Crumb Cake Donuts

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. 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

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
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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!


Ingredients

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)

Donuts

  • 2 cup (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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  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

54 Comments

  1. I know what I’m baking in the morning! These sound wonderful!!

  2. Wow, Sally, these look awesome! Like, even better than awesome. My waist line is so thankful I’m reading this past midnight, otherwise the oven would be a cranking! Will definitely put this on my list for the New Years brunch I’m hosting. But I’m guessing my boys will convince me to make a practice run, cause, well, they know it’s always risky to try a new recipe when company is coming, right? (So thoughtful, aren’t they???!!!) I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday and New Year!

  3. Andrea @ Cooking with a Wallflower says:

    I seriously need to find time this weekend to make these donuts! They look soooo amazing.

  4. Aren’t these spectacular!! And here I thought I had enough goodies for brunch on Christmas and you post this recipe and I know I need these in my life. Thank you Sally for all you do and Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family!!

  5. Oh my goodness! I am planning on making your pop tarts for Christmas morning. Do I make these instead?! Or just do both?!

    1. I have to admit… homemade pop tarts win every time!!!

  6. They look so delicious!

    x Mariya

    www.brunetteondemand.com

  7. Patricia @Sweet and Strong says:

    Crumb cake topping on a doughnut!  GENIUS!  And yes my oven has literally not turned off for like three days straight, lol.  Have a great Holiday Weekend Sally!

  8. Yummy! Anything with brown sugar and crumb topping is a yes for me.

  9. These look like Entenmann’s Crumb Topped Donuts, but they will taste even better!! Thank you, Sally! Happy Christmas to all of “you’s!”

  10. Since I have yet to try out my donut pan, this is a must for this weekend w/ both my boys here for the holiday! Thanks Sally!! I hope you have a wonderful first Christmas with your precious little one! (And she has a sweet Christmas name too!). Don’t stress, believe me, not worth it! Just enjoy, and also, let others help when you need it. It’s ok not to be Super Woman!! (Though seriously, you are doing a great job of it!!) Merry Christmas!!

  11. Crumb cake is legitimately one of my favourite desserts (or breakfasts)! Would love to make this mini sized and leave them on the Christmas Eve dessert table 😉

  12. Yum! These look so good!
    Kari
    http://sweetteasweetie.com/birds-nest-breakfast-bowl/

  13. These look delicious! Can’t wait to try them soon ♥

  14. Mellany McMichael says:

    Yummy!

    Maple pecan sticky buns, cranberry orange bundt cake, pumpkin bread with cranberries, raisins, pecans and walnuts, cake batter chocolate chip cookies with Christmas sprinkles, and loaded oatmeal cookies with raisinettes, dark chocolate, white chocolate, sea salt caramel and butterscotch morsels, and now these crumb cake donuts have made my holiday baking list! These look divine! I think I’ll make these for our New Year’s Day breakfast.
    Hope you and your family are enjoying the holidays!
    Your recipes are all so delicious and always come out great. These special baked goods really add to the Christmas spirit! Thank you for all your delicious recipes, Sally!♥️

    Mellany

    1. What a menu!! I don’t know which I’d reach for first. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  15. Yum! Me and the hubs were supposed to decorate christmas cookies together tonight so I made these to eat while we decorate (you know, so we don’t eat all the cookies lol), he fell asleep on the couch though so I don’t think we will be doing any decorating! I woke him up when the donuts were done and he ate 3! Lol now he’s sleeping again. 
    I halved the recipe, but ended up with 12! I think because the only donut pan I have is the wilton heart shaped donut pan and I believe the cavities are smaller than the round one. Anyways, I’m happy to report back that, as expected, these are SO. DELICIOUS! definitely my new fav baked donut recipe! thanks Sally!
    and Merry Christmas to you, Kevin, Jude, Franklin and Noelle!! 

    1. Merry Christmas to you too! I have that heart donut pan and it’s just the CUTEST! I’ve noticed the little cavities are slightly smaller. I’m so glad you tried these!

  16. Definitely making these as muffins since I threw out my doughnut pan. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  17. Omg these look amazing!! And I just bought a donut pan! I bought it even though I kept asking myself, when am I going to use this? It must have been fate ☺️

  18. Hi Sally,

    Wishing you and your family and your wonderful little one the merriest Chridtmas! I’ll be making these tomorrow night for Christmas morning! Yum!

  19. Erica @ Whimsical September says:

    Sally! This will likely win the most random comment aware, but I just have to compliment you on your writing style. You are THE perfect food blogger because your recipes are killer every single time, your pictures are outrageous, and your writing and descriptions are funny but to the point. I love it, and you! I met you back at BlogHer 2015 (you said I looked like Taylor Swift and I’ve loved you ever since LOL), and I still just adore you because I know there’s such a kind person writing these posts. I hope you have the most magical Christmas as a first-time mom and soak up all the moments. I have 4- and 1-year-old daughters, and I swear Christmas gets better every year. 🙂 

    1. Erica! How are you? What a kind comment to read this morning, thank you! Christmas was SO MUCH FUN this year with little Noelle and I can’t wait for the coming years when she understands (mostly) what’s going on. I appreciate all the compliments. Thank you for taking the time to write to me!!!

  20. Kasey Campbell says:

    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!!!

    1. That’s great to hear! That’s a nice size crumb cake. Not too big or too small!

  21. Oh Sally you are causing me so much trouble. I was already going to be making three of your cookies recipe’s this weekend and now it looks like you just added to my list. I am drooling.

  22. Brittany Anger says:

    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!

  23. 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!

  24. LOVE your recipes and live for the part where I can “shop the recipe” as I’m new to baking and love the recommendations  on what I need!!! 1 question. Why the 6 cavity donut pan and not the 20 cavity by the same company? Is there a difference? I’m definitely going to make these but unsure if I should get the 6 or 20. 

    1. So glad you like that feature, Ali! I don’t own a larger donut pan so I suggest the one I personally own. But feel free to use a larger donut pan for less batches.

  25. 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.

  26. Haha I should wait till I actually try the donuts. Even though it didn’t seem like a crumble it baked beautifully. Even my boyfriend was like I thought you said you did something wrong?? They are sooooo good! Thank you again for always making me bake like a rock star.

  27. How would you adjust the bake time if I used a mini donut pan?

    1. Hi Chrissy! The bake time is similar, maybe a minute or 2 less.

  28. Can I make donut “holes” by using mini muffin pan?… How long to bake?

    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.

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

    1. Hi Lindsey! Fill about halfway – 2/3 full with batter.

  30. 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”.

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