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.
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
- A delicious breakfast, snack, or dessert
- Comfort food at its finest
Three Parts to Crumb Cake Donuts
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
How to Make Crumb Cake Donuts
Our mixers can take the morning off for this recipe– you don’t need one here!
- Make the crumb topping.
- Make the donut batter.
- 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.
- 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)!!
- Dust with confectioners’ sugar. After baking, sprinkle the tops with a light coating of confectioners’ sugar.
- Serve & enjoy! Donuts are best served immediately, though they freeze wonderfully (see my recipe notes).
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.
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.Print
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!
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Donuts are best served immediately. Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 2 days.
- 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.
- Special Tool (affiliate link): Donut Pan
- 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.
- 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