We celebrated The Artist’s birthday this weekend by making him his favorite dessert of all time, mini baked doughnuts! He got to choose his favorite flavors and we made them together, laughing as things got a little messy during the dipping step. Didn’t he do a great job sprinkling the jimmies!
He decided that he wanted cinnamon-sugar dipped and white chocolate glazed with chocolate jimmies. Wasn’t it nice of him to incorporate a chocolate element so we could share them on Chocolate Monday! Yep, he is that sweet guy. He is always on the lookout for interesting chocolate recipes to share with you guys – even on his birthday!
What makes these doughnuts possible is a really great pan from Norpro pre-shaped so all you have to do is put the batter in and watch them bake up into perfect doughnuts – no oil in sight except a little to ensure they release easily from the pan.
Make sure you get a nonstick pan – even with that it can sometimes take a little nudging to get them out of pan. And do yourself a favor – buy two pans. You will love these doughnuts so much that you’ll want to make several batches and they disappear so fast, being able to bake two at the same time will make sure you get your share, LOL.
Piping makes these super easy and fast! If you haven’t used a piping bag before, I’ve included some guidelines below under Kitchen Skill to help you. It’s fun to use a piping bag but can be a little intimidating the first time. Practicing on a sheet of parchment paper or a Silpat will allow you to pipe forms, scrape them back into the bowl and do it again until you are comfortable.
You can make these any flavor you like. This time I bumped up the vanilla, using vanilla paste to get the tiny vanilla seeds – can you see them in the glaze? Look at the first photo above, the tiny dots between the jimmies, those are from using vanilla paste. Bursts of vanilla flavor in every single bite! But you could switch to any other extract like chocolate, coconut, raspberry, lemon, mint, etc. You could add tiny chocolate chips or shavings too. Fresh citrus zest would be amazing too. So many options!
Did you wonder why the glaze on these wasn’t lighter colored? That’s because I got a little heavy-handed with the vanilla paste turning these into more of a light mocha color than white. I work with a 32-ounce container of vanilla paste so it is easy to have too much come out when I am pouring from it. Oh well, there can almost never be too much vanilla, am I right? LOL!
The last time I made these, I made chocolate doughnuts and decorated them with all white toppings for an elegant look. Who wouldn’t love to see a platter piled high with these beauties! Either way you go, vanilla or chocolate, these baked doughnuts are a treat everyone in your family will love, a healthier option from fried doughnuts, and safe for those who cannot eat gluten.
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
When dipping or coating foods, it is always smart to use one hand for the wet ingredients and keep your other hand dry to help coat with the dry ingredients. With a little practice this will become easy and second nature. The key is to have the bowls lined up next to each other and right beside where you will place the decorated items. You don’t want to have to reach too far or you’ll wind up making more of a mess.
Having parchment under the wire rack will help capture any glaze that drips off the doughnuts or excess cinnamon sugar and jimmies, making clean up a whole lot easier.
Use a gluten-free flour blend that contains xanthan gum or psyllium husk flakes or powder. If your blend doesn’t have it included, add 1/4 tsp to the dry ingredients, whisking well to be sure it is fully incorporated.
Kitchen Skill: Filling a Piping Bag
Piping bags are a wonderful way to make quick work of repetitive tasks, portioning of dough and batter, or making foods look extra festive and decorative. To keep it from coming out of the bag before you are ready, drop the tip into the point and cut off the end of the bag or use a coupler. Make sure it is seated snugly in the bag. Twist just above the top of the tip and press a little of the bag down into the tip to block it.
Fold the top of the bag over to make a cuff about 3-inches deep and set it upright in a heavy bottomed glass or tall bowl. Put your support hand (non-dominant or left if you are right-handed) under the cuff and use a spatula to transfer the frosting, dough, or whatever you are piping into the bag. Do not fill more than about halfway to give you plenty of room for closing the top.
Now press the batter down toward the tip, trying to remove any air bubbles as you do, and twist the top tightly to close. I like to also fold the twisted top over just to be sure it doesn’t come out the wrong direction when I squeeze the bag. Pull on the tip to release the part of the bag you tucked inside it. Press the bag to move the batter all the way down and you are ready to pipe!
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 cups (240g) gluten-free flour blend or all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder (gluten-free)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp water
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 to 2 tbsp vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
- White Chocolate Glaze
- 2 tbsp white chocolate chips, melted
- 1 tbsp vanilla paste or pure extract
- 1 to 2 tbsp milk, as needed
- 1 to 1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (gluten-free)
- Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 to 2 tsp ground cinnamon, to taste
- Melted butter, for dipping
- Decorations, optional
- Chocolate jimmies, flaked coconut, chopped nuts, colorful sprinkles, shaved chocolate, or a dusting of cocoa powder
- Doughnuts: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray the doughnut pan lightly with vegetable oil spray. Set a wire cooling rack over a sheet of parchment, Silpat, or waxed paper. Line a baking sheet with parchment; set aside.
- In a small bowl stir together the milk and melted butter. Reheat as needed to keep the butter melted.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to blend thoroughly.
- In the bowl of your standing mixer, beat the eggs, water, sugar, and vanilla until thick and creamy. Add the dry ingredients and the milk/butter mixture to the sugar/egg mixture. Beat until smooth.
- Form and Bake the Doughnuts: Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip or resealable plastic bag with one corner cut off, and pipe into the oiled doughnut pan until each is 2/3 full. Using a piping bag makes this fast and easy! Bake for about 9 to 11 minutes or until puffed, the tops spring back when lightly touched with your finger, and they are beginning to lightly brown.
- Let them cool slightly in the pan and then use a spoon or fork to nudge them onto the wire rack for cooling. Cool completely before glazing.
- Wipe pan clean with a paper towel, re-spray with vegetable oil and repeat with the remaining batter.
- Prepare the White Chocolate Glaze: In a microwave-safe bowl, place the white chocolate chips, vanilla extract and 1 tbsp milk. Heat in 10 to 15 second bursts in the microwave until the chocolate is mostly melted, stirring between each heating. Remove from the oven and stir until smooth and fully melted. Whisk the powdered sugar into the melted chocolate until completely incorporated. Whisk in as much additional milk as needed to thin the glaze enough to make a good dipping consistency.
- Make the Cinnamon-Sugar Topping: In a shallow bowl or au gratin dish, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon. Melt the butter in a second shallow bowl and set them both next to the rack with the doughnuts. Note: These ingredients makes about enough to double coat a dozen mini doughnuts.
- If you are using garnishes, place some of each in individual shallow bowls for dipping.
- For Glazed Doughnuts: When the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, hold at the edges and quickly dip the top of one in the glaze. Lift straight up and quickly flip it over and set on the parchment-covered baking sheet. Let sit for no more than a minute if you are using garnishes. Carefully dip them in your favorites and turn them back over, or you can sprinkle them over the top, setting them on the rack or back onto the baking sheet to finish setting. Repeat with remaining doughnuts and set aside to allow glaze to firm up before serving.
- For Cinnamon-Sugar Coated Doughnuts: When cool enough to handle, briefly dip both sides and the edges in the melted butter and then immediately drop into the cinnamon sugar mixture and roll to coat all surfaces. Return to the rack to dry. See Hint above.
- Yield: about 24 to 28 mini doughnuts
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