Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins {VIDEO}

The tastiest way to start your day is with Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins! They have all the flavor of an old-fashioned sugar doughnut, with the ease of simply making muffins! Make mini muffins, and they’re just like donut holes!

I’ve always been a lover of mornings, and breakfast! Specifically, EASY and delicious breakfasts.  I love Baked Peanut Butter Oatmeal, Buttermilk Waffles, Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits, and homemade donut muffins! 

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a basket of mini muffins with a blue napkin

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Why We Love Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

Whoever said muffins are just boring cupcakes have definitely never had these cinnamon sugar donut muffins. Buttery cinnamon sugar covers the muffins, giving them such a sweet, rich flavor, you don’t need icing. Besides who said cupcakes get to have all the fun?! This recipe will have you craving muffins WAY more than cupcakes. 

These donut muffins are a fun nostalgic throwback to a childhood favorite — Cinnamon sugar toast. Who else grew up on this classic treat?! When I go to a donut shop, my order always includes a cinnamon sugar donut. It’s such a classic flavor, you just can’t go wrong! 

And don’t get me wrong, in my house, they’re not just eaten at breakfast. By the end of the day, my whole batch has been devoured! While these donut muffins make excellent breakfast sweets, they’re also delicious as an after-school snack or a late-night treat with a cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk. To put it simply, they’re irresistible!

mini muffins piled on a cooling rack

Ingredients Needed for Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

This muffin recipe is simple and straightforward. You’ll be making these mini muffins every weekend!

Just a few simple ingredients are all you need to make these donut muffins. Chances are you probably have everything you need on hand.

  • flour – all-purpose flour is the best
  • baking powder – make sure it’s fresh! Not sure? Pour a little baking powder into hot water — if it fizzes, it’s still good to use!
  • salt – brings out all the flavors in the recipe
  • ground cinnamon  – doesn’t go bad unless it gets wet. To check if it still has flavor, rub a pinch between your fingers. If has no taste or smell, it’s time to replace it.
  • granulated sugar – also known as white sugar, or “regular” sugar
  • ground nutmeg – Check for freshness. Like with cinnamon, if the flavor or smell is weak or hardly noticeable you should replace it.
  • oil – I like to use canola oil
  • large egg
  • milk – use whatever kind of milk you have on hand
  • butter – it’s what will make the cinnamon sugar stick to the muffins.

how to make mini muffins photo collage

How to Make Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

(full printable recipe at the end of this post)

One of my favorite parts of making this recipe is dipping the donut muffins into the melted butter, then into the cinnamon sugar. If you have young kids in the house that are just dying to get their hands dirty, they’ll have so much fun helping you with that step!

First, preheat your oven to 350°F. While that’s heating up, grease a mini muffin pan, donut hole pan, or regular size muffin pan, and set it aside.

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Using a medium bowl, beat the oil, sugar, egg, and milk and add to the dry ingredients

Mix the batter just until blended, and be careful to not overmix! It will affect the texture. 

Spoon the muffin batter into the greased muffin wells about 2/3 full and bake in the center of the oven.

While the muffins are baking, melt the butter in a small bowl and mix the sugar and cinnamon in another small bowl.

While still warm dip muffins in melted butter, and roll in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. For the minis, I dip and sugar the whole muffin, for the large I just dip and sugar the top of the muffins.

Enjoy! I love serving these muffins fresh and warm, but they’re also tasty when cooled. It’s up to you!

mini muffins on a cooling rack

Mini Donut Muffins Tips

  • Mini muffins are my favorite to make, because they’re very similar to donut holes. However, this recipe can also be used to make full-sized muffins as well. The difference in baking times is: mini muffins (or donut holes)  bake for 10-12 minutes and yield 18-24 mini donut muffins. Full-size muffins should bake for 15-20 minutes and yield 8-12 muffins.
  • Accurately measure your ingredients! This is especially important when measuring flour and powdered sugar. Spoon the flour (or powdered sugar) into the measuring cup to measure it correctly.
  • Be careful not to overmix the batter.  You want pillow-soft, light, and airy donut muffins. If you overmix the batter, it crushes the air bubbles and you will lose the fluffy texture.
  • Don’t overfill the muffin tin.  2/3 full will leave enough room for the muffins to rise.
  • For the minis muffins or donut holes, I dip and sugar the whole muffin, for the large size I just dip and sugar the top of the muffins. You can certainly cover the entire muffin, but you will need more melted butter and sugar mixture.
  • Be very careful not to overbake these muffins. Use the toothpick method before taking them out of the oven. Once that toothpick is clean, they’re ready to go! Overcooking muffins can quickly dry them out.
  • Don’t leave the muffins to completely cool in the pan. The hot pan will continue to cook the muffins, causing them to dry out. Once they come out of the oven, let them cool just a few minutes, remove them from the pan and transfer them to a cooling rack.  You can then start rolling them in the butter and cinnamon sugar.

hand grabbing a mini muffin from a basket

Storing & Freezing

How long will these donut muffins stay fresh? On the kitchen counter in an airtight container, these cinnamon sugar treats will stay fresh for 1-2 days. In the same airtight container in the fridge, they’ll stay fresh for 3-4 days. I certainly recommend the fridge if you plan on keeping them fresh for longer!

Can you freeze cinnamon sugar donut muffins? You sure can! You will want to freeze them without the melted butter and cinnamon sugar coating. Once they have cooled completely, wrap each muffin in plastic wrap and place them all in an air-tight container or zip-top bag. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To thaw, leave the muffins on the counter at room temperature for about an hour then dip in melted butter and cinnamon sugar. 

Variations

  • If you’re craving something even more fall-inspired, try tossing some pumpkin pie seasoning into the cinnamon sugar mix. It’s an easy way to make these muffins taste like they’re ready for my favorite season!
  • If you want these muffins to pair perfectly with your morning cup of coffee, sprinkle some espresso powder into the dough or cinnamon sugar mix! It’s a delicious way to make these muffins taste like little coffee cakes. 
  • Want to enhance the flavor of these buttery muffins even more? Try browning the butter before dipping the muffins into it. It’s an easy way to make these delicious treats even richer with flavor! 

mini muffins with a mug of coffee

Need more donut recipes?

The perfect excuse why you need a donut pan!

Apple Cider Donuts – The apple cider donut is really good, all by its self, but let me tell you………the browned butter glaze is the kicker.  It pushes it from really good, to AH-mazing!

Baked Maple and Cinnamon Donuts – This donut recipe is full of maple flavor, topped with cinnamon and sugar, and can be on your breakfast table in  20 minutes.

Glazed Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins – You will love how much the pumpkin flavor shines through in these donut muffins.  With their dense ‘cake donut’ texture, that’s not overly sweet,  it’s perfect with a double-dip of pumpkin glaze on top.

Homemade Glazed Doughnuts – These taste like doughnuts from your favorite bakery, but they’re made in the comfort of your own home. 

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mini muffins cooling on a wire rack

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Originally posted in September 2010. UPDATED February 2021. We spiffed up this post with more info and better pictures! No changes to the original recipe.

mini muffins piled on a cooling rack

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

Yield: 24 mini muffins
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

CINNAMON SUGAR DONUT MUFFINS have all the flavor of an old-fashioned sugar doughnut, with the ease of simply making muffins! Make mini muffins, and they’re just like donut holes!

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup granulate sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup milk

Topping

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a mini muffin pan, donut hole pan, or regular size muffin pan and set aside. (see NOTES)
  2. In a large bowl combine, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and set aside. In a small bowl beat oil, sugar, egg, and milk.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until blended. Do not overmix.
  4. Spoon the batter into the muffin wells about 1/2 - 3/4 full. For mini muffins (this is what I made) bake for 10-12 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (Yields 18 mini muffins). For regular size, muffins bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (Yields 8-12 muffins). Allow muffins to cool for about 5 minutes before removing from the pan.
  5. While muffins are baking melt butter in a small bowl and mix sugar and cinnamon in another small bowl.
  6. While still warm, dip each muffin in the melted butter then roll in cinnamon and sugar. (for the minis I dip and sugar the whole muffin, for the large I just dip and sugar the top of the muffins)
  7. Let cool or serve warm.

Notes

  • FOR MINI MUFFINS (or donut holes): Bake for 10-12 min. Yields 18 mini muffins
  • FOR FULL-SIZE MUFFINS: Bake for 15-20 min. Yields 8-12 muffins.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 2 mini muffins
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 129Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 105mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used.

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mini muffins photo collage