October 6, 2022

Dulce de Leche Churro Muffins

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Dulce de Leche Churro Muffins – All the flavors and satisfaction of fresh churros but in muffin form with no frying involved! Brushed with melted butter, rolled in cinnamon-and-sugar, and filled with dulce de leche or caramel sauce, these FAST and EASY muffins are so soft, moist, and PERFECTLY decadent! 

Dulce de Leche Churro Muffins Recipe

Who doesn’t love a good churro! I mean when you’ve got fried dough smothered in cinnamon and sugar with a side of caramel sauce or dulce de leche for dipping, there’s nothing to complain about – except maybe the frying.

That’s where these churro muffins come into play. All the wonderful flavor of a fresh churro, minus the frying. 

The muffins are soft, tender, and moist on the inside. And brushed with melted butter and rolled in cinnamon-and-sugar to mimic a real churro. 

They’re filled with decadent dulce de leche sauce and I drizzle more on top for good measure.

All that caramely goodness just makes these fast and easy muffins all the better!

And oh yes, no frying involved so rather than your house smelling like fry oil for days, it’ll actually smell like heaven from the scents of cinnamon-sugar and nutmeg baking and wafting around.

Ingredients in Churro Muffins with Dulce de Leche 

To make these decadent cinnamon-and sugar churro muffins, you’ll need some basic fridge and pantry ingredients including the following items:

Churro Muffins

  • All-purpose flour
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Light brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Large eggs
  • Sour cream
  • Milk
  • Vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar Coating and Dulce de Leche Filling

  • Unsalted melted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Dulce de leche

Tip: Scroll down to the recipe card section for a complete listing of ingredients with amounts included.

How to Make Churro Muffins

Making churro inspired muffins is a cinch! They’re fast and easy so just follow these basic and straightforward steps:

Step 1: Mix the dry ingredients together.

Step 2: Beat together the butter and the sugars and beat until creamy.

Step 3: Add the eggs.

Step 4: Beat in the sour cream, milk, and vanilla.

Step 5: Add and then gently stir in the dry ingredients making sure not to overmix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 6: Evenly divide the batter between the wells of a 12-count muffin pan and bake for 5 minutes at 425 and then 15 minutes at 350F.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 7: Melt the butter, mix together the cinnamon and sugar, brush each muffin with butter, and roll in cinnamon and sugar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 8: Inject dulce de leche into the center of each muffin using a large round tip and piping bag or drizzle it over the top before serving! 

Can I Make Mini Churro Muffins with Dulce de Leche?

I have only made full size churro muffins.

However, yes you can probably make mini muffins by baking them in a mini muffin pan for about 10 minutes, or as needed. Remember that mini muffins can cook very quickly!

I wouldn’t attempt to fill them with the dulce de leche and instead recommend simply drizzling it over them.

What is the Difference Between Dulce de Leche, Cajeta, and Caramel?

For all those inquiring minds who need to know details like these (me!), allow me to explain:

  • Dulce de leche: Made by boiling together sweetened condensed milk or sugar with cow’s milk resulting in a very creamy sauce with a golden color. 
  • Cajeta (loosely translated as caramel but it’s not quite the same): Made by boiling sugar with goat’s milk for a creamy caramely sauce with a deep amber color.
  • Caramel sauce: There are lots of ways to make caramel sauce, but boiling sugar with water and then adding cream, resulting in a thick caramel sauce. You can add salt for salted caramel sauce.

The bottom line, however, with any variation of the three is that they are all an amber, golden, or caramel-colored sweet caramely tasting sauce.

Depending on how long the sauce is boiled will dictate just how thin or thick it is. However, none are runny like a thin ice cream sundae type of sauce.

Any of the above can be made from scratch or purchased. 

If purchasing, most well-stocked super markets will have all of them. Check near the sweetened condensed milk area, baking aisle, or possibly Mexican or ethic section of the grocery store for cajeta.

What’s the Best Filling for Churro Muffins?

For today’s recipe I used store bought Coronado brand dulce de lecheIt’s nice and thick, fairly inexpensive (I’ve seen dulce de leche at Target too for a good price), and has a rich and wonderful flavor.

Nestle’s La Lechera Dulce de Leche is also very popular however it’s runnier than what I used and what you see in the photos.

There are many gourmet types of cajeta.

I also see no harm in using Homemade Caramel Sauce.

Also, Trader Joe’s Salted Caramel Sauce is excellent and will work just fine in this recipe, noting that of course, your churro muffins will read a bit saltier.

Serving Suggestions for Dulce de Leche Churro Muffins

After baking, you’re going to brush your homemade churro muffins with butter and roll them in a cinnamon-sugar coating mixture.

It’s optional, although highly recommended, to then drizzle a bit of extra dulce de leche, cajeta, or caramel sauce over the top before taking a big scrumptious bite! 

Wash them down with a glass of milk or a piping hot mug of a homemade Caramel Macchiato or Pumpkin Spice Latte

How to Store Dulce de Leche-Filled Churro Muffins 

Let’s face it churros are best hot and fresh and these dulce de leche-filled churro muffins with a buttery cinnamon-sugar coating are no exception.

However, extra muffins will keep airtight at room temp for up to 4 days.

Note however that they could become a bit soggier from the brushed butter and the dulce de leche filling as they sit.

Tips for the Best Dulce de Leche Churro Muffins

I have some tips and tricks to make sure that these easy churro muffins with dulce de leche are met with oohs-and-ahhs from your friends and family! 

Cinnamon and Nutmeg: Both of them help give churro authenticity to the flavor profile so don’t skip them! True cinnamon fiends like myself may considering increasing the amount of cinnamon in the recipe from 1 teaspoon to 1 1/2 or 2 teaspoons.

Milk: I suggest using whole or 2% milk nothing with less fat for best results. I haven’t tried with a plant-based milk but a thicker milk like cashew milk would be my suggestion rather than say soy milk.

Sour Cream: It not only helps your muffins stay wonderfully moist, but baking science is at play. Because the acid nature of it reacts with the baking soda to produce air bubbles so your muffins are lighter. Thick Greek yogurt may be substituted but don’t use regular yogurt because it’s too thin and will water down the muffin batter. Always use full-fat versions of sour cream or Greek yogurt in baking.

Thick Batter: This is a thicker batter so don’t be surprised by that. Sometimes muffin batter can be pretty thin but this is not one of those recipes. You can use a medium cookie scoop to dollop the batter into the muffin cavities if it makes it easier for you.

Brushing Melted Butter: It’s better to brush rather than dunk the churro muffins straight into a bowl of melted butter. You can dunk, however, you’ll need much butter more since they will absorb it very fast! Brushing it on is a way to conserve the amount of butter necessary.

Filling the Muffins: If you think it’s necessary you can use a small paring knife to carefully remove a small chunk of muffin top so that you can more easily fill the muffins with the dulce de leche that you have in a piping bag with a round tip. You can also just “force it” into the muffin tops which is what I do because it’s easier and faster! 

If your muffin tops look a little bit “destroyed” after the piping bag got to them, it’s easy to mask any divots or holes by sprinkling a bit more cinnamon-sugar over the hole. Or just dollop on extra dulce de leche. Easy to hide and fix!

Alternatively, you don’t have to fill the muffins with caramel sauce or dulce de leche sauce and can instead simply drizzle it over the tops.

Ingredients

Churro Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or more to taste if you love cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened and at room temp
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temp
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (Greek yogurt may be substituted; do not use regular yogurt or lite products)
  • 1/4 cup whole or 2% milk
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Coating and Filling

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, plus more if necessary
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar,
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Churro Muffins – Preheat oven to 425F and if desired, line a 12-count standard muffin pan* with liners or spray very well with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. To a large bowl, add the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking power, baking soda, salt, and whisk to combine; set aside.
  3. To a separate large bowl and handheld electric mixer (or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), add the butter and beat on high speed to cream it (no cream being added, this is a verb) until soft and fluffy. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add the sugars and beat on medium-high speed to incorporate, about 3 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Add the eggs and beat for 30 seconds.
  6. Turn off the mixer, add the bowl with the dry ingredients, and using a rubber spatula, stir the dry into the wet ingredients, taking care not to overmix. Tip – I do this by hand to avoid overmixing or overworking the dough with an electric mixer which results in tougher muffins.
  7. Evenly divide the batter between each cavity of the muffin pan, noting that each should be no more than 2/3 to 3/4-full. Note that this is a thicker batter so don’t be surprised by that. You can use a medium cookie scoop to dollop the batter into the muffin pan cavities if it makes it easier for you.
  8. Bake for 5 minutes at 425F.
  9. Without opening the oven, simply turn down the heat to 350F, and bake for about 15 more minutes at 350F, or until muffins are done. Muffins are done when the center is domed and set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no batter. Tips – Baking the muffins at a high temp of 425F for just 5 minutes helps them to rise beautifully. Make sure to turn the oven down to 350F after 5 minutes and finish baking them at 350F.
  10. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
  11. Coating and Filling – While the muffins are cooling, melt the butter in a small bowl.
  12. In a separate bowl, add the sugar, cinnamon, and stir to combine.
  13. If you used muffin liners, unwrap the muffins before brushing each with melted butter and then rolling in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Tips – If you want the muffins to be very buttery or very well-coated in cinnamon-sugar, you’ll likely need to use more butter and cinnamon-sugar than called for. Repeat the brushing and rolling process with all muffins.
  14. Using a large round tip and piping bag that’s been filled with dulce de leche, cajeta, or caramel sauce, carefully push the tip into the muffin and squirt a bit of dulce de leche into the center of each muffin.* (See Notes) Repeat with all muffins.
  15. If desired for serving, drizzle a bit more dulce de leche over the tops of the muffins and serve. Muffins are best fresh but will keep airtight at room temp for up to 4 days, noting the muffins may get a bit soggy as time passes from the dulce de leche filling.

Notes

*You can make mini muffins by baking them in a mini muffin pan for about 10 minutes, or as needed. Remember that mini muffins can cook very quickly! I wouldn’t attempt to fill them with the dulce de leche and instead recommend simply drizzling it over them.

**If you think it’s necessary you can use a small paring knife to carefully remove a small chunk of muffin top so that you can more easily fill the muffins with the dulce de leche that you have in a piping bag with a round tip. You can also just “force it” into the muffin tops which is what I do because it’s easier and faster! 

If your muffin tops look a little bit “destroyed” after the piping bag got to them, it’s easy to mask any divots or holes by sprinkling a bit more cinnamon-sugar over the hole. Or just dollop on extra dulce de leche. Easy to hide and fix!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:

Calories: 316Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 183mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 1gSugar: 22gProtein: 4g

 

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