Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
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!
One year ago: The Baked Brownie[/donotprint]
Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
For the Muffins:
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, (5 ounces)
- 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
- 2½ teaspoons (2.5 teaspoons) baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ 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
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) buttermilk
- 1¼ 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
- 2½ 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.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Can these muffins be frozen?
These muffins are fabulous. I normally do not make pumpkin anything until after fall starts. I wanted to use up some canned pumpkin. Considering I substituted skim milk and didn’t do the cinnamon sugar this time. I can see where the donut feel. Definitely will make it again soon.
I’ve been making these muffins 2-4x every fall season since this was originally published in 2012. My family absolutely loves them! Making it with freshly roasted pumpkin puree makes all the difference!
A couple notes- you need to make sure your puree is not overly thick or dry, or else your muffins will be dry. I’ve found that I’ve sometimes needed to add up to 1/4 cup more of buttermilk into the puree mixture to account for the puree consistency.
Also, you cannot overmix this dough. Like I usually hand mix the flour into the dough to make sure it doesn’t get tough.
I absolutely LOVE the cinnamon sugar coating (and its my favorite way to eat them warm!) However, I often make these for my kids as just plain pumpkin muffins and they love them in their lunches and as snacks. I’ve given these away to new moms and have used for breakfast/fall potlucks. They’re really delicious and bake up so well!
If you’ve never used pumpkin puree- it tastes incredible!
I typically purchase a pie pumpkin, slice it up, coat in olive oil and salt and pepper, and roast for 20-25 min at 400degrees, or until I can easily poke the pumpkin with a fork. Then, after about 10 minutes cooling, when the pumpkin is still warm, I take the skins off. Using an immersion blender, I puree the pumpkin, adding some water as needed for a creamy consistency. I’ll freeze gallon bags of puree for easy use throughout fall and winter.
Where do you get pumpkin puree?
Pumpkin purée is plain canned pumpkin. Available everywhere starting around October. It’s different from pumpkin pie filling, which is already spiced.
These muffins are terrific. I have made them many many times. I always buy extra cans of pumpkin in the fall so I can make muffins all year long.
This is terrific as written. An easy delicious recipe. Everyone loves it. My granddaughter asks to make it whenever she visits.
I love these and make them a lot. Curious, how would you convert to a bundt cake?
Hi Carolyn, You’d want to double the recipe, for sure. From there, you’ll have to use trial and error on the baking time, then perhaps brush with melted butter after baking and sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon-sugar coating.
Delicious, I made haf with sugar coating, and half without it, and the last are yummy too. A simple recipe but a great result, thanks
Sounds amazing, but somebody can explain the conversion from cups to grams. I look on some sites but the quantity is so different . Thank you.
Hi Claudia, I use this chart, it’s my go-to! http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/master-weight-chart.html
Wonderful. Seemed like these might be fussy to make but they weren’t – they went together easily and came out spectacularly moist. I used homemade kefir instead of buttermilk, but otherwise followed directions. Perfect for a snowy Sunday morning.
Made these last night in mini muffin form. Super easy and taste delicious!
Has anyone tried these with white wheat, or whole wheat flour?
I am really tempted to make these, but I only have cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice. No ginger, no cloves. Any idea on how I can adjust this fittingly with pumpkin pie spice? Thanks!
Hi Brittney, You can substitute 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice + ½ teaspoon cinnamon for all of the spices, you will just lose out on the clove flavor (that’s not included in traditional pumpkin pie spice).
I really wanted these to be delicious! They turned out very dry and not sweet at all (the muffins themselves weren’t sweet and the cinnamon-sugar topping did not stay because they were too dry).
Good Morning, Happy Thanksgiving! Real Quick: Can I substitute dark brown sugar for light? Not really wanting to run to the store day before thanksgiving…
Yes, that wouldn’t be a problem. Happy Thanksgiving!
Made these this morning, and they were divine! So moist and warm and Autumn-y.
Hi. I made these yesterday and they were really good! However, when i packed them in a container, the sugar melted and created a pool at the bottom. I waited a few hours until the were cool so I am not sure what happened. I would love to have some help. thanks!
Truly one of the best Pumpkin treats I have ever tasted…just like sinking your teeth into a long anticipated Pumpkin Donut. I baked a batch for a girlfriend gathering and the effort in making these was worth every minute of time of preperation. Whatever you do bake a batch and share! Highly recommend!
I made these for the first time today as an afterschool snack for my kids.
They. Are. Amazing!! The recipe made 12 very large muffins. The texture was wonderful. Will definitely be making these again!
Rookie mistake- I CAN’T believe I forgot the eggs. I kept thinking “this is a weird texture…” But went on with it. Well, turns out they are STILL delicious, just maybe not so donut-y. If anyone else makes a silly move like me, press on! They are delicious!
I found this recipe on another site last week and made them Sunday for my Sunday school class. They were amazing and surprisingly moist. I left out the spices since I used pumpkin pie filling instead and added 1.5 tbsp of cinnamon. My picky father even asked me for the recipe. I can’t wait to make them for my fiance when he gets stateside, he loves muffins :)
What an absolutely wonderful idea! These look amazing! Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins… I love it!
I rarely leave comments for recipes. Usually, I just make sure I print that “good find” off and put it in my Top 100 and growing list of recipes. But THIS sweet crusty little GEM—Oh my Jesus.! And yes I believe in HIM. This muffin is SOOOO buttery, TENDER, moist, sweet and cinammonnn-yee. I know that’s not a word—but it is now. You have GOT to make this. Don’t comment and say stuff like “Oh this sounds delish or I have got to make this”. Quit wasting your time and make this tonight!!! Please! Although muffins are a bit denser than cupcakes and oven temps vary…I automatically set my timer for 15-18 minutes. It’s habit for little breads not knowing the specified minute to bake was…30??!. That seems like an extremely long time for such small delicious-ness…ness. My time was perfect. If in doubt do the tooth pick test. You won’t be sorry. Great, Great recipe for a muffin.
Okay…I bought a can of Libby’s Pumpkin that has been sitting in my pantry for a week now, with no recipe in sight, but your review sold me on this recipe! I too love it when someone actually tries a recipe then gives us feedback on how it went over. You seemed to have had excellent success…I’m gonna give it a try soon! Thanks.
Could you make these in a mini donut maker?
Hi Katy, I’m not sure, as these are meant to be baked as muffins, not necessarily muffins. You could definitely give it a try!
I did end up trying these in a mini donut maker. They came out great! They took about 4 minutes to cook. I didn’t want to stand there all day, so I made the rest in a mini muffin pan. They took about 12-14 minutes to cook.
I just used cinnamon because I was out of everything else, about a tablespoon. I think next time I’ll use Pumpkin Pie Spice. Also used soured milk instead of buttermilk because I didn’t have any on hand. YUMMY! Will definitely be making again!
LOVED these muffins – so did my family! Making them again Thanksgiving morning. Shared on my blog!
These were awesome. I was a bit worried because the texture looked a little different than normal muffins, but they were perfect. I got 12 muffins plus a little extra I put in a ramekin and baked separate. DELICIOUS!!!
Am I blind or the only one not getting it… ?? step #3 says “beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed…” but the ingredient list goes from buttermilk to brown sugar… how much butter is supposed to be used in the recipe and if you’ve made it already without it butter do they turn out ok?? thanks!
Hi LeAnn, Butter is the first ingredient listed in the recipe.
Made these today as minimuffins. I incorrectly assumed 12 muffins = 24 minimuffins, but I made 24 mini and 12 regular (on the small side) muffins. I always seem to have way more batter than the recipe calls for. The batter is very doughy, seemed like if you left it, it would rise. I cooked the minimuffins for 20 minutes, which seems just right (not over cooked). I had cinnamon sugar and butter left over after coating all 36 muffins. I found after you got your brush saturated with the butter, you could coat 2-3 muffins with it. As someone else noted, the pumpkin flavor is not pronounced. I used my 8c glass measuring cup for the sugar/cinnamon bath, and it worked out great, especially with the minimuffins because I could shake it around and not have the mixture go all over the place.
We tried these and they were scrumptiously delightful!!! We doubled the recipe, and the only problem was that they came out to 36 muffins instead of 24. Also, we only had to cook it for 23 minutes, not 30. Those were our only problems. Otherwise, the muffins themselves were heavenly! Perfect texture and we loved the coating. Thanks!
I just made these with fresh sugar pumpkin puree and they’re SO good! I lined the muffin pan and just sugared the tops because my Husband requested them that way (similar to something his mother made). We both loved them! Thanks for the recipe and I love the new site design. :)
I just wanted to follow up — these muffins kept well, we have two left and look forward to them. We both decided that only coated the top was a mistake and I’ll definitely coat the whole muffin next time. So good!
These were sooooo great. Thanks so much for this recipe!
thank you for another wonderful recipe! They’re delicious and they even popped out of my silicon muffin forms easily.
I made these for work. The recipe made 35 using my mini muffin pan. I cooked them for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. The pumpkin taste isn’t very strong but they were a hit!
I made these muffins yesterday afternoon. They are amazing!!! My famiy gave them rave reviews!
I just made these and they were incredible! Wouldn’t change a thing!
These were great!! Next time I will put some chocolate chips in them. I had everything on hand except the buttermilk, so I used 2 % with a dash of lemon juice and it was a perfect substitute. These would be good for mini muffins as well, maybe even better that way because they are really big!!!
Made these with soup for dinner the other night, and everyone loved them! My brother, the avid food critic of the family, ranked them right up with my lemon poppyseed muffins, which he adores. Everyone had two muffins and were eager for thirds. :) Thanks for the great keeper!
Just in time for Halloween! Gotta try these soon!
While we’re on the topic of holiday cooking, this newsletter I read is putting on a recipe contest. It looks like the top three entrants win some sort of prize.
If you’re interested, here’s a link with more info: https://apps.facebook.com/whcontests/the-natural-knowledge-247-holiday-recipe-contest
Yummy! Can you sub in allspice for the cloves, nutmeg & ginger?
Silly, but would it be a full teaspoon of allspice?
Hi Kayla, It depends on how much spice you’d like. I personally find allspice to be a little more “spicy” than any of those other three so I would probably cut back on the amount to maybe 3/4 teaspoon. However, if you want to punch up the flavor you could do 1 full teaspoon.
Thanks for the recipe! My teenage boys and hubby gobbled them up! They were the perfect treat before our 2 hour drive on Saturday morning.
Yes, and I don’t even like donuts, but these are getting pinned and made.
Hi Michelle! Made these today & there are now glorious smells in my kitchen. Thank you, kindly! The one thing I did that was really helpful was to put the cinnamon sugar mixture in a doubled-up brown paper lunch bag, and then carefully roll it around. Less on my hands and more on the muffins!
They turned out wonderful. Thanks for the recipe. :)
Wow. I’m no baker but these turned out DELISH. I added cinnamon chips to the batter and thought they were a favorable addition. Part donut/part muffin. 100% awesome. Not too heavy or fragile, they stood up to the butter bath and sugar coating. I just finished delivering them to my neighbors because left alone with these are dangerous. Sign of a successful recipe. Thanks, BEB.
I made these for breakfast this morning, and they were a big hit with my girls. =) Thanks for sharing them.
is pumpkin pie filling different from a can of pure pumpkin (like Libby’s or One Pie)? Can I use these for puree?
I did not wait in making these. A batch is on its way to my son away at school. They are soooooo good! Every bite is fall “deliciousness”. This recipe is a keeper.
Just got back from upstate New York. Was disapponted in the pumpkin doughnut I bought. These look like a winner! Thanks Michelle. I am going to bake some and send them to my boy at school.
Thank you soo much for this recipe i cant wait to try it!!Im 13 years old and you inspire me soo much!!
Do you think these would freeze well?
Hi Natasha, These would freeze well before the butter/sugar coating. I don’t think that they’d thaw well if you do the butter/sugar coating. You could freeze, then reheat them in a warm oven and do a fresh butter/sugar coating before serving.
What temperature do you use to reheat frozen baked goods? I’ve never done that.
oh and while i’m at it… i guess i should also ask how you freeze the muffins to begin with! do you wrap them in foil, or something else?
Usually 325 or 350, but a lot of recipes have specific instructions. I wrap in plastic wrap, then place in a freezer bag.
Thanks so much Michelle! I appreciate it.
Made these today, they are awesome!
Made these today. Despite my non-dairy substitutions, they were fabulous. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!
These are so pretty! I love that the all-over cinnamon sugar looks like sparkles :)
I have a small amount of pumpkin puree in my fridge just begging to be used. I think a half batch of these made into minis might be the perfect solution!
Made them mini sized yesterday. Have eaten 5 already. Need to get them out of my house.
I’ve seen a lot of doughnut muffins around the web lately, but these look better than any I’ve seen so far! Yum!
Those look so comforting in this chilly fall weather! Wish I had one for the morning.
These look so good! My favorite are the apple cider cinnamon sugar donuts but these pumpkin flavored ones trying to hide as muffins look even better
We have a bakery nearby that sells doughnut muffins, but I think yours look even better than theirs!
I have all of the ingredients and can’t wait to try these.
I made doughnut muffins stuffed with nutella a while ago, but these look so good. I’ll have to try them with pumpkin!
Your muffins look so delicious!
I love that these are completely coated! Yum
Do you think would translate well into a mini muffin? Would you just have to adjust the bake time?
Hi Connie, You could definitely do mini muffins! Just reduce the baking time (I would start checking around 6-8 minutes).
These are beautiful and so, so delectable looking! Perfect for eating while sitting at my desk with a nice hot cup of coffee :)
just yesterday my sister requested pumpkin donuts coated in sugar….i’m pretty sure these are close enough! :)
These sound amazing!! I just made pumpkin muffins yesterday, but suddenly they seem so inadequate :P
luv the recipe
am going to try it
Oh oh oh oh oh, these look tremendous. I love pumpkin spice doughnuts, and I know everyone is on a doughnut craze right now, but I can’t stand the idea of the mess in my tiny kitchen. These are the answer!! A local bakery makes something similarly rolled in cinnamon-sugar, but not with pumpkin. You win :)
I absolutely ADORE your blog. I use your recipes constantly and ALWAYS get rave reviews! We love both pumpkin and doughnuts at our house, so I think this recipe is going to be another winner – thank you!
I’ve made and posted the traditional doughnut muffins. I think the pumpkin version will be even better! Putting it on my must-make list.
Wow. I made some “healthy” pumpkin muffins this week, which we devoured in nothing flat. I’m a little afraid to watch the feeding frenzy that these amazing-looking treats will create. Thanks for the great recipe.
These look amazing!! I love how bright and orange the inside is too!
It’s recipes like these that make me wish pumpkin season never ends! The possibilities are endless. These look totally delicious.
I just made a similar version of these in my babycakes maker. They were shaped just like donut holes, and sooo good. Seeing yours makes me want to go make another batch!
Oh my, yum!!!
LOVE these!! Perfect for fall!
Oh yum! I wonder how this would translate into an apple cider doughnut muffin? Off to research…
There is a cider doughnut recipe on Kingarthurflour.com.
I LOVE donut muffins! We used to make them at the bakery where I worked! Can’t wait to try a pumpkin version!
Ive made a similar one without pumpkin. The “butter bath” is glorious!
These are lovely!
Love the look of these pumpkin muffins and that crunchy sugar topping!
Yummy!!!! I have to say cinnamon and sugar on donuts is my favorite way to eat them!!!
I love this! I have been dying to make donuts but I dont have a donut pan! But I DO have a muffin pan! These are so cute! Cant wait to try them out!
Ive seen this recipe and many similar to it for little pumpkin muffins and donuts and was just telling a friend yesterday I want to try these and now you’ve got me convinced. They look great!
I ate a lot of doughnuts growing up… And still do! I was always a jelly doughnut girl but now I like the ones with the crushed peanuts best! Totally gonna try these :)
I’ll let you know how they turn out. Yay!
All I can say is OMG!!
I swore off baking for 2 weeks on Friday, because last week from Tuesday to Friday afternoon I had made the Baked Brownie for myself and then volunteered to make 100 cupcakes to sell for my sons Fall Festival at school to raise money for his kindergarten class. Oy! And I couldn’t just do simple either. I did the chocolate salted caramel and Vanilla made to look like candy corn. WHAT WAS I THINKING!
I sold out of all 100 in just over an hour. The event lasted 3. OOPS!
Well, now it looks like I’ll be giving in and making these little treats tomorrow. Curse you, Michelle! ;-)
I have a really simple recipe for pumpkin muffins if any one is inerested. Spice cake and a can of pumpkin, bake in mini muffin pans and then top with cinnamon sugar
Thanks Kim — Yours sound pretty good too. And the posted recipe sounds divine. This is why I can’t swear off baked goods as hard as I think about trying!!!
Can i also have the recipe of l8m. I’d like to try both. Can you please send it to my email address : firstname.lastname@example.org. tnx much