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Donuts can be easier than you think! Here are three ways to make them:
Baking them in a donut pan. (This is the quickest way. It’s like making muffins. You can choose a mix from us or use a recipe. If you like donuts, you really should have a pan.)
The second is deep fry them. We like Spudnuts, the puffy, deep-fried glazed wonders we grew up with. (There are two reservations: The fat and the deep frying. Donuts are lean. When you deep fry them, they absorb fat, about 22% by weight. But the average cookie is about 25% fat. And the deep-frying—it’s not hard, but it’s deep frying.)
The third way is to bake them. Make them just like you would dinner rolls, let them rise until they get very puffy, and bake them. Because they are so light and airy, they bake in about 12 minutes. And then you glaze them and frost them and fill them.
We’ve served tons of deep-fried and baked donuts in the store. No one is going to turn down either ones. The baked ones are every bit as good as the deep fried.
How to Make Filled Baked Donuts
To do them our way, you will need a donut mix and a bag of pastry filling, the kind that you clip the corner and press the filling into a donut or cupcake.
We recommend cutting your dough into 1.3 to 1.4-ounce pieces to yield 34 to 36 nice-sized donuts. We have made them as large as 1.6 ounces.
If that is more donuts than you want to make, you can refrigerate your remaining dough for three to five days. You may also buy a smaller donut mix.
Mix the dough and let it rise according to package instructions.
Instead of cutting the dough into donut shapes, shape dough pieces into round pieces about 1 ½-inches in diameter. (See yield note below.) Form them into tight balls just as you would dinner rolls. Place them on a baking sheet spaced apart so that they have room to expand without touching. Cover the pan with a plastic sheeting or place the pan in a proofing bag.
Let the rolls rise until very puffy. The dough is very elastic and will expand until more than doubled. Be patient. How fast they rise will depend on the room temperature. If they start to blister, just poke the blisters with a toothpick and get the pan in the oven.
Bake at 375 degrees for ten to twelve minutes or until the rolls are a golden brown. When done, gently remove the rolls to a cooling rack. The rolls will be very soft.
Now you can glaze them, fill them or frost them. To glaze them, in a large mixing bowl, mix 3 cups powdered sugar with 1/2 cup warm water and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth.
To fill them, gently take a paring knife and poke a slit in the side of each roll. Snip a ¼-inch corner off the pastry filling bag. Stick the open corner in your cut slits and squeeze filling into each roll.
They are now ready to serve. If you have kids at home, brace the door.
Frosted Spice Baked Cake Donuts (for a donut pan)
These are great spice donuts. Since you bake them instead of fry them, they have less fat and fewer calories.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
For the frosting
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a baked donut pan.
Combine the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt in a large bowl.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar, vanilla, milk, and melted butter.
Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture a third at a time, stirring after each addition. Stir until the batter is smooth.
Fill the donut cavities 2/3 full of batter. This recipe will make 12 large donuts.
Bake for eight minutes. Cool for several minutes in the pan and then remove the donuts with a silicone spatula to completely cool on a rack.
For the glaze, mix the water a little at a time into the powdered sugar until it is the desired consistency, adding the butter and vanilla. Frost the donuts.