If you love cake donuts, you’re really going to love these Cinnamon Muffins equipped with a thick, sparkly layer of cinnamon-sugar on top. They’re cinnamony, buttery, with a dense, cake-like texture that mimics an old-fashioned donut almost identically!
The batter comes together easily and takes less than 20 minutes to get into the oven. Once every room in the house is filled with the sweet scent of cinnamon and your muffins are baked through, you’ll dip them in melted butter, and roll in cinnamon sugar. They’re perfect for breakfast, brunches, and snack attacks!
You’ll also love our Apple Cinnamon Muffins. Bookmark the recipe for next time!
CINNAMON-SUGAR DONUT MUFFINS
This breakfast treat is half cake donut, half muffin, and 100% pure breakfast magic! If you are a fan of old-fashioned cake donuts, this is going to be your new favorite muffin recipe. The interior is buttery, dense, and (I hate to say it) moist.
So how is that we get this amazing texture out of a muffin tin and not a fryer? Chemical leaveners. Don’t you just love it when science equals great food?
Both baking powder and baking soda are chemical leaveners, and in this particular Cinnamon Muffin recipe, they play a big role. Large amounts of leaveners in baked goods often causes the batter to quickly rise and then collapse on itself. For this recipe in particular, the result isn’t a sunken muffin, but rather a muffin with a dense, cake donut-like texture. Now that’s what I’m talking about.
HOW TO MAKE CINNAMON MUFFINS
- Mix Dry Ingredients – To kick off this Cinnamon Muffin recipe, you’ll start by mixing the dry ingredients. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Set the mix aside.
- Cream Butter and Sugar – Add the butter and the sugar to a large mixing bowl and mix on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes, until it has visibly lightened in color and appears light and fluffy in texture. You can use a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for this task.
- Add the Wet Ingredients – Once the butter and sugar are creamed, you can add the remaining wet ingredients to your Cinnamon Muffin batter! Add the eggs one at a time (taking care to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition). Then, add the vanilla and mix once more.
- Alternate Milk and Dry Ingredients – You’ll alternate adding both the dry ingredients and the milk in three separate additions. Once everybody is in the bowl and incorporated, scrape down the sides once again, and give it one last mix.
- Bake – Add the muffin batter to the muffin cups, filling each one about two-thirds of the way full and bake at 350°F for about 25 minutes. You’ll either need two muffin tins or use the same muffin tin twice.
- Make Cinnamon Sugar Topping – Once your Cinnamon Sugar Muffins have finished baking and are cool enough to handle, melt down the remaining butter and then, add cinnamon and sugar to a bowl and stir to combine.
- Top the Muffins – Dip the tops of the muffins in the melted butter, then, swirl them generously in the cinnamon sugar. Yum.
WHY CREAM THE BUTTER AND SUGAR?
Creaming the butter and sugar is partially what gives these muffins their cake donut-like texture and this step should not be rushed! To properly execute this step, you’ll need for your butter to be at room temperature. This means the butter shouldn’t be so warm that it is melty, and but pliable enough that you can easily indent it with a gentle poke of your finger.
Mix on medium-high speed until the butter has visibly lightened in color, and the mix is light and fluffy in appearance!
HOW TO KNOW WHEN MY MUFFINS ARE DONE
There are a few ways to determine when your Cinnamon Muffins are ready to come out of the oven! The first (and easiest) is to gently poke the center of the muffin. If the muffin springs back just ever so slightly, they’re are done!
You could also use a toothpick or a cake tester to determine their doneness. If the toothpick comes out damp and coated with batter, they’ll need to bake a little longer. If your toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it, the muffins are ready!
- All-Purpose Flour | This Cinnamon Muffin recipe was developed using all-purpose flour, and because of this, no other flour should be substituted. Different types of flours have various levels of protein within them; this means they interact with other ingredients differently. For best results, it’s all-purpose flour all the way!
- Leaveners | Note, both baking powder and baking soda are called for in this recipe. These chemical leaveners are not interchangeable and you’ll want to take care not to mix up their measurements! Too much baking soda and your muffins will taste soapy. Too much baking powder and your muffins could be tough! Just stick to the recipe, and they’ll be golden. Literally.
- Ground Cinnamon | These Cinnamon Muffins are positively bursting with cinnamon, both inside and out! You’ll need ground cinnamon for both the muffin batter and the cinnamon-sugar topping.
- Sugar | You’ll also need granulated sugar for both the batter and the cinnamon-sugar topping.
- Butter | We will also be using butter for both the batter and the topping. However, note the butter going into the batter should be at room temperature. The butter for the topping will be melted down and used to get that cinnamon-sugar topping to stick! Be sure to use unsalted butter or your muffins will be overly salty.
- Milk | This recipe calls for whole milk, but if you only have 2% milk on hand, it is fine to sub that in.
- Eggs and Vanilla Extract
HOW TO STORE CINNAMON MUFFINS
You can leave your Cinnamon Muffins out at room temperature in an airtight container but eat them within 3-4 days for peak freshness. If you’d like to preserve them beyond this time period, freeze them!
HOW TO FREEZE MUFFINS
To freeze your muffins, allow them to cool to room temperature, then place them in a freezer-safe gallon-sized ziplock bag. Remove as much air as possible, seal, and freeze. Eat within 3 months for best quality.
HOW TO REHEAT MUFFINS
To reheat frozen muffins, place them on a microwave-safe plate and cover with a damp paper towel. The damp towel will keep moisture from escaping. Microwave for about 45 seconds. If you just want to warm up a muffin that is not frozen, proceed the same way with the plate and the paper towel, but only microwave it for about 20 to 30 seconds max.
5 MORE MUFFIN RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Pumpkin Muffins
- Apple Crumble Muffins
- Banana Oatmeal Muffins
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Muffins
Cinnamon Muffins with a buttery, dense, cake-like texture that mimics an old-fashioned donut, and a thick, sparkly layer of cinnamon-sugar on top.
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup (about 11 tablespoons) room temperature, unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted in a small bowl
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard-sized muffin tin with muffin liners and lightly spritz with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the butter and the sugar and mix on medium-high speed using a handheld mixer for 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy. You could also use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix once more.
Mixing on low, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk in three additions. Then, scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix once more.
Fill the muffin cups two-thirds of the way full and bake for 25 minutes, or until the center of the muffins spring back ever so slightly when gently poked.
While the muffins are baking, combine the sugar and cinnamon for the topping in a small bowl, and set aside.
Once cool enough to handle, dip the top of the muffin in the melted butter and then dip it into the cinnamon-sugar and swirl until well-coated. Serve and enjoy.