Baked Chocolate Doughnuts with Vanilla Glaze

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A couple of Sundays ago, I woke up at 8 a.m. instead of my normal 10 a.m. (Hey, I like to sleep in on the weekends!) With no plans aside from laundry until the afternoon, and no AP flour to be found but tons of cake flour, I decided baked doughnuts using cake flour were on my morning agenda.

Baked Chocolate Doughnuts with Vanilla Glaze

As expected with baked doughnuts, these taste nothing like the real thing, but are an easy way to feel less guilty about basically eating cake for breakfast. Not too dense, with a rich chocolate flavor, these were easy to make and the perfect Sunday morning treat.

Baked Chocolate Doughnuts with Vanilla Glaze

Doughnut Ingredients
1 3/4 cup cake flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Doughnut Preparation
Preheat the oven to 325.

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt and whisk together.

Stir in the milk, eggs, oil and vanilla until well combined.

Transfer the batter to a large plastic bag and cut one corner off. Pipe the batter into greased doughnut pans, filling 2/3 of the way.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until springy. Allow to cool in the pans for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Glaze Ingredients
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Glaze Preparation
Warm the milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan set over low heat.

Add the confectioners’ sugar and whisk slowly until well combined.

Remove from heat and set over a bowl of warm water (you may have to reheat over low heat occasionally).

Dip doughnuts in glaze and place on rack to set.

Doughnut recipe from Cassie Craves.
Glaze recipe from La Mia Vita Dolce.

Baked Doughnuts II

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Baked DoughnutsWhen I went to Wilton tent sale, the item I was most excited about was the baked doughnut pan. I had made baked doughnuts in the past, but used a recipe where I had to punch out the doughnuts using two different sized cookie cutters. They were a lot of work, and these pans seemed like an easy workaround!

The pans lived up to my expectations and made the doughnuts much easier to make. But while they look super cute, they aren’t very good. In fact, they’re bland, spongy, and just all around eh. Usually when I bring stuff into work, people are constantly saying how good the treat is. With these, everyone said they looked really good. That’s a bad sign!

2 cups cake flour, sifted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (I omitted this)
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray the doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Sift together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in buttermilk, eggs, and butter and beat until just combined. Fill each doughnut cup until about 2/3 full. (Use a pastry bag if you have one; I wish I had made my life easier.)

Bake 7-9 minutes, or until the top of the donuts spring back when touched. Cool in pan for about 4-5 minutes before removing from pan. Complete donuts with either a dusting of powdered sugar, glaze, or cinnamon-sugar topping.

Glaze Ingredients
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2-3 teaspoons hot water

Glaze Preparation
Microwave on 50% power for about 1 minute, stirring in-between, until melted. Stir in 1 teaspoon hot water until the glaze has thickened. Add another teaspoon hot water if the glaze is too thick.

Recipes from Wilton doughnut pan packaging.

Baked Doughnuts

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Baked DoughnutsAs I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never been a huge fan of doughnuts. Growing up, we ate bagels or cereal for breakfast, and doughnuts were thought of as a dessert. When I went away to college, doughnuts were available everywhere, and when I entered the working world, I noticed they were a regular early morning treat. I still never got into them, mainly because of the greasy feeling in my mouth and the heavy blah I would feel in my stomach after eating them.

So when I had a random craving for doughnuts (I blame the Food Network), I Googled recipes for baked doughnuts and figured I’d give them a shot. Since I was trapped in my neighborhood this morning thanks to the LA Marathon, and the weather had finally cooled down enough to even think about turning on my oven, it seemed like the perfect day.

I halved the recipe, because I was afraid I would either a) not like them or b) like them, and didn’t want to have too many, either way. The process was fairly easy although time consuming, as are most yeast breads. The dough came together really nicely using the dough hook, and was easy to work with as well. Since I don’t have a doughnut cutter (oddly, there is such a thing), I used a 2-inch biscuit cutter, and the bottom of a pastry bag tip to cut out the inner circle. You can improvise–before I finally got around to buying a biscuit cutter, I used a drinking glass. Just look around your kitchen, you’ll find circular things.

Because I’m used to fried doughnuts, I was expecting these to be heavy, but was happily surprised to discover they were light and airy. The dips in butter and cinnamon-sugar finished the doughnuts off perfectly, and I can definitely see myself bringing these to a friend’s house–for brunch or dessert.

Baked Doughnuts

And don’t forget about the bonus doughnut holes. Enjoy!

Photos of the process here.

1 1/3 cups warm milk, 95 to 105 degrees (divided)
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
5 cups all-purpose flour
A pinch or two of nutmeg, freshly grated (I omitted this)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

Cinnamon-Sugar Coating Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Place 1/3 cup of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and set aside for five minutes. Be sure your milk isn’t too hot or it will kill the yeast. Stir the butter and sugar into the remaining cup of warm milk and add it to the yeast mixture. With a fork, stir in the eggs, flour, nutmeg, and salt – just until the flour is incorporated. With the dough hook attachment of your mixer beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. If your dough is overly sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. If it’s too dry, add more milk a bit at a time. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and eventually become supple and smooth. Turn it out onto a floured counter-top, knead a few times (the dough should be barely sticky), and shape into a ball.

Transfer the dough to a buttered (or oiled) bowl, cover, put in a warm place, and let rise for an hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on your floured countertop. If you don’t have a doughnut cutter, use a 2-3 inch cookie cutter to stamp out circles. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and stamp out the smaller inner circles using a smaller cutter. If you cut the inner holes out any earlier, they become distorted when you attempt to move them. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.

Bake in a 375 degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes–start checking around 8. While the doughnuts are baking, place the butter in a medium bowl. Place the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.

Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Dip each one in the melted butter and toss in the sugar bowl.

Makes 1 1/2 – 2 dozen medium doughnuts. (And just as many doughnut holes!)

Recipe from 101 Cookbooks.