Nana Recipe Wednesday–French Breakfast Puffs

by Sarah on April 25, 2012

Jeez Nana, can you be any cuter? You look like a sweet little French Breakfast Puff yourself right here.  I don’t know where they are in this photo, but they are looking quite relaxed and happy.   And adorable.

And these puffs!  Where have you been all of my life?  I don’t really remember ever eating these!  Maybe this was something she made earlier in her cooking career.  Maybe I have a mind like a sieve.

Did I mention these taste like doughnuts?

And the ingredient list!  It’s all stuff you probably have sitting around!  In fact, that’s why I made them.

I woke up this morning after working an extreeeemely long day, then had a little interview, then to a meeting….all without any dinner.  Waaaah.  I decided then and there that I would take the morning off.  Then I remembered what day it was, and I realized….I didn’t have anything prepared for Nana Wednesday.  Let’s also assume that you know me fairly well by now and YOU KNOW there’s no groceries in my house.  And that I don’t want to shop.  I hate to shop.

That’s where this recipe came in.  I didn’t know what to expect, all I knew was “hey, I have those ingredients”.  AND they claim to be French, which cannot be bad.  Hey French friends, ever heard of a “breakfast puff”?

Besides having the most basic ingredients, there are literally four steps to this recipe.  And one includes sifting.

And creaming together the batter.

And filling the muffin tins.  I used the spray stuff to coat the tins.  Don’t use papers and fill them about 2/3 full.  I used an ice cream scoop because the batter is quite thick, not unlike cookie dough.

While the puffs are in the oven baking, mix together the cinnamon sugar and melt the butter.  Not together of course.

Put the melted butter on one plate and the sugar on another.  When the puffs are done, tip them out onto a rack.

While the puffs are still warm, roll them in butter.  No you cannot skip this step.

Then immediately roll them in the cinnamon sugar so that the puff is totally coated.

It will resemble a ball coated in sugar.  You can barely tell it was once a muffin kind of a thing.

Light and fluffy on the inside and crunchy with the sugar and cinnamon on the outside.  Really really really good, not unlike a cake doughnut.  I’ll be making these again and again and again.

You try them!

By the way, Spice Islands were kind enough to send me a few spices to try and this cinnamon was really flavorful.  Is it because it was new and hadn’t been sitting in my cupboard for a year?  Maybe.  But maybe also it’s because they’re Saigon cinnamon is really good.  It tasted very…well…cinnamony!  They did a taste test on their website, check it out if you like.  Thanks Spice Island!  Your cinnamon is really good!

Nana's French Breakfast Puffs


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp butter, melted


  • Preheat oven to 350*.
  • Cream together first 3 ingredients in mixer.
  • In another bowl, sift the next 4 ingredients.
  • Add to the creamed mixture, alternating with the milk between each addition. Beat well after each addition.
  • Fill muffin tins 2/3 full (Nana got 12 muffins, I got 10).
  • Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes. (On convection bake, I cooked them 23 minutes).
  • Combine sugar and cinnamon for topping and melt butter.
  • Put both onto two separate plates for rolling the puffs in.
  • When the puffs are cooked, tip them onto a rack, then roll them, one by one, first in butter, then in cinnamon sugar. Make sure that they are completely covered.
  • Serve warm.

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