Imagine if some mad scientist crossbred a muffin and a donut, dipped it in butter and rolled it in cinnamon sugar.  Well, then you’d have a French Breakfast Puff.  These little muffin-y donuts, (or maybe it’s donut-y muffins?) don’t look like much when they pop out of the oven.  They’re barely golden brown, and with their vintage origin, I thought maybe it was another vintage recipe bust.

I collect vintage cookbooks, and one discovery I’ve made is that a lot of cookbook authors from the 30s, 40s, and 50s didn’t test their recipes.  I’ve had so many failed attempts at vintage puffs, hushpuppies, tortes, flummeries, and any other ridiculous sounding dish.  So as I adapted this recipe for a modern kitchen (exchanging shortening for butter, adding an oven temperature and specific bake time, and of course, vanilla) and kept my fingers crossed while testing it out.

WOW. These are so simple and so amazingly delicious.  Please, please, pretty please give these a try!




Makes 8 puffs

1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temp

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoons vanilla


3 ounces butter, melted

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 F

With a paddle attachment in a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy (about a minute) and add the egg, mixing together. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and a 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix flour blend into sugar and egg mixture alternately with milk, on low speed. Add the vanilla last, mixing to blend together.   Fill greased muffin tins two-thirds full. Bake until barely golden brown, 25 minutes. Immediately loosen the puffs from the tins (use a butter knife around the edges first).

Now, working very quickly, dip top and sides into melted butter; then roll in mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Serve hot, at once, but honestly these are still delicious the next day!