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Loaded Cornbread Donut Brunch Burgers

Lauren Katz | May 26, 2023

Hear us out: burgers, but make it brunch-approved. Lauren Katz answered the call with these cornbread donut burgers, which feature a breakfast sausage patty as the filling. Top it off with a fiery maple sauce and it’s screaming Sunday Funday. Lauren competed in the 2023 National Cornbread Cook-off with this delightfully creative recipe.

Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Cornbread donut brunch burgers


Cornbread Donuts

2½ cups buttermilk cornmeal mix 
½ cup fresh chives, chopped
¾ cup real bacon bits, finely chopped
1 cup finely shredded cheddar
1 jalapeño, seeded and very finely minced
6 tablespoons corn oil
1¾ cups milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons maple syrup
4 cups additional corn oil, for frying

Maple Hot Sauce

1½ cups maple syrup
¼ cup cayenne-based hot sauce
3 tablespoons butter

Pork Sausage Patties

2 pounds ground pork
½ cup real bacon bits
2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
⅛ teaspoon ground pepper
½ cup buttermilk cornmeal mix
¼ cup of the maple hot sauce (recipe above) 1/4 cup oil
10 slices Colby Jack cheese
Fresh sage leaves, chopped chives, and pickled jalapeños for garnish


  1. Make the donuts. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Coat the cavities of 2 nonstick donut baking pans with baking spray. In a mixing bowl, combine cornmeal mix, chopped chives, bacon bits, cheddar, and chopped jalapeño. In a separate bowl, combine oil, milk, maple syrup, and eggs. Mix wet into dry ingredients to combine. Spoon batter carefully into donut pans, filling cavities ¾ full. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or until just done in the center. Flip donuts out onto a wire rack to cool. 
  2. Fry the donuts. In a 2 quart dutch oven, heat 4 cups of oil over medium heat until it reaches 350 degrees. Fry each donut for 30 to 40 seconds or until golden brown, removing carefully with a slotted spoon. Drain on a paper towel, and set aside. Fry sage leaves for 10 to 15 seconds and drain, saving them for a garnish.
  3. Make the sauce. Combine maple syrup, hot sauce, and butter in a dutch oven on medium heat. Whisk until butter is melted and sauce starts to bubble. Set aside.
  4. Make the burger patties. Combine pork, bacon bits, sage, thyme, nutmeg, salt, pepper, ¼ cup cornmeal mix, and ¼ cup maple sauce from step 3 in a mixing bowl. Using hands or spoon, mix ingredients together until well combined. Shape into 10 patties, and coat lightly with remaining cornmeal mix. 
  5. Heat the reversible griddle over medium heat with ¼ cup oil. Fry pork patties on each side for 3 to 4 minutes or until done in the center and golden brown and crisp on the outside. Brush each patty with more sauce after the initial flip, then top with 1 slice of Colby Jack cheese.
  6. To assemble, sandwich each pork patty, cheese side up, between two donuts. Plate and drizzle with additional sauce. Garnish with fried sage, sweet pickled jalapeño slices, and chopped chives.
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Lodge Pan Logo
Contributed By: Lauren Katz

Lauren Katz lives in Ashburn, Virginia and competed in the 2023 Cornbread Cook-off with these cornmeal donut burgers. Learn more about the National Cornbread Festival and the Lodge National Cornbread Cook-off here!

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