Growing up, my family didn’t do a lot of doughnut-eating. The popular treats were never in the house, so we’d only have them once in a while, usually if there was a function after church. As a result, I never became much of a doughnut connoisseur. That being said, I certainly did have my favorites when I was presented with a box of doughnuts. They were, in this order: Boston cream, the ones with chopped nuts around the outside, and cinnamon-sugar. Last year, I made my first batch of homemade buttermilk doughnuts and tried three different varieties – chocolate-glazed, vanilla-glazed and cinnamon-sugar coated. My favorite was, by far, the cinnamon-sugar variety.

Over the last month I’ve been filing up my Doughnuts board on Pinterest with tons of different awesome-sounding recipes, including pumpkin. When I came across a recipe for pumpkin muffins that mimic the texture and flavor of pumpkin doughnuts with a cinnamon-sugar coating, I knew I was in business!

Once I saw the recipe, I recalled other muffin recipes I had seen on some other sites that used the same type of technique to mimic the flavor of a doughnut. Once the muffins come out of the oven and are still warm, they’re brushed with melted butter and then immediately rolled in a cinnamon-sugar mixture. The result is a fabulous pumpkin-flavored muffin with a doughnut-like cinnamon-sugar coating. They are every bit melt-in-your-mouth fantastic as you could imagine.

I love how much the pumpkin flavor in these shines through, and I love that these taste just like a pumpkin doughnut, but have the advantage of being baked, and not fried. Not as much fat, not as much effort, not as time-consuming, and not as much mess. That translates to a perfect Sunday morning treat!

More Pumpkin Breakfast Goodies:

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

A muffin perfect for fall!
4.75 (12 ratings)


For the Muffins:

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, (5 ounces)
  • 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons (2.5 teaspoons) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) ground cloves
  • cup (80 ml) buttermilk
  • cups (306.25 g) pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
  • ¾ cup (165 g) light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs

For the Cinnamon-Sugar Coating:

  • ¼ cup (56.75 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • teaspoons (2.5 teaspoons) ground cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 12 standard muffin cups.
  • Make the Muffins: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and pumpkin; set aside.
  • Beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low, then add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of the pumpkin mixture, beating until barely combined. Turn off the mixer and fold the batter a few times with a rubber spatula to catch any pockets of flour that weren’t incorporated.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the muffins cups (about a heaping 1/3 cup batter). Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let the muffins cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  • Make the Cinnamon-Sugar Coating: While the muffins are resting, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Working with one muffin at a time, remove the muffins from the pan, brush all over with the melted butter, then toss to coat in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Return to the wire rack and let cool completely.


Nutritional values are based on one serving
Calories: 358kcal, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 63mg, Sodium: 242mg, Potassium: 207mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 4430IU, Vitamin C: 1.1mg, Calcium: 81mg, Iron: 2.2mg

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!