These irresistible mini morsels of plain butter cake dipped in browned butter and cinnamon sugar are just the thing I needed to start my free Saturday. I honestly cannot remember when was the last Saturday I spent at home with family, cooking and baking simple homemade food for them. These warm, sugar coated puffs from Smitten Kitchen were the first thing that came to mind when I thought of baking for breakfast. After I got posted as ‘the new RMO in Gynae & Obstetrics’, I felt I had to treat myself for surviving my first week. Nothing better than having a whole batch of these beauties in your kitchen to counter all the stress and apprehension of getting used to something that is NOT General Surgery.



For the Sugar Coating

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Mini Puffs

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup butter, room temperature

1 large egg, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk or yogurt


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 12 standard size or 30 miniature muffin cups or line cups with paper liners.
  • For the coating, melt 6 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a small saucepan and continue to cook it.
  • Stir it frequently until brown bits form on the bottom and it smells nutty. Immediately remove from heat.

  • Set it aside to cool to room temperature. In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • For the puffs, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground spices together in a medium bowl.
  • In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat softened butter and sugar together until it turns light and fluffy.

  • Add egg and vanilla and beat till combined. Mix in a third of flour mixture, followed by half of buttermilk.
  • Continue finishing with the flour mixture. Mix only until combined. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups.
  • Fill up to 3/4 way. Bake standard sized muffins for 20 to 25 minutes and mini muffins for 12 to 14 minutes.

  • When finished, muffins will feel springy to the touch. A tester inserted into the center will come out clean.
  • Transfer them in their pan to a wire rack. As soon as you feel you can pick one up, reach for your first puff.
  • Roll the top and upper edges in browned butter. Let any excess browned butter drip off for about a second.

  • Now roll the butter-soaked cake top in the cinnamon-sugar coating and transfer the puff to wire rack to set.
  • Puffs are best within hours after they are baked. Yields 9 to 12 standard muffin-size puffs or 30 mini ones.
  • They can be made in advance and stored in a freezer bag. Spread the puffs on a tray and reheat until warm.

Cinnamon & Browned Butter