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Cinnamon Sugar Muffins (doctored cake mix)

If you love the combination of cinnamon and brown sugar and you’re in a hurry, these muffins will be perfect for you. They come together (start to finish) in under 20 minutes. And best of all, they start with a simple white cake mix.

cinnamon sugar muffins from out of the box baking.com

Can I Use a Cake Mix to Make Muffins?

That was the question on my mind earlier today. A friend sent me a recipe for some southern cinnamon muffins. They looked so good and I was tempted to make the recipe. But then I remembered the challenge I’d recently given myself to develop new recipes from a white boxed cake mix.

So, I looked at my friend’s recipe, which included sour cream, cinnamon, and a stick of butter. I thought to myself, “That’s it. Use the sour cream in place of milk with the mix. Add butter and go easy on the eggs so the batter is a little thicker and creamier than a typical cupcake batter.”

And add cinnamon. Lots of cinnamon.

Okay, so I also decided to throw some chopped pecans into mine because that’s how I roll. Speaking of “roll” these are very cinnamon roll like, so I highly recommend them for breakfast. I’m crazy about cinnamon rolls. I have lots of different recipes!

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start by going over the ingredients and then we’ll chat about how you can enjoy them.

Ingredients for Cinnamon Muffins

cinnamon sugar muffins from out of the box baking.com

These are simple ingredients and you’ve probably already got them on hand. For details, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. For now, here’s a quick glance at what you’ll need:

  • white cake mix (or yellow cake mix)
  • room temperature butter (salted or unsalted, your choice)
  • sour cream
  • eggs
  • cinnamon
  • brown sugar
  • chopped pecans (optional)

That’s it! All common ingredients. But when you merge them. . .watch out! It’s a combination you’re going to love!

How to Make these Tasty Cinnamon Sugar Muffins

This is a super easy process. Let’s get right to it!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray two muffin tins with non-stick spray. (This recipe will make 15 average-size muffins.) Make sure your pecans are chopped fine before you begin.

Start with room temperature butter. Cream it in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

cinnamon sugar muffins from out of the box baking.com

Add sour cream and continue to beat until well incorporated.

cinnamon sugar muffins from out of the box baking.com

Add the dry ingredients (cake mix and cinnamon) to the wet ingredients.

cinnamon sugar muffins from out of the box baking.com

Add your eggs and mix (but don’t over-mix).

Fold in the chopped pecans (optional).

Using an ice cream scoop, fill the muffin pan cups to the 2/3 point. My stars, this is a luscious cake batter!

cinnamon sugar muffins from out of the box baking.com

In a separate small bowl mix together your brown sugar and additional cinnamon. Stir well.

cinnamon sugar muffins from out of the box baking.com

Sprinkle a generous portion of the cinnamon sugar streusel mixture on top of your muffins.

cinnamon sugar muffins from out of the box baking.com

Bake in the center of your preheated oven at 350 for 16-17 minutes or until muffins spring back to the touch.

Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

cinnamon sugar muffins from out of the box baking.com

When the muffins are cool enough to handle, place them directly on the wire cooling rack to continue cooling.

cinnamon sugar muffins from out of the box baking.com

Allow to cool before serving.

cinnamon sugar muffins from out of the box baking.com

Store in an airtight container. Refrigeration is not necessary. These will do just fine at room temperature for 2-3 days as long as they are sealed properly.

What to Expect from These Cinnamon Sugar Muffins

cinnamon sugar muffins from out of the box baking.com

Y’all, these are delicious, moist muffins with a similar flavor to Snickerdoodle cookies! Every now and again I hit on an idea that really works. (I’m the first to admit not all of my crazy concoctions are that great.) These have the warmth of the cinnamon, the crunch of the brown sugar, and the texture from the sour cream.

I particularly enjoyed looking at the sides of the muffins because the swirls of cinnamon were so apparent. (Lovely!) I might have to call these my cinnamon roll cupcakes.

This is a cake mix recipe you’ll use again and again.

cinnamon sugar muffins from out of the box baking.com

They taste great. Like. . .great. I make a lot of “from scratch” muffins and they’re all tasty, and I was a little worried that a boxed mix might add a manufactured taste. I was wrong, thank goodness!

These taste as fresh and yummy as any homemade muffins I’ve made, including my homemade Cinnamon Streusel Muffins with Pecans, a scratch recipe.

They taste just like a yummy coffee cake, only in muffin form.

cinnamon sugar muffins from out of the box baking.com

And best of all, they were quick, easy, and inexpensive!

I suggested above that these could be served for a quick breakfast and I haven’t changed my mind! As you might recall from my Cinnamon Sugar Pound Cake post, “breakfast cakes” (traditional coffee cakes) are supposed to make us feel better about eating cake for breakfast. Me? I need no excuse.

Variations on This Doctored Cake Mix

This is one of those easy muffin recipes that will become a go-to for you. And best of all, you can tweak it to make it your own.

Next time I might change things up a bit!

  • The first thing that comes to mind is that I could start with a box of butter pecan cake next time. (That actually sounds really delicious to me.) But, that would kind of defeat the purpose of my quest (to doctor white cake mix).
  • This would be a great muffin with the addition of a true “streusel” on top (a crumb topping consisting of oats, flour, brown sugar, butter). You might even add some chopped pecans to that. Of course, you’re really creating something akin to my Cinnamon Streusel Muffins if you go that far.
  • Add pumpkin pie spice. It would be a nice complement.
  • Add half a cup of cookie butter in place of the sour cream. (This sounds delicious, doesn’t it?)
  • Add a cream cheese glaze using cream cheese, powdered sugar, and a bit of heavy cream.
  • To make this even richer, add a box of vanilla pudding (dry) to the mix.
  • These would make delightful mini muffins!

Southerners Love Their Cinnamon

cinnamon sugar muffins from out of the box baking.com

Cinnamon actually comes from southwest Asia, so how we southerners came to claim it as our own is beyond me, but here’s the truth: we love our cinnamon in the south.

We throw it in everything. Like, everything–cookies, cakes, pies, muffins, cinnamon rolls, and even our savory foods. We’re crazy about the stuff. Some people love cinnamon and chocolate together so you could always throw in some chocolate chips when you’re making this recipe.

I was born and raised in Texas, so I’m claiming cinnamon as part of my heritage. I’ll go on adding it to recipes, so if you’re a fan, stick with me for more tasty treats!

Other Cinnamon Treats from Out of the Box Baking

If you enjoyed this easy Cinnamon Muffin recipe you’re going to love some of my other offerings. Here at Out of the Box Baking cinnamon is a star player! A few of my earlier posts include:

Recipes that Start with a Box of White Cake Mix

If you’ve been following me for a while you know that I’m trying to create new recipes using a box of white cake mix, so here are a few I’ve come up with over the past week or two. I’ll be merging these into a single post when I get 10 or 12 of them.

I’ve already got one post on the subject but there’s always room for more! So, here are my new ones:

There are lots more, but I’ll leave you with that. I hope you enjoyed this tasty recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Muffins from a doctored cake mix!


Learn more about doctored cake mixes, the theme of this blog. 

For the master list of all doctored cake mix recipes on this site, visit Doctored Cake Mix Recipes, Master List. 


See this recipe at

Full Plate Thursday 

Weekend Potluck

Sunday LinkUp


About the Author

Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.

Cinnamon Sugar Muffins (doctored cake mix)

Cinnamon Sugar Muffins (doctored cake mix)

Yield: 15
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes

If you love the combination of cinnamon and brown sugar and you're in a hurry, these muffins will be perfect for you. They come together (start to finish) in under 20 minutes. And best of all, they start wiht a simple white cake mix.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE MUFFINS
  • 1 white cake mix
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter (salted or unsalted, your choice)
  • 1 cup room temperature sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • FOR THE TOPPING
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray two muffin tins with non-stick spray. (This recipe will make 15 average-size muffins.) Make sure your pecans are chopped fine before you begin.
  2. Start with room temperature butter. Cream it until light and fluffy.
  3. Add sour cream and continue to beat until well incorporated.
  4. Add the cake mix and cinnamon to the wet ingredients.
  5. Add your eggs and mix (but don't over-mix).
  6. Fold in the chopped pecans (optional).
  7. Using an ice cream scoop, fill the muffin cups to the 2/3 point.
  8. In a separate small bowl mix together your brown sugar and additional cinnamon. Stir well.
  9. Sprinkle a generous portion of the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of your muffins.
  10. Bake in the center of your preheated oven at 350 for 16-17 minutes or until muffins spring back to the touch.
  11. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.
  12. When the muffins are cool enough to handle, place them directly on the wire cooling rack to continue cooling.
  13. Allow to cool before serving.
  14. Store in an airtight container. Refrigeration is not necessary. These will do just fine at room temperature for 2-3 days as long as they are sealed properly.

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