Cookies and Cream Donut Muffins

I wanted to make donut muffins for breakfast this morning, but I didn’t really feel like cinnamon.  Crazy, I know.  I’ve done chocolate frosted, vanilla frosted and powdered sugar donut muffins.   They were all delicious.  But, what could I do to make these different?  Ooo, how about cookies and cream?  Don’t Oreos make just about everything better?  I decided to use the recipe for donut muffins from Back in the Day Bakery as the starting point, omit the spices, and fold in crushed Oreos.  Then I added a thick vanilla frosting and some crushed Oreos on top for garnish.  Okay, so maybe these look like cupcakes.  But, they really do have the texture of cake donuts and those are considered breakfast.  So, I am going to go ahead, take it upon myself and declare these perfectly acceptable for breakfast.  I mean, definitely not for everyday, but as a special treat when you want to see your kids eyes light up like it was Christmas.  If you ever wondered why I bake, this is it. ♥

Cookies and Cream Donut Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins (I would have gotten 13, but I wasn’t going to bake 1 extra muffin)

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

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

8 Oreos, coarsely chopped

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, and salt. 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. Fold in the chopped Oreos.  Do not overmix or your muffins 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.  Let the donuts cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

For the frosting or glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp whole milk   I used heavy cream, but I had to add almost 3 tbsp to get it to the consistency I wanted.  If you want more of a glaze, add more cream or milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 crushed Oreos to sprinkle on top

In small bowl, stir together sugar, milk (or heavy cream- start with 1Tbsp) and vanilla extract.  Add more cream or milk, a bit at a time, and whisk until incorporated.  Continue to add more milk or cream until you get the consistency you want. Use immediately to frost/glaze the doughnuts.  Sprinkle the Oreos on top of the frosting before it sets.

Source: the donut muffin is adapted from Back in the Day Bakery.  The frosting is adapted from Sprinkle Bakes.

Back in the Day Bakery’s Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Muffins

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.

Source:  The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook

Blueberry muffins with doughnut topping

When I was looking for a recipe to use up my very brown bananas, I came across this recipe for blueberry muffins with doughnut topping.  Now, with a name like that, you have to agree that these muffins had to be made.   And soon. But, as was the problem with the last batch of blueberry muffins I made, no one here will eat them.  Ugh.  Luckily, I was going to my parents in the morning to help them with their garage sale.  So, I got to unload both my muffins and a bunch of the old clothes Sammie and Alex outgrew.  When I got there, my sister and her two kids attacked me for muffins before I even got in the door.  At least her kids loved them.  But, I have to admit, they mostly ate off the cinnamon sugar top, giving the half eaten bottoms to papa. 😀 My poor dad.  He didn’t even get the best part.

Like most muffins, these were simple to prepare.  You just need to make sure to mix with a gentle hand and not overdo it or you will have tough muffins.  And, no one wants that!  I love the lemon flavor in combination with the sweet blueberries.  I didn’t think just the lemon zest was enough, so I added a bit of lemon extract to make the lemon flavor a bit more pronounced.   When the muffins are warm, you dip their tops in melted butter and then roll them in cinnamon sugar.  The cinnamon sugar crust is a perfect texture contrast to the fluffy, lemon scented cake.  If you have some blueberries on hand, these are a must make.  If you don’t, buy some….

Blueberry muffins with doughnut topping

Yield: 12 muffins

Muffins:
2 cups (255 grams) all purpose flour
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (180ml) cold buttermilk, well shaken
3 oz. (3/4 stick/85 gram) unsalted butter, melted and tepid
2 large eggs, room temp
2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (8 oz/225g) fresh blueberries, pick over for stems

I added a few drops of lemon extract   optional

Doughnut topping:
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 oz (3/4 stick)  unsalted butter, melted-  I used 1/2 stick and it was plenty

Center rack in oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a 12-cup standard muffin pan with nonstick spray, then flour the cups, tapping out excess.  Or butter and flour the cups.  Or, line with fluted paper or foil liners.  Have all ingredients at room temperature except the buttermilk.

To make the muffins:  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, stir together the buttermilk, butter, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla until combined. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently with a rubber spatula just until moistened.  Do not beat until smooth, or the muffins will have a coarse texture. Using a spatula, fold in the blueberries just enough to incorporate them into the batter.  The batter will be very thick,

Using an ice cream scoop ( 2 1/4 inches in diameter/#16), fill the prepared pans with the batter ¾ full. Bake the muffins until golden, spring back when gently pressed in the center, and are starting to pull away from the muffin cups, 18 to 23 minutes.  Cool in the pan just until they can be handled, 10 to 15 minutes.

Make the topping: In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. While the muffins are still warm, gently remove them from the pan one at a time, dip the tops in the melted butter, and roll into the cinnamon sugar to coat. Place on a wire rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature.  Store at room temperature up to 2 days in an airtight container.  They may be frozen up to 10 days, then thaw at room temperature for 1 to 1.5 hours.

Source:  Baking for All Occasions by Flo Braker

Mini rainbow vanilla bean donuts

I have a mini donut pan that I have only used once or twice.  I am really trying to make an effort to use all of the crazy, one-use baking pans I have.  I thought I would make vanilla donuts for breakfast this morning.  But, then I was thinking, what isn’t made better with the addition of vanilla bean?  Umm…nothing.  So, I threw that in too.  But, I didn’t want to make plain old vanilla donuts.  I wanted to wow my children a bit.  But how? I thought of my daughter Sammie and her favorite color, rainbow.  So, I’ll make rainbow donuts!!

I just love how these turned out.  But let me warn you, they do take a bit of time and lots of dishes.  The batter is super easy to put together, taking only minutes.  The time comes from dividing the batter into 6 colors, dying them, putting them into piping bags, piping them and then baking them.  The big problem I discovered was that I only have one pan.  I put the 12 on table and I thought my children, who usually eat like birds would each have like 2, and my husband would have the other 6.  Nope.  They inhaled them in about 1 minute.  My husband was lucky to grab one out of Sammie’s hand and pop it into his mouth before she knew what was happening.  So, then it took me awhile to get the next pan prepared for the oven and baked.  Meanwhile everyone was waiting, impatiently, and starving.  Two notes to self:  buy 2 more donut pans and do not start a project like this unless you get up way before everyone else.  But, let me say these were delicious donuts.  They were so light and fluffy.  And, the vanilla bean gave them the perfect extra shot of vanilla flavor.  So, while these may take a bit of extra time and effort, these donuts will be a delicious, showstopping breakfast for your children.  And, based on Sammie and Jack’s happy faces, I must say, time well spent. 😀

Mini rainbow vanilla bean donuts

Donut batter:

2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. butter, melted
Seeds from one vanilla bean

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In large mixing bowl, sift together all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds and butter and beat until just combined.  I divided the batter into 6 bowls and colored them with Americolor gels – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple.

Scrape each colored batter into a separate small sandwich bag.  I put each bag into a small glass for support.  Cut a small hole from the corner of the red bag and press gently to place a big dot of batter into the well.  Do the same with the orange.  The red will have spread a bit, so place the orange so it overlaps by about 1/2.  Continue around the well with yellow, green, blue and ending with the purple to complete the donut.  They should be about half full.

Bake 4-8 minutes or until the top of the donuts spring back when touched. Let cool in pan for 4–5 minutes before removing. Finish doughnuts with vanilla glaze. Doughnuts are best served fresh.

 
Vanilla glaze
1 cup confectioner’ s sugar
1 tbsp whole milk   I used heavy cream, but I had to add almost 4 tbsp to get it to the consistency I wanted.
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Food coloring optional
sprinkles   optional

In small bowl, stir together sugar, milk (or heavy cream- start with 1Tbsp, and slowly add more until you get the right consistency) and vanilla extract until sugar is completely dissolved.  If using, add food coloring and stir until color is uniform.  Use immediately to glaze doughnuts.  Sprinkle on nonpareils if using.

Source: Sprinkle Bakes

rainbow donuts tray

Downtown Bakery and Creamery’s Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

I was watching The Best Thing I Ever Ate- Snacks and the owner of Sprinkles Cupcakes, Candace Nelson, said her favorite snack was the donut muffins at Downtown Bakery and Creamery.  They looked amazing!  Besides, I figured if she would eat these muffins instead of her own cupcakes, they must be fabulous. I remembered saving a recipe awhile back for cinnamon donut muffins and that it was from some bakery.  I found the recipe and sure enough, it was written by the owner of Downtown Bakery and Creamery!  These are supposed to be giant muffins, but I read the reviews and most people suggested they be made mini to increase the cinnamon sugar to cake ratio (brilliant!) and because they are so rich.  The cupcakes bake up tall with a crust on the outside and they are fluffy and tender on the inside.  While they are still hot, you brush them all over with melted butter and roll them in cinnamon sugar.  Does breakfast get much better than that? I’m gonna go ahead and say no. 😀
Downtown Bakery and Creamery’s Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins
Yield: 24 standard size muffins  (52-56 mini muffins)
For the muffins:
12 oz. (24 Tbs.) unsalted butter, warmed to room temperature
1-3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 lb. 11 oz. (6 cups) all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1-2/3 cups milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
For dipping:
8 oz. (16 Tbs.) unsalted butter; more as needed
2 cups sugar
2 Tbs. ground cinnamon
Put a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. In a stand mixer or a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just mixed in. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Combine the milk and buttermilk. With a wooden spoon, mix a quarter of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Then mix in a third of the milk mixture. Continue mixing in the remaining dry and wet ingredients alternately, ending with the dry. Mix until well combined and smooth, but don’t overmix. The batter is very thick.  Grease and flour a standard-size muffin tin. Scoop enough batter into each tin so that the top of the batter is even with the rim of the cup, about 1/2 cup. (A #16 ice-cream scoop gives you the perfect amount.) Bake the muffins until firm to the touch, 30 to 35 minutes.
Melt the butter for the dipping mixture. Combine the sugar and cinnamon. When the muffins are just cool enough to handle, remove them from the tin, dip them into or brush them all over with the melted butter (I recommend the brush method- I did both and found that the dip method lead to them absorbing too much butter and got greasy).  Then roll them- top, bottom, and sides- in the cinnamon sugar.
Make ahead: You don’t have to bake all the muffins right away; the batter will keep, covered and chilled, for up to three days in the refrigerator.
Mini muffins:  I baked mine in a mini muffin tin. I made a half recipe and got 28 mini muffins.  They took about 18 minutes to bake, but I would start checking at about 14 minutes.
Helpful Hints:
  • Cinnamon sugar is delicious, but powdered sugar, plain sugar, or vanilla sugar would be delicious too.
  • Do not overmix, or you will not get fluffy, tender muffins.
  • I added a splash of vanilla to the batter, as I can’t imagine any baked good without it 😀
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