I usually bring my lunch to work, but I’m always up for a dessert run. And, I’m pretty “in the know” when it comes to dessert. This is because I’ve tried just about every baked good in downtown Austin, and by now, I know where to go. A little over a year ago, Sandra Bullock opened her second restaurant in downtown Austin, Walton’s Fancy and Staple. The décor is adorable, the sandwiches are yummy, and the desserts? I die. Seriously – their desserts are the best lunchtime option in downtown.

Several months ago, I was craving a cinnamon sugar doughnut. (Obviously. I mean, what about April 28 doesn’t say cinnamon sugar doughnut to you?!) Anyway, I managed to convince my work BFF to walk with me to Walton’s. I knew they didn’t have doughnuts but a red velvet cupcake or a lemon bar or a fruit tart would have to do. And then, joy of all joys, I stumbled on EXACTLY what I wanted. A cinnamon sugar doughnut (carefully disguised as a “golden egg”)!! I was so excited that I twitpic-ed it!

Come to find out, Sandra Bullock’s sister, Gesine Bullock-Prado, is a pastry chef. She wrote this sweet cookbook, and it includes a recipe for the famous golden eggs! I realize that we’re about three months behind the trend on the doughnut muffins, but it’s because I’ve been searching for an egg mold so that I could perfectly replicate the golden eggs from Walton’s. I finally admitted defeat – I’ll have to wait until next spring to find an egg mold – but I was still craving these. Enter doughnut muffins.

I did manage to put my personal spin on them…because we’re kind of obsessed with sprinkles, I made the classic cinnamon sugar ones, but I also made a traditional doughnut glaze and covered the tops with bright nonpareils. (Doughnut cupcakes, if you will.) Like all other bloggers before me, I love that these are baked and not fried. (Less fat, less mess! AMEN!) The taste doesn’t suffer a single bit and you all know how I feel about bite size dessert…

For the muffins, Gather Up:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 tbsp. buttermilk, at room temperature
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature

For the coating, Gather up:
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the glaze, Gather up:
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups confectioners sugar

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour two 12-cup mini muffin tins. Bakers note: the recipe says you’ll get 24 mini muffins. I got 36. Score!

To make the muffins…
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and buttermilk.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with your paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just combined.

With the mixer set on low speed, beat in one-fourth of the dry ingredients. Beat in one-third of the milk mixture. Continue to alternate until all of the remaining ingredients are incorporated, finishing with the dry ingredients. Be careful to not overmix.

Fill the prepared muffin cups just to the rim with batter. Bake until lightly golden and firm to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the tins and transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet.

To coat the muffins…
Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Brush each muffin generously with melted butter. Then sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar.

If you’re feeling ambitious you could also glaze a few…
Pour milk and vanilla into a saucepan and heat over low heat until warm. Sift sugar in. Remove glaze from heat, and dunk muffin tops in. Dust with sprinkles.

Because I couldn’t find the golden egg mold, I used this recipe from Serious Eats. Just as good!