Bake light and airy Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins in the air fryer or the oven. Then, roll in melted butter and cinnamon sugar for a healthier sweet treat!
Is it a donut? Is it a muffin? It’s both. It’s a #muffnut, or a #duffin. These Air Fryer Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins such a fun mash up combining some of the best elements of a donut and a muffin.
Your house will smell like a bakery as you make these Air Fryer Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins! The inside of the muffins is light and airy. After brushing them with butter and rolling in cinnamon sugar, they taste like a donut made at a bakery.
When air fried, they are healthier and have fewer calories. No deep fryer needed here! Although, if you don’t have an air fryer, I provide oven cooking instructions too.
They would be perfect for breakfast, brunch, snack, or dessert! I dare you to just eat one!
Air Fryer Donut Muffin Equipment
Air Fryer Recommendations
Once I learned muffins can be made in an air fryer, I love making them this way! Using my air fryer, I can achieve some of the same baking results I would get if I used a convection oven. For example, the outside surface of the muffins cooks more evenly.
Currently, I own, and LOVE, the 3.7 quart Go-Wise Air Fryer. I’m also fairly impressed with the simplicity and variety of recipes provided in the cookbook that comes with this air fryer.
Although, I’m always eyeing the slightly bigger sized 5.8 quart Go-Wise Air Fryer or the 12.7 quart Air Fryer with Rotisserie and Dehydrator. Maybe someday… 😉 If you are looking to buy your first air fryer, I recommend buying the biggest one you can for your money.
Baking Equipment Recommendations
If you are making these air fryer cinnamon sugar donut muffins in the oven, you will need a Non-Stick Muffin Pan. Since the recipe makes 16 air fryer donut muffins, you can either make two batches, or you can make slightly bigger muffins in a single batch.
These Silicone Muffin Cups are essential for making the donut muffins in an air fryer. I prefer using these over an air fryer muffin pan because these silicone muffin cups can be reused in other ways. For example, these make great cupcake liners, or you can also use them to make egg bites in the Instant Pot. Additionally, these silicone muffin cups are flexible and can fit into almost any air fryer.
TIP: Using silicone cupcake liners a great way to reduce paper waste. Over the long term, you save money since they are a one-time purchase.
I have read mixed reviews about using paper muffin liners in the air fryer, and I would not recommend using them without also using a muffin pan.
Surprisingly, I use this Silicone Basting Brush all the time! In my opinion, silicone brushes are much easier to clean, and they last longer than bristle basting brushes. I have also found this one at the Dollar Store! It’s definitely worth picking up.
Air Fryer Donut Muffin Ingredients and Preparation
TIP: Almost any muffin mix can be used to make muffins in the air fryer. Experiment with different muffin mixes and cooking times to find the best results for your air fryer!
Air Fryer Donut Muffin Batter
The batter for these air fryer donut muffins is relatively simple to make. Even though this is an easy batter, we will be making slight modifications to it so we will end up with light and airy air fryer donut muffins.
DIY Cake Flour
One of the first modifications made in this recipe is making our own DIY (do it yourself) cake flour! To make your own cake flour, combine 1/4 cup cornstarch and 2 3/4 cups flour. This mixture results in a tender cake and a crumb that stays together well.
Since this DIY cake flour mixture has a lower protein content than all purpose flour, it forms less gluten as you work with it. Consequently, this keeps baked goods light and airy.
In case you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make a DIY version. To make your own buttermilk, combine 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of distilled vinegar or lemon juice. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes, until the milk starts to curdle. Then, you can use this DIY buttermilk mixture the same way you would use fresh buttermilk.
Preparing the Batter
To prepare your donut muffin batter, whisk together flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
Note: Don’t skip the nutmeg! Often times, nutmeg is the secret ingredient in baked goods that gives it that signature “bakery” taste. In these air fryer donut muffins, this is the secret ingredient that makes them taste like donuts!
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, 2 eggs, and egg yolk.
Next, add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix! This will keep our donut muffins light and airy!
Air Fryer Baking Instructions
Sometimes when cooking in the air fryer, the circulating air will cause the tops of your baked goods to be come lop-sided. To prevent your donut muffins tops from becoming lop-sided, preheat the air fryer for 4-5 minutes.
Even though preheating can help, it may still happen. Don’t fret if this happens to you! The air fryer donut muffins will still taste delicious!
After preheating the air fryer, add 8 Silicone Muffin Cups to the air fryer basket. Using an ice cream scoop and half of the batter, fill muffin cups 1/2 of the way full.
Next, set the Air Fryer to 340 degrees and bake for 12-14 minutes until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove donut muffins from muffin cups, and allow to cool on a baking rack for 5 minutes.
Repeat cooking process for remaining half of the batter.
Oven Baking Instructions
Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Using an ice cream scoop, portion the batter evenly into each muffin tin cavity. In a preheated 400 degree oven, bake the donut muffins for 18-22 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking.
The muffins will be done when the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove donuts from muffin cups, and allow to cool on a baking rack for 5 minutes.
Air Fryer Donut Muffin Coating
Coating our air fryer donut muffins in melted butter and cinnamon sugar is what makes these taste like cinnamon sugar donuts!
Be warned, your fingers will get messy when coating donuts. But that’s what makes these fun, right?
To save on some calories, you could only brush and roll the top of the donut muffins in cinnamon sugar.
Coating the Donut Muffins
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together sugar and cinnamon until well combined.
While the muffins are still warm, working with one muffin at a time, brush the whole exterior with melted butter. Then, roll the muffin in the cinnamon sugar mixture, pressing lightly to adhere the sugar, until the muffin is completely coated.
Finally, return the muffin to the baking rack and allow to continue to cool for 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Air Fryer Donut Muffin Storage
These donuts are best when eaten fresh. But, store any leftover donut muffins in an airtight container for up to 3-5 days.
Want More Air Fryer Recipes like these Donut Muffins?
Thank you for stopping by and reading! Please be sure to save this recipe for air fryer cinnamon sugar donut muffins for later on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, or feel free to leave me a comment below! I’d love to know if you make these muffins or try your hand at your own variety!
If you want to see more of my other air fryer recipes, click here!
You might also love this quick and easy recipe for One Bowl Banana Bread. It’s a great recipe to use up overripe bananas, and it tastes better than Starbucks!
For a fresh option, try my recipe for Baked Strawberry Donuts!
I also use those silicone muffin cups in my Mini Raspberry Lemon Cheesecakes.
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Air Fryer Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins
Donut Muffin Ingredients
- 2 ¾ cups (13 3/4 oz) All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 cup Cornstarch
- 1 cup (7 oz) Sugar
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 8 tbsp Unsalted Butter Melted
- 2 large Eggs
- 1 large Egg Yolk
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 8 tbsp Unsalted Butter Melted
Donut Muffin Preparation
- Preheat Air Fryer by setting it to 350 degrees for 4 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk*, melted butter, 2 eggs, and egg yolk.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix!
- Add 8 silicone muffin cups to the Air Fryer basket. Using an ice cream scoop and 1/2 of the batter, fill muffin cups 1/2 of the way full.
- Set the Air Fryer to 340 degrees and bake for 12-14 minutes until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.**
- Remove donuts from muffin cups, and allow to cool on a baking rack for 5 minutes.
- Repeat cooking process for remaining 1/2 of the batter.
- **Oven Cooking Instructions: Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Portion the batter evenly into each muffin tin cavity. In a preheated 400 degree oven, bake the donut muffins for 18-22 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking.
Donut Muffin Coating Preparation
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together sugar and cinnamon until well combined.
- While the muffins are still warm, working with one muffin at a time, brush the whole exterior with melted butter. Then roll the muffin in the cinnamon sugar mixture, pressing lightly to adhere the sugar, until the muffin is completely coated.
- Return the muffin to the baking rack and allow to continue to cool for 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!