I enjoy a good donut. It HAS to be good though. I don’t enjoy a donut that isn’t fresh, soft, or flavorful and my ideal donut gives me just enough satisfaction without making me want to puke. Plus, there’s nothing worse than wasting calories on a sub-par donut, amirite?
I’ve had baked donuts on my list for quite some time, and this past weekend started off with a rainy, chilly Saturday morning, so I needed a little fun in my life to make up for the dreary weather. I was also headed to a surprise birthday party that afternoon, so it just seemed appropriate that I attempted my first baked donut (with sprinkles, duh).
Friends, I thought it would be easy, and I was surprised how much EASIER it was than I had anticipated. I did stumble a little bit, and please learn from my mistake… Do not, I repeat, DO NOT use nonpareil sprinkles (those teeny tiny colored balls) for these donuts. I hadn’t had any coffee yet, was still pretty blinky-eyed, and not thinking when I dumped in my 1/2 cup of nonpareils into my batter and immediately regretted it as it turned my batter brown. Those suckers have a sensitive colored shell. They’re fine for the top after you glaze your donuts, but please, just don’t put them on the inside!
Round 2 came together much quicker and much more beautifully. I was able to mix (twice) this batter, bake them, cool them, make the glaze, and photograph them all before my dear husband got out of bed for our Saturday morning gym date. And I was only up a little more than an hour before he was. This recipe comes together quickly, so if you find yourself craving a donut some morning, you’re in luck! You can whip up a batch before you can think twice about getting in the car and going to get one.
Of course, you will need one thing, and that’s a donut pan. They’re super cheap, easy to store, and will be worth every single penny!
The only ingredients involved here that you might not have on hand are plain yogurt (I used Greek) and almond extract. I added almond extract to get the “cake batter” flavor that goes along with funfetti. Everything else is pretty standard, and if you haven’t realized yet, you don’t need any yeast… So no need to be intimidated by making your own donuts at home!
Speaking of ingredients, you’ll see that nutmeg is listed as one of them. This might sound strange, but in all the baked donut recipes I perused, it was a common ingredient. It is a spice commonly used in traditional donut frying, so don’t leave it out!
I strongly suggest using a large zip top bag to transfer your batter into your pans. You’ll be able to make a smooth, uniform shape, and your donuts will bake up nicely. You may certainly spoon your batter in, but using a bag will give you the best distribution. You only need to fill the wells up 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full. They’ll puff up in the oven, I promise!
The glaze is super simple. It’s just powdered sugar, some milk, and a touch of vanilla. You’re actually going to heat these ingredients on the stove for just a few minutes. Why? Alton Brown taught me that if you do this, your glaze will crack, just like it does on the donut from a bakery. Plus, you should have enough glaze to dunk your donuts twice. Crackly glaze x2 > crackly glaze. Dunk once, set on a wire rack (glaze side up) while you work through the rest, then go back through and dunk again.
Decorate however you wish, leave them plain and forget about the glaze, whatever! I promise you that you’ll surprise yourself at how easy it is for you to make fresh, soft donuts at home.
- 1 cup flour (use the spoon and level method)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
- ¼ cup milk (any)
- ¼ cup plain yogurt (regular, Greek, or any fat %)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ cup sprinkles
- 2 Tablespoons milk (any)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Spray a donut pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and sugar. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together egg, butter, milk, yogurt, and extracts and combine until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and blend until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Gently stir in sprinkles.
- Transfer batter to a large zip top bag, snip the corner off, and pipe batter evenly into donut wells, filling them ⅔ to ¾ full. You may also use a spoon.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges just start to brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before dipping in glaze.
- Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and dunk donuts into glaze one by one. Transfer to wire rack over a baking sheet or wax paper to catch glaze drippings.
- Dunk donuts a second time with remaining glaze. Decorate with more sprinkles, if desired. Donuts taste the freshest the same day they are baked, but can be stored covered at room temperature up to 2 days.