I’m sure I have said this before, but I am in love with The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook. Everything I have made from it has been amazing and there are still so many more recipes I have bookmarked to try. While looking through the book again, I saw these cinnamon sugar doughnut muffins. Now, a few months ago, I made a similar recipe from the famed Downtown Bakery and Creamery. But, those were so good that I figured I would give this recipe a try and see how they compare. Two great things about doughnut muffins are 1. you don’t need a special pan and 2. they are baked, not fried (can we just pretend there aren’t 2 sticks of butter?). The batter is super easy to prepare and comes together quickly- even with a baby at your feet pulling everything out of every cabinet within his reach. After they bake, you are supposed to let them cool before coating them in melted butter and then rolling them in cinnamon sugar. You know I couldn’t wait. Okay, so I burned my fingers. but just a little. Oh well, it was worth it. Besides, I had to have breakfast on the table ASAP before Jack and Sammie started whining that they were hungry and wanted cereal instead. Why is it so hard to compete with Frosted Flakes? Damn you Tony!
I have to say, these tasted just as good as those muffins from Downtown Bakery and Creamery. But in Back in the Day Bakery’s favor, I think theirs baked up a bit taller, fluffier and more tender. So, I may have found a new favorite doughnut muffin. But, to be fair, I haven’t had the Downtown Bakery and Creamery’s muffins in awhile. So, I am going by memory…which I’ll admit, some days isn’t so good. I think this calls for a head-to-head competition.
Back in the Day Bakery’s Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Muffins
Yield: 12 muffins
For the muffins:
3 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg I used ground nutmeg from a jar
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom I omitted because I didn’t have any
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons buttermilk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs
For the coating:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
To make the muffins: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350◦F. Lightly spray 12 large muffin cups with vegetable oil spray.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cardamom. In a medium bowl, combine the milk and buttermilk.
In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium speed, cream the butter for 2 to 3 minutes. I used my Kitchen Aid. Turn the speed to low and gradually add the sugar. Continue to mix until the mixture lightens in color. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until combined. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, alternating with the milk mixture, mixing just until smooth; do not overmix- or they will be dense.
With a large ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them approximately two-thirds full. I had a bit of leftover batter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are firm to the touch and lightly golden.
While the muffins bake, set up two bowls to dunk them in. In one bowl you will have the melted butter, and in the other bowl you will have the cinnamon sugar.
Let the doughnuts cool completely on a wire rack. If you can wait, I couldn’t Dunk them in the melted butter, then coat them with the cinnamon sugar. The muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.