Brown Butter Pumpkin Donut Muffins

Brown Butter Pumpkin Donut Muffins are moist pumpkin muffins brushed with brown butter and rolled in pumpkin spiced sugar — donut style!

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I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Happy Halloween!  I just can’t believe we’re this far into fall…I mean, didn’t we just start getting into pumpkin yesterday?  Maybe not, but it seems like it.  Things are zooming by, and while I’m wholeheartedly ready to embrace Thanksgiving, I’m not by any means ready to think about the hustle and bustle of Christmas.   I will just have to take it one.day.at.a.time. 🙂

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As for Halloween, however, I’ve been knee deep in that for a while.  I’m a room parent for my son’s 6th grade class, and I’ve been planning the Halloween party with the other room mom’s for over a month.  I do enjoy Halloween, and will be in the trenches of the party tomorrow for certain.  Halloween is, and always will be, one of my favorite days.

These Brown Butter Pumpkin Donut Muffins happened a while back, and I just kept putting them off until the right time.  Halloween seems appropriate, so here ya go.  I adapted these muffins from my Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Muffins with Oat Pecan Streusel that I love to pieces.  I’d been wanting to make donuts forever, but thought that I’d never done a donut muffin.  How fun is it brushing a orange pumpkin muffin with brown butter and rolling it in pumpkin spice sugar?  Very fun. 🙂

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Not only are these pumpkin muffins brushed with brown butter, but there’s brown butter in them as well.  I subbed out the oil for more brown butter, because yeah…the more brown butter flavor the bettah.  Pumpkin and brown butter go together like pumpkin and salted caramel, or pumpkin and cream cheese.   They’re like the fall dynamic duo!

I’m going a little overboard now, but for good reason — these muffins are downright tasty, tasty.  Pick one up, and take a bite and you’ve got the pumpkin spice sugar all over your fingers, and you know you’re gonna lick your fingers.  That is one of the very best parts. 🙂

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Brown Butter Pumpkin Donut Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Brown Butter Pumpkin Donut Muffins are moist pumpkin muffins brushed with brown butter and rolled in pumpkin spiced sugar -- donut style!
Serves: 12 muffins
Ingredients
For the muffins:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed (I used light)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup butter, browned*
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ½ cup milk (I used skim)
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani 0%)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Pumpkin Spice Sugar:
  • 2⅔ tablespoons brown butter (remaining from the stick used to make the brown butter for the muffins)
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray the cavities of a standard size muffin pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Place the stick of butter in a non-reactive stainless steel saucepan and heat medium low heat until melted. Increase the heat to medium and cook the butter until bubbly and brown spots appear on the bottom of the pan, being careful not to burn. Measure out ⅓ cup for the muffins and allow to cool slightly, and set aside the rest.
  3. Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  4. Place the brown sugar and eggs in a large bowl and add the cooled ⅓ cup brown butter. Whisk vigorously until frothy, about 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin, milk, Greek yogurt, and vanilla, and whisk until combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when pressed gently. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove from the pan.
  5. Place the sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon in a zip top bag, and heat the brown butter until it's melted. Brush each muffin with a light coating of the butter, and place in the zip top bag and roll around until well coated. Remove and repeat with the remaining muffins. Store in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Enjoy!
Notes
The muffins are very moist, and the spiced sugar will dissolve overnight. For best results, serve the day of, or heat briefly and melt with butter and roll in the sugar mixture just before serving for the full effect of the coating!

Leftover brown butter may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Just heat in the microwave!

*The whole wheat pastry flour may be substituted for whole wheat flour or all purpose flour.

Recipe by Flavor the Moments.