French Breakfast Puffs with Fresh Strawberries

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French breakfast puffs are light and fluffy vanilla muffins with a deliciously buttery cinnamon-sugar topping. Serve with fresh strawberries for the perfect breakfast treat. 

Breaking off a piece of french breakfast puff with fresh strawberries.

I’m sharing this easy french breakfast puffs recipe with you as part of my White Lily series. A family-friendly company, White Lily encourages folks to share their knowledge in the kitchen and help pass on their cooking heritage.

This recipe is perfect for that because my mother taught me how to make these when I was a little girl. They are a simple muffin, perfectly suited to a cup of coffee or juice, and especially delicious when paired with fresh fruit like I’m doing here.

Despite the name, french breakfast puffs are not French. The recipe first appeared in a Betty Crocker cookbook decades ago and immediately became a favorite Southern breakfast treat. They’re super quick and easy to make and I bet you already have most of the ingredients at home.

The lightly cinnamon-spiced vanilla muffins are perfectly tender with a golden brown top, which we then dip in melted butter and cinnamon sugar. Serve them with some fresh strawberries and you have yourself a winning breakfast.

If you like snickerdoodle cookies or cinnamon toast, I just know you’re gonna fall head over heels for these breakfast puffs as well. So let’s make some french breakfast puffs today and make sure you share the results with someone you love!

Labeled ingredients for French breakfast puffs.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Self-rising flour
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsalted butter (or margarine)
  • Egg
  • Milk
  • Shortening

How to Make French Breakfast Puffs

Place 1/2 sugar, egg, and shortening in mixing bowl.

Place 1/2 of the sugar, egg, and shortening in a medium bowl.

Mix ingredients together.


You saw that coming, didn’t ya?

Gradually add in milk, vanilla extract, and flour.

Gradually add in milk, vanilla extract, and flour.

Or just dump it all in like I do.

Now mix that up.

French breakfast puff batter

Boom! Here is our muffin batter.

Grease muffin pan.

Spray a muffin tin with some cooking spray.

This recipe makes 15 but I fill mine a little more and just spread it out over 12.

Fill each muffin cup with batter.

Divide batter evenly into each muffin cup and then bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Wash and cut strawberries and toss with sugar.

While those are cooking, wash and chop up some fresh strawberries if you’d like. Sprinkle them with a little sugar to taste.

Let sugared strawberries sit to release juices.

Stir to coat and set aside for a bit so the strawberries can release their juices.

Mash strawberries roughly with pastry cutter.

Then, to make them even saucier, smash them up a wee little bit with a fork or pastry cutter.

Mashed strawberries.

Like so.

French breakfast puff topping ingredients: melted butter and cinnamon sugar.

Stir remaining sugar together with cinnamon and place in a small bowl.

Melt butter in another small bowl.

Dip each French breakfast puff in melted butter.

Dip the top of each muffin in the butter.

Dip the buttered top into the cinnamon-sugar mixture

And then dip the buttered top into the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Cinnamon sugar topping on French breakfast puff.

Like this.

Plain French breakfast puff.

Serve warm muffins plain…

French breakfast puff with fresh strawberries.

With fresh strawberries…

French breakfast puff with strawberries and whipped cream.

Or add some whipped cream!


  • Store puff leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. You can quickly reheat them in the microwave or air fryer.
  • You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before reheating as above.

Recipe Notes

  • The original recipe calls for ground nutmeg, and I note that I don’t use it in my first cookbook (page 190), so I’ll note it here as well. I don’t personally like ground nutmeg (although I’m sure it’s very nice and comes from a lovely family and all that), so I use ground cinnamon in its place. 
  • If you have mini muffin tins and want to make mini french breakfast puffs, they’ll take between 12 and 14 minutes to bake instead. They’ll resemble delicious baked doughnut holes.
  • Instead of only dipping the tops, go ahead and roll the entire muffin in butter and then cinnamon sugar.
  • For nutty french breakfast puffs, add 2 tablespoons of finely chopped nuts to the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Recipe FAQs

Can I double this recipe?

Absolutely! It’s so easy to double this recipe and make 24 breakfast muffins. Enjoy!

Check out these other scrumptious muffin recipes:

Monkey Bread Muffins

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Muffins No Dairy or Eggs

Easy Apple Pie Muffins

Fresh Strawberry Muffins

Pecan Pie Muffins

French breakfast puff with strawberries and whipped cream.

French Breakfast Puffs

French breakfast puffs are light and fluffy vanilla muffins with a deliciously buttery cinnamon-sugar topping. Serve with fresh strawberries for the perfect breakfast treat. 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: muffins
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 231.1kcal


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg I substitute cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional


  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup or 1 stick of melted margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350 and grease 12-15 medium muffin cups (I just divide it among 12).
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the shortening, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the egg thoroughly. Mix in the flour and nutmeg (or cinnamon as a substitute) alternately with the milk and vanilla (if using vanilla).
    1/2 cup shortening, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 cup milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
  • Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
  • In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon together. Immediately after baking, dip the puff tops in the melted margarine and then in the sugar mixture. Serve hot.
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup or 1 stick of melted margarine or butter


Calories: 231.1kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

 “On days when warmth is the most important need of the human heart, the kitchen is the place you can find it”

~E. B. White

Submitted by Jackie. Click here to submit your own.

Special thanks to White Lily for sponsoring this post.

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  1. Oooh, can’t wait to try these! Don’t know how I missed them before.

    Do these have vanilla in them? I don’t see it in the recipe ingredients, but your detailed instructions say gradually add milk, vanilla, and flour.

  2. Very good recipe. though I did add one teaspoon of vanilla extract and two tablespoons of sugar. thank you for sharing this recipe!

  3. I have tried many, many muffin recipes over the years for my family and I must say this one is our favorite!!! I stirred in a few fresh blueberries and WOW! The best blueberry muffin I have ever made!! Loved these just as ” French breakfast Puffs”; loved them even more as “French blueberry breakfast Puffs!” By far the most wonderful melt in your mouth muffin recipe out there!! Thanks for a wonderful recipe Christy!

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