I love doughnuts, but then again, who doesn’t? Whether your preferred variety is cake or raised, nothing beats a homemade doughnut. To me, they’re one of life’s greatest treats.
Let’s be honest, though. Making doughnuts can be a nuisance, mainly because of the frying. Filling a heavy-duty, sturdy vessel with fat and then heating it to the perfect temperature so that the doughnuts cook properly (meaning they don’t burn because the oil is too hot or don’t absorb too much fat because the oil is too cool) is a tall order. Props to you doughnut makers out there!
I get around the nuisance of frying by making baked doughnuts. Don’t get me wrong: No one will ever mistake a baked doughnut for a fried one. That said, my baked doughnuts have their own merits. They feature a delicious, crisp crust and tender interior, and the basic vanilla doughnut recipe is easily tweaked to be chocolate, spice, or lemon. Plus, they take just minutes to make. Beyond that, you
can decorate them however you wish. In your own kitchen, no one’s going to judge when you go crazy with the glazes (try thin or thick vanilla, chocolate, fruit, caramel) and sprinkles.
To make baked doughnuts, you need a few inexpensive pieces of special equipment: doughnut pans and a sturdy bag for piping the batter into the pan. If you don’t have a heavy-duty pastry bag, use a freezer-weight zip-top bag instead.
While these doughnuts are wonderful on their own, I have lots of suggestions for other ways to use them. Put a scoop of ice cream between two doughnuts to make a sandwich. Place a few mini doughnuts on the end of a straw to fancy up your best milkshake, or pile mini doughnuts on top of a simple cake to take it totally over the top. These doughnuts are so much fun and so easy to make that you’ll find as many excuses to bake them as there are variations to make.