Baked Doughnuts Three Ways: this triple play is a homerun!

You know, I used to be afraid of deep-frying.

Vats of boiling oil. I mean, doesn’t that sound like some form of medieval torture? Just the thought of it gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Still, if you want homemade doughnuts…

“Leave the kitchen, kids! Get out from underfoot, there, puppy dog. Cat: off the counter. Mama is making doughnuts!”

Hmph. Makes me want to don my hazmat suit.

Heck, it isn’t as if I’ve never heated a pot of oil. At one time or another, I’ve made Jelly Doughnut Holes, Classic Beignets, Vermont Doughnut Holes, Mashed Potato Doughnuts, Fried Dough

No french fries – yet. But I’m considering them.

Still, even with my favorite shallow-frying method (1″ of oil in an electric fry pan), doughnuts are a production.

Unless they’re BAKED doughnuts – and then they’re just about as easy as muffins.

Which is to say: E.Z.

And versatile. I started thinking about all the different things you could do with baked doughnuts.

Frost ’em. Fill ’em. Coat ’em with coconut, or chocolate. Roll ’em in cinnamon-sugar, or powdered sugar.

All of which we’re going to try out in the recipe below.

Are you ready?

“Into the kitchen, kids. C’mon, puppy dog. Cat, you can sit right there next to the toaster. Mama’s going to bake doughnuts.”

Coconut doughnuts, chocolate chip doughnuts, and cinnamon doughnuts, to be exact.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease two standard doughnut pans.

Can you make these baked doughnuts without pans?

Sorry, but no. You can, however, make Doughnut Muffins – same batter, different shape, just as yummy.

Mix the following until smooth:

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar

Add 2 large eggs, beating to combine.

Stir in the following:

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, to taste*
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*Use the smaller amount of nutmeg for coconut or chocolate chip doughnuts; the larger amount for  cinnamon doughnuts.

Stir 2 2/3 cups (11 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour into the butter mixture alternately with 1 cup milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.

The batter should be smooth and glossy.

Next, it’s decision time. Want to make chocolate chip doughnuts? Stir in  3/4 cup semisweet chocolate mini chips (first choice) or semisweet chocolate chips. Spoon batter into the pans, filling each well right to the brim.

Want to make coconut doughnuts?

Sprinkle 2 teaspoons toasted coconut into each of the wells of the doughnut pans, shaking the pans to distribute the coconut.

Divide the batter evenly between the pans, filling each well to within about 1/4″ of the rim. Sprinkle the top of each doughnut with an additional 2 teaspoons toasted coconut.

Can you use plain instead of toasted coconut? Not really; it browns unevenly, and doesn’t produce as good a result.

How about chocolate “frosted” doughnuts? Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons crushed chocolate chips (or any crushed chocolate) into the wells of the doughnut pans. Fill pans with batter.

“Make mine plain,” you say? Just spoon the batter into the wells of the prepared pans, filling to within 1/4″ of the rim.

Bake the doughnuts for 10 minutes.

What are those lava-like doughnuts on the left? My attempt at making streusel-stuffed doughnuts. They tasted pretty good, but boy, what a mess… plus it was a pain trying to spoon just a little bit of batter into the doughnut pans, add the streusel, then cover with a little more batter. Not worth the effort, IMHO.

Remove the doughnuts from the oven; wait 5 to 7 minutes before turning them out of the pans onto a rack.

For cinnamon doughnuts, shake warm doughnuts in a plastic bag with about 1/4 to 1/3 cup cinnamon-sugar.

For sugar-coated chocolate chip doughnuts, shake doughnuts in a plastic bag with about 1/2 cup non-melting white sugar (for best results), or confectioners’ sugar.

Here’s what I mean by best results: on top, that’s non-melting white sugar on the left, confectioners’ sugar on the right. Both look fine.

But by the next day, look what’s happened to the confectioners’ sugar: gone, melted into the doughnut. While the non-melting sugar still looks great.

And here are those chocolate “frosted” doughnuts. See why I say these are “frosted?” The chips don’t melt; they just soften. Still, the final effect is mighty tasty!

Store doughnuts airtight, at room temperature, for several days.

Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for Baked Doughnuts Three Ways.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Sammigirl

    Is there anything that can substitute for the vegetable oil in the donut recipe? I have a nickel allergy and can only use three “oils”: butter, olive oil and palm oil (shortening). And somehow olive oil just doesn’t sound like it would taste right. I also have to make my own baking powder, but I’ve got that handled. Oh yes, and being owned by two cats and one dog, we have faced the inevitable and, as my husband says, we consider pet hair to be a condiment!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Sammigirl, if you use olive oil that’s not virgin or extra virgin, you shouldn’t notice a strong taste in the final baked goods. You could also use coconut oil or shortening if you prefer. You may want to melt these oils first so that they easily incorporate into the batter. Whatever oil you choose, use the same amount that’s listed in the recipe here. Happy doughnut baking! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Pam, you might have the best success if you use a muffin pan instead. (They’ll still taste delicious and look eye-catching too!) If you’re determined to give your mini Bundt pan a try, just be sure to prepare it properly using these tips. We’ve heard from some bakers who have trouble with their doughnut batter sticking, and it’s more likely to happen in a detailed pan, like a mini Bundt pan. If you give it a shot, check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center. (It should come out clean.) You may need to adjust the baking time depending on the size of your pan. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  2. Becky

    I’d like to incorporate some potato flakes into this recipe. Could I add a couple of tablespoons and reduce the flour by the same amount?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Becky,
      You can add a few tablespoons of potato flakes into the batter if you like. Instead of reducing the flour, considering adding a touch of extra liquid if that batter seems thick. You won’t need much. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  3. Ellen

    how can I resolve the issue of these donuts sticking to pan? I greased donut pan, waited at least 5 minutes before removing, but the bottom stuck and donuts were broken.
    Thanks

    Reply
  4. Ellen

    These were delicious! Very soft and delicate. I greased the donut pans well, baked 12 minutes, and waited at least 5 minutes before removing but only some came out in one piece and the others did not remove in one piece- some pieces stuck and left at bottom of pan. Could the problem be that I filled too high? What can I do?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Ellen, It may help to spray the pans rather than greasing them. Our Everybake Pan Spray works really well for this. I would also recommend checking your oven temperature with an oven thermometer. If your oven is running low, the doughnuts might have needed to bake a little longer to solidify. As long as the batter did not run out of the pan, I doubt you over-filled the wells, but you could try putting a little less batter in and see if this helps. Too much batter would also contribute to a longer baking time. Barb@KAF

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