Baked Buttermilk Doughnuts

As promised in our last post, we're celebrating the launch of our revamped website by making, frosting, glazing and eating doughnuts!  You may have noticed that list did not include frying. Nope.  No frying took place in the making of that scrumptiously delicious plate of doughnuts. Of course, we won't talk about how much sugar went into the decorating, but we will take comfort where we can, and enjoy the fact that we saved ourselves a bunch of calories and made these a little healthier by baking them.

The Husband and I have more than a few memories of Sunday morning doughnuts in the early years of our marriage; doughnuts and coffee were a weekend favorite for years.  I've forgotten the name of the doughnut shop now, but those old fashioned buttermilk doughnuts still reside in my memory with something close to reverence.  

But over the last 20 years or so we've cleaned up our eating, and doughnuts got dropped from the diet along with most things fried.  <insert crying emoji>.  But life is too short to have to live without a doughnut now and then, you know?   So baking them seemed like our best bet to get doughnuts back into our weekend mornings.  I mean, even the Barefoot Contessa was baking donuts, so I got myself a donut pan. 

Expectations were understandably low, but since cake doughnuts were always our favorites, I thought there might be a slight possibility that I could create a doughnut that would approximate those from the olden days.   We all know that if the yeast-y glazed doughnuts are your favorites, you really aren't going to be able to duplicate those in a donut pan.  But, if like us, you prefer the cake ones, you might find these to your liking.

I started with the recipe that came with the donut pan and we were amazed by how good they were.  I mean, there really was a sort of cake doughnut quality to them.  I've since played with the recipe to try and replicate the buttermilk ones that I love and am pretty happy about the outcome. To do this I swapped out the milk for buttermilk and replaced the shortening with coconut oil. But if you really want a cake doughnut experience, the grated nutmeg is vital. Freshly grated is best, but just don't leave it out.

So here we are, blissfully back to starting our weekend mornings with coffee and doughnuts, and if that sounds pretty good to you, here's the recipe...

Baked Buttermilk Doughnuts

Click here for a printable recipe

I think the best doughnut pan for making baked doughnuts is made by Norpro.  It produces doughnuts that look the most like bakery doughnuts.  I started with the recipe that came with the pan and then made some changes.  Our favorite way to eat these is with a simple cinnamon sugar topping, but feel free to frost or glaze these however you like.  I've given you a couple of glazing ideas below.  If making the cinnamon sugar doughnuts, be sure the doughnuts are still warm from the oven before applying the cinnamon sugar.

Recipe adapted from Norpro

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2  tablespoons coconut oil (warmed briefly in the microwave)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and spray your doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.

In a smaller bowl, stir together the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and the softened coconut oil with a whisk until smooth.

Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture.  Mix until well blended and then fill each doughnut cup about 3/4 full.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes until the doughnuts spring back when touched (this took closer to 12 minutes in my oven).  But do not overcook or they will dry out.

Allow to cool slightly in the pan before removing.  Glaze or frost as desired.

Cinnamon-sugar Doughnuts
Mix together 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.  Place in a paper bag.  Place a warm doughnut in the bag and shake until the doughnut is completely covered with cinnamon sugar. Place on rack to cool.

Vanilla Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together, starting with just 1 tablespoon of milk.  You want the glaze to be fairly thick.  Microwave for about 8 to 10 seconds, stir well and then drizzle over the doughnut.  Dip in finely chopped walnuts, if desired.

Maple Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon milk

Mix the ingredients together until you have a fairly thick glaze.  Microwave for a few seconds until it's warm.  Stir well and then drizzle over the doughnut.