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….
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.
Old Fashion Donut Muffin Ingredients
- All-purpose flour
- Granulate sugar
- Brown sugar
- Canola oil
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Large eggs
- Kosher salt
- Powdered sugar
How to Make Old Fashioned Donut Muffins
- 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.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the seasonings and leaveners.
- Whisk the wet ingredients together in a medium bowl. Be sure to incorporate all the eggs completely.
- 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.
- Scoop the batter into cupcake liners with an ice cream scoop.
- Bake the donut muffins just until the tops spring back when gently touched in the middle. Do not over-bake.
- 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 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.
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
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
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line 12 muffin cups with liners.
- Mix with a wooden spoon the butter, oil and both sugars until smooth.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time.
- Add the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and vanilla.
- 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.
- 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.
- Beat together all the ingredients for the glaze.
- 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
- 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
Keywords: easy muffin recipes, donut muffins
Cara Jones says
Andrew was looking at this with me, drooling over the though of donut muffins. I think we will make them soon!!!
Angela Garcia says
Awesome! My husband and boys are in the kitchen as I type! This is perfect for today, thanks!!!
And I’m with your Dad on this, sharing donuts is way better. 🙂
Hiya! I made your donut muffins yesterday and they were delightful! Thanks for sharing!
I just tried out this recipe; they are so good! I made two substitutions (whole wheat pastry flour instead of white flour and coconut oil instead of vegetable oil) and they still turned out great! Thank you for sharing – I had been looking for an old fashioned donut recipe, and this muffin is a really cool (and easier!) option!
Thanks so much Liz for letting me know and I love your healthy substitutions! -Carole
Did you use the exact same amount of coconut oil as the vegetable oil? Also, did you melt the coconut oil first?
I just made these muffins and my entire family adored them! I will definitely be making these again! 🙂
You just made my morning Shelby 🙂
Salted or unsalted butter? CANT WAIT TO TRY THIS.
I used salted butter Kayla!
Hope Marks says
To me there was a bit too much nutmeg and too much vanilla in the icing.
I also used a darker pan when baking and had to turn the heat down to 325 so I didn’t completely smoke out my house.
I might try to reduce the nutmeg and vanilla my second time around.
Thank you for sharing this recipe!!
Hey Hope! Thanks so much for sharing your experience and recommendations 🙂
What temperature and how long should they cook for mini muffins?
Hey Mackenzie! I’ve never made this recipe as mini muffins so I don’t know for sure. I would reduce the heat by 25 degrees and I’d start checking them at 10 minutes. You can tell they are done when you touch the top and they spring back.
These muffins are getting rave reviews in my household! I only used 1/3 of a teaspoon of nutmeg and about half the glaze. Baked for 19 mins and they were perfect.
Thank you for sharing this! It was a nice departure from my regular baking, and everyone’s tips in the comments were helpful.
Thank you so much Jessie for coming back and letting us know how they worked out for you!
Dee Anne says
Any suggestions for making these Gluten free?
Hi Dee Anne! You can try using a gluten free flour mix in place but I know the texture will be different. I’ve only ever done a few gluten free baking recipes.
dayla stapleton says
what is the best say to store them? how long can they last out?
Hey Dayla! You want to store them in an airtight container. They will be best within the first couple days.
Kerri Cowie says
I just wanted to say thank you for this amazing recipe. I made it last night and both of my boys enjoyed it. My oldest son said it was better than any donut he’s ever tasted and would prefer the muffins over the donuts. HUGE compliment!
Again thank you,
Kerri – Lethbridge, AB, Canada
I’m so glad Kerri! They are definitely a favorite with my kiddos as well. Btw, thanks for sharing your location 🙂 I had a great friend in college that was from Lethbridge and brought back some great memories for me.
Hi there can’t wait to try them however maybe I’m missing it lol but it says Both sugars I see the brown sugar amount but how much of the other sugar?
Howdy Cassie! Thanks for your question. In the recipe, it lists amounts for both the brown sugar and the white sugar. There is a powdered sugar listed, but that is under the recipe for the glaze.
These were absolutely delicious! I did reduce the amount of nutmeg because I have made a cobbler before with nutmeg and it was an overpowering taste, so I reduced it. But they came out perfectly! I doubled the recipe and only used one and one quarter teaspoon of nutmeg put a little more cinnamon than called for Kama because I like the taste of cinnamon. A lot. These were absolutely grand. I made minis and regular sized muffins. The minis wee perfect at 10 minutes @400 degrees. I forgot to time my regular sized muffins but the Sprint top a perfect indicator. They were browned around the edges but perfect and soft on the inside. I think i made my icing too thin at first but still dipped them twice. I thickened it up as i ran out with more icing sugar and milk this time plus vanilla. That way allowed me to do one dip (i was in a rush). I liked the original icing better, but when you lack time all sugar is sugar!
The recipe is great as is. I think the nutmeg amount may depend on your tolerance for that strong nutty flavor.
Thank you so much Monica for sharing your variations with us!
I live in Colorado, Do you know what type of ajustments,if any, need to be made for high altitude?
Hey there Jessica! Unfortunately, I am from Minnesota and have no experience with higher altitude adjustments for baking. I’m sure a simple google search could help you there.
I have made these before, and they are DIVINE! I was wondering if anyone has tried freezing them, then dipping in glaze? I would love to make them for an event but I will be in a time crunch the morning of it. Thanks!
Hey Mandy! I’ve never frozen them before, but like you mentioned, I would do it before glazing them.
I would like to make 4 dozens. Can I quadruple the recipe or should I make 4 separate batches?
For me, I never like to make more than a double batch when baking. Especially with muffins, it will require too much mixing to get that many ingredient incorporated and too much mixing with muffins makes them dense and hard.
Kim Tataru says
I was really excited to try these. They turned out a very nice consistency but I think they need more spice to taste like old fashioned donuts. I added pumpkin pie spice to the glaze and re-dipped.
Glad you liked them Kim and I like the idea of the pumpkin pie spice in the glaze!
I’m going to try this recipe for our donut munch at church! It sounds great! Thanks for sharing.
Awesome Sonya! I would love for you to come back and let me know how they turned out 🙂
Trying these now!
I’m new to baking, so this may be a dumb question. But can you explain the reason for the wooden spoon/ rubber spatula? What significance does this bare on the recipe?
Great question Bess! The wooden spoon is a stronger, heftier tool for beating the first ingredients. Now, when it comes time to add the flour and milk, you want to be more gentle and stir as little as possible to create a tender muffin, which is why you should switch to a rubber spatula.
I made a test batch of mini’s the other day because I want to serve them at our safety meeting tomorrow. The flavore was great, but mine turned out dry, they weren’t tough just dry.. Any tips on them being moist?
Thanks Robin! My only thought is that they may have over baked a bit since they were mini muffins. Try reducing the oven temp by 25 degrees and watch them closely.
Used 2 1/2 teasp almond extract instead of vanilla, filled muffin liner nearly to top and they rose to a nice high dome, got 12 total from single batch. Glazed and sprinkled sliced almonds over top. Yes, dense like a donut, I liked that they didn’t crumble all apart like some muffins, but also tender, just as you promised. Delish, def make again. TY for recipe:)
I like your variations Sue!
Emma P says
Would these still hold up the same with almond milk? It’s usually all I have in my fridge. Thanks!
Hi Emma! Since I’ve never made them with almond milk, I can’t guarantee anything but I believe it would work fine.
Tried the recipe tonight and they turned out amazing The flavors work well together. Just like mama use to make. The only issue was that they didnt rise like a dome. Any idea what went wrong?
Hi Talia! It sounds like you over-mixed them. You want to gently mix the wet and dry together just until it is about 75% combined.
I heard about a bakery that made cake donut madeleines. I’m thinking of trying this recipe with recipe with a madeleines pan. Wish me luck!
Good luck James!
Just made these this morning, they are wonderful thanks for sharing , definitely a save.
So glad you loved them Sunny!
I’d like to add apples to the muffins. Would I have to make any adjustments to the recipe?
Hi Chris! I would try adding some very small diced apples without changing anything first. Don’t go crazy because they do hold quite a bit of water and you could end up with heavy hockey pucks instead 🙂
Celeste Barta says
Thank you for the recipe, but when I clicked on print, at the bottom of the ingredients list flour as 5 1/2 cups and 2 cups of milk. I’m glad I went back to the recipe itself which gave the correct amounts. Thanks again Celeste b
Thanks Celeste for letting me know about the glitch. I”ll look into it!
E.T. in Texas says
We love the deep fried, old fashioned buttermilk donut dunking sticks/bars. I’d like to try these to avoid frying, and was wondering if you thought replacing the milk with buttermilk would work okay?
It would work ok but the buttermilk really does amazing things for both the flavor and the texture of the muffins.
These were delicious! I needed to use up some buttermilk I has so used that. It required another 1/4 cup of buttermilk as it was too thick.