Culinary SOS: Sweet Butter’s coffee doughnut muffins

Dear SOS: I had the best muffin I've ever had in my life at Sweet Butter in Sherman Oaks. It was a coffee doughnut muffin. I thought I had had good muffins before, but this was like the best cappuccino in town in light, fluffy muffin form. I went back recently thinking I would send some to my son in college. The lady behind the counter said they rotate their muffins and they have a lot of muffin recipes. Since I can never be sure I will be there at the same time as these muffins, I'd love the recipe.

—Teresa O’Neill,

Los Angeles

Dear Teresa: These treats are like some of the greatest hits of breakfast rolled into one, with a doughnut-like cake baked in muffin tins, then rolled in sugar mixed with espresso powder for added fun. Sweet Butter was happy to share its recipe, so you can make them whenever the craving hits.


Time: 1 hour.

Makes: 2 dozen muffins

4 cups (17 oz.) flour

1 Tbsp. plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 to 3 Tbsp. espresso powder, divided

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. prepared coffee

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 Tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) softened butter, plus 3/4 to 1 cup (1 1/2 to 2 sticks) melted butter, divided

3 1/2 cups (24 1/2 oz.) sugar, divided

4 eggs

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 (12-cup) muffin pans or tins.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and 1 tablespoon espresso powder. In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, combine the coffee, buttermilk and vanilla. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together 1 1/2 cups softened butter with 2 cups (14 ounces) sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, waiting until each egg is fully incorporated before adding another.

4. Gently beat the flour and coffee mixtures into the butter mixture, alternating between wet and dry, one-third of each at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure all of the ingredients are properly mixed.

5. Divide the batter among each of the greased muffin cups, filling each approximately two-thirds to three-fourths of the way full. Place the pan in the oven and bake until the muffins have risen and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, 20 to 30 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through for even baking. Remove the muffins and cool completely.

6. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the remaining 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar and 1 to 2 tablespoons espresso powder. Brush the cooled muffins on all sides with the melted butter, then roll in the sugar/espresso powder mixture. Serve immediately.

Each muffin: Calories 364; Protein 4 g; Carbohydrates 46 g; Fiber 1 g; Fat 19 g; Saturated fat 12 g; Cholesterol 80 mg; Sugar 30 g; Sodium 199 mg.