake donuts get that amazing, deeply-colored crust on the exterior — that slightly craggy surface that encases the tender donut inside. Baked donuts do not develop that same crust. But rolling them in cinnamon sugar sure goes a long way toward compensating.
Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins: Recipe Notes
- Roll your pumpkin donut muffins in cinnamon sugar while they are warm enough to handle, and definitely before they cool. Do not let them cool on a cooling rack. The warmth and slight condensation from cooling them slightly in the muffin tins will help the cinnamon sugar adhere to the muffins.
- This recipe makes about one dozen muffins, give or take a couple depending on the size of your muffin tin.
Can you freeze these pumpkin muffins?
You can freeze these donut muffins easily once baked and cooled. Just skip the cinnamon-sugar step before freezing and roll them in cinnamon sugar once defrosted.
How to Make Cinnamon Sugar to Roll the Pumpkin Donut Muffins
- How to make cinnamon sugar: Use 1/2 cup of sugar to 1 rounded teaspoon of ground cinnamon. You will not use all of this, but you will need enough for the muffins to roll around in.
Did you make these Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Donut Muffins? How were they?
Baked Pumpkin Donut Muffins
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin purée (I like Libby's brand)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a muffin tin. (Do not line with paper muffin cups because you won't be able to roll them all around in cinnamon sugar.)
- Beat the melted butter, eggs, sugars, pumpkin, spices, and salt until smooth. Scrape the bowl to make sure everything is fully emulsified.
- Add the flour and baking powder and stir just until fully incorporated and smooth.
- Scoop the batter into muffin tins, filling each cup about 3/4 full.
- Bake the donut muffins for about 23 to 25 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean and the top of the muffin springs back.
- As soon as the muffins are cool enough to handle, roll them in a wide-bottomed bowl of cinnamon sugar. Enjoy while still warm.Note: These will keep in an airtight container for two days, though you may need to re-roll the donut muffins in cinnamon sugar.