snack — kid-approved

Donut Muffins

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prep time 20 minutes
cook time 16 minutes
yield 12 muffins


Nothing—and we mean absolutely nothing—beats a freshly made donut. But let's face it: they're not the easiest treat to make at home. That's where these donut muffins come in. With their cinnamon sugar topping and warm, buttery crust that forms while they bake, they'll fill the donut-shaped hole in your heart. And best of all, there's no frying or rolling required, so have your kids join you in the kitchen to make the impossibly easy dump-and-stir batter!



For the muffins:

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) Nellie’s Free Range Butter, melted
  • 2 large Nellie’s Free Range Eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) Nellie’s Free Range Butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, optional


To make the muffins:

  • Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan. Scale or measure all dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Stir together milk, eggs, and vanilla in a separate small bowl until well combined.
  • Pour the wet ingredients and the melted butter into the dry ingredients and stir until batter is uniform and smooth, with no clumps of dry powder remaining.
  • Evenly distribute batter between all 12 prepared muffin cups.
  • Bake muffins for 15-18 minutes until centers have puffed up and feel set when gently pressed.
  • Allow muffins to cool 5 minutes, then remove them from the pan and let cool another 10-15 minutes while you prepare the topping.

To top the muffins:

  • Place melted butter in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine sugar and spices until thoroughly mixed.
  • Dunk warm muffin tops into melted butter, allowing any excess to drip off, and then roll the muffin tops in the spiced sugar.
  • Repeat process for all remaining muffins. Once each has been coated, dunk them one more time each in the spiced sugar (but not the butter) to add a second layer of topping.
  • Serve warm or keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Nellie’s Notes:

We love using cardamom in the topping to elevate this classic flavor profile and bring a light citrus undertone to the spices, but if you’re a die-hard lover of classic cinnamon and sugar donuts or have a picky little eater at home, simply leave the cardamom out.

To make delicious mini muffins that put donut holes to shame, prepare the batter in the same manner and just adjust the bake time to 12-15 minutes. You should get about 30 mini muffins per batch. For a proper donut hole finish, dunk the whole mini muffin into the melted butter, shake off any excess, and coat fully in the cinnamon sugar.

One of the classic features of a donut is that buttery caramelized crust. To achieve it, we recommend baking these muffins right in a greased muffin pan rather than a muffin pan lined with muffin papers. In a pinch, you absolutely can use muffin papers; you’ll just find that the resulting donut muffins are a bit more muffin-y and a bit less donut-y (but still delicious!).

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Comments Reviews

JennieMarch 26, 2020

Hi ..... do you think these will work with gluten free flour? They sound so yummy!!


Hi Jennie! We haven't tested this recipe using gluten free flour, so unfortunately we can't guarantee how these would turn out using alternative flours. If you do decide to go ahead with the recipe, we recommend using a cup-for-cup gluten free flour instead of a straight gluten free flour (like almond or coconut flour), and they may turn out a little different than described here. We hope this helps, and you'll have to let us know how it goes!

Margaret SmithMarch 25, 2020

Thanks for good product


We're glad we could share this delicious recipe with you, Margaret!

JulieMarch 15, 2020

Very very good.


We're so glad you like the recipe, Julie!

NickieMarch 11, 2020

I agree Cathy! Be polite Shannon and don’t preach. There are some very responsible and employee-owned companies that support US farmers and employ a lot of citizens. If you don’t want to indulge in the occasional treat don’t look at donut recipes.

Mary Poppins March 10, 2020

Hi there, this looks AMAZING!! I'd like to know if i would be able to use coconut or almond milk in place of regular milk?


Hi Mary! That's a great question. While we have not tried substituting regular milk for almond or coconut in this recipe, we do think it would be okay to try with a 1:1 ratio. We'd love to hear how it turns out!

DarcieMarch 08, 2020

Why cornstarch


Great question, Darcie! In this recipe, cornstarch is used to soften the overall flour content and make these muffins a little closer to a soft, cakey texture. If you don't have any cornstarch on hand, you'd be more than fine using all-purpose flour as a substitute - the only difference would be a slightly sturdier texture. We hope this helps!

AshleyMarch 07, 2020

Can these be frozen?


We think these would do just fine being stored in the freezer, Ashley! After baking, we recommend storing these muffins in an airtight container in the freezer and holding off on the butter and sugar topping until after they've thawed and are ready for eating. You'll have to let us know how it goes!

CathyMarch 05, 2020

Looks tasty and fun! And be polite, Shannon.

Katia March 05, 2020

Hi! Can’t wait to make these! Can the batter be made the night before? Would love to make them for my kids before school since I’m off this week!


Hi Katia! Great question. We actually don't recommend preparing the batter the night before because the leavening won't rise by the time you bake them. However, you could prepare the dry ingredients the night before and combine with the wet ingredients in the a.m. right before baking. We hope you and your family enjoy them!

Shannon March 04, 2020

White flour & white sugar are a thing of the past, as everyone knows how bad they are for you. Frankly it goes against your brand to promote junk ingredients with wholesome free range eggs. Fire your marketing dept.


Hi Shannon! Sounds like you may not be a fan of this particular recipe, but we do have some other recipes that are free of flour and sugar. We hope you'll take a peek and let us know what you think. Our team works hard to make sure that we provide a variety of recipes - from healthful daily choices to occasional splurges, that way we can please everyone's palette. Thanks for the feedback - we'll make sure to let the team know your thoughts!

How much did you like this recipe?

Maureen Murry

I made them today, both regular and mini-muffins. Very good!