breakfast puffs (aka ‘muffins that taste like donuts’)

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My grandmother used to make a version of these breakfast puffs. Hers were full size muffins, and she would roll the whole thing in melted butter and then in cinnamon sugar. My mom recalls enjoying them while they were still warm from the oven. I have made a few batches following the original recipe, but I have also tinkered with it a bit. I don’t often bake with shortening, so my version uses butter. And where the original calls for milk, I have adjusted to use sour cream. I am sharing both versions, so you can try either. Whichever you prefer, these little muffins posing as donuts make for great homemade Timbits. They are fun to serve up if you have a crowd for breakfast, or make for a nice afternoon treat with a cup of tea.


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sour cream

3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a small bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

In a separate medium-sized bowl, cream butter and sugar using an electric mixer. Add egg and beat just until incorporated.

Mix flour and sour cream into creamed butter mixture, alternating a bit of each until all ingredients are combined into a firm batter.

Spoon into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Bake for 16-18 minutes.

While muffins are baking, melt butter. In a separate bowl combine sugar and cinnamon. Mix until well blended.

When muffins are done, remove from muffin tin and transfer to a wire rack. Dip the top of each muffin into melted butter and then coat with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Here is the original recipe for those who want to give it a go. You can follow the same steps as my version above. I’ve tried baking the original version at 350F and 400F and I like the results at 400F for 15-17 minutes.

1/3 cup shortening, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup milk