My love for donuts (or doughnuts?) runs deep, though like many things, I’m not quite sure why.
I’ve read Glazed America, titled as a social history of the doughnut in America, but unfortunately all I can really remember are a lot of references to Homer Simpson and his love for donuts. More recently, I’ve consumed my share of Krispy Kreme’s Cheerwine-cream-filled donuts.
When my sister was in elementary school and I was in middle school, my dad would drive us from our home in the country to the town where our grandparents lived and where we went to school. Since the elementary school day began an hour or so later than the middle school day, my sister would catch the bus from Grandma and Grandpa’s house, and Dad would drop me off at school.
The drives in on Thursdays were the best because Thursdays were Donut Day. We would stop at Rod’s Donut Shop, and each of us would order the same things every week. A black coffee and danish for Dad, a jelly-filled donut for my sister, and a filled stick (long john) for me.
The toppings are what make these donuts. By themselves, the little donut muffins are a bit plain, but topped and filled they are rather delicious. I made three varieties of donut muffins: apple-cinnamon with cinnamon-sugar topping, vanilla-cream filled with chocolate-ganache, and maple with brown sugar icing.
Apple-Cinnamon Donut Muffins with Cinnamon-Sugar Topping
For apple-cinnamon muffins, add 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 3/4 cup finely chopped apple to the batter. When cool, dip the top of a muffin in melted butter and then roll in a mixture of one part cinnamon to three parts sugar. These donut muffins taste even better after they sit for a day!
Vanilla-Cream Filled and Chocolate-Ganache Topped
For vanilla-cream-filled, chocolate-ganache-topped muffins, use a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to whip 1 cup whipping cream with 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 tablespoons of sugar until a medium-consistency cream forms. Place the whipped cream in a pastry bag fitted with tip 230 and gently puncture the bottom of the muffin to fill. Be sure to squeeze with a gentle pressure to avoid overfilling and bursting the muffin!
To make the chocolate ganache, melt 1/2 cup of chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream over low heat. Stir constantly until smooth, then dip the top of a muffin in the ganache. Top with sprinkles if desired.
Maple Donut Muffins with Brown Sugar Icing
For maple muffins, add 1 teaspoon maple syrup extract to the batter. When cool, dip the top of a muffin in a brown sugar icing made by melting butter with heavy cream and brown sugar, then adding in confectioner’s sugar. Enjoy!
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking power
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Beat the sugar and the egg together at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Slowly alternate adding the vegetable oil, milk, and vanilla with the flour mixture and mix until combined.
- Add the desired flavorings or mix-ins as seen in the notes below.
- Fill the wells of a mini-muffin pan approximately ¾ full.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
- When cool, top or ice according to the notes below.