And they’re my absolute newest favorite. Maybe ever. I’m not afraid to put a ring on it.
This idea, like many of mine, came from my undying love for donuts of all shapes, sizes, and flavors. That, and my Glazed Donut Pie, which continues to be one of the most popular recipes on my site. If you haven’t made it yet, your life is in serious need of an overhaul, spiritual realignment, and a donut pie addition. For real.
So these bars are basically the donut pie if the donut pie made a love child with a coffee cake. It came to me one day while I was salivating over the donut holes in the grocery store. You know, the prepackaged ones, with all their glorious options (powdered, cinnamon sugar, glazed, chocolate…) and their larger, more sophisticated brethren, the donut. I was trying very hard to come up with a reason to buy the donuts besides inhaling them in a single sitting while simultaneously watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians and contemplating my poor life choices. Because let’s be real, that happens on a near daily basis. Sadly. I need a life.
And it was in this pivotal moment when I noticed the coffee cake muffins and an idea struck me over top the head as I slid a handful of donut hole boxes into my cart with unabashed happiness. I would combine donuts with coffee cake, and it’ll be freaking magical.
Friends. Magical it was. My sister and I stood over the pan after I finished photographing these and shoveled piece by piece into our mouths wordlessly, just slow blinking because they taste so effing amazing, as we ate in unison. It was a sisterly bonding moment I’ll cherish forever. Not really.
ANYWHO. You are in sore need of these bars and it’s already high time you made them. They’re sweet, spicy from the cinnamon, crumbly from the thiiiiiick streusel on top and just so comforting. They remind me of a giant bear hug for your belly. And believe you me, your belleh needs a hug.
*adapted from my Glazed Donut Pie recipe
Donut Coffee Cake Crumble Bars
- 2 (15 oz) boxes glazed cake donut holes cut in half (I used Entenmann's Pop-Ems)
- 1½ sticks butter melted
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch nutmeg
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- FOR CRUMBLE TOPPING:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter melted
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray; fill the bottom of the pan with the halved donut holes until they're tightly packed in the pan in an even layer.
- Mix together the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, beaten eggs and vanilla with a whisk until blended; pour the mixture evenly over top of the donut hole pieces, smoothing it over the top if needed so all the pieces are coated. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the crumble ingredients until thick, coarse crumbs are formed. Crumble the streusel mixture over top of the bars as evenly as possible. Bake for approx. 18-22 minutes or until the top is golden and the center appears set and not super jiggly. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares.
- *NOTE: the bars aren't as solid as say, a brownie. They tend to fall apart as they're dense. You probably won't get super clean cuts from this but you may if it sets longer, such as overnight. Note that this is almost like a casserole bake rather than a definitive bar.
These are so dense, thick and plush from the cake donut holes. They taste like a giant cinnamon-studded coffee cake donut, all rich, fluffy and fabulous. You’ll love the brown sugary streusel on top of the gooey baked donuts. This casserole-ish inspired bar recipe is simply DIVINE.