My Sugar Donut Muffins are always a favorite when I bake a batch. They’re tasty plain, but they’re also a good base for donut-like variations. For instance, you could fill them with preserves to make jelly donut muffins or with lemon curd to make these Mini Lemon Donut Muffins with Lemon Curd.
These mini muffins have a buttermilk and lemon cake base and are baked in mini muffin pans to produce bite-sized treats. The muffins are dipped in butter and rolled in sugar just after baking to give them a slightly crisp, sugary exterior that is reminiscent of the exterior of a deep fried donut. They’re fluffy and tender, and the cake itself is not too sweet, which means that their sugary exterior balances well with the cake. After baking, I piped a little bit of lemon curd into the center of the muffins for a spring twist.
I make my own lemon curd for the filling of these muffins, usually using a recipe for Lower Fat Lemon Curd to keep in the spirit of lightness with the baked donuts (and because it is delicious). Store bought lemon curd can be used if you don’t want to make your own. Similarly, I used fresh lemon zest in the muffin batter, but you could use lemon oil or lemon extract in place of the vanilla extract if you don’t have a lemon on hand to zest. Fresh zest and homemade curd are going to take your muffins over the top, but these are tasty, lemony treats no matter how you put them together.
This recipe could also be made into regular sized muffins for a larger treat. Follow the directions for the full sized Sugar Donut Muffins for baking times and fill them with lemon curd after baking.
Mini Lemon Donut Muffins with Lemon Curd
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking power
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 tsp lemon zest
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar, for rolling
2/3 cup lemon curd (pref. homemade)
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray or vegetable oil.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, beat together sugar and egg until light in color. Beat in vegetable oil, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Gradually add in flour mixture in two or three additions, alternating with additions of buttermilk.
Divide batter evenly into prepared mini muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full (approx 1 tbsp batter).
Bake for 9-11 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Place melted butter in a small bowl. Place sugar for rolling in a small bowl or deep-sided plate.
Remove donuts from pan, dip the tops in melted butter and roll in sugar. Place on a cooling rack to allow sugar to set.
When donuts are cooled, fit a pastry bag or ziploc bag with small round pastry tip. Place lemon curd into pastry bag. Poke a small hole in the side of each donut with the pastry tip and pipe a small amount of curd into the center of each donut (approx 1 tsp).
If no pastry tip is available, I recommend using the cone method for filling these muffins.
Makes about 3 dozen mini muffins
Amanda VApril 6, 2012
Yum! Perfect spring snack/dessert 🙂
CarrieApril 7, 2012
These are lovely and sound delicious!
SimplyBakesApril 8, 2012
Donuts and Muffins? hahah what a great combi! Love the pictures keep it up girl! 😀
Young Idealistic BakerApril 29, 2012
Wow, these look incredible! I can’t wait to try them!! Thanks for sharing
AnnaAugust 17, 2012
I made these a couple of days ago. Wow!!! I filled them with Ina Garten’s lemon curd and only got to eat two before the rest of the family gobbled them up. I will definitely be making these again!
caroluskiJanuary 25, 2013
Made these with the lemoncurd and they were moist and delicious. Made them again this time I whipped up a cream cheese filling, put them back in the oven for about 5 min after putting the sugar on top and also made them
reg. size and they were also very delicious.
Thankyou so much for the inspiation
AdinaJune 1, 2015
Hi. I made these cupcakes a few days ago, super! I made them regular size and because I didn’t have the patience to fill each one with the pipping bag, I just cut them horizontally, smeared them with lemon curd and put the top back on the curd. I didn’t have enough lemon curd, so a few of them were filled with rhubarb jam, the combination was also wonderful, even more like donuts.
DTSeptember 27, 2015
I made them regular and rolled the muffins in sugar while they were still warm as per your advice, thus i didnt need any extra butter. These turned out soft, moist, with a slight crunch from the sugar coat. The lemon curd gives them a perfect finish. Thanks for sharing an excellent recipe!