Maple Doughnuts: welcome Springtime!

It’s been a long winter. Record snowfall and week-long stretches of -0°F temperatures have really taken the joy out of the season for many. But, we made it! Spring is right around the corner, and with it comes warm weather and green grass. Finally.

There’s no better way to celebrate the coming of spring than with maple. The sap from maple trees will only flow in the spring if there’s a very cold night, followed by a warmer day (above freezing). I can relate; after a winter as long and cold as this one, I also only feel like moving when there’s a warm day.

My family used to tap trees when I was younger. Each morning before school, my brother and I would take a trip around the mountain, visiting our plastic milk bottle taps and collecting all the sap into big 5-gallon pails strapped to the back of the snowmobile that we hauled back to the house. It was far too heavy for us to carry down by hand.

Our small garage woodstove was topped with the largest pot we owned, and was continually fed our sap gatherings until we boiled down enough syrup to last the year.

I asked my mom why we stopped making maple syrup. Her response? “Your dad and I were sick of a sticky house. There were so many critters that wanted to come in and lick the walls!” This was a downside I had never considered. Luckily, we have friends with sugar houses, so we can continue to get our local maple syrup, minus the visits from our raccoon and bear friends.

Maple Sugaring House

This is what a true maple sugaring house looks like. Our garage operation pales in comparison…

Did you know it takes (on average) 40 gallons of sap to produce 1 gallon of maple syrup? Each tapped tree only yields 5 to 15 gallons of sap a year, so it takes quite a few trees for people to get their syrup fix.

To go along with the effort of tapping and gathering is the boiling. And boiling. And boiling. There’s a lot of time invested in the quest for the sweet stuff. Just a little fun fact to keep in mind the next time you happen to glance at the price on each container of syrup.

Because maple syrup and maple sugar are so expensive, I’m often quite stingy with them on top of my pancakes and in my coffee and other desserts. The exception? These doughnuts. Adding maple sugar to the batter really delivers a ton of flavor in each bite.

Indulge. Splurge. It’s totally worth it.

greased standard-sized doughnut pan.Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a standard-sized doughnut pan.


Whisk together:
3/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup maple sugar
2 tablespoons potato flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredient mise en place.

In a separate bowl, beat until well combined and frothy:
1 large egg
6 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon maple flavor; optional, but it really enhances the flavor!

Adding the dry into the wet ingredients.Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture…

Finished batter. …and stir until well combined.

Piping batter into the wells of the pan. Fill each doughnut form about half full. I found piping the doughnut batter with a piping bag worked the best here, as it’s a thicker batter.

Bake the doughnuts for 12 to 14 minutes, until they spring back when touched lightly and are a very light brown color on top.

While the doughnuts bake, prepare the glaze.

Glaze mise en place. Whisk together:
1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) maple sugar
1/8 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/8 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon maple flavor, optional

Finished glaze, with fully combined maple sugarMicrowave the combined ingredients on high for 30 seconds, to allow the maple sugar to fully dissolve.

Baked doughnuts, fresh from the oven. Remove the doughnuts from the oven, and allow them to rest in the pan for a few minutes before turning them out onto a rack to finish cooling. A firm tap on the rack when the pan is inverted usually does the trick.

Freshly glazed doughnutsWhile the doughnuts are still warm, dip the tops in the glaze. Feel free to serve them warm and gooey, though the glaze will firm up when the doughnuts are fully cooled.

Also, feel free to sprinkle crushed walnuts over the top of the warm glaze, if you’d like. This recipe makes 6 flavorful, standard-sized maple treats.

Comparing doughnuts, with and without potato flour.Can you make these doughnuts without potato flour? I tested with and without, and the answer is yes. It will, however, alter the texture. The potato flour absorbs a lot of liquid and gives the doughnuts more of that classic doughnut texture. Without it, they were more like a soft cake.

The ones on the left (in the two bottom photos above) are made without potato flour. The bottom left doughnut was also dipped in a glaze that was only heated for 15 seconds. The maple sugar didn’t have nearly enough time to dissolve, as you can tell!

The flavor didn’t change, though, so feel free to whip these up with or without. They were all delicious experiments, trust me.

Enjoy your homemade maple doughnuts with a cup of coffee or tea, while sitting in the sweet, sweet, sunshine. Winter 2015, you were… memorable. Bring on the warm!

Please bake, rate, and review our recipe for Maple Doughnuts.

Print just the recipe (Don’t forget, you can adjust the font size at the top left of the print page).

Gwen Adams

Gwen Adams grew up in northern New Hampshire, on top of a mountain, surrounded by nature and not much else. After graduating from Lyndon State College in 2010, Gwen sought a career that combined her passion for writing with her love of baking. She found ...


    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You can try out your choice of sugar substitutes but we haven’t tested with any of them. The makers’ websites generally provide good guidelines for use in recipes. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  1. TheWildOlive

    Thank you so much for developing a recipe that only yields six donuts!!! It’s just the Mr and I, and I don’t need a dozen donuts hanging around! Yes, I know how to divide a recipe, but who wants to do math when you need a sugar fix? ; )

  2. Ruth Bradbury

    Do you have a recipe for Gluten Free Pizza? You probable have already given it but this is the first day I have ever seen this program. Thanks a million! My grandkids love Pizza and all are allergic to Gluten. Thanks you so much for your help. Ruth Bradbury

  3. Sweettoothduo

    Would love to make this, but the expense of maple sugar! Any adjustments needed if I use maple syrup? Would it sub well?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      To make your own maple sugar, mix 2 teaspoons of Grade A Dark Amber or Grade B maple syrup (for more robust flavor, go with the less refined Grade B) with 1/2 cup of white granulated sugar until fully incorporated. It won’t have quite the same flavor as real maple sugar, but in a pinch (like when a maple doughnut craving hits suddenly) this will work just fine. Happy doughnut making! –Kye@KAF

  4. mrmoran

    Thank you for giving me a reason to make maple doughnuts as a harbinger of spring! I tend to think of maple as a fall flavor, along with apple, pumpkin, and squash, and your post is just the excuse I needed to make mini maple doughnuts as one of the desserts for a dinner party later this month.

    1. Gwen Adams, post author

      They’re addicting! Sometimes we forget that maple is a fall flavor to the rest of the country. It seems like the perfect flavor to enjoy year round 🙂 -Gwen

    1. Gwen Adams, post author

      I think these would turn out just fine as doughnut muffins, Ruth. You could even toss them in maple sugar instead of the maple glaze, if you wanted! Happy baking!-Gwen

    1. Gwen Adams, post author

      Hi Julie,
      I’d check the mini doughnut bundts after 15 minutes for doneness. It’s a deeper well, so they’ll take a bit longer than if they were in doughnut form. Might I suggest tossing them in maple sugar after they come out? Happy baking! -Gwen

  5. jtee4short

    Ah ha; this must be the recipe I ordered the maple sugar for! Guess what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Karen, we have a recipe for gluten-free maple donuts with a bourbon glaze that are so tasty you won’t be missing the gluten! You can access that recipe here:

      Happy donut making to you! –Kye@KAF

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