Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fresh Baked Doughnut Muffins and a Chance to Win $25 in Books from Cleo Coyle

Ever since Roast Mortem first hit the shelves in hardback last year, fans have asked me to post this doughnut muffin recipe. Well, today is the day! But first two quick contest announcements…

Cleo Coyle, who does not know
the muffin man, is author
of the Coffeehouse
Dru, a follower of this blog, is also a dedicated book reviewer. Mysteries are her specialty, and she’s running a contest this week. Leave a comment on her new review post, and you’ll be entered to win a signed copy of Murder by Mocha. 

BTW, Dru's blog is a great one to follow, with authors who regularly post creative entries. Click here to jump there and have fun! (If you're wondering what Dru said about Mocha, here's a quote I think any writer would be proud to hear. Thank you, Dru...)

Win a signed copy
at Dru's blog by
clicking here.
"This wonderful story boasts a brilliant cast, a great setting, tantalizing conversation and recipes that will whet your appetite...." 

Fresh Fiction is also running a Coffeehouse contest. Prizes are spiffy and include a $25.00 gift card to your favorite online bookstore; a Gimme Coffee Latte Cup and Saucer (made in Italy); and signed copies of my newly released culinary mysteries (Murder by Mocha and Roast Mortem). Click here to jump there, and good luck!

And now…

Let's Eat!
(at least with our eyes...) 


Photos (c) Alice Alfonsi who writes as Cleo Coyle in collaboration with her husband, Marc Cerasini. All rights reserved.

Tender and sweet, these muffins taste like old-fashioned cake doughnuts, the kind you might order at a diner counter with a hot, fresh cuppa joe. Clare, my amateur crime-solver, bakes them up one morning to calm her nerves after a ruthless firebug torches her friend's cafe. "The coffee shop arsonist" is only getting started, but then so is Clare Cosi....

You will find this recipe, along with many others, in the recipe section of my culinary mystery Roast Mortem, now a national bestseller in paperback. 

Makes 12 standard-size muffins (Note: The muffins make look big in the photos, but these babies were made with my regular, old muffin pans.)

For the batter:

12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten with fork
1 cup whole milk 
2-½ cups all-purpose flour
2-½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the cinnamon-sugar topping:

½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Step 1—Prep your oven and pan: First preheat your oven to 350° F. This recipe bakes up nice, coffee shop-sized muffins with generous tops, so lightly spray the tops of your muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray. This will prevent the tops from sticking to the pan. Line the muffin cups with paper holders.

Step 2—Make the batter: Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the eggs and milk and continue mixing. Stop the mixer. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg and mix only enough to combine ingredients. Batter will be thick. Do not over mix at this stage or you will produce gluten in the batter and toughen the muffins.

Step 3—Bake: Using two tablespoons (one to scoop, the other to scrape in the thick batter), fill each cup to the top, dividing any remaining batter among the 12 cups.

Bake for 20-25 min­utes, or until the muffin tops spring back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. After a few minutes out of the oven, remove muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack. (Muffins that remain long in a hot pan may end up steaming, and the bottoms may become tough.)

Step 4—Finish with cinnamon-sugar topping: Mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Melt the butter, brush it lightly over the muffin tops...

Roll the buttery tops in the bowl of cinnamon-sugar, and… 

Eat with joy!

Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

To get more of my recipes, win free coffee,
or learn about my books, visit my online
coffeehouse by  clicking here.

See more of the recipes featured in
Roast Mortem by clicking here.

“Coyle's strong 9th coffeehouse mystery pays tribute to New York City firefighters.…Coyle even provides an appendix of useful tips and tempting recipes.” ~ Publishers Weekly 

A Reviewer's Pick: "Favorite Book of the Year"
~ Bookreporter.com  

“Fast pacing and clever dialogue…a fantastic mystery.” 4-1/2 stars ~ RT Book Reviews 

Now a National Mystery
Bestseller in Paperback! 

To visit Amazon's Roast Mortem page, click here

To visit Barnes & Noble's page click here.
Or try your favorite bookseller.


  1. Glad I stopped by, there is a lot going on here. Great giveaways and two murder mystery books and an awesome recipe for donut muffins. Thanks for sharing all this great information and have a good day!

  2. Another recipe I'm going to make! One question, though: do you use standard-size muffin tins or jumbo? I couldn't quite tell from the photos (and maybe I missed mention of it in the recipe).
    Nicole L.

  3. Oh boy! That's a coffee break I'd love to take. Thanks for this winner, Cleo!

  4. Sounds like it's time for a coffee break to me! The cinnamon sugar on the top sounds delish. :)

  5. This certainly is the blog to haunt for contests... great all the support you get.

    and how about a krispy kream glaze topping????

  6. I've never heard of these! Sound lovely.
    And I adore your books!

  7. Lovely donut muffins. Sound yummy and the pictures are so gorgeous. Hope everybody will check out Dru's reviews. They're great. And Fresh Fiction, too. What a lucky day for someone who loves books!


  8. Cleo, the muffins look amazing! I've been reading Dru's blog and enjoying it. Lovely that she's giving away a copy of your book!

    ~ Krista

  9. These muffins have been a regular here at Chez Phillipe since Roast Mortem first debuted last Fall!! With Chef Connor around we have tried a few different ways to top them...my favorite is along the Krispy Kreme line (as suggested by Dave)with the addition of lemon!! Fabulous!!! This is a great "go-to" recipe that begs to be repeated...often!!!


  10. That's for the shout-out Cleo.

    I now have to buy a muffin pan.

  11. Thanks everyone for your very kind comments. A few specific replies...

    @Tina - Thank you so much for dropping by our Kitchen. Always nice to see you here...

    @Nicole (anonymous)- I'm glad you asked that question. I went back into the recipe to make it clearer for everyone. Even though the muffins look large in the photos, they are standard muffins, made in my regular, old muffin pans. If you try them, let me know. I hope you enjoy them as much as Marc and I do!

    @MJ and Elizabeth - Thanks to my fellow mystery writing cooks!

    @Dave - A writer can never have too much support! You've heard the term, "I couldn't give it away..." Well, when I hear people actually want a book for a prize, any book, I'm thrilled. Last year my gift card went to a college student who was very grateful for the win. With this challenging economy, you can never have too many giveaways for readers, IMO.

    @Sonia - Aw, that is incredibly nice of you. Thank you for dropping by and I hope you'll continue to enjoy the series. I'll do my best. :)

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  12. Replies to...

    @Avery - Thanks so much for your nice words. As I told Dave, our readers deserve giveaways, especially in this economy.

    @Krista - Oh, yes, have to agree. Dru's blog rocks.

    @Nanc - Sending my culinary cheers to your brilliant, young, in-house chef. I would love to see Connor do another recipe for us this fall...let him know an encore performance is requested. (He can choose the recipe. :))

    @Dru - See above. Your blog (and you!) rock.

    Off to make a fresh pot o' joe...and eat another doughnut muffin...who's coming?

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  13. These look amazing! I am currently reading and enjoying a Haunted Bookshop mystery, but Roast Mortem is next on my list. I am going to go check out that contest for sure. Btw - thank you so much for you sweet comment re: my posole. : )

  14. I love your books and the recipes in them. Since I have started reading your books, I finally understand why I like certain coffee and even how to order my favorite coffees. Since reading your books, I found a stove top espresso pot at a yard sale. I don't think they knew what it was, got it for a dollar. Has a removable carafe with a plug to go in the top so that the espresso will stay hot. Thanks again for the great reads and the great recipes!! Keep up the great work. *smile*