Apple Cinnamon Doughnut Muffins

I’m working on a reader requested Brain Food 101 post on the best way to store muffins. So naturally, I had to come up with a new muffin recipe for the experiment, right?

What better than sweet bite-sized ‘doughnut’ muffins, topped with cinnamon sugar and filled with apple butter?


Yup, filled with spiced apple butter. Think of it as a jelly doughnut, only a little healthier and a little spicier.

I’m doing my experiment over the next few days, so keep an eye out for the Brain Food 101 post. In the meantime, Dan has his own theory on the best way to store these little morsels:

“My theory is that the best way to store muffins is in my office. In my desk drawer. Depleted at a rate of approximately one per day. Except for the first day, which will be 6. Though if they are mini, maybe the rate will be more like three per day”


Apple Cinnamon Doughnut Muffins

Apple Cinnamon Doughnut Muffins

Slightly adapted from CHOW's doughnut muffins


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Olive oil, sugar and cinnamon for brushing on top of muffins
  • 1/2 pint spiced apple butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F and grease and flour a mini or regular muffin tin.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. In a smaller bowl, combine the milk and vinegar.
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a handheld mixer, beat the butter, olive oil and sugar together until smooth and creamy. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add one quarter of the dry ingredients and one third of the liquid ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  5. Repeat until only 1/4 of the dry ingredients remains. Fold in the last of the dry ingredients, mixing until just blended.
  6. Pour into muffin tin up to the rim.   Bake 12-16 minutes for mini, 15-20 for regular. Allow to cool in the pan for 3-5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. While the muffins are still warm, brush each top with olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  8. When the muffins have cooled, use a plastic bag filled with apple butter and fitted with a pastry tip to poke a hole in the muffins and fill with apple butter.

Make Ahead and Storage



  1. Ashley says

    Hi! I’m fairly new to your blog, but I can say– these look amazing! 🙂 It’s late… but I suddenly feel like going into the kitchen and whippping up a batch!

  2. says

    Mmh. I love donut muffins. I love the idea of filling with with a flavored butter or jam. I’ve also thought to fill it with like a creamy mascarpone filling too. Great, now I want these, again…

  3. Katie F. says

    These look tasty, indeed, but don’t really go along with your “smart food and fitness” tagline.

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      Thanks for your comment. To me, ‘smart food’ includes the occasional treat, especially those with healthy twists thrown in. For instance, in this recipe, I replaced some of the flour with whole wheat flour, the whole milk and buttermilk with 1% milk and vinegar, and cut back on the butter.

  4. says

    Julie, You think I can sub any vinegar for the apple cider vinegar? I’m all out and I want to make these in the next day or so. Thanks!

    • Julie says

      Ah, I’m only just now seeing this – was out of town all last week! Did you end up using a different vinegar? I think another would work, since there is such a small amount!


  1. […] When I saw this recipe on Julie’s blog, I knew I had to make them right off the bat.  I might even have printed out the recipe without really reading the ingredients or instructions. (that might say more about my trust in Julie’s savvy baking skills than the title of the recipe though) You can find the recipe here. […]