Old-Fashioned Donuts

While I’ve rarely met a baked good I didn’t like, I have a particular fondness for donuts. Our local supermarket, Giant Eagle, actually makes very good donuts; my particular favorites are the maple iced ring and the jelly filled varieties. But at home, without the desire to work with yeast and hot oil, I choose to bake my donuts, rather than fry them.

The internet is full of good recipes for baked donuts, and this one comes from Baked By an Introvert, though I cut down the recipe to make just six. Using a combination of whole wheat and white flour, as well as nutmeg, these treats have a wonderful flavor and very soft crumb. Baked donuts are best eaten right after they’re made, but they can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for a day or so and still taste delicious.

Ingredients

For the donuts

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

For the glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly spray a 6-well donut pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together white flour, wheat flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, vegetable oil, and sugar, then whisk in egg and vanilla bean paste (or extract). Stir in the flour mixture and buttermilk in alternate batches, starting and ending with the flour. Batter will be thick. Spoon into a piping bag and fill donut wells about 2/3 full.

Bake for 7 – 9 minutes, until the donuts spring back when pressed lightly. Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes while you make the glaze.

Stir together powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth. Remove donuts from pan and dip in glaze, covering the top. Place on a wire rack over a sheet of parchment paper to catch the drips and allow the glaze to drip down the sides.

Serve immediately; store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days.

Makes 6.

Coffee Cake Donuts

I’m on a mission to recreate Entenmann’s crumb-topped donuts. Someday, I’ll find a recipe that mimics them as well as any home baker can. But this morning, I tried out a coffee cake-style donut that I found over at Baker By Nature. I suspect that cutting the butter into my topping wasn’t the way to go; it wasn’t very crumb-like, so next time I’ll just rub the butter in with my fingers to distribute it a bit better and yield larger crumbs.

I adapted the original recipe by adding cinnamon and nutmeg to the batter, and also adding nutmeg to the crumb topping. I omitted the drizzle icing, but you could certainly add a drizzle if you like. The end result was less flavorful that I’d hoped for, so if I make these again I’ll add more spices to the batter. That’s the beauty of baking – you learn something every time and can always adapt.

Ingredients

For the topping

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 and 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 1/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into tiny cubes

For the donuts

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 6-well donut pan.

Make the topping by combining the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg; rub in the butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Refrigerate while making the donut batter.

For the batter, whisk together flour, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, melted butter, and egg; add to dry mixture and fold to combine. Batter will be very thick; be careful not to over-mix it.

Place batter in a piping bag and pipe into donut wells, distributing batter evenly. Top with crumb mixture.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for about 3 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack and let cool another 2-3 minutes before serving. If you like, you can make a drizzle icing for the tops as well.

Homemade baked donuts are best eaten the day they’re made, but can be stored for about a day at a cool room temperature in an airtight container.

Makes 6.

Chocolate Nutmeg Donuts

chocolatenutmegdonutsA donut for dessert? Why not?

I wonder who decided which treats went with, or after, which meals. What makes a donut, croissant, or coffee cake more appropriate for breakfast than dessert, and a cupcake, or a slice of pie, more appropriate for dessert than breakfast? Not that I’m advocating eating cupcakes for breakfast…although if the truth be told, I did have more than one breakfast of Little Debbie’s Swiss Cake Rolls in college.

Tonight, I wanted a chocolate donut for dessert, and not the kind you get at a chain. I wanted a cakey, tender, lightly glazed creation of chocolate and the slightest hint of spice. Nutmeg is a key ingredient in achieving that bakery donut flavor; without nutmeg, these donuts would taste more like chocolate cake than chocolate donuts.

The serving of Cool Whip in the photo here is optional, of course…but this was my dessert tonight. And it was delicious.

Ingredients

For the donuts:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour milk (see note below)
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 6-well donut pan with baking spray.

Make sour milk; place 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar in a glass measuring cup. Add enough milk to equal 1/2 cup, then stir and let stand for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.

In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, sour milk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla; stir until smooth, then add all at once to flour mixture. Stir until just combined and no dry streaks or large lumps remain.

Fill a piping bag or large zip-top bag with batter; pipe into wells, filling about 3/4 full.

Bake for 13-15 minutes; remove from oven and immediately remove donuts from wells. Cool on a wire rack before glazing.

To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar and milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, mixing until completely smooth. Add vanilla and stir well; you want a very thin glaze. Dip tops of donuts in glaze and allow to set before serving.

If you like, top donuts with a spoonful of whipped cream or other whipped topping just before serving.

 

 

 

 

Sundae Donuts

sundaedonutVanilla, chocolate, and sprinkles make me think of ice cream sundaes, so I’ve decided to call these sundae donuts. Their original recipe comes from Sally’s Baking Addiction, but I’ve included some extra vanilla in the donut batter.

And, now, for a bit of food history…several American towns claim to have invented the sundae, and each story centers around a local pharmacy with a soda fountain. Blue laws, which prohibited the sale of soda on Sundays (and people think Pennsylvania’s liquor laws are strange), apparently gave way to the serving of ice cream with syrup and other toppings like fruit and whipped cream. I’m not sure where sprinkles came on the scene, but they add a fun, crunchy texture to an otherwise smooth dish.

These donuts remind me a bit of a hot fudge sundae, and you could leave them sprinkle-free if you like, or add sprinkles of other shapes and colors for holidays. Whatever you do, don’t skip the nutmeg in the donut batter – while it might seem like a strong spice, it’s necessary to achieve that classic, donut-from-the-bakery taste. Just a few notes about some of the ingredients: I used whole milk, but skim, 1%, 2%, or almond milk would be fine; I used vanilla Greek yogurt, but any plain or vanilla yogurt – regular or Greek – that you have on hand would work. Also, my sprinkles are the Betty Crocker Parlor Perfect ice cream topping variety, which can be found with the ice cream toppings at your local store.

Ingredients

For the donuts

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

For the glaze

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • rainbow sprinkles

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 6-count donut pans with cooking spray; this recipe yielded 8 donuts for me.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg; set asite.

In a medium bowl or large glass measuring cup, whisk together brown sugar, egg, milk, and yogurt until smooth. Add melted butter and vanilla and whisk to combine. Pour wet ingredients into dry mixture and mix until just combined; you don’t want to over-mix your batter.

Spoon the batter into a large zip-top bag or pastry bag and pipe into wells, filling about 2/3 full.

Bake for 9-10 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool in the pans for about 1 minute, then gently lift each donut out (I use a small offset spatula) and transfer to a wire rack to cool before glazing.

For the glaze, place chocolate chips, corn syrup, butter, and water in a medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 20-second intervals until chocolate and butter melt, stirring between each, until the mixture is completely smooth. My glaze took about 1 minute to reach the right consistency.

Place your rainbow sprinkles in a small bowl; dip tops of donuts into the chocolate glaze, then into the sprinkles, coating completely.

Donuts are best eaten the day they’re made. If you can resist, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.

Vanilla Donuts

vanilla donutsDonuts (or doughnuts, if you prefer) are present in cultures throughout the world, on nearly every continent. Some are strongly associated with holidays, like the pre-Lenten Polish paczki or the Hanukkah sufganiyot, while others, like the beignet of New Orleans, are hallmarks of regional cuisine. Whether baked for fried, glazed or filled, these treats are incredibly popular.

This recipe is slightly adapted from one that I found on the Semisweet Sisters blog, and I incorporated more vanilla than the original and changed the glaze. If you’re curious about the incorporation of nutmeg, fear not: the recipe really does need it, as it adds interesting dimension to the vanilla flavor.

These treats could certainly be glazed with any variety of glaze or icing, but I chose to present two simple options, including a vanilla icing and a maple icing, which appear below. Next time, I’ll thin these out and make them very drizzly, as literal glazes, instead of putting them on thickly like I did here. The donuts themselves have a great flavor that really doesn’t need much enhancement!

Vanilla Donuts

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 6-well donut pan with baking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, egg, canola oil, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk together with a fork, then add flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg and stir well until completely combined.

Fill a pastry bag with batter and pipe into prepared donut pan, filling about 3/4 full; you will have enough batter for 6 generously-portioned donuts.

Bake for 14 minutes, until tops spring back when touched and a cake tester comes out clean.

Remove donuts from pan immediately and place on a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.

Vanilla Icing

Ingredients

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • About 1 1/2 tablespoons milk

Preparation

Combine powdered sugar and vanilla in a small bowl; slowly add milk, mixing well to achieve a thick glaze. Dip donuts in glaze and allow to set slightly before serving.

Maple Icing

Ingredients

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • About 1 tablespoon milk

Preparation

Combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and maple syrup in a small bowl; slowly add milk, mixing well to achieve a thick glaze. Dip donuts in glaze and allow to set slightly before serving.

 

Strawberry Donuts

IMG_2860Last year, I won the Soergel Orchards Strawberry Festival baking competition with strawberry lemonade cupcakes. Although this year’s festival, which is being held today, doesn’t include a baking competition I wanted to make something strawberry-themed anyway.

The strawberries in this recipe actually came from the strawberry patch in our backyard. When you read the ingredients below, you may be surprised to find cinnamon in the recipe; I certainly was, but I completely understand what fellow food blogger Mary at Mary Quite Contrary Bakes was going for when she added it in. Trust me, the cinnamon is an important component for this recipe, giving the donuts a slight spice in good contrast to the sweetness of the strawberry flavor.

I adapted the recipe below from Mary’s original, changing the glaze to a strawberry puree and powdered sugar one instead of a plain glaze. These donuts would also be delicious with a chocolate glaze, so maybe I’ll try that next time. Note: the original recipe was supposed to yield 10 donuts, but mine only made 8.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry jelly
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray two 6-well donut pans with baking spray; set aside.

In a blender, puree strawberries and strawberry jelly until completely smooth. You should have about 1/2 cup.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center and add milk, melted butter, egg, and maple syrup. Slowly mix in about half of the strawberry puree, mixing to combine, ensuring that your batter is not too runny.

Fill a pastry bag with batter and pipe into donut wells, filling about half-full.

Bake for 7-9 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before glazing.

To make the glaze, combine 1 cup powdered sugar and remaining strawberry puree in a small bowl. Dip the top of each donut into the glaze and swirl to coat. Allow to set before serving.

Pumpkin Donuts

pumpkin donutsPumpkin is my favorite vegetable. Yes…I have a favorite vegetable! Even if pumpkin is on the fringe of the vegetable world, being a squash and all, I still love it.

Pumpkin contains the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is very good for you and has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. Naturally, pumpkin is at its nutritional height when not consumed in donut form, but still…some of us have to sneak our veggies into food in any way we can.

These donuts are among the last treats I’ll have before beginning a two-month sugar fast, during which I’ll avoid baked goods and dessert-like foods and beverages. This is partially because of Lent, but more so because I’m working hard to transform my diet and sugar really is the final frontier. I like to think that my health coach, Kate, would be glad that I chose not just any donut today, but one with pumpkin in it.

This recipe is adapted slightly from the King Arthur Flour pumpkin donut recipe; I changed the spice ratios a bit because I’m a fan of nutmeg and I wanted it to have more of a role in the flavor profile here. There are three options listed below for topping these donuts, and the sugar & spice topping was my favorite.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups flour

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray two regular (6-count) donut pans and one mini donut pan with baking spray. Alternatively, you can bake all of the donuts in the full-size pans; it’ll just take a bit longer.

In a mixing bowl, combine vegetable oil, eggs, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder. Beat on low speed until combined.

Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined; batter will be slightly lumpy but that is fine.

Fill wells in pans about 3/4 full; I used a teaspoon from my tableware to fill the large pans and put the rest of the batter into a pastry bag to fill the small pans, but you could very easily pipe all of the batter for these as it flows very well.

Bake full-size donuts for 18 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean; when finished, baked the mini donuts for 8-10 minutes.

Cool donuts in pans for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Top as desired.

Topping Options

Sugar & Spice

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

In a small bowl, blend sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. While donuts are still warm, dip in the mixture, then brush tops with melted butter and dip again.

Alternatively, place sugar and spices in a brown paper bag and toss the donuts in the bag to coat. You don’t need the butter for this version, but I find that brushing the donuts with melted butter then dipping them in the sugar and spice mixture again creates a nice crunch.

Powdered Sugar

  • About 1 cup powdered sugar

Lightly dust donuts with powdered sugar using a fine sieve. The quantity you’ll need depends on how thick you’d like your coating to be.

Spicy Glaze

  • About 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • About 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • About 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoons vanilla

Note: all of the quantities for the dry ingredients are approximate; I experimented here and my measurements were really done by sight and smell, then by taste. Remember, you can always add more liquid, but you can’t take it out, so it’s best to start with a smaller quantity and increase from there.

In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add vanilla and water, stirring to combine until a glaze forms; you want the consistency to be honey-like, easy to dip but not too thick. Once you’ve reached your desired consistency and flavor, dip tops of donuts into the glaze, then allow to set.

Chocolate Donuts

chocolate donuts
Last week’s apple cider donuts left me with about a cup of buttermilk. And what does a baker do with leftover buttermilk, you ask? She makes more donuts. 

Buttermilk used to be the liquid that was left over after churning butter, but today, it’s the result of adding a lactic acid bacteria culture to pasteurized milk. I’m not sure if there is a chemical reason why one would use buttermilk in baking, but there’s a definite flavoring difference, much like when you employ sour cream in a cake or dough, that can’t be achieved with regular milk.

Some recipes call for buttermilk or “sour milk,” which is made by mixing regular milk with lemon juice or vinegar. For these donuts, I’d stick to the real thing if you can. Flavor-wise, they’re a rich chocolate, and could be glazed with a vanilla icing or simply dusted with powdered sugar. Full disclosure: last night, I ate one and a half donuts with whipped cream as dessert. Because sometimes, you just need to do things like that.

Also important to note: this recipe would be easy to double to make one dozen donuts; the recipe below yields 6.

Ingredients

For the donuts

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 4 teaspoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the chocolate glaze

  • About 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Grease one donut pan with baking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, brown sugar, melted butter, and vanilla.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until well-combined.

Using two teaspoons from your tableware, drop batter into donut wells, divingind batter evenly and filling about 3/4 full; smooth the tops as best you can with wet fingers or the back of a spoon.

Bake for 13 minutes; remove from oven and allow to cool before dipping in glaze.

To make the glaze: combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well to a very smooth consistency. Add more powdered sugar if your icing is too thin; you want to be able to dip each donut into the glaze easily, but you don’t want it to be too runny.

Place waxed paper beneath the cooling rack to catch any drips. Dip each donut into the glaze, coating the top well, then place on the cooling rack to set. Store in a single layer.

Apple Cider Donuts

photoOne of my greatest dreams in life is to visit the King Arthur Flour store in Norwich, VT. I can just picture it: aisle after aisle of baking pans, mixing bowls, kitchen scales, flours, extracts, chocolate chips…every tool and ingredient a baker could possibly want, all under one roof.

The donut pans I used for this recipe are King Arthur Flour pans; I have the miniature donut pan as well, but for this recipe, I recommend using the full-sized versions. The apple cider in the batter yields a fluffy, airy texture, and I highly recommend using good-quality cinnamon, such as Vietnamese cinnamon (also available at King Arthur Flour, or Penzey’s), for the cinnamon-sugar coating. If you’d rather not dip your still-warm donuts in melted butter then coat them in cinnamon sugar, try a glaze made from powdered sugar and apple cider…which is what I’ll do next time.

Ingredients

Donuts

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon

Cinnamon Sugar Coating

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Spray two donut pans with cooking or baking spray; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In another medium bowl, combine eggs, apple cider, buttermilk, butter, and cinnamon; mix well.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined; you will still have flecks of butter visible, and that is okay; the batter will be very thick.

Spoon batter into prepared pans, filling about 3/4 full. Smooth tops of donuts with wet fingers.

Bake for 22-25 minutes, until tops are just golden brown.

Remove from pans immediately and allow to cool for just a few minutes while you prepare the cinnamon sugar coating.

Melt butter in a microwave-safe bowl; set aside.

Combine sugar and cinnamon, mixing well.

Dip donuts, while still warm, into the butter on both sides, then dip immediately in cinnamon sugar.

Serve warm or allow to cool.