Welcome our next December guest, Jessie Sheehan of Jessie Sheehan Bakes!
Jessie loves sweet treats, but doesn’t love long recipes and sinks full of dishes, so she took it upon herself to become queen of the easy-peasy bake. Before becoming queen she admits to wearing many hats, being an actress, a lawyer, and a stay-at-home mom before taking a job at a bakery. There she learned everything there is to know about baking, testing bakes, and developing recipes, from mentors Matt & Nato (owners of Baked in Red Hook, Brooklyn). Her range spans from recipe testing for Deb Perelman’s cookbook, Smitten Kitchen Keepers, to developing recipes for Snoop Dog – no big deal.
When you are not admiring her solid TikTok game, check out her cookbooks, Icebox Cakes and The Vintage Baker. Her current cookbook, Snackable Bakes, is on the New York Times list of the best cookbooks of 2022!
So, honestly, I have so many amazing and over the top things to say about these cinnamon sugar buttermilk donut holes, that I almost do not know where to begin. But here goes . . . These “munchkins,” as I affectionately call them (cause Dunkin’ Donuts forever) are really just mini, nutmeg-infused muffins, that are drenched in melted butter when still warm, rolled in cinnamon/sugar, and then popped in your mouth, one after the other. They are perfect for breakfast (obvs) but also make for a fantastically fun and retro dinner party dessert. I’ve been making a version of these for close to a decade, after first discovering them at Bantam Bakery in Bantam CT.
The Bantam bakers called them “dirt bombs,” and they were by no means “mini,” but despite (or maybe because of) their generous size and delicious donut-like texture, I thought they were pure genius and so unique, and that the bakers who created them must be straight-up sugar wizards. In other words, it never even occurred to me that anyone (other than those in Bantam) had ever made anything quite like them before.
I decided to take a stab at my own version and in so doing realized there were, in fact, A LOT of folks making the exact same treat all over the place, and that perhaps those Bantam peeps had not invented the “dirt bomb” after all. But whatevs. That didn’t stop me then, nor did it stop me when writing my third cookbook, Snackable Bakes, as I knew a recipe for these easy-peasy treats was just begging to be included. Snackable Bakes includes 100 recipes for simple sweets and treats (you know the kind that can be assembled in 20 minutes or less, with ingredients already in your pantry and requiring no special kitchen equipment) and this recipe for cinnamon sugar buttermilk munchkins is all that and then some. Use a regular sized muffin pan if you don’t have a mini one – but the ratio of cinnamon-sugar coating to cakey center in the minis is not to be missed.
Recipe card below for you to conveniently pin or print or give to all your friends!Print
For the donuts:
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup (100 g) packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup (118 ml) buttermilk
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1½ cups (195 g) all-purpose flour
For the cinnamon-sugar:
- ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 2¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan with cooking spray or softened butter.
- To make the donuts, whisk the butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl for 30 seconds. Whisk in the egg and then the buttermilk. Sprinkle the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg over the bowl, one at a time, vigorously whisking after each. Gently fold in the flour with a flexible spatula until the last streak disappears. Fill each mini cup with one tablespoon of batter, using either a small ice cream scoop or a measuring spoon.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the pan at the halfway point. The donuts are done when their tops look dry, they bounce back after being lightly pressed, and a wooden skewer inserted in the center of one comes out clean or with a moist crumb or two. Cool them in the pan on a cooling rack only for so long as it takes you to melt the butter and prepare the cinnamon-sugar. Repeat with the remaining batter
- Pour the melted butter in one small bowl and whisk the sugar and cinnamon together in another. Nestle the cooling rack over a baking sheet. Dunk each donut in the butter, lifting it out with a slotted spoon, and then roll it in the cinnamon-sugar, using a large fork or your hands to nudge it around, before transferring it to the cooling rack. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. The donuts will keep in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days. Makes about 30 munchkins.