Wednesday Baking | Baked Doughnut Holes (er, muffins)

Every Wednesday (ok, most Wednesdays!) I share a baking recipe. And lots of pictures of said baking recipe. I don’t call this Wednesday Baking because I bake solely on Wednesdays…no, my oven gets a workout much more frequently than once a week! Wednesday just happens to be the day I share baking recipes with you. All the past baking posts are archived in the Wednesday Baking category, which can also be found in a tab underneath my blog header.

This recipe is from The New American Diet, a cookbook published in the 90s, when low-fat, low-cholesterol eating was all the rage. I’m no longer convinced that low-fat eating is the way to go (I’m much more sold on Michael Pollan’s “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” idea!), but this book did have some good recipes in it.

I’m not really sure that these “doughnut holes” are a convincing stand-in for the real thing, but they are a yummy treat, and they’re a lot easier to make than real doughnut holes!

I should add, though, that these don’t really belong in any discussion about healthy eating. Because low-fat or not, there’s little that’s nutritious about these bite-size, sugar coated muffins/doughnuts.

Hopefully, though, you’re eating more nutritious things for breakfast most of the time, things like scrambled eggs, yogurt, whole wheat toast, fruit, and granola. If that’s the case, an every-now-and-then batch of these probably isn’t going to have a disastrous effect on your health. ;)

These are as simple to throw together as most other muffins, so they’re perfect for a breakfast treat.

First, mix the oil and sugar, and add in an egg, some vanilla, and some milk.

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together.

Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. The batter should NOT be completely smooth…if it is, you mixed too much.

(isn’t my green spatula awesome? I found it at Goodwill for $.50. Love.)

Spoon the batter into mini muffin tins. Mine are super nonstick, so I don’t bother greasing them, but you may want to grease yours.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

While the muffins are baking, melt several tablespoons of butter. The amount you need will depend on just how buttery you want your end product to be. ;)

Combine sugar and cinnamon.

You can brush the tops of the muffins with butter, or for a more decadent experience, dip the muffins into the melted butter.

Roll the muffins in the cinnamon sugar and serve warm.

Baked Doughnut Holes-makes 36

Printable Baked Doughnut Hole Recipe

2 tablespoons oil or melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

3-4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Mix oil and sugar; beat in egg. Add vanilla and milk, and stir until combined.

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add to wet ingredients and stir gently, just until combined. (a few lumps should remain).

Fill mini muffin tins 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip each muffin/doughnut into the melted butter and then roll in the cinnamon sugar.

Serve warm!


  1. says

    I have to lose 13 pounds in the next 6 months, so I can fit into my awesome formalwear dress that was made for me 10 years ago. It was before I had kids, so I was about 13 pounds lighter back then. Losing weight sucks. If only fat were considered attractive…:P

  2. says

    Oh no. I’m just trying to not buy m&m’s when I’m at the grocery store being that its swimsuit season and all. Will resist making these… will resist. I haven’t heard of that book before, but it sounds really interesting

    • Kristen says

      I just bought a new swimsuit and in the same outing, I bought a box of toffee from Trader Joe’s. Somehow, I don’t think the toffee is going to enhance my poolside appearance. lol

  3. says

    We used to have these as kids, but we called them “French Breakfast Puffs”. I think they’re in the Joy of Cooking as “Doughnuts”. They had a bit more butter than your recipe… but oh man, they are amazing. Now that we’re grown-up, we have them once a year on Christmas. Sometimes we sneak in whole wheat flour for a little nutrition. :-)

  4. Brenda says

    I am now drooling after seeing those photos………thanks so much for what will be a very delicious recipe – my family will love this!

  5. says

    This is a good breakfast idea for me! I don’t have those small muffin plans, guess I can make them in my large muffin pans and increase the cooking time.

  6. says

    My four year old son and I are gluten-intolerant, so obviously I won’t be making these muffins, but you’ve given me a great idea with the cinnamon-sugar dip! One of the things my little boy misses most since going gluten free is donut holes (he and his daddy used to have “boys only” trips to Tim Horton’s once a week), so I think I’ll try baking our favorite vanilla muffin recipe as minis and dipping in the butter and cinnamon-sugar. We usually have a breakfast treat on Sunday mornings, and this sounds like a great option. I can’t wait to give it a try!

    • Kristen says

      Awesome! I was thinking that you could easily use a gluten-free muffin recipe…I’ve never done gluten-free baking, but from what I read, it seems like it’s much, much easier to do gluten-free when you’re baking with baking powder or baking soda than when you’re baking with yeast.

      I’m glad you’ve already got a muffin recipe you like, because I am no help when it comes to gluten-free baking! lol

  7. Madison says

    Thanks for sharing the recipe and photos! I made these for breakfast this morning and the little ones really enjoyed them. (I did, too.) Your blog is great and I really appreciate the baking ideas. I enjoy baking, but usually stick to the favorites. I’ve been able to try many of your recipes and our whole family benefits. :) Pease keep it up!

  8. TracyFeuer says

    Thank you for posting your recipes. I have been reading your blog since I saw you on the 700 club. I have an 11 year old daughter who is just learning how to cook. Your apple pancake recipe was the first recipe she tried on her own. It turned out wonderful. She is anxious to try the donought recipe. Your recipes are so well written and the photos help her so much. She will make someone a wonderful frugal wife someday. Cooking from scratch is such a money saver. Thank You for inspiring my little one to cook. Ok maybe 11 is not little anymore but hey she is the baby so thats little to me.

  9. Carolynp says

    I’m always surprised by how much we have in common! Pollan’s line is a haiku. Mostly vegetables.

  10. TracyFeuer says

    my 11 year old daughter made these for me today. I am diabetic so she subbed Splenda for sugar in both the dough and the topping. They were wonderful for breakfast. We didn’t have a mini pan either the recipe made 12 larger muffins at 3 weight watchers points each using splenda. Very Yummy

  11. BohoBelle says

    Thanks for such a great recipe, it was delicious and turned out perfectly (which is surprising in my house). I made things a little easier by only using one bowl and adding the dry ingredients directly to the wet, seemed to work fine.

    thanks again :)

  12. shannonc says

    wow! I just made these!! they are better than any I have had and I thought those others were great!! I am going to wow my husband!!

  13. lyngrant says

    I was introduced to this recipe by a member of my church many years ago in Ottawa, Canada, and my family loved them. Tomorrow I am attending a church picnic, and volunteered to bring a desert – went looking for this recipe but could not find it. went to the internet, and there you were. Thank you. I know everyone will enjoy them.

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