Apple ‘Doughnut’ Cakes with Honey and Brown Butter



  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 190g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 85g brown sugar
  • 85g honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 medium to large apples, peeled and grated (I used Jazz but Granny Smith, Braeburn or Royal Gala will be fine)
  • 110g caster sugar (or 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and lightly grease a 12 x 125ml capacity muffin tin. First measure the butter to get started on the beurre noisette.
To make brown butter / beurre noisette 

  1. Place butter in a stainless steel pot over medium heat to melt and cook. It’ll sizzle and make a lot of noise but that’s fine. Go ahead and continue with measuring other ingredients while the butter is cooking if you like.
  2. As soon as the sizzling noise dies down, check on your butter. You’ll see it all foamy but pale. Immediately turn the heat down to low and simmer while gently stirring or swirling the pot until you see a bit of colour come through the foam. Immediately remove pot from heat and set aside.
  3. The foam will subside and the butter will be a pale brown but the residue heat will be enough to brown it further without the risk of burning it. Your butter should be a golden colour (with brown sediment on the bottom) and smelling caramelly and nutty. Strain it through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and set it aside to cool.
  4. Sift flour and cinnamon into a large bowl and stir in the brown sugar until combined. Mix in the honey and eggs then add the cooled brown butter and stir to combine. Squeeze out excess moisture from grated apples and gently fold through the batter.
  5. Divide amongst the muffin tin (batter shouldn’t come up higher than halfway) and bake for 15-17 minutes until golden and skewer comes out clean.
  6. Mix together the remaining sugar and cinnamon until completely combined in a bowl or shallow plate.
  7. Immediately turn cakes out onto a wire rack and toss through the sugar and cinnamon mix to coat and cool cakes completely on wire rack.
  8. If your cakes have cooled down too much the sugar isn’t going to stick so if you wish, you can brush the cakes lightly with lightly beaten egg white and then coat in the sugar and leave to dry and set on rack.
  9. They’re best eaten on the day but cakes can be stored in an airtight container. The sugar will melt a bit in storage but a quick roll in more cinnamon sugar should return them to full donutty glory.

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