Monday, April 11, 2011

Pumpkin Chai Donut Muffins

They say that necessity is the mother of all invention and that certainly proved to be true with these muffins. As you all know, I love anything pumpkin and firmly believe that it should be enjoyed all year round, not just in the fall. So, naturally, when I saw a pumpkin version of my beloved donut muffins, well, I just couldn't resist.

The muffins baked up beautifully and all that remained was to dip them in melted butter and cinnamon sugar. I got out the butter, I got out the sugar, I got out the . . . wait, where's the cinnamon? I suddenly realized that I had NO cinnamon whatsoever in my pantry. What kind of baker am I to lack such an important ingredient?

Not wanting to run to the store just yet, I decided to see if there was anything I could use to improvise. Ginger, no. Chinese 5-Spice, I don't think so. Wait, what's this? I found a bottle of chai spice that I had made. Hmmm, that just might work. It was worth a try. So, I mixed it in with my sugar, rolled the muffins, took a taste, and mmmmmmm. They were excellent!!! The spices worked perfectly with the pumpkin and really brought the warm flavors out. Forget the cinnamon. From now on, it's chai spice all the way for these muffins.

Pumpkin Donut Muffins (adapted from Sunday Sweets)

10 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/3 c. milk
1 1/4 c. pure pumpkin puree
3/4 c. light brown sugar
2 large eggs

Sugar coating:
6 tsp. chai spice
3/4 c. sugar
melted butter

Sweet as Sugar Cookies' Chai Spice Blend

4 tsp. cinnamon
4 tsp. ginger powder
2 tsp. cardamom
2 tsp. cloves (or allspice)
1/2 tsp. white pepper

Combine all the spices and mix well. This recipe will make more than you need, but it will keep well in a spice jar or bottle.

Preheat oven to 500F. Grease 4 mini muffin pans.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. Combine the milk and pumpkin puree. Beat the butter with the brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of pumpkin mixture, and beat to combine.

Put one tablespoonful of batter into each muffin cup and bake at 500F for 5 min. After the 5 min. are up, immediately lower the heat to 350F and continue baking for 5-7 min. more, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Combine the sugar with the chai spice. Let muffins cool 10 min. in pan on a wire rack. Remove the muffins from the pan, dip the tops into the melted butter, and toss to coat in the sugar-spice mixture. Let muffins cool completely on a wire rack.

Makes 48 mini muffins

Note: I was a little short on pumpkin puree so I added 3-4 Tbsps. of milk to make up for it. They still turned out fine with lots of pumpkin flavor.

This recipe is linked to:
Meatless Mondays
Just Another Meatless Monday
Midnight Maniac's Meatless Monday
Mouthwatering Mondays
Melt in Your Mouth Monday
So Sweet Sundays
Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays
Dr. Laura's Tasty Tuesday
Tuesday Night Supper Club
Hearth and Soul Hop
Tasty Tuesdays
Delectable Tuesdays
Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits
Rook #17 - A Little Birdie Told Me
Muffin Monday
What's Cooking Wednesday
Spring Blog Hop
Full Plate Thursdays
Friday's Potluck
What's Cookin' in the Kitchen
So Sweet Sundays


  1. These look scrumptious! I'd love for you to stop by my blog and link these up with So Sweeet Sundays, going on until tonight! :)

  2. What a fabulous "accidental" discovery! Who would have known that the Chai Spice would be the one. Brilliant idea! Your donut muffin certainly looks good.. I love pumpkin too, would have to give this a try! Thank you for sharing!

  3. These look delicious! I love pumpkin too!
    Frugally Green Mom

  4. These sound amazing! I would love some of these right this instant!

  5. Oh yum! I love those flavors so think these would be a hit at my house.

  6. Oh, I absolutely love pumpkin and take pumpkin pies to Christmas, despite the fact I get funny looks. These look wonderful.

  7. I echo your pumpkin sentiments. We made pumpkin choc chip cookies with vanilla ice cream for dessert yesterday wish I had made these donut muffins instead! I'll definitely have to make these!

  8. These are my new favorite. I am pumpkin crazy myself. These are wonderful!!!!!!!

  9. You are a genius!! I want some right now!! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  10. Oh wow! These look and sound de-lish! I am going to bookmark and try these! Thanks!

  11. OH my goodness, those look so so good! I love Chai, I love Pumpkin and these donuts are just the perfect little size. This would be really fun to make sometime.

  12. Oh you clever clever girl! I am SUCH a chai fan, and I'm not sure if I'd have even thought of this, but since I love pumpkin too, this recipe is going into my file to try soon. Thanks much for sharing your ideas and yummy recipes!

  13. That spice blend sounds fantastic. I thought they were donuts when I first looked a the picture and I'm sure this spice blend would work well on them too!

  14. These sound great! I have baked donut muffins and they were good, so next time I need to try the Chai Spice.

  15. These look so good. I love homemade donuts/muffins and the flavor of chai would be great with a cup of tea or coffee!

  16. Some of the best combos are just stumbled upon out of sheer necessity ... These looks lovely!

  17. My two favourite things--pumpkin and Chai. These sounds divine!

  18. Thsse look wonderful and are perfect for Muffin Monday! Please link up and share your recipe with our readers. Thanks!

  19. Delicious! I would love some of that with my coffee this morning!

  20. those look to die for! bravo!

  21. We were on the same page today! I have been craving muffins and am going to do a whole series. Maybe it is because we are still cold here and they sound great for a cold day.

  22. If I could pick a dream breakfast for my birthday ... these with an extra hot soy milk latte would be it. These look like an amazingly delicious treat.

  23. Oh goodness, delicious donut heaven in a muffin!

  24. These sound so good- I love the chai spice. With a cup of coffee, these would be a perfect afternoon snack! :)

  25. I can't wait to make these! Thanks for sharing!

  26. Oh, so delicious! That photo drew me in...and each additional photo made me crave this beautiful sweet treat!!

  27. These look so yummy! Great idea to use chai spice...perfect combo with the pumpkin donut muffins:)

  28. Delicious! Pumpkin + Donuts = heaven for me. Can't wait to try this!

    stop by when you get a chance & enter our $50 Target giveaway
    henry happened

  29. Glad to see you join in on the Blog Hop!

  30. I wonder if i can even find pumpkin right now?? These sound delightful!!

  31. Great save and what a discovery :) These look absolutely delicious. I could go for one right now!

    Thanks for linking to the Hearth and Soul Hop.

  32. chai spice is a great idea! what a wonderful compliment to pumpkin...and i am right with you about pumpkin all year 'round. thank you for sharing this great recipe with tuesday night supper club.

  33. Lisa, these look amazing!!! Pumpkin chai? Oh yum! I wish I had a bunch of these right now!

  34. These are the best EVER! Awesome:)

  35. Those look incredible!! Adding to my must make list!

  36. oh MAN, Lisa!!! These just sounds incredible!!!! All I want to do is go home and make these right now, I can smell them already;) Great job:)

  37. These look wonderful! I am pregnant right now and all baked goods sound wonderful...but these really caught my eye! My husband also loves all things Chai so I think he will get into these! Thanks so much!

  38. Hi Lisa,
    What a wonderful treat. They just look delicious, great recipe! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week!

  39. Oh My!! I love anything that says "Chai"! As a matter of fact, just got done drinking my nightly dose of Chai Tea... Now I'm just thinking how much better that tea would have tasted had it been accompanied by one of these yummy treats! Definately on my to-do list! Thanks for the great recipe!


  40. Lisa, they sound incredible. Awesome improvisation! The chai and pumpkin flavors combined with the sweet crunch of the top sound like absolute perfection! Thank you for always bringing such exquisite deliciousness to "A Little Birdie Told Me..." at Rook No. 17!


  41. I just made these dairy-free and egg-free, and they turned out fantastic! (Oh, I halved the recipe too). Delicious!