Dynamo. That was our word for these.
You see, Dynamo Donuts in San Francisco is where M and I had the best donuts of our lives. I suppose it's possible it had something to do with us eating there the morning after our engagement. But, let me tell you, those donuts were incredible. Each and everyone is baked fresh right in front of you; the restaurant is in an old row house with a wall knocked down so you sit facing the kitchen. The bakers make up batches of whatever flavors they want. They post the flavors on a small chalkboard. When one batch is gone, they change the board. M and I devoured our four donuts--bourbon apple with maple-bacon glaze (which they serve everyday), spiced chocolate with orange, blueberry with hints of lemon thyme, and candied orange blossom. Each and every bite was perfection. (The coffee was also amazing.)
These pumpkin donut muffins reminded me so much of those delectable post-engagement treats. The inside was perfectly dense and moist, just like a great cake donut. The outside held together wonderfully and the topping of butter, cinnamon, and sugar takes it all over the edge. Don't skip that step--it's what makes these muffins really feel like donuts.
I know for sure that we'll be indulging in these muffins several times throughout the fall and winter. In fact, I'm already dreaming of enjoying a warm, fresh batch of these while sitting outside on a crisp morning with a blanket, a book, a hot cup of coffee, and my husband. With each bite we'll reminisce about our incredible engagement trip and look forward to the day we'll return to San Francisco and Dynamo Donuts.
Pumpkin Donut Muffins
adapted from Martha Stewart
For the batter:
10 TBSP (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/3 c. buttermilk
1 1/4 c. pure pumpkin purée
3/4 c. light brown sugar
2 large eggs
For the cinnamon-sugar topping:
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 18 wells in standard-sized muffin cups.
2. To make the batter, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice in a medium bowl. In a separate small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and pumpkin.
3. Cream butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Turn the mixer speed to low and add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with pumpkin mixture. Beat to combine. (Dough may be slightly sticky. It will resemble donut dough more than a traditional muffin batter.)
4. Fill muffin tin by using a standard-sized cookie scoop or 1/3 c. measuring cup. Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean.