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.

  • Yield about 20 muffins


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.