Jess here with an especially sweet Perfect Bite. Today I’d like to celebrate the most important meal of the day…breakfast. On the weekends I like to step up my breakfast game with a more indulgent, often more time-consuming meal, but weekdays are typically reserved for quick breakfast bars or a hurried bowl of cereal. Clearly, my weekday brekky needs some work.

By God’s good graces, today’s recipe is quick enough to throw together before running out of my house for work.  After the batter is whipped up, they bake about 15 minutes and then take a quick dip in butter and a cinnamon and sugar mixture. Simple and quick!  And that’s how I bring a little weekend to my workweek, ladies and gentleman. Keep reading for the recipe!

Baked French Breakfast Donuts

Adapted from


  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used whole milk)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat donut pan generously with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add egg; mix well.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk.
  4. Fill donut tins half full. Bake 15-20 minutes. Take out of pan immediately and swirl tops into melted butter, then sugar and cinnamon mixture. Makes 6-7 big donuts.

*Note:  These work just as well in a muffin tin, too!

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Comments (123)
  1. 1
    Andrea August 16, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Oh my, these look crazy delicious!! They would be perfect for a cozy Sunday breakfast.
    xo Andrea
    Wonderful and Marvelous

  2. 2
    Ashley @ Any Lovely Thing August 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Wow! These look amazing. Nice work, Jess.


    • Jess August 16, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      Thanks, Ashley! 🙂

  3. 3
    Alyssa August 16, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    These look incredible. I can’t wait to try out the recipe! I love that they’re baked and not friend–makes me feel a little less guilty!

    The Glossy Life

    • Jess August 16, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      Exactly, Alyssa! Practically health food! 😉

  4. 4
    Kayleigh August 16, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    They look amazing. I’ve got to try the muffin version. And your photos are wonderful, as usual.

    • Jess August 16, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      Thanks so much, Kayleigh! 🙂

  5. 5
    Mariana August 16, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Mmm … 🙂

  6. 6
    Aimee August 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    I don’t have a donut pan, but I do have a donut cutter. Can you use that instead?

    • Jess August 16, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      Because these are baked and not fried, a donut cutter probably won’t help. I’d just pop them in a muffin tin instead, Aimee!

  7. 7
    Vicki August 16, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I want to try these

  8. 8
    Ann August 16, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    These were amazing. I made them earlier tonight. Thanks 🙂

    • Jess August 18, 2012 at 10:06 am

      SO great to hear, Ann! 🙂 xo

  9. 9
    Stephanie @ Henry Happened August 17, 2012 at 5:59 am

    these look delicious! and I love that they don’t need any fancy ingredients.

  10. 10
    Annabelle August 17, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Wow, those look great!

  11. 11
    Claire August 17, 2012 at 7:32 am

    They look like they need more sugar…

    • Jess August 18, 2012 at 10:07 am

      The donut itself isn’t overly sweet because of the extra-sweet topping. 😉

  12. 12
    Tiffany @ Savor Home August 17, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I just heart Jess… These look amazing.

    • Jess August 18, 2012 at 10:08 am

      I heart you back, Tiff! xo

      • Hermanie April 7, 2013 at 7:36 pm

        After reading the recipe I def want to make them. I think they might be nice with jam and butter? Rather than dipped in sugar

  13. 13
    Momabea August 17, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Terrific can,t wite

  14. 14
    Erica O'Hara August 18, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I’ve made something very similar to these out if the PW Cooks cookbook. They are called French Breakfast Puffs and are in muffin form. I love theidea of putting these into a donut. I can wait to try them!!

  15. 15
    Erica O'Hara August 18, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Ugh, I hate typos!!
    To clarity, I can’t wait to try them! Lol.

  16. 16
    Nicole August 18, 2012 at 9:59 am

    These look amazing! Does the cooking time need to be adjusted if using the muffin tin instead?

    • Jess August 22, 2012 at 8:20 pm

      I would imagine that it would still be in the same range. Set the timer for 15 minutes and just keep an eye on them. 😉

  17. 17
    Wendy August 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    This sounds much like a recipe I use for muffins, called french puffs. While they are still warm I dip them in melted butter and then roll in cinnamon/sugar. Delish!!

  18. 18
    Laura August 21, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Made these today and they are amazing. Fluffy and sugary. I made the muffin version and was very happy! Thanks for sharing

    • Jess August 22, 2012 at 8:19 pm

      SO pleased to hear that, Laura!! Glad you liked them! xo

  19. 19
    Jess August 22, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    SO pleased to hear that, Laura!! Glad you liked them! xo

  20. 20
    Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen August 24, 2012 at 11:28 am

    These doughnuts look incredible!! I love that they are baked and not fried! 🙂

  21. 21
    Ceil August 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Wow, these look amazing!

  22. 22
    Meagan August 31, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    I do not have a muffin tin or a donut pan. I also don’t have a cookie sheet. Would it be possible to put this mixture in a 9×13 pan and make something like a donut cake or what would be a better alternative I solve this dilemma. I really would like to try these soon! Please help!

    • Meagan September 2, 2012 at 10:47 am

      I doubled the recipe and baked it in a 13×9 pan. It turned out wonderful and tastes so good!

  23. 23
    Marie, the EpicureanPiranha September 4, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I sometimes go to to search for recipes, but have to admit that the original wouldn’t have inspired me… it’s your lovely food photography that did the trick! I noticed you also increased the nutmeg (which I LOve). The texture looks lovely, & I like that they are not fried! I’ll be trying these for sure (although I think I might use buttermilk instead of milk for a slightly moister texture (substituting 1/4 tsp of baking soda for the baking powder) and because I love the subtle flavour you get from using buttermilk in baked goods).

    Thanks for posting this cheerful recipe!

    ~ marie, the EpicureanPiranha

  24. 24
    sayeeda September 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    these look amazing for the muffin tin method how many spoons are you putting into each muffin tin?

  25. 25
    sarah September 14, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    I just made these!!! My house smells unbelievable! I did half whole wheat flour and half all purpose and added cinnamon to the dough with the nutmeg! Delish!! Thanks!

  26. 26
    jess September 23, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Whipped these up this morning for sunday breakfast, super easy and so light and delicious, perfect balance of sweet and buttery! Thanks!

  27. 27
    Rachael October 31, 2012 at 6:24 am

    These were great & super easy…no buttermilk that so many doughnut recipes call for!! My kids don’t like nutmeg so I used cinnamon instead and added 1/2 tsp of vanilla. Made about 60 mini doughnuts.

  28. 28
    Brittany December 15, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    I’ve made this recipe twice now but the last time I reduced a cup of apple cider down to about a 1/4 cup and added it my mixture for apple cider donuts. They came out as fluffy and delicious as the first time AND had the delicious apple cider flavor I had been craving!

  29. 29
    karen December 22, 2012 at 10:41 am

    These look great! How much would you say the salt amounts to in grams?

  30. 30
    Joanna January 9, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Made these tonight and I must say, they are awesome and so easy! Love it! Thanks for sharing!

  31. 31
    nik February 7, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Have a muffin pan in the oven right now, I used a “special” butter so I’ll probably forget to tell you if they were good. 🙂

  32. 32
    Kara February 7, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Do they keep overnight well to have the next morning? I wanted to bake them the day before an early work meeting?

  33. 33
    Kara February 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    They keep overnight! They were great in the morning! I doubled the recipe and made them in muffin tins. Got 18 muffins. They were very yummy!

  34. 34
    Christy February 10, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I made the muffin version used half the sugar/butter and whole wheat flour. Delicious! Husband digs them too! Thanks!

  35. 35
    Georgia March 8, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Almost baked!!!! MMMM they smell great…I’ll let you know soon.
    I just finished eating two of these yummy donuts /muffins‚ ave my husband two & BROUGHT TWO TO MY NEIGHBOR ~ She called just now and LOVED THEM)
    They are quite good ~ I ate one very hot and another just a bit warm I personally liked the warm one best because I could taste the nutmeg and the texture was more like a doughnut. 🙂 ALL THAT SAID‚ THEY were very good. BTW ~The batter was fantastic:).
    They took about 30 minutes to back.Every stove may be different?
    I’m a messy baker and this was fast with easy clean-up time.
    .~ SIMPLE? OUI !!

  36. 36
    Diana March 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    These look very good will have to give them a try

  37. 37
    Hermanie April 7, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    I wonder if not dipped in sugar how they might be with butter and jam…thoughts?

  38. 38
    Georgia April 17, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Do you think you could use almond milk instead? My daughter can’t have soy or any dairy so would almond milk be an ok substitute??? Thanks (I was planning on just trying to make these with her nutlex

  39. 39
    Tessa June 13, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I just made these this morning in muffin form and they are so good! Light and fluffy with a hint of spice and a super delicious cinnamon sugar topping. These would be perfect for a brunch because they look and taste like they were a lot of work, but they’re not 😀

  40. 40
    Kendra June 29, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    I made these today and was blown away! They are easy and full of flavor. Simply Sinful!

  41. 41
    Karen Spolin-Shivley July 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Am making them tomorrow for brunch…they look wonderful!!! Merci

  42. 42
    Jayne Coney July 10, 2013 at 1:47 am

    So easy & delicious. I whipped them up before a new client dropped in & I think I’ll need a plate of them for every wedding appointment.

  43. 43
    Kama July 18, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Delicious. Baked them in Texas muffin pans and they took 10 mins longer but worth the wait.

  44. 44
    Monika Hack August 20, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I baked them in a muffin pan for 20 minutes. I added some more milk and they turned out very nice. In my case the nutmeg is a little too strong (I grated a nutmeg nut and didn’t measure),
    but this is something I could make more often. It’s light and sweet. Thank you for sharing!

  45. 45
    Danielle September 5, 2013 at 8:26 am

    These were delicious!! My daughters (9 &11) just made them in the Babycakes donut maker. Cooked in about 3 minutes and tasted great! 🙂 Had a little trouble getting the topping to the right consistency but it didn’t affect the taste at all! Thanks for sharing!

  46. 46
    Lauren C September 9, 2013 at 11:09 am

    These look wonderful. Do you think substituting almond milk for the milk would still work?

  47. 47
    Jane October 26, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Just made the muffin version of these with some minor amendments based on what was in my cupboard. I ended up with a rich flavour and delicate texture. I think they can be considered a big success!

  48. 48
    tif January 5, 2014 at 5:39 am

    These are amazing and so easy. They will be repeated in my household.

  49. 49
    Chris January 11, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Not very good at all. Dry and cakey. About to throw all of mine away. Ugh. I hate wasting supplies!

  50. 50
    Denise February 23, 2014 at 10:33 am

    These were a HUGE success with my family. Personally, I liked them better after they had completely cooled =)

  51. 51
    all4godlslucy May 25, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Aaaaamazing! !!! I didn’t have a donut pan so I made mini muffins. .. the kids inhaled them

  52. 52
    thegirlintheredtopLinzi June 16, 2014 at 3:55 am

    I am making these as I speak are in the oven, I am using a muffin tray ^_^ the better tasted nice ^_^

  53. 53
    Stephanie July 17, 2014 at 1:43 am

    I am 6 months pregnant and got a craving for donuts and remembered that I had pinned this a while back. They were so easy to make and tasted so light and airy. I thought the nutmeg might be too heavy but when I tasted it with the cinnamon sugar it was perfect! I definitely agree with the other reviews that these taste better at room temperature. I used a muffin tin and now I can’t wait to go out and get a donut pan to make these again!

  54. 54
    Jenny August 7, 2014 at 11:11 am

    I just finished baking, my son, he is a donuts lover, he said its great.
    I used less milk, than use pastry cutter, to me its more test like health scones, but really good.

  55. 55
    Hannah August 21, 2014 at 8:47 am

    How many “muffins” does it make?

  56. 56
    Renee nicholas September 28, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Is it 360 degrees F or C ?

  57. 57
    Timothy Skomski October 26, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Love your photos and the recipe !!

  58. 58
    mel November 14, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Awesome donuts, so easy to make! I injected jam in the middle of them, the kids loved it.

  59. 59
    Marie December 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    I made these today for Christmas breakfast and everybody loved them!

  60. 60
    evelyn January 4, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    I made them today and they came out perfect! Thanks for the recipe! Love it!

  61. 61
    Kelly January 9, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Can i use a donut maker with this recipe?

  62. 62
    noush April 24, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    These were a big hit! Nice and easy too! Thanks!



Jess Simpson