A few years ago, my friend Kelsey and I were having an adult sleepover and decided we wanted post-dinner donuts. We also decided we wanted to make them.
Kelsey convinced me we could shape store-bought biscuit dough into rings, coat them in sugar, and bake them on a cookie sheet to end up with donuts. So we did it. They weren’t very donut-like, but we ate them anyway.
I decided to try again, this time with a real recipe and actual donut pans, which I purchased on Amazon for $8. I had different (but not necessarily better) luck on my second go. Basically, I would recommend you leave donut-making to the professionals.
This recipe is for vanilla glazed baked donuts, which don’t contain yeast and are more like a cake donut than a glazed donut. The best part is there’s no frying. The worst part is they kind of turned out like gummy hockey pucks.
I mixed my dough by hand and did my best not to over-mix it. It came out similar to the consistency of pancake batter. There’s just enough in this recipe for six donuts, so I made it twice so I could have a dozen donuts to decorate.
The first batch I piped into my silicone donut mold. It felt like a lot more effort than it was worth, but the piped donuts came out decidedly nicer than the second batch, which I spooned into the mold.
Where this recipe really fell down is the amount of time it took to bake the donuts. I will concede it might have something to do with the silicone pans I used, though the collective wisdom of the internet seems divided on this subject. It was a struggle to get the donuts baked through and puffed up in 20 minutes, and they still felt dense when I pulled them out of the molds.
I’m sure this is obvious, but the donuts retain a light yellow color instead of browning like cake donuts you’d buy at the store.
I hoped toppings would salvage the donuts, at least in appearance. I made the glaze suggested with the recipe, but it came out very brown and thin, so I kept dumping powdered sugar in until it was a consistency and a color I liked. I also put in some red food coloring, and I wish I added more powdered sugar again after that. The method I found works best for dunking is to dip the donut, let everything drip off while it’s upside down, and then wait a minute or two for sprinkles—they’re too heavy, and they made my glaze slide off before it set.
I wanted a variety, so I also borrowed Ina Garten’s cinnamon sugar topping for half. Thankfully that part was simple—brush your donuts until they’re dripping in melted butter and then coat them in a cinnamon-sugar mix.
Editor’s note: After taste-testing both, the cinnamon sugar was a clear winner. The pink glaze dripped through to the bottom of the donuts and made them very dense. The flavor of the pink glazed donut was quite salty and not sweet enough for your average donut-lover. The cinnamon sugar version was much less dense and much sweeter.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 small pinch salt
1 or 2 tablespoons milk
Optional: food coloring and sprinkles
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray a donut pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, milk, butter and vanilla extract.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together until no flour bits remain and all the ingredients are well combined. Try not to over-mix the batter.
6. Spoon the batter into the donut cavities or use a large Ziplock bag. Cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and pipe the batter into each donut cavity, filling 3 ∕ 4 full.
7. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
9. While the donuts cool, make the glaze.
10. In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt.
11. Add 1 tablespoon of milk, and whisk to combine. If the glaze is too thick, add additional milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
12. Add food coloring, if you wish.
13. Once the donuts are completely cool, dip them into the vanilla glaze. Return to the wire rack and add sprinkles. Allow the glaze to set for about 30 minutes before stacking or serving.
SOURCE: As Easy as Apple Pie