If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, chances are you’ve already got your menu mostly set.  (If you don’t, please hurry.  The planner in me is twitching just thinking about it.)  I figure at this point, another side dish or dessert is probably not of much use to you.  Instead, I give you this irresistible breakfast treat to enjoy with family over the long weekend.  Tender, spiced gingerbread with a sparkly doughnut-esque cinnamon-sugar topping.  Paired with a cup of coffee or hot cocoa, these are the perfect seasonal treat to share on a lazy morning.

The muffins can be mixed up and baked in under an hour, but if you want to get the work out of the way up front and have them ready to go, you can bake them today and freeze until you are ready to serve.  Then thaw however you prefer in the microwave or oven and serve warm.


For the muffins: 

  • 2¾ cup all-purpose flour (or white whole wheat)
  • 2½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1 1/3 cup cold water

For topping:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3-4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line muffin pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.  Whisk to blend.  In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in the eggs one at a time.  Mix in the molasses.

  • 02

    With the mixer on low speed, stir in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Add in the second half, again mixing just until incorporated.  Mix in the water on medium-low speed, just until evenly mixed and no lumps remain.

  • 03

    Divide the batter between the prepared muffin liners, filling each about two-thirds of the way full.  Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until the tops are set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  • 04

    To finish, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and whisk until evenly combined.  Dip the top of a muffin in the melted butter, then into the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat with a thin layer.  Repeat with the remaining muffins.  Serve warm.


  • Colleen Raby

    These sound perfect. Thank you :)

  • Warm Vanilla Sugar

    These sound like the perfect holiday muffin! Yum!

  • marcie @ flavor the moments

    These look delicious! Can’t wait to bring on the gingerbread.

  • Fall & winter I crave ginger so much. Not sure why. I also crave smelling that smell too (if that makes sense)

  • These look incredible! And I am so so late to the Turkey Day game, blog wise. I think I’m missing out on the biggest food holiday of the blogosphere! Oh well.

  • I’ve been raring to go on the gingerbread front for a few weeks so I’m super glad to see these! The perfect way to infuse some holiday cheer into my morning. And dont’ worry. My T-day menu is SET.

  • Brittany Greer

    Yum! Great idea. You’re right that most side dishes and desserts are already planned, but breakfast always slips off the radar.

  • Irresistible is right! These look amazing. And I love that snowflake plate, so cute!

  • louise

    these look delicious!

  • wow, these look incredible. You’re right – definitely an overlooked menu idea this time of the year.

  • I’ve seen lots of donut muffin variations but this has got to be my favorite – such a fun twist on the pumpkin, cinnamon sugar kind. And so perfect for the holidays!

  • Kelly

    I rushed home and made these last night for some inexplicable reason. I’m really not a fan of gingerbread, but these were stuck in my head like the refrain of some catchy tune. And thank goodness, because, uh, these are fantastic. So fluffy and seasonal and perfectly spiced with just the right amount of sweetness.

    I used a cup of whole wheat four and all-purpose for the rest since I didn’t have white whole wheat on hand, and it worked out excellently.

  • Alexe @ Keys to the Cucina

    Yummy! If you put donuts in any recipe description I am in- these look delish!

  • kirahartgrove

    I made this today and they are really good! Thanks for sharing!

  • annieseats

    Great! So glad you enjoyed them :)

  • madamding

    These sound delish!

  • Victoria Luhrs

    Served at a baby shower over the weekend – the flavor was perfect and they were a hit!

  • ErinsFoodFiles

    Getting behind on my blog reading is a bad thing, because I am JUST NOW SEEING THESE. Holy cow! I have been on a gingerbread kick this season, and I love donuts & muffins. I wish I had seen these sooner, because I know I would have made multiple batches by now!