Glazed Cinnamon Doughnuts for a Belated National Doughnut Day!

Earlier this weekend, it was National Doughnut Day. I was so excited to devote Saturday’s entry to these delicious cinnamon doughnuts that I made for a bake sale last month, only to have life get in the way. Between regular course work and trying to prepare graduate school and internship applications, there hasn’t been much room left in the day for the things I love – like writing endlessly about fantastic food. Apparently, there also hasn't been much time for taking pictures of said fantastic food. I could have sworn I had a doughnut photoshoot, but either I did it on my dad's fancy camera and never uploaded them, or I made that up entirely. So, I missed actual National Doughnut Day, and I don't even have a decent picture to show you, but that does not mean that I’m going to let you miss out on this amazing recipe.

 I only tried half of one, since I didn’t want to cut into the profit margin of the organization for which I was baking, but they all sold out so I’m going to take that as a baking success. L, who was one of the few who actually liked the last baked doughnuts I made, said that these were even better – so if you had your doubts about a doughnut that didn’t take a dip in a deep fryer, maybe give these a try before the previous recipe I posted. I found them both to be wonderful, but then again, I’m not your average eater when it comes to fried foods.

These doughnuts are spongy and soft, moist and 100% cinnamony. The glaze was plain vanilla, but I could imagine that adding a little hint of maple syrup or maybe even apple juice would be heavenly, and perfect for autumn.  Nutritionally, I might next time experiment with a heartier flour (because I’m me, after all), and consider swapping out the measly 4 tablespoons of melted butter (in 3 dozen mini doughnuts!) for oil, though really, 1 teaspoon of butter per three minis is not something to get too hung up on.

What’s more, these babies couldn’t be easier to make. The one thing that I have loved about both mini doughnut recipes I’ve made so far is that, like mini muffins or cupcakes, they go from raw ingredients to beautiful baked goods in the blink of an eye. I would suggest that any baker invest in a mini doughnut pan, if for no reason other than that if you’re ever in a pinch, you’re just about 15 minutes and a handful of pantry staples away from a solution. Not too shabby, if you ask me!

Baked Cinnamon Doughnuts with Vanilla Glaze, courtesy of Diethood
Yield: Approximately 3 dozen minis (1 dozen regular)

The Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for dusting
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons low-fat milk
½ teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste), divided
1 egg
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

The Method
Preheat the oven to 350° and coat doughnut pans with non-stick spray.

Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon together in a large bowl, then set aside.

Meanwhile, combine ½ cup milk, white vinegar, ½ teaspoon vanilla, egg and butter in a small saucepan over medium-heat. Stir constantly with a whisk until the butter has melted, then remove from the heat. Add the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir to incorporate.

Transfer the batter to a Ziploc or pastry bag, and pipe it into the prepared doughnut pan (for the minis, I found that 2 ½ - 3 times around was sufficient, or about half-full). Bake in the oven 5-6 minutes (minis) or 12-14 minutes (regular), or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Immediately invert the doughnuts onto a cooling rack, and set aside to cool while you make the glaze.

For the glaze, place the remaining ingredients (2 tablespoons milk, ½ teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup powdered sugar) into a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture has smoothed out and no lumps appear. Set the saucepan over a bowl filled with hot water, or simply keep the burner on very low.

Dip each doughnut into the glaze and return to the cooling rack (placing a sheet of wax paper beneath the rack makes for easy cleanup), drizzle any extra glaze you have over the doughnuts after all have been glazed, and dust with additional cinnamon using a mini fine-mesh sieve (optional). Allow to set for at least a few minutes before eating.

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