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baking prep

baked doughnuts (actually they're muffins)

I'm starting to realize we didn't always name our baked goods with the most intuitive titles.

These - while being some of my favorite muffins - are definitely not actual doughnuts. This was a fact that continually confused and disappointed my childhood self. No matter how many times I had the sad realization that mom wasn't making fresh doughnuts in the kitchen, I always conjured up that image whenever she said "I'm making baked doughnuts for breakfast."

There was one occasion that she did make real doughnuts, fried up on the old stove and tossed liberally in powdered sugar - and since it had happened once, I was convinced it was always possible this was occurring a second time. It was stubborn hope that stayed around long past sense.

Now don't get me wrong. These are absolutely delicious. But they are definitely much more accurately described as "cinnamon sugar muffins" than "doughnuts." Mom explained to me that they were referred to as doughnuts because they had the nutmeg and cakey texture of an old, traditional doughnut, but that never quite made sense to me as a child. However, I could destroy a respectable amount of these things when they appeared on the table, so the disappointment was never very long lived.

So without further ado, here are some baked doughnut muffins!


baked doughnut muffins

yield: 3 dozen muffins


1 cup butter ¾ cup sugar 3 eggs 2½ cups unbleached flour

2 cups whole wheat flour 6¾ tsp baking powder ¾ tsp nutmeg ⅜ tsp salt 1½ cups milk 3 tsp vanilla

Topping: 3 TB sugar 3 tsp cinnamon


  1. Line a muffin tin with muffin papers or grease the pan.

  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream butter and sugar with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.

  3. Add the eggs and mix well to combine.

  4. In a separate bowl, stir flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt, then add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk and vanilla.

  5. Drop a scoop of dough in each muffin mold and shake the cinnamon sugar mixture over top.

  6. Bake at 350º for 15 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

  7. Serve with soft butter and additional cinnamon sugar if desired.

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Pick varieties and flavors that bring you joy. Not everyone is a baker and not everyone likes to cook. 


Enjoy the process. One of my favorite things while baking is to knead the dough and feel how it changes in my hands. I love chopping vegetables that came fresh from the farmer's market, brushing the dirt off the leaves, and creating with something that came from the earth.


Listen to jazz. I know this is a personal preference, but there are few things that give me quite the feeling of contentment as cooking a good meal with a glass of wine and a Thelonius record on in the background.

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