What's Baking: Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake Donuts

When Monday morning rolls around, it really helps if there is a treat waiting to entice me to get out of bed and start my work day. These cinnamon swirl coffee cake donuts will do the trick.

I love coffee cake, and I love donuts, so for me, these are the perfect match. The donuts get a double hit of cinnamon from the cinnamon swirl on the inside and the cinnamon crumble on the outside. And who can resist any treat in donut form?

These donuts are baked, not fried, making them at least a little bit healthier than your typical bakery variety. And, to keep temptation at bay, this recipe is easily halved. I know I can't be trusted around a dozen fresh-from-the-oven donuts. Now, where's my cup of coffee? I've got work to do (and donuts to eat).

Baked Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake Donuts (printer-friendly version)
makes 12 donuts

For the cinnamon swirl:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the crumble:
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

For the donuts:
2 cups unbleached cake flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 eggs
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a donut pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Make the cinnamon swirl: In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. Make the crumble: In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two forks until crumbles form. Set aside.
4. Make the donut batter: Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add in the buttermilk, egg, oil, and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth.
5. Carefully spoon the donut batter into the prepared baking pan. Fill each cavity about 1/2 full.
6. Sprinkle the cinnamon swirl mixture evenly over top the batter. Then fill each cavity with the remaining batter. Sprinkle the crumble over top the batter in each cavity.
7. Bake for 10-14 minutes, or until the donuts just spring back when touched.
8. Allow the donuts to cool in the pan for five minutes. Then remove donuts from the pan and let cool on a wire rack.
9. Any remaining donuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Donuts are best eaten within two days.


  1. can you use all purpose flour?

    1. You can definitely use all-purpose flour for the entire recipe. The cake flour just gives the donut a slightly more tender texture.

  2. Can I use a donut cut-out instead of the donut pan?

    1. The batter is very loose, so a donut pan would work best.

  3. Replies
    1. Hi Dee - Yep, this recipe requires a donut pan.

  4. could these be muffins instead of donuts?

    1. I haven't tried to make these as muffins. You'll have to report back if you try!

  5. Your "printer friendly recipe button" takes you toa different recipe. :(


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