Old Fashioned Donut Muffins

(10 votes)
8 minutes
January 14, 2023
Carole JonesJump to Recipe

Old Fashioned Donut Muffins are those famous dense, rich doughnuts but in muffin form. The glaze over the top makes them perfectly sweet and an easy breakfast muffin recipe. If you are looking for an amazing weekend or holiday breakfast idea, these donut muffins are perfect. Just don’t rush the 3rd step or you will be sorry….

Old Fashioned Donut Muffins

Why I Love This Donut Muffins Recipe

Ever since my Dad became a Papa, Saturdays became Donut Day….aka, a day to use his grandchildren as an excuse to buy donuts. Don’t get me wrong, his grandkids adore Donut Day but he isn’t fooling anyone. My Dad loves donuts and will eat them with or without his grandchildren. He just feels less guilty about it with them around 🙂

One of my favorite types of donuts are old fashioned donuts. They are dense and moist, which is what I prefer. I’ve never been a huge fan of raised donuts because I feel like I am eating nothing but sweet air that still adds inches to my rear end. If I’m going to indulge, I want to feel like I actually ate something.

These donut muffins look and taste just like their namesake, especially with their crinkly tops and thick glaze. With the cinnamon and nutmeg, they make a great fall muffin too. I think next time, I will even try adding a cup of diced apple to them to make them even more fall-themed. However, that would require me to rename them “Apple Fritter Donut Muffins” instead!

What is a Donut Muffin?

A donut muffin uses a sweet cake batter, just like a cake donut, but instead of being fried, it is baked in the oven as a muffin inside a cupcake liner. For an Old Fashioned Donut Muffins, the batter uses sour cream to recreate that signature dense texture of its doughnut counterpart, then gets dipped in a powdered sugar glaze while still warm. That glaze is truly what makes these muffins just like a doughnut. 

Besides the old fashion variety, there are also other donut muffin recipes that recreate other classic cake donut flavors. Cinnamon sugar donut muffins are finished off by rolling the warm muffin in cinnamon sugar until it sticks. Or, a chocolate glazed donut muffin takes a dip in chocolate ganache before topping them with sprinkles. Donut muffin varieties are as endless as the types of donuts. 

overhead shot of donut muffins on a cutting board

Old Fashion Donut Muffin Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulate sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Butter
  • Canola oil
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Large eggs
  • Milk
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla
  • Kosher salt
  • Powdered sugar

How to Make Old Fashioned Donut Muffins

  1. Mix the fats and sugars together in a large bowl and whisk them together. The bowl should be large enough to give plenty of room for the other ingredients, and for a large rubber spatula to make large, gentle folds.
  2. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the seasonings and leaveners. 
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients together in a medium bowl. Be sure to incorporate all the eggs completely. 
  4. Gently fold in the milk and flour beginning and ending with the flour. Use a large rubber spatula in big scooping motions:  down one side of the bowl, scraping along the bottom, coming up the other side, then up and over the top. Don’t use a whisk or wooden spoon. The goal is to still have a few streaks of flour and lumps in the batter when you scoop the batter into the cupcake liners. Over-mixing creates tough and crumbly muffins.
  5. Scoop the batter into cupcake liners with an ice cream scoop.
  6. Bake the donut muffins just until the tops spring back when gently touched in the middle. Do not over-bake.
  7. Glaze the donut muffins while still warm so the glaze soaks into the tops. Once that glaze sets, dip them a second time for a thicker coating.
Donut muffins with red cupcake wrappers

Donut Muffin Recipe Variations

The beauty of being a home baker is the freedom to experiment with recipes and find ones that are perfect for you. Don’t hesitate to try any of the following suggestions on these donut muffins, or come up with a list of your own. 

  • Add diced apple or pear to the dry ingredients and toss to coat them before you add the wet. Peel the fruit before dicing it into small pieces and use 1 cup of diced fruit. 
  • Include toasted nuts such as chopped pecans, almonds, or walnuts into the dry ingredients before you add the the wet. You can also sprinkle the donut muffins on top before the frosting dries. Using toasted nuts will add to both the texture and the flavor compared to using un-toasted. Toast nuts on a sheet pan in the oven at 350 for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Add toasted coconut to the top of the donut muffins once you have frosted them. Toast the coconut on a sheet pan in the oven at 350 for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Mix in dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, cherries, or blueberries,. Add the dried fruit with the dry ingredients and toss to coat them before the wet is added. 

Donut Muffins FAQs

Why does the recipe use both butter and oil?

While both are necessary fats in this old fashion donut muffin recipe, each plays a different role in how they turn out. The butter adds to the flavor and the oil keeps the donut muffins very tender. Be sure the butter is at room temperature so it will mix in easily, but do not melt it. 

How do I know when the donut muffins are done baking?

For any muffin recipe, start checking the doneness about 5-8 minutes before the listed bake time is over. Do this by gently pressing on the center of the muffin. If it springs right back, it is done, no matter the color of the muffin. Pull them out and remove them from the pan so they will stop baking. Leaving them in the pan will lead to dry muffins because they will continue to bake. Use this same technique with all muffin, cake, and quick bread recipes. 

Old Fashioned Donut Muffins - easy breakfast muffin recipe

Help! My donut muffins turned out dry and tough.

Usually, when this happens to muffins or any quick bread, there are two main culprits. First, you mixed the batter for too long and not gently enough. Don’t use a whisk or wooden spoon to mix the flour and milk into the batter. Instead, grab a large rubber spatula and gently fold them together. Stop mixing the muffins when there are still a few streaks of flour and lumps in the batter. It will be hard, but put down the spatula and step away!

Second, you baked the donut muffins for too long or at too high a temperature. Your oven might be running hotter than it actually says on the display, so grab an oven thermometer to be sure 350 on the control is creating 350 inside the oven. Also, start checking the doneness of the donut muffins about 5-8 minutes before the listed bake time says. Do this by gently pushing on the center of a muffin. If it bounces back, it is done…no matter the color of the muffin. Also, don’t let the donut muffins cool in the pan. Remove them as soon as they finish baking.

Do I have to use cupcake liners with donut muffins?

Feel free to skip the cupcake liners. They are not required for this recipe. They do help with the easy removal of the donut muffins from muffin tins and the liners provide something to hold onto while dipping the warm muffins in the glaze. If you don’t use cupcake liners, be sure to grease the muffin pan well and know that the muffins might finish baking a few minutes earlier than stated in the recipe since the batter will have direct contact with the metal pan.

Old Fashioned Donut Muffins Video

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Old Fashioned Donut Muffins

Old Fashioned Donut Muffins

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.8 from 10 reviews

If you love an Old Fashioned Donut, you will adore these muffins.  This recipe turns out perfectly dense and rich every time and is an easy breakfast muffin recipe

  • Total Time: 32 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x


  • 1/4 C butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 C vegetable oil
  • 1/2 C white sugar
  • 1/3 C brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 C flour
  • 1 C milk


  • 2 Tb butter, melted
  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tb hot water


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line 12 muffin cups with liners.
  2. Mix with a wooden spoon the butter, oil and both sugars until smooth.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  4. Add the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and vanilla.
  5. Fold in about 1/3 of the flour using a rubber spatula and stir just until combined.  Add about 1/2 of the milk and stir just until combined.  Add another 1/3 of the flour and stir just until combined.  Add the remaining 1/2  of the milk and stir just until combined.  Add remaining flour and stir just until combined.  Do NOT over mix any of these steps.  Under mixing is better than over mixing!!!  If you over mix, your muffins will not dome well and will be tough.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups.  They will be quite full.  Bake for 17-19 minutes until the tops are springy to the touch.  Allow them to cool for a few minutes before removing them from the pan.  Cool for 10 minutes on a rack before glazing.
  7. Beat together all the ingredients for the glaze.
  8. Dip the top of each muffin in the glaze, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl.  Allow the first glaze layer to harden, then dip them once more.


Store leftover muffins in an airtight container 

  • Author: Carole Jones
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 17 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 muffin
  • Calories: 259
  • Sugar: 34 g
  • Sodium: 255 mg
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 7 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 47 mg

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Old Fashioned Donut Muffins - easy breakfast muffin recipe

Carole Jones

Carole Jones is an Arizona-based cookbook author & food blogger. She's authored The 30 Minute Cooking From Frozen Cookbook and the self-published Take 5: Chicken e-cookbook. For the past 15 years, Carole has shared her culinary adventures cooking and baking for her six brutally honest children here on My Kitchen Escapades. Hot, crusty bread is Carole's love language, but her two adorable grandchildren are a close second. Yes, second. Don't judge.


4 years ago

Could you make these as 6 jumbo muffins instead of 6 regular or would they be too dry?

4 years ago

Hi Roxanne! I think it would work. Obviously, you will need to extend the baking time.

4 years ago

I would like to try this recipe in a loaf pan..Any suggestions?

4 years ago

Hi Clarice! It should work well in a loaf pan. I would reduce the oven temperature by 50 degrees and increase your bake time until the center springs back when lightly touched. Let me know how it goes!

Christine Hord
4 years ago

This was a good recipe. I actually baked the muffins at 375 and they rose more and were less dense, I think next time I’m going to put a bit of maple syrup in the glaze and sprinkle with crumbled bacon.

4 years ago

I’m so glad Christine that you loved them and i love the idea of maple syrup and bacon!! Thank you for coming back and leaving a review because they help so much 🙂

Tracy Griffin
4 years ago

I have a quick question! The recipe calls for regular milk, correct? I was a bit confused because in a comment it seemed like for response implied using buttermilk. Can you use buttermilk, instead? I have a lot that I need to use up! Thanks!

4 years ago

Hi Tracy! Yes, you can absolutely use buttermilk! It will make for a bit more dense muffin with a bit of tang but I think it would be a delicious version. I hope you come back and leave a review once you give them a try!

Jacqueline Snow
4 years ago

holy CRAP THESE TASTE AMAZING!! Best muffin recipe I’ve ever made and thankful for your tip about not over mixing because they turned out PERFECT! I used GF flour because my bf has celiac disease and we used almond milk instead of regular milk and everything worked just fine! I also added a bit of almond extract. YUM X100

4 years ago

I’m so glad to hear it and thank you for coming back to leave a review!

Christine K
3 years ago

Made these last weekend, and hubby LOVED them. So much so, he’s wanting to make them for Christmas dessert, but in a Bundt pan, any tips or suggestions on how to accomplish that?

3 years ago

Hi Christine! I think it would work well in a bundt but since I haven’t made it that way, I can’t give you specifics as far as temperature and time.

3 years ago

I baked this in a glass loaf pan that I buttered and floured first! 350 for about 55-60 minutes until a toothpick went in and came out clean. Amazing!

3 years ago

Thanks so much Eva for coming back and leaving your review….as well as your option for baking it in a loaf pan 🙂

Marihah Shah
2 years ago

Is there a freeze and bake option for the muffin batter?

2 years ago

Hello Marihah! If it were me, I wouldn’t freeze the unbaked batter. They do freeze very well though. Bake them and let them cool. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and into the freezer until hard. Then into a freezer bag for 3 months. Freezing them individually keeps them from sticking together once in the bag.

8 months ago

These are so good and my kids love them!! I have made them twice now and for some reason my icing doesn’t really turn out dippy.. its more spreadable but it tastes good and it works that way too 🙂 this one is a keeper! thank you for sharing!

Carole Jones
8 months ago

Thanks Candice!Try adding a bit more milk to your frosting….but just a tiny dash 🙂

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