These cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins are dipped in melted butter then rolled cinnamon sugar when they’re warm from the oven. Served with some hot coffee, they are basically the best October breakfast ever.

It still remains to be seen if I’m ever going to make doughnuts. I put off making them for years in our last house because I couldn’t take the lingering scent of oil in the house for days. I figured I would wait until we moved in here because we now have a vent that actually vents outside the house.

Well, it vents into the garage for now, but it’s a start.  (It’s on the “99% complete” list.)

But we’ve been here for almost 8 months and still no doughnuts. It’s kind of sad because I really crave them sometimes and basically refuse to buy them because I know I could just make them myself.

These cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins are kind of a compromise. The recipe is actually for baked pumpkin donuts (or doughnuts) and if you have a donuts pan, have at it.

cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins

I don’t, so I made them in mini muffin pans with the anxious hope that they would turn out like little poppable baked doughnuts.

They turned out more like muffins. Womp. Womp.

And not that there’s anything wrong with that [insert the brushing-away-the-guilt Jerry Seinfeld voice here] because they actually were the best baked goodie I’ve made in a while. Heck, they’re dipped in cinnamon sugar when they are still warm from the oven, but I digress.

The pumpkin flavor here isn’t overwhelming or cloying like it can be in some recipes and served with some hot coffee, they are pretty much the best October breakfast or afternoon snack ever.

cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins

The doughnuts will come, I’m sure of it, but for now I have these cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins. (P.S. – Donuts finally made an appearance!)

cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Muffins

Yield: 2 dozen mini muffins
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Cinnamon sugar pumpkin muffins are a double-duty recipe for baked pumpkin donuts. They are baked in a mini muffin pan, dipped in melted butter, and then rolled cinnamon sugar when they're warm from the oven. Served with some hot coffee, they are basically the best October breakfast ever. If you want to bake this recipe as donuts, do so in a donut pan and increase the baking time to 15 to 18 minutes at 350° F.


For the muffins:

  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups canned pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
  • ½ to 1 tsp salt (see note #1 below)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder (see note #1 below)
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Heaping ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • Heaping ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 8 oz (1 ¾ cup + 2 tbsp) all-purpose flour or 2 cups self-rising flour (I used self-rising - see note #1 below)

For the cinnamon-sugar topping:

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon


    1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease the wells of two 24-well mini-muffin pans with cooking spray.
    2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, salt, and baking powder (see note below if you use self-rising flour) on medium speed until the mixture is smooth, about 1 ½ minutes. On low speed, stir in the pumpkin pie spice or the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, as well as the flour until they are completely incorporated - do not overmix. Fill the wells of the muffin tin ¾ full.
    3. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until the tops of the muffins are springy when lightly touched. Cool the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes then remove the muffins from the pans.
    4. While the muffins bake, stir together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl until well mixed; set aside.
    5. Dip the tops of the warm muffins in the melted butter and then into the cinnamon-sugar topping. Keep the unused topping in a sealed container if you need it again - keep reading. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

    Storage: The muffins will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. They may need another dip through the topping before serving if it looks like the muffins absorb the topping. This, of course, isn't a bad thing.


  1. If you use self-rising flour in this recipe, omit the baking powder and reduce the salt to ½ tsp - that's very important.
  2. This recipe calls for a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground ginger but you can also use 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice if you have it. Shockingly, I ran out of my homemade pumpkin pie spice and didn't have time to whip up a new batch for this recipe so I used the spice mixture here. I have no complaints at all about how they turned out so don't feel like you need pumpkin pie spice for this recipe. However, should you feel inclined to make your own, here's the link to my recipe:

adapted from King Arthur Flour

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Leave a Comment

  • October 19, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Well, now I know how I’m going to spend at least part of my weekend. These look fantastic.

  • October 19, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    What a pretty muffin recipe!

  • October 19, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    They look so lovely with the cinnamonsugar-coating on top!
    I wish they would sell canned pumpkinpuree in my country…

  • October 20, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    I haven’t made donuts yet, either but I made very similar muffins a couple of weeks ago and they were heavenly. Yours look so good, too!

  • October 25, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    I’ve made these mini “doughnut” muffins as well. If you brush them with melted butter and then roll the whole doughnut in the cinnamon sugar, you will have much more of that real doughnut flavor.

  • October 27, 2012 at 6:24 AM

    Now these muffins do smell like home!

  • kelly
    October 28, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    you never said when to put the pumpkin pie spice!!!!!!!!!!

    • October 28, 2012 at 8:02 AM

      My gosh, please don’t freak out. Like any recipe that has spices, you can add them when you add in the flour. Thanks for letting me know and I’ve already amended the instructions.

  • barbara
    October 29, 2012 at 5:44 AM

    good morning
    We are in France and made your recipe this week end, with the pumpkin carved.. and it was really delicious but personnally I found it too much sugared (but husband and children who made it not at all!!)
    very soft and smooth rise very well

  • Elizabeth Kuhlman
    November 7, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    I made these this morning-they are so good!! I had to make them regular size(that’s the only muffin pan I have), so the baking time varied a little bit. They really taste like doughnuts-my daughter calls them “monuts”. Thank you for the recipe-it’s a keeper!

  • Linda S
    February 15, 2015 at 2:22 PM

    Just made these muffins and the cinnamon sugar would not stick to the top when i dipped them so thanks to Anita I brushed them with butter and then dipped them…much better…but still wonder why it wouldn’t stick cause I did it as I took them out of the muffin pan. Any suggestions?

    • February 15, 2015 at 4:00 PM

      It’s hard to say why the cinnamon-sugar wouldn’t stick – maybe your muffins were still too warm? – but I’m glad the melted butter option worked for you. Sorry you had trouble with them.