I had to buy doughnut pans from Amazon because I couldn’t find them in the local shops or big box stores. The trend for cinnamon baked doughnuts has passed, so it makes perfect sense that I would now attempt them.
I am not what anyone would describe as trendy. Not because I eschew trends on principle, it’s more that I am not paying very close attention to what other people are doing. I have enough trouble keeping up with what I am supposed to be doing.
So I ordered the pans and then went to the supermarket to buy all new ingredients. After examining the baking section of my cupboard, I realized I couldn’t say for sure when was the last time I baked anything. Since my baking powder expired in 2012, out it all went. I even bought fresh eggs, just to be fair to Contessa Garten.
I had trouble figuring out what to call the author of all these delightful recipes. Ina felt too familiar, Mrs. Garten made her sound like a high school Home Ec teacher (how great would it be to have Ina Garten as your Home Ec teacher?!). I cobbled together Contessa Garten because Contessa Ina sounded like a children’s book character, which would be another great thing. Ina Garten should absolutely write a children’s book! I would buy ten copies.
Anyway, with pans and ingredients all arranged on the counter and my six year old practically vibrating at the chance to not only eat doughnuts but make them, we began.
A note on technique: while attempting to teach me to bake, my mom told me to set out all the ingredients for whatever I am making and then after I use the ingredient either put it away or set it on another counter so that when I am done, I can see if I have forgotten to add something. I ignored this advice once, made a boxed cake mix, forgot to add the egg and didn’t have anything to give my dad for his birthday because the cake was a disgusting chocolate pancake.
The recipe goes together very quickly. I added in a pinch of cloves because my mom swore by the trio of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Aside from that small addition, I followed the recipe exactly and then stood around for a few minutes trying to figure out how I was going to get the batter into the little donut shaped depressions in the pan.
I decided to use the ice cream scoop my older son uses for portioning out cookies. My older son is a born baker, so he is not allowed to help me with these recipes because that would be cheating. Click here to see how the scooper thing worked. The recipe says it makes 12 donuts, my pans were such that I got 18.
Into the oven they went and then I had to go find a recipe for chocolate doughnut frosting because when I told the six year old, who we will now call Six because calling him the six year old is irritating, that the doughnuts weren’t frosted but rather have a cinnamon sugar topping, he just laughed.
I found this recipe from a wonderful blog, Gemma’s Bigger Bolder Baking, and the frosting went together very, very easily.
The doughnuts came out nicely, they spread rather than sprung up but that was okay. If I wanted them to look perfect all I had to do was trim them down with kitchen shears but appearance didn’t matter as much as how they tasted, and they were yummy.
We dipped the doughnuts in the chocolate, Six upended entire bottles of sprinkles onto them while the frosting was still wet and then we ate doughnuts for lunch.
The second batch of doughnuts came out higher, in that they didn’t spread but rather popped up. I wonder if it was because the batter was poufier with the second batch because it sat on the counter for about 20 minutes. When I make these again, I will let the batter sit for awhile before I bake them and see if they all come out taller.
With the second batch, I made the butter, cinnamon and sugar topping from Contessa Garten’s recipe and I have to tell you, I have not put something that delicious in my mouth in a long time. It was very, very good. Contessa Garten’s topping complimented the doughnut much better than our chocolate and candy duo. Six preferred the latter (mostly because he is six).
The clean up wasn’t bad. I used every one of my four mixing bowls but that’s because we made two different toppings for the doughnuts. I would say from start to finish it took about an hour and a half and that was with a six year old helping.
Absolutely worth making. I will make them again because they were easy, delicious and they didn’t require ingredients I don’t normally have. I mean, I had to go out and buy all new flour and baking powder. Now that I will be baking regularly, I’ll have these things on hand.
P.S. Because the recipe made 18 donuts, I froze quite a few of them 1) to keep me from eating 18 donuts and 2) to see if they froze well. They do! I thawed one out a week after freezing and it was delicious. And then I thawed out another one. That one was good, too.
- Baking spray with flour, such as Baker’s Joy
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
- 1¼ cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 doughnut pans well
Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined.
Spoon the batter into the baking pans, filling each one a little more than three-quarters full. Bake for 17 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then tap the doughnuts out onto a sheet pan.
For the topping, melt the 8 tablespoons of butter in an 8-inch sauté pan. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip each doughnut first in the butter and then in the cinnamon sugar, either on one side or both sides.
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