There's a lot to love about these pumpkin spice donut muffins! Baked with real pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices and coated with cinnamon sugar, they're packed with delicious fall flavor. Plus they're quick and easy to make and bake in a muffin pan (standard-size or mini).
If you're like me and you're a big fan of breakfast treats that can pull double duty as dessert, then you're going to love these pumpkin spice donut muffins! Donut muffins may be intended for breakfast, but believe me when I tell you that no one would be disappointed if you served them for dessert!
These pumpkin spice donut muffins combine some of fall's best flavors - real pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices, and a generous coating of cinnamon sugar - into one deliciously simple fall treat. They're soft and moist, like your favorite cake donut, but they're quick and easy to make. AND they're baked in a muffin pan (regular-sized or mini, you choose!), so there's no special equipment necessary. You don't even need to pull out your stand mixer; just a couple of bowls, and whisk, and a wooden spoon will do!
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Baking Powder - Baking powder gives these muffins just the right amount of lift.
Pumpkin Pie Spices - This blend of warming spices - including cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice - is the same homemade spice blend that I use in my soft pumpkin cookie recipe, and it pairs beautifully with the pumpkin purée.
Pumpkin Purée - Be sure to use pumpkin purée/canned pumpkin that contains only 100% real pumpkin. Do not use pumpkin pie filling, which also contains spices, sweeteners, and other additives.
Brown Sugar - Brown sugar adds a hint of molasses and a bit of moisture to the muffin batter.
Egg White - Egg white, rather than a full egg or just a yolk, helps to bind the batter together while keeping it tender.
Vegetable Oil - Vegetable oil , rather than butter, helps to keep the donut muffins ultra tender and moist.
See recipe card at the bottom of this post for full ingredient list and measurements.
Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a muffin pan (regular or mini-sized) with cooking spray and set aside.
Step 2: Make the muffin batter. In a small bowl, add the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
Step 3: In a medium bowl, add the pumpkin purée, brown sugar, milk, egg white, oil, and vanilla. Whisk until well blended and smooth.
Step 4: Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until combined, being careful not to over mix the batter.
Step 5: Divide the batter evenly among the muffin wells in the prepared muffin pan (6 regular-sized muffin wells or 16 mini muffin wells).
Step 6: Bake the donut muffins until they become domed on top, about 22 minutes for regular-sized muffins and 12-14 minutes for mini muffins. Let the muffins cool briefly in the pan before transferring to a wire rack.
Step 7: Coat the muffins. Melt butter in a small bowl, and combine sugar and cinnamon in another small bowl. Dip a donut muffin in the butter, coating all sides and allowing excess butter to drip off. Then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture, once again coating all sides.
Step 8: Repeat with the other muffins and enjoy immediately!
For perfectly tender muffins, be careful not to over mix the batter. After adding the flour, mix the batter just until combined.
Use a cookie scoop to evenly portion the batter into the wells of the prepared muffin pan. Using a cookie scoop makes it easy to portion out the dough evenly and avoid spilling batter.
Be sure to read the storage instructions before coating the muffins with the cinnamon sugar, since the coating will have a big impact on how long the muffins will keep.
Yes, canned pumpkin and pumpkin purée are two names for the same thing. Both are simply pumpkin that's been cooked and mashed. Do not use pumpkin pie filling for this recipe, as that already contains spices and sweeteners in addition to pumpkin.
That's exactly what we're doing here! These are baked donuts that we're baking in a muffin pan instead of a donut pan. And there's no special equipment (no donut pan and no stand mixer) necessary!
It's important to note that once they're coated in cinnamon sugar, donut muffins won't keep very long as they'll absorb the sugar and become soft and sticky. Avoid coating the muffins until shortly before you plan to serve them.
Room Temperature: Donut muffins that are coated in the cinnamon sugar topping can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day. If you wish to store the donut muffins for longer, do not coat them in the cinnamon sugar mixture and store the uncoated donut muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Freezing: Uncoated donut muffins can be frozen, stored in an airtight container, for up to 3 months. Defrost completely before coating in cinnamon sugar and serving.
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Pumpkin Spice Donut Muffins
Donut Muffin Batter
- ⅞ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- pinch of ground allspice
- ⅜ cup pumpkin purée
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup milk, room temperature
- 1 large egg white, room temperature
- 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a muffin pan (regular or mini-sized) with cooking spray and set aside.
Make the muffin batter.
- In a small bowl, add the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add the pumpkin purée, brown sugar, milk, egg white, oil, and vanilla. Whisk until well blended and smooth.
- Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until combined, being careful not to over mix the batter.
- Divide the batter evenly among the muffin wells in the prepared muffin pan. For regular-sized donut muffins, divide the batter among 6 muffin wells. For mini donut muffins, divide the batter among 16 mini muffin wells.
Bake the donut muffins.
- Bake the donut muffins until they become domed on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 22 minutes for regular-sized donut muffins and 12-14 minutes for mini donut muffins. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 2 minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire rack to cool. (NOTE: It is not necessary for the donut muffins to cool completely before coating them with cinnamon sugar and serving. If you plan to serve the donut muffins immediately while still warm, simply let them cool until they're cool enough to handle before proceeding with the next steps.)
Prepare the cinnamon sugar coating.
- Add the butter to a small, microwave-safe bowl and melt it in the microwave. Set aside.
- In another small bowl, add the sugar and cinnamon and whisk to combine.
- Working one at a time, dip each donut muffin in the butter, coating all sides and allowing excess butter to drip off, then roll each donut muffin in the cinnamon sugar mixture, once again coating all sides.
- Serve immediately.