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Baked, not fried! Top these buttery dense crumb cake donuts with cinnamon brown sugar crumbs and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar. We use Greek yogurt, melted butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg for mega flavor and texture. These baked donuts can easily be adapted into muffins if you don’t have a donut pan. See my recipe notes.

crumb cake donuts

If you love crumb cake, this recipe is for you. It’s sweet and kid-friendly, perfect for any celebratory brunch, and piled high with crumb cake topping. They are just as easy to make as powdered sugar donut muffins, and kids and adults alike SWARM to these!!

These Crumb Cake Donuts Are:

  • Like crumb cake in donut form
  • Buttery and moist
  • Soft, dense, and cakey
  • Spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Sweetened with brown sugar
  • Piled high with crumb topping (like my crumb coffee cake)
  • A delicious breakfast, snack, or dessert
  • Comfort food at its finest
crumb cake donuts

overhead image of ingredients for crumb cake donuts in glass bowls

Three Parts to Crumb Cake Donuts

  1. Donuts: We use my standard baked donut recipe as the base of these crumb cake donuts. It’s a very thick batter that produces tight-crumbed, cakey donuts. Light and airy? These are not. The recipe uses all very basic ingredients. I like to add a little Greek yogurt to the donut batter for a moisture punch (sour cream works too) and prefer sweetening them with brown sugar. Even plain, these donuts are fantastic. But plain isn’t in our vocabulary, so let’s talk flavor. Add cinnamon to the batter as well as a pinch of nutmeg. Nutmeg leaves the donuts with a familiar bakery-donut flavor. After you mix this donut batter together, the aroma alone will remind you of a donut shop– it’s the nutmeg!
  2. Crumb Cake Topping: The crumbs are made with some of the same ingredients from the donut batter. (Plus some granulated sugar.) After baking, the crumbs take on a wild array of textures. These little guys have lots of personality! Some crumbs are super soft and melty; other crumbs– the ones at the tippy top of the donut– are slightly crunchy and crisp. All this on top of a warm, soft, cinnamon-spiced donut is breakfast perfection right at home.
  3. Powdered Sugar: A flurry of confectioners’ sugar finishes off each crumb cake donut. You can totally leave it off because there’s sugar in the crumb topping, too.
2 images of donut batter in a glass bowl and batter in a donut pan with crumb topping

How to Make Crumb Cake Donuts

Our mixers can take the morning off for this recipe– you don’t need one here!

  1. Make the crumb topping.
  2. Make the donut batter.
  3. Fill the donut cavities. Transferring donut batter into the donut pan can be tricky, so I always suggest using a zipped-top bag to pipe the batter. (You can see me doing this in my pumpkin donuts post.) Just spoon the batter into a large zipped-top bag, trim off a bottom corner, and squeeze the batter into the pan. The donut batter is thicker than you’d expect, so it pipes pretty neatly.
  4. Top with crumbs. The key is to really press the crumbs down into the donut batter. And add them with wild abandon, please. Squeeze as many crumbs as you can on top because while the donuts themselves are great, extra crumb topping is never a bad idea (looking at you, apple crumb cake)!!
  5. Bake.
  6. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. After baking, sprinkle the tops with a light coating of confectioners’ sugar.
  7. Serve & enjoy! Donuts are best served immediately, though they freeze wonderfully (see my recipe notes).

Don’t Overfill

Avoid over-filling the donut pan. You need less donut batter than you think for each donut because we’re adding a crumb topping. If you fill the donut pan too high, the donuts will overflow and all the crumb topping will spill off. Just fill about 1/2 – 2/3 full with batter.

crumb cake donuts

stack of 3 crumb cake donuts

If baked donuts, layers of crumb topping, and a snowfall of confectioners’ sugar doesn’t convince you to get baking, I’m not sure what will.

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crumb cake donuts

Crumb Cake Donuts

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 15 donuts 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Baked and layered crumb cake donuts are a special treat to make for breakfast. Buttery and moist, these cake donuts are comfort food at its finest!



Crumb Topping

  • 1/3 cup (67g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons (140g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)


  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick; 60g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (135g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120g) plain yogurt or sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • optional: confectioners’ sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. Make the crumb topping: Mix the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter using a fork, then add the flour. Mix and crumble with a fork. Set aside.
  3. Make the donuts: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Set aside. Whisk the melted butter, eggs, brown sugar, milk, yogurt, and vanilla together until completely combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter will be very thick.
  4. Spoon the batter into the donut cavities—I highly recommend using a large zipped-top bag for ease. Cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and pipe the batter into each donut cup, filling about halfway. Grab a handful of crumb topping and press down onto the batter of each donut. Pressing it snug into the batter helps prevent the crumb coating from falling off the donuts. (If you only have 1 donut pan, keep the remaining batter in the bowl at room temperature until you can bake the next batch.)
  5. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the edges and tops are lightly browned. Allow to cool for about two minutes then transfer to a wire rack set on a large piece of parchment paper. Bake the remaining donut batter and once baked, transfer to the wire rack. Dust the tops of each with a light coating of confectioners’ sugar, if desired.
  6. Donuts are best served immediately. Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 2 days.


  1. Freezing Instructions: Freeze the baked and cooled donuts for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then warm up to your liking in the microwave.
  2. Special Tool (affiliate link): Donut Pan
  3. No Donut Pan? Make donut muffins in your standard 12-cup muffin pan. Line with cupcake liners or grease with nonstick spray. Fill each 2/3 full with donut batter. Top with crumb topping. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Half Recipe: I tested this recipe for a larger crowd just in case you need it for holiday entertaining. But if you don’t need 15 donuts laying around, halve the recipe to yield around 7-8 donuts instead. That’s the amount I usually bake.

Keywords: crumb cake donuts

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Made this as a coffee cake this morning in an 8×8 pan. It took about 25 mins, but it was phenomenal!!! Impressed my in-laws and hubby licked the plate to get all of the crumbs. The only change I made was I used vanilla yogurt instead of plain. It was great! Thank you, Sally. You always save the day!!!

  2. Mmmmm, Sally, this is a winner! My mom made them this afternoon and I’m enjoying a warm one right now. Delectable!  Happy New Year!

  3. We made these this weekend as well as three other of your recipes for the New Years party. No we did not share these with everyone but only two people got a nibble of them. We love love them. My husband gave up donuts more than years ago for dietary reasons. But these are not fried so he says it is okay. Snicker. You should have seen his eyes roll back when he bit into it. He is so happy. I will be making the brown sugar ones soon. Your chewy brown sugars cookies were the biggest hit I think. But my Sissy stole most of the leftovers especially those. Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes. Wishing you success, happiness, and good health in the New Year!

  4. Hi!
    Can you use whole wheat pastry flour for these? And sub white sugar with coconut sugar? 
    And why can I use instead of yogurt!? 

    1. Hi Emily! Feel free to play around with this recipe using your substitutions. I haven’t tested it any other way. You can try sour cream instead of yogurt.

    1. Yes, definitely! Grease your pan or use mini liners, add the batter to the pan only about 3/4 of the way full then press in the crumbs. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for about 10 minutes.

  5. This look amazing!! Do I fill the muffin pan to the top or just halfway? Thank you in advance!
    In Christ,
    Lindsey Johnson

  6. Good Morning Sally! I JUST took the donuts out the pan and they smell so GOOOOOODDDDD! Last night I was craving something and quick to make for in the morning…these were it. Now, I made the mistake that you have STRESSED…READ INSTRUCTIONS TWICE. Well, I didn’t read the instructions AT ALL for making the topping as I’ve made similar before…adding all ingredients at once. Well, imagine to my surprise when I REALLY read it! My son Byron who LOVES your cinnamon bum blondies said…MOM remember what SALLY SAYS in her notes! I had to laugh as I ALWAYS tell him to read it twice! ANYWAY…they STILL came out GREAT, waking my husband and older son up to the smells. Hubby to 2 to work with him, I asked if he wanted some for co-workers, he said oh, no. theses are only for us. I’m making more later & this time I will do what “Sally says”.

    1. Hi David! Many usually have yogurt + milk as opposed to buttermilk in the fridge, so that’s why I used the combination. Feel free to substitute if desired.

    2. My husband has been looking for crumb topped Doughnuts in the store and has not been able to find them. I am excited to find your recipe and I will be making them. They sound delicious. Will let you know how they turned out.

  7. Do you have any recommendations I could use if i don’t have sour cream or yogurt? These look delicious !

  8. Just made this recipe! I used a muffin tray instead of the doughnut one, and they came out amazing!! Will be making these again, they were such a hit with my family.

  9. These were incredible!!!! I used sour cream instead of yogurt and I used Gluten Free flour. I cannot believe how fantastic and soft and tender they are!
    Amazing recipe! Thank you,

  10. Just made these and turned out delicious! I did have extra crumb topping how can I store these to use for another recipe?

  11. I dont have any donut trays what else could I use for it?

    1. Hi Kelsey, you can use a muffin pan. See my recipe note for more instructions!

  12. Can I use a muffin top pan for this recipe, if so how full each cavity should be and how long should be baked?

    1. Hi Patricia, I’m sure you could be we have never tested it so I’m unsure of the quantity or bake time needed. Let us know if you try it!

  13. Fabulous!!
    Moist- buttery and all things crumb cake deliciousness
    Really great recipe- we call it a “ do again “ in our house!!
    Loved the tip on making the crumbs to add melted butter to sugars first- then stir in flour= perfect clumps!

  14. I made these and the texture was amazing! Though I found it not sweet enough. A few of the guests I had asked if I forgot to put the sugar in… I double checked and the actual donut batter only called for ⅔ cup brown sugar, no other sweetener. What did I do wrong?

    1. Hi Ann! With 2/3 cup sugar in the donuts and 2/3 cup sugar in the crumb topping, these donuts should be plenty sweet. But everyones tastes are different! Perhaps you could try a sweet vanilla icing on top next time – it would be delicious!

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