I have a confession to make, I think… I may…
or may not…
have a donut obsession.
And then I didn’t stop.
But that’s okay. Eventually I hit upon the best donuts ever. They’re quick, they’re easy, they’re fun to make and best of all, they are insanely delicious.
And they’re absolutely gorgeous, too!
Haven’t you got a donut pan yet? Maybe you’re a bit reluctant because you’re a traditionalist – donuts should be fried, not baked – and that’s okay. I was kind of that way, too. But baked donuts have became so popular lately, and they’re so appealing because there is no yeast involved, which means no waiting around for the dough to rise, so you can have a tasty little round pastry in your hand in a quarter of the time it would take to make yeast donuts.
Or maybe you haven’t got a donut pan yet because you simply don’t want a donut that’s basically just a cake in the shape of a donut. And that’s okay, too. I was also kind of that way. But eventually I realized that I just don’t care. So what if I’m taking photos of a cake in the shape of a donut with icing and cute sprinkles. I want a donut pan, too.
So yes, all the donuts I’ve made so far have basically just been scaled-down cake recipes. And that’s still okay. The mini donuts I’ve made so far have been so stinkin’ cute and all sorts of yummy. The kids have enjoyed helping to make them as well; they’re totally awed by the fact that they’ve just made donuts.
I found this recipe for baked cinnamon donuts at A Happy Food Dance while I was Pinterest-ing for donut recipes. Sure, I could have went with a bizarre-flavored donut, with funky-colored icing and loads of chunky stuff and flakey things piled on top. But this recipe looked irresistible. Just plain old donuts coated with cinnamon and sugar. Nothing fancy, just pure simplicity and deliciousness.
I changed a few things in the recipe to suit my own tastes. Not because the original recipe wasn’t good enough (I may have made these donuts a couple times already, and I can say the original recipe is brilliant), but because I wanted to make the donuts a bit more special-tasting. I changed…
- Vanilla. I used vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract. I always use Beanilla vanilla bean paste, which is triple-fold so you need less of it. This gives the donuts a gorgeous hint of vanilla and it works so well with the cinnamon.
- Nutmeg. I added nutmeg to the batter. It just goes without saying that nutmeg and cinnamon go together, and the addition of nutmeg gives the donuts a lovely warm flavor.
- Cinnamon. The cinnamon-sugar coating in the original recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar and just 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Seriously, just 1 teaspoon? I scoffed at this microscopic-sized amount of cinnamon and added a well-rounded half-a-tablespoon full of cinnamon. We love cinnamon, and these are cinnamon donuts, not sugar donuts! 😉
Vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. These three flavors combined really do make these donuts extra special.
I am completely in love with them, and how could anyone not be? Just look at them, they’re beautiful! You almost don’t even need to taste them to be in love with them, am I right? 🙂
What’s your favorite donut flavor?
—As a sort of side note, I’m sorry to all those that spell “donut” as “doughnut”. I couldn’t decide which way to spell it, so ended up going with what seems to be the most popular? How do you spell it??
- For the donuts:
- 71g (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- ½ cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste*
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ rounded teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- For the coating:
- 113g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ well-rounded tablespoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Lightly grease two mini donut pans*.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together baking powder, salt nutmeg and flour. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together egg, milk and vanilla. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the wet ingredients in two parts (mixture may look curdled), alternating with the dry ingredients. Mix last addition of dry ingredients just until combined; do not overmix.
- Spoon the batter into a piping bag or a large ziplock bag with a corner cut off. Pipe batter into the donut pan, filling each donut cavity ½ full.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until donuts spring back when lightly touched. Tip the donuts out onto a wire rack.
- While the donuts are baking, melt the 113g butter for the coating. In another bowl mix the cinnamon and sugar together until completely combined. Pour the cinnamon-sugar mixture into a large ziploc or paper bag (you're going to shake the donuts in the mixture!).
- To coat the donuts, when they're just cool enough to handle, dip each donut quickly in the melted butter, gently shake off excess butter, then put the donut in the cinnamon-sugar bag. Seal the bag and gently shake, turn and invert the bag to completely coat the donut. When coated, open the bag, gently shake off excess and place on a gorgeous serving plate to enjoy!
- Store in an airtight container for a day or two, but best eaten within 24 hours.
* This recipe can also make regular-sized donuts, just adjust the baking time for slightly longer - but keep your eye on the donuts so you don't overbake them.
Don't have a donut pan? Use a mini muffin/cupcake pan!