Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donut Muffins

I grew up eating fried mini donuts at fairs and carnivals and loved every greasy, cinnamon-sugary second.

These mini donut muffins are the next best thing.

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donut Muffins - Baked mini muffins that taste like real mini donuts but way healthier and so good!

I couldn’t decide if they were more like a donut hole or a mini muffin, so I’m calling them donut muffins.

They come together from start to finish in under 30 minutes. Having warm, fresh donut muffins for breakfast sure beats a bowl of cold cereal.

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donut Muffins - Recipe at

And yes, plan to eat muffins, plural. They’re tiny, but oh so pop-able. But because they’re baked rather than fried, I don’t feel too guilty when I’m popping away.

Four of these mini muffins are still smaller than 1 bakery-style coffee shop muffin. I’ve noticed that bakery and coffee shop muffins keep getting bigger and bigger, and they’re now about the size of a softball. These are about half the size of a golf ball.

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donut Muffins - Recipe at

If you don’t have mini muffin pans <–I love that pan, you can bake them in a standard-sized muffin pan, or bake them as donuts or mini donuts and adjust baking times accordingly.

Buttermilk keeps them soft, light, tender, and fluffy. It also serves to add moisture, which is important because I find that mini muffins and baked donuts are prone to dryness, but the buttermilk protects against it.

No buttermilk? Cheat and make some with regular milk.

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donut Muffins - Recipe at

A hefty dose of cinnamon in the batter as well as in the cinnamon-sugar coating, makes for well-spiced muffins. The cinnamon is noticeable and distinct, but not overpowering. If you’re a cinnamon fiend and prefer to be over-powered, it’s easy to add more to taste.

I also added ground nutmeg because I find it rounds out flavors, especially cinnamon. It gives depth in a can’t-quite-put-your-finger-on-it kind of way.

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donut Muffins - Recipe at

They bake quickly, in just about 10 minutes. Because they’re small, they can go from raw to dried out and crisp in the span of about 90 seconds, so watch them closely.

Ten minutes with my two mini muffins pans was the magic number, but due to variance in pan size, oven, and climate, watch your muffins not the clock. If you’re baking them as full-size muffins, I’d estimate 17 to 20 minutes, but haven’t tested it.

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donut Muffins - Recipe at

After they bake, dip the tops in melted butter and then in cinnamon-sugar. The cinnamon-sugar coating is key. It adds so much extra cinnamony flavor and the sugar granules add donut hole authenticity.

I almost put them in a gallon-sized ziplock, and wanted to pour butter into the bag, then douse with cinnamon-sugar, and shake. But I used restraint and simply dipped the tops. Next time I’ll live dangerously and use the bag, butter, and shake method because it’s faster, and why say no to more butter and more cinnamon-sugar.

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donut Muffins - Recipe at

The flavor and the speed in which these little puffballs went from idea to reality to half a dozen in my belly makes them a total win.

Once you pop, you can’t stop.

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donut Muffins - Recipe at

This is my second mini food recipe this week.

It’s cute, it’s fun, and it clearly tastes better.

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donut Muffins - Recipe at

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donut Muffins - Muffins that taste like decadent mini donuts! (But they're baked and way healthier!)

Print Print Recipe

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donut Muffins

Part cinnamon-sugar donut hole, part mini-muffin, no matter what you call them, they're fast and easy to make, and so tasty and pop-able. Because they're baked rather than fried, I don't feel guilty when I pop more than a couple. Buttermilk keeps them soft, light, and fluffy. A hefty dose of cinnamon in the batter as well as in the cinnamon-sugar coating, makes for well-spiced muffins that are full of flavor. They come together from start to finish in under 30 minutes, and of course, mini food just tastes better.

Yield: about 24 mini muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


1 large egg
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch salt, optional and to taste

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon


  1. For the Muffins - Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two 12-count mini muffin pans with floured cooking spray; set aside. (You can make as full-size muffins and will likely yield about 1 dozen; or make as donuts or mini donuts; adjusting baking times accordingly)
  2. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large bowl and hand mixer), combine egg, butter, sugars, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed to cream ingredients until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the buttermilk. Beat momentarily to incorporate.
  4. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just incorporated; don't overmix. Batter will be fairly thick.
  5. Using a spoon sprayed with cooking spray so the batter slides off easily, drop rounded tablespoons into prepared pans. Fill each cavity about 3/4-full. (I made 28 mini muffins and some were on the skimpy side. In order to keep the yield at an even 24 muffins, I recommend dividing batter equally among 24 wells)
  6. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes (mine took 10 minutes exactly), or until muffins are domed with set centers, are springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Because they're small, they cook quickly and 1 minute can drastically effect taste; don't overbake and watch them closely. Allow muffins to cool in the pans on top of a wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing. While the muffins cool, prepare the coating.
  7. For the Coating - In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power; set aside.
  8. In a separate small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
  9. After the muffins have cooled, dip each muffin top briefly in melted butter, then in cinnamon-sugar, and repeat until all muffins have been coated. Optionally, the entire muffin could be buttered and coated similar to traditional cinnamon-sugar donut holes, and in doing so, you'd need to melt more butter and use more cinnamon-sugar. Serve immediately. Donut Muffins are best fresh, but will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 4 days (noting that the cinnamon-sugar coating may liquify a bit), or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Recipe from Averie Cooks. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.

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Baked Vanilla Donuts with Vanilla Glaze

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Baked Eggnog Vanilla Donuts and Mini Donuts with Eggnog Rum Glaze (use regular milk in place of the eggnog this time of year)

Six-Banana Banana Bread with Mini Loaf

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

Thanks for the entries in the Peanut Butter Comfort and KitchenAid Handheld Blender Giveaway

What’s your favorite donut or muffin recipe? Mini food fan?


104 Responses to “Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donut Muffins”

  1. Valerie — June 7, 2013 at 9:10 am (#

    Were it not for a fear of clowns, I would have loved to run away with a traveling circus or carnival – just for the food! These mini-donuts look delicious enough to fulfill my childhood love for all things dangerous and fried, in a much healthier form. :D

  2. Lindsey (Lou Lou Biscuit) — June 7, 2013 at 5:35 pm (#

    I remember waiting in line for (seemingly) hours at the fair every year to get those fried mini donuts. Thanks for providing a baked version that I could indulge in without having to get out the deep fryer.

    Baked means you can eat twice as many right?

  3. Nisa Homey — June 7, 2013 at 7:41 pm (#

    Averie, love ur bite sized muffins….just one is enough for that after meal sweet cravings….and your pictures are OMG!! Pinned this :)

  4. Charul @ Tadka Masala — June 8, 2013 at 10:20 am (#

    Oh my god these beauties! Ya, that is all I can say. Speechless.

  5. dishing up the dirt — June 9, 2013 at 6:45 pm (#

    I love a good old fashioned bite size treat every once in a while. These donuts sound amazing!!!

  6. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — June 10, 2013 at 12:53 am (#

    Donut hole or mini muffin, I want it all! Seriously, if I could have this for breakfast every morning, I wouldn’t have a problem waking up!

  7. Joy @Baking-Joy — June 10, 2013 at 2:32 pm (#

    These are so cute and pretty :-) they look delicious, have never made doughnut muffins but want to try!

  8. Maria — June 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm (#

    These look FABULOUS!!!! They sound so delicious, I’m pinning the recipe!!! Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to try these!

  9. dervla @ the curator — June 10, 2013 at 8:25 pm (#

    eeeek, these are the cutest donut muffins ever!! Love them. And of course they’re so tiny I wouldn’t feel guilty eating them :)

  10. angela @ another bite please — June 11, 2013 at 9:40 am (#

    donut muffins…love the title you gave it. I would be tempted to put in bag and shake away to thouroughly cover every speck on the muffin…and yes mini does taste better. pinning these little guys to make for my little guys :-)

    • Averie Sunshine — June 11, 2013 at 2:40 pm (#

      The shake method is pretty fun, too :) Thanks for pinning & lmk if you try them!

  11. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust — June 11, 2013 at 4:09 pm (#

    I swear, with little muffins like these I’d pop two dozen in without even thinking about it! SO good Averie!

  12. Nutmeg Nanny — June 13, 2013 at 3:50 pm (#

    Oh wow, donut muffins! I love this :) they look amazing.

  13. Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke — June 23, 2013 at 9:57 pm (#

    Looks delicious, pinned!

  14. Melissa Klotz — August 8, 2013 at 9:04 pm (#

    Delicious!! Cinnamon and Sugar is the best!! I wish I had mini muffin tins! These are too cute.

    • Averie Sunshine — August 8, 2013 at 10:36 pm (#

      You can bake in a regular size muffin tin if that’s what you have!

  15. Kevin @keviniscookin — January 15, 2014 at 5:49 pm (#

    These little Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donuts look simply delicious. Love the little snacks Averie! I am picturing these with some sort of filling like your Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins. Great photography as well, thanks!

  16. Kirsten | My Kitchen in the Rockies — January 20, 2014 at 7:02 pm (#

    I published a very similar recipe for cinnamon sugar donut muffins on my blog in Jan. 2013. They are a huge hit with my readers, too.
    Love your addition of the buttermilk and brown sugar! Greetings from CO, Kirsten.

    • Averie Sunshine — January 20, 2014 at 7:28 pm (#

      There are so many slightly different recipes for cinnamon sugar donut muffins. I know at least 5 bloggers right off the top of my head who have one. Yours look great and glad it’s a successful recipe for you!

  17. Kirsten | My Kitchen in the Rockies — January 28, 2014 at 8:21 am (#

    Hi Averie,

    I thought you are also interested that this site ( stole and republished our pictures. They run ads and get paid for using our work. I just contacted the webhost to take my material down. It appears that this site only uses plagiarized material. I find this very sad, especially since we as honest bloggers put a lot of time into our work.

    Wishing you a great day.

    • Averie Sunshine — January 28, 2014 at 9:27 am (#

      Thanks for the heads up. I don’t have a problem as much with those that just use 1 picture + a linkback. I do get batty though when they take my images and reprint my recipe in full, basically copy/paste of my blog post and reprint my entire post verbatim and are running ads on it!

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