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.

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Mike is now working from 5 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., meaning that he gets up ridiculously early. Last night, after he went to bed (at about 8 p.m., not that I blame him) I baked him these cinnamon sugar donuts to take to work. I left them next to our stove, along with his travel mug, a bag of extra bold Earl Gray tea, and a kettle full of water waiting to be boiled. I figure since he’s leaving before the crack of dawn, I can help make his mornings a bit easier.

Truth be told, baked donuts are much better eaten immediately, but I doubt the early morning crew at Pittsburgh’s VA hospital cared about that. Adapted from a recipe at Sally’s Baking Addiction, these treats are quite tasty, and I can imagine making them in the future with different spice combinations. I chose to make about three dozen mini donuts and three regular-sized donuts, but you could do all regular or all mini depending on what you choose.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour (use the spoon and sweep method for this)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • About 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar, for topping*

*Mix 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. 

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray donut pans with baking spray.

Place cinnamon sugar in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a large glass measuring cup, combine eggs, brown sugar, milk, yogurt, melted butter, and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth. Pour into flour mixture and stir together until just moistened and no dry streaks remain; be careful not to over-mix. Your batter should be lumpy and kind of fluffy.

Transfer batter to a large piping bag and pipe batter into the donut wells, filling about 2/3 full. Bake full-sized donuts for 9-10 minutes and mini donuts for 7-8 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 1-2 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool for another minute. Toss in cinnamon sugar while still warm; this will coat the tops of the donuts. Alternatively, you can dip the donuts into melted butter, then coat them in the cinnamon sugar, but I skipped this step since I didn’t want them to be too gooey by the morning.

Baked donuts are best served immediately, but they can be kept for about a day in an airtight container at room temperature. The cinnamon sugar will start to soften the donuts, but they’re still delicious.

Makes about 4 dozen mini donuts or 16-18 full-sized donuts.

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.