Chocolate Cinnamon Donut Muffins


The Spring time fever has definitely got a hold on me lately. The forsythias, daffodils and tulips started blooming mid-February, and ever since, I’ve been antsier than ever before. I’ve been craving change and am focusing my energy in a million different directions. 


I know I’m not the only one. There’s a reason “Spring Fever” exists. It’s definitely a thing. All at once, I feel overwhelmed with ideas and goals and things I want to do and places I want to go. I’m having a difficult time focusing on any single thing. My mind is racing at a million miles an hour, yet feels simultaneously dull and fried. I want to do X, Y and Z yet can’t do them all completely start to finish–each one is getting divided attention. I start reading an article online or in a magazine, yet skim it faster than ever, only comprehending small bits and pieces. I feel like I have seasonal undiagnosed multitasking ADD. I’m glad I have a ton of things I’d like to do, I’m definitely not bored. But when it comes down to doing them when I have the time, and doing them well from start to finish, I feel stifled and not sure where to go from there. What is going on? Is there something more to it than just Spring Fever? Do any of you experience this? What are your ways of coping and overcoming overachieving/stagnant feelings? It’s simultaneously exciting and frustrating, yet I can’t help but feel this too shall pass and things will settle down as soon as the seasons settle in as well. And hopefully some clarity will ensue.


That being said, I’ve honestly been struggling deciding on what to bake lately. I’ve just decided to be impulsive and find a random recipe and experiment. This particular Chocolate Donut Muffin (they called it a combination hybrid of the two: “Duffins” but I just can’t handle that word) recipe was found while reading a Family Circle magazine at work. Random, right? But it worked. It certainly got my attention. I love anything coated in a sugar topping, and if it resembles the texture of a donut, I’m completely sold.

I modified the recipe in a few ways by not making them mini muffins and just loading all of the batter into 12 muffin cups. Then, I added cinnamon to the sugar topping. The original recipe calls for cake flour, but honestly, I doubt one can really tell a difference. Cake flour is basically just all-purpose with added cornstarch and a slightly lower percentage of protein content. I went out and bought cake flour just for these, but the texture didn’t taste any different than any other muffin I’ve made. I was a little disappointed in the fact that they weren’t fluffy and full of air pockets like a genuine donut muffin and every recipe I’ve found for them uses all-purpose. So don’t worry if you want to just sub out the cake flour for regular flour. These were still delicious, just more of a muffin than a fluffy donut. I took them to work and my coworkers loved them!


Chocolate Cinnamon Donut Muffins
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 12 muffins
  • For the Muffins:
  • 2 cups cake flour or all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • For the Topping:
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the cups of a standard 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, beat softened butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg and beat until creamy, 2 minutes.
  3. On low speed, beat in half the flour mixture, then all the buttermilk, followed by the remaining flour mixture. Stir in vanilla. Divide batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-14 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pans on wire racks, then remove directly to racks to cool.
  5. While the muffins cool, melt butter in microwave for about 30 seconds. Combine granulated sugar, cocoa and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip muffin tops into melted butter, followed by cocoa sugar. Serve slightly warm.



  1. says

    I am on a similar page as you, the transition to spring has had me spinning non stop as well, and no number of to do lists, calendar maintenance, or organization seems to help. Sometimes, you just gotta get your hands into some food and channel all the jitters into making something tasty. I love the topping on these little guys, definitely reawakening some chocolate cravings as I read this post. Beautiful!

    • thebakingbird says

      Hi Natasha! Glad to hear I’m not the only one…. sometimes I feel like a crazy person spinning off the planet. It’s true–sometimes you just gotta bake something. It’s the most therapeutic thing, I’ve found! I love your blog, BTW. Can’t wait to see more of your work!

  2. Berta says

    I know that feeling so well! Spring is my favourite season because I can’t help feeling excited about everything around me :)
    These muffins/donuts look so delicious and I don’t think them being a little less fluffy is not a problem at all ;)

    • thebakingbird says

      Hi Berta! Glad you’re feeling the Spring time jitters too. And thank you–you should definitely make these!

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