A few years ago I bought a set of donut pans. I imagined myself churning out dozens of freshly baked donuts, much to my family’s delight. Fresh donuts would become our Sunday morning ritual and on cool Fall afternoons we would sit on the deck among the gently falling leaves and eat warm cinnamon-sugar donuts while drinking coffee and apple cider. It was quite the bucolic vision I had created for myself, all resting on these two little pans. Perhaps it was an attempt to recreate my own New England childhood for my kids, or simply the desire to make something a little more special than yet another batch of cookies. Whatever the initial reason, lovely daydreams were all that ever materialized from these pans.
I made fantastic looking vanilla donuts with chocolate glaze and bakery look-alike chocolate donuts with loads of sprinkles— but they all tasted awful. Too dry, too tasteless, too salty, too oddly textured and almost too frustrating to continue attempting. I had one mild success with an apple donut, but apparently they weren’t delicious enough for seconds because the leftovers sat around long enough to grow fur.
I was truly ready to shelve my donut pans forever, “Perhaps I’ll sell them at my next yard sale” I thought to myself. Then I stumbled upon a recipe for some simple spice donuts that looked easy to make, fairly low-fat (what a crazy idea!) and who’s list of ingredients somehow just sounded right to me. At this point I think my family was tired of being teased with fantastic looking/disgusting tasting donuts, so I didn’t tell I was making another batch. They were out running errands one Saturday morning when I decide to whip some up and surprise them. They would walk in without expectations of warm sugary goodness and would therefore be less disappointed if this recipe was yet another flop.
Ha a flop! A flop my transplanted New England butt! These donuts were fantastic, seriously fantastic! They were light and moist with just the right amount of spices and sugar. They were really and truly delicious baked donuts.
So I’m sure you’re now wondering if these baked beauties have fulfilled all the dreams I had riding on them. If I’m cranking out batches every Sunday morning and praying for cool weather. Well here’s the thing… Sunday is usually my weekend morning to sleep in. And it’s barely Spring, Fall is still a long way off. So I’d have to answer with a resounding no. But now anytime someone in my family says they feel like donuts, at least I can offer to make them a batch of homemade…
Cinnamon-Sugar Baked Donuts
These are not fried donuts, so don’t compare them to what you think you
know a donut to be. These are much lighter than fried which means you can eat at least two before you begin to feel guilty!
3/4 cup cake flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 tbsp. dried buttermilk powder
2 large eggs
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. apple juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. plain yogurt
For the sugar-coating:
half a stick of butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, juice, vanilla and yogurt.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just until combined.
- Grease or spray the doughnut pan and fill each doughnut form half way. (I find it’s easiest to pour the batter into a ziplock bag, snip off one corner and pipe it into the pan.)
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they spring back when touched and are just beginning to brown on top.
- While the donuts are baking mix together the cinnamon-sugar coating and melt the butter. Set aside.
- When the donuts are finished baking, immediately remove them from the oven and brush them with melted butter. Give them a quick roll in the cinnamon-sugar coating and enjoy.
*adapted from king arthur flour