Good question, roommates — what exactly IS a doughnut muffin? I had been wondering the same thing since seeing so many recipes for doughnut muffins pop up all over Pinterest over the past couple of years.
Doughnuts are good, muffins are good, so combined you get something thats double the amazing, right? Or maybe not…. maybe the name is in fact the only thing that differentiates a doughnut muffin from the standard muffin — in which case: MAJOR disappointment.
These have been my conflicting thoughts, my recurring hesitations coupled with my undying intrigue where all things doughnut muffin have been concerned for quite some time now. During my last weeks at school (oh yeah, I’m a graduate now – I passed college, woohoo!) I finally decided to find out if the name does in fact live up to the hype.
[Spoiler Alert: It does. It definitely does…]
To those of who you have often wondered what to expect from this alleged doughnut-muffin hybrid, allow me to assuage your hesitations, your concerns, your refusal to believe that such a thing can exist. I understand, I’ve been there. And now I am here, in raspberry jam-filled chai-spiced doughnut muffin bliss – this is where you want to be, too. This is where everyone should want to be, really.
Imagine biting into a muffin – an unassuming, humble little muffin. First, you hit a crackly, crunchy cinnamon-spiced sugar coating, which is when you realize that this is no ordinary muffin. Beneath that cinnamon-sugar is a moist, fluffy, cake-like interior flavored sweetly with vanilla and chai spices — you’re only on the first bite, a nibble really, when you decide, “Yes, yes it is possible! The doughnut muffin – it’s REAL, and so, so good!” So then you get really excited about all that cake doughnut goodness in muffin form and you take another, much bigger bite which unleashes sweet raspberry jam all over the flavor party that’s currently going down and you just know there’s no going back to plain muffins after this ever again. Because now you know doughnut muffins are not only delicious and real, but are actually superior to all other muffins.
End of story.
I’m not going to lie, these muffins are more involved than what I’m used to. I usually have a rule where muffins and quick breads are concerned: no mixers necessary. I broke this rule for these muffins, but they were completely worth it. I also opted to grease and flour the muffin tins instead of using liners because I kind of feel like that’s quintessential to the doughnut muffin — whether they’re glazed or coated in cinnamon sugar, you should be able to just pop ’em in your mouth on demand without worrying about eating muffin liners (this is just a personal preference, though; if you want to cut down on the prep or if you would actually prefer to eat paper liners as you shove these muffins into your mouth, then go ahead and use some muffin liners!).
Involved? Yes. Difficult? Not at all. A few extra steps may be required of these muffins, but none none of them are difficult. If you can turn on a mixer and put a spoon into a jar of jam and throw cinnamon sugar all over your kitchen, then you are more than qualified to make these muffins.
Oh, and if chai spices scare you (they probably don’t, though, because they’re delicious) then feel free to just omit the chai latte mix from the recipe and add about a teaspoon or two of cinnamon in its place if you still want some sweet-spice in your muffins’ flavor profile. Also, I should point out that these also taste pretty awesome when the jam filling is completely omitted and blueberries are mixed in instead… just sayin’ 😉
And while I’m pretty partial (as were all of my taste testers at school) to coating these in cinnamon sugar to get that great textural crunch and cake doughnut-eating experience, the option to glaze them also exists. You’ll notice I included both options in the recipe below; both the cinnamon sugar coating and the glaze will make a quantity large enough to coat/glaze the whole batch, so only make half quantities of each if you plan on sugar coating half and glazing the other half.
If you’re in a muffin rut, or don’t want to mess with frying doughnuts in oil, or are just really curious about the mythical doughnut muffin, then you’ve come to the right place and the perfect recipe.
Jam-Filled Chai Doughnut Muffins
Makes 12-15 standard muffins or 36-45 mini muffins
For the muffins:
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
3 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chai latte mix
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons plan greek yogurt or sour cream
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons chai latte mix
For the icing:
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon chai latte mix
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease and flour your muffin tins (if they’re nonstick, you can get away with just spraying them with oil).
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, several minutes. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl and then add the eggs one at a time until throughly mixed in, scraping the bowl again after each addition.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, mix together the milk and chai latte mix and heat in the microwave for 30-second intervals until the chai mix is fully mixed in and dissolved into the milk. To this, add the vanilla and the greek yogurt (or sour cream) and mix together until well-blended.
To the butter/sugar/egg mixture in the bowl of the mixer, add one-fourth of the flour mixture and mix until just blended. Scrape the beaters and the sides and bottom of the bowl clean and then mix in one-third of the milk mixture, again until just blended. Repeat this until all of the flour and milk mixtures are mixed in, being sure to scrape the beaters and bowl after each addition; you’ll have four additions of the flour mixture and 3 of the milk.
Fill the muffin tins about halfway to two-thirds full of batter. Using a spoon or the end of a wooden spoon dipped in flour (whichever is easiest for you), create a small well in the middle of each cavity full of batter; fill with about a Tablespoon of jam for standard sized muffins, 1 teaspoon for mini muffins. Add more batter on top so that the jam is completely covered and the tins are full just to the rim or a little below.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes for standard sized muffins or 13-15 minutes for mini muffins, until lightly browned and the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Allow to cool in the muffin tins for a couple of minutes before removing from the tins and transferring to a wire rack until cool enough to handle.
In a bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and chai mix until well-combined. Brush the cooled muffins with butter (you can dip them if you would prefer, but I opted to brush instead to avoid making them greasy) and then dredge in the cinnamon chai sugar mix.
OR, you can glaze them instead, in which case you’ll want to combine all of the glaze ingredients, adding the milk Tablespoon by Tablespoon unit the desired consistency is reached (you’ll want it to be thin enough to pour and drip, but not water-thin). Dip the tops of the muffins in the glaze or drizzle over the tops using a spoon and transfer back to the wire racks until the glaze is set.
Keep these stored at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to several days.
Recipe adapted from Downton Bakery’s Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins via Just Baked