Jam doughnut muffins are not a new idea. But they are a really, really good one.
I made these the other morning for breakfast (my husband Ed and I aren’t really ‘morning kale smoothie and wholegrain’ people – well, only on special occasions). I suppose they might be classed as cake, truthfully, but I can confirm they make excellent breakfast, anyway.
There are many versions- but I think the jam doughnut muffins made from this recipe are the best ones I have ever tasted. They are light and fluffy (made with my favourite ingredient buttermilk, although you could use sour cream in place of it). The blend of cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg gives the muffin batter a toasty, warm, traditional doughnut flavour. The jam inside adds tang and texture- I used Ed’s favourite, ‘Little Scarlet’ strawberry jam by Tiptree jams…but just use your favourite jam flavour. (Or if you don’t have a favourite jam, then your favourite colour. In the immortal words of Homer Simpson, who was at the time talking about doughnuts: “this one has purple inside…purple is a fruit.”)
You can use paper muffin tin liners if you like, but to get a more ‘doughnutty’ vibe, just put the muffin batter straight into a muffin tin which you have sprayed with magic non-stick spray. (There are lots of types of this spray, but I use the Dr Oetker one, as it’s available in all supermarkets and it’s pretty cheap and it works brilliantly). Then when you take the baked muffins out of the tin, you can roll them all over in sugar for a doughnut-effect. In my experience, you don’t need to douse them in butter to make the sugar stick, as some other recipes state- just roll your cooled muffins in the caster sugar and it should all stick beautifully.
Recipe for Jammy Doughnut Muffins
200g soft, salted butter
200g caster sugar
300g self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 large eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Jam of choice (allow about 100g)
Rollin’ sugar (the more you can spare the better, as you’ll be able to roll the muffins in it gently. But about 150g of caster sugar should do)
1. Preheat the oven to 180c, and spray a 12-hole muffin tin with baking spray. Alternatively, to stop the muffins sticking, grease the holes of the muffin tin thoroughly with butter, then pour a little flour into each hole, and shake the tin gently until the flour sticks to the butter. Tip out the excess flour.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar until it has lightened in colour and has a fluffy texture, about 3-5 minutes.
3. Add the eggs one by one, until they are incorporated with the butter and sugar. Don’t worry if the mixture looks a bit curdled, it will come back together.
4. Add the buttermilk and vanilla to the mixture and combine.
5. Add the flour, spices, baking soda and baking powder and gently mix until just combined (i.e. mix it until the streaks of flour and have just disappeared, but don’t thrash the mixture for several minutes, otherwise the baked muffins will be tough in texture).
6. Spoon some of the mixture into the holes of the muffin tin (about 1 1/2 tablespoons in each hole, but use your judgment, depending on how much mixture you have. You’re going to need mixture for the bottom of the muffin, and for the top once you’ve put the jam inside). Smooth the mixture down slightly, and make a small intent in the centre. Put a blob of jam in the centre, and cover with another spoonful of mixture. Make sure the jam is covered completely.
7. Put the filled muffin tin in the heated oven, and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the muffins are risen, golden, and springy to the touch.
8. Leave to cool down, and then when the muffins are only just warm, roll in the rollin’ sugar (if you do this while the muffins are still hot, they might break). The muffins are best eaten on the day they’re baked, but will keep for 2-3 days. If you’re eating them on day 2 or 3, they benefit from being microwaved for 20 seconds before eating.