A while back I was pondering one of nature’s biggest mysteries… the doughnut. I thought to myself that there must be a way to recreate the donut at home, in a somewhat healthier manner. I.E. Not fried.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a classic fried doughnut, but they’re really only worth all that evil fattiness if they’re fresh. And I’m not in the habit of getting up at the crack of dawn, which makes getting fresh ‘nuts from the local donut shop hit or miss. Usually miss.
It didn’t take long to find a recipe for a donut-muffin hybrid. A doffin, a duffin, a monut, a muffnut. Call it what you will, I was intrigued.
Last night, having a hankering for something sweet, I decided to test drive the muffnut, and I am pleased to tell you, it passed with flying colors.
Here’s the recipe, originally from Baking Bites.
(I love the explanations in the recipe. I’m a habitual fiddler when it comes to recipes, so I appreciate someone telling me why I should not fiddle with certain aspects beforehand.)
NOTE: After a lot of comments from other muffnut testers, I thought I should point out that these muffnuts are most similar to cake donuts. If you’re expecting a Krispy Kreme style yeast donut, you’ll likely be disappointed.
Cinnamon Sugar Muffnuts
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I used 1 cup white and 1/2 cup white whole wheat with excellent results)
- 2 tsp baking power
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (fresh! oh yeah!)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 TB butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional… you can mix it up and try different spice combos, too!)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a muffin tin with cooking spray or vegetable oil.
- In a large bowl, beat together sugar and egg until light in color, about 1 minute.
- Mix in the oil, milk, and vanilla.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Pour into egg mixture and stir to combine. A few lumps are okay.
- Divide batter evenly into 12 muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 14-18 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- While muffins are baking, melt butter and pour remaining 1/2 cup of sugar into a small bowl. Mix in the cinnamon.
- When muffins are done, lightly brush the top of each with some melted butter, remove from the pan and roll in sugar.
- Cool on a sheet of parchment paper. (I cooled mine on a wire rack like the original recipe stated, and they kind of stuck. Boo.)
Fresh out of the oven, they are nice and crispy on the outside, very much like a donut.
The next day, they’re softer… and somehow they taste even more like a donut, to me.
I can’t wait until fall, because I’ll be experimenting with apple and pumpkin muffnuts, and replacing the coffee with my favorite donut companion, apple cider.