I am sure you know by now that I love anything sweet. Anything. Anything. I love the obvious sweets – Candy, Ice Cream, Cakes – but I also love the more non-obvious sweets. Like fruit! Fruit has a natural sweetness that I crave. They say that fruit is natures dessert. When I heard this I knew why I liked fruit so much :).
Ok, now back to the guilty, indulging kinds of sweets. Not that fruit isn’t indulging, it’s just not the same. You know what I mean...
I’m taking about the kinds that make you so happy while your eating. You’re smiling when you’re eating them. And then after you eat them you feel that little bit of guilt. That guilt where the healthy side of you is saying, “Why did I eat that!” But your indulging side is saying, “Thank you!” I listen to both sides pretty equally. That’s how I get to live a fun and healthy lifestyle.
A healthy and fun lifestyle is being able to say no and yes. Does that make sense? It does to me, but I know I say things sometimes and people have no clue what I’m saying. So let me explain. You can’t just always say yes to every food. You have to control yourself and say no. If you didn’t than that would be unhealthy for you. But you can’t say no all the time. You need to let yourself indulge sometimes. Enjoy life! Enjoy food! Ok does that make sense now? I think I might have confused you. Ah, its ok… let’s continue!
A doughnut (or donut – however you want to spell it) is one of those indulging foods. Very very very indulging. You definitely can’t have a donut for breakfast every day and be healthy. Eating a donut in the morning is not the healthiest way to start your day. I mean come on. Who ever thought of frying dough, topping it with sugar, and serving it for breakfast? So random right! You think it would be more of a dessert item. Who ever invented donuts probably invented it to be a dessert. But someone in America thought, “This would be an amazing breakfast!” and then it happened – a dessert item for breakfast. Don’t quote me on this history, I’m just talking :).
I have treated myself to a fair amount of donuts in my day. I ate them much more when I was younger, but I still have one here and there. With my love for sweets it’s natural for me to want to eat sweets for breakfast. And I never said I opposed to that dessert for breakfast idea… I actually love that idea. Just can’t do it often. Even though I wish I could!
One thing that makes donuts not so good for you is that they are fried. But this is what makes them incredibly delicious. So I thought… can I make a baked donut that is just as good? I searched the internet and found out that people have been doing this a lot lately. When I found a recipe that I liked I got out my donut cutter (Yes I bought one from Williams and Sonoma because I couldn’t resist one day) and made baked donuts!
What a revelation! They were doughy and soft and really flavorful. And much healthier than fried donuts! However, don’t think that these taste healthy. They are just healthier. They are just as indulging as normal donuts and definitely give you that sweet fix. Make them for breakfast, a snack, or dessert, and you won’t be missing those fried donuts anymore!
I made 2 variations of these donuts – one that is topped with cinnamon-sugar, and the other that is dipped in a vanilla glaze. Each way was equally delicious. I couldn’t decide which one I liked more. You can top your donuts whichever way you prefer. Or you can do half and half like I did. Either way, I know you will enjoy these yummy baked donuts!
For Printable Recipe, Click here!
Makes: About 15 doughnuts (& donut holes)
For the Dough
3/4 cups Warm Milk
1 packet Active Dry Yeast
1 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
1/3 cup Sugar
2 ½ cup All Purpose Flour
Pinch of Nutmeg
½ tsp. Salt
For the Glaze
* Enough to glaze all the doughnuts
¼ cup Milk
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
2 cups Confectioners Sugar
For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping
*Enough to cover all of the doughnuts
½ cup Unsalted Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 tbsp. Cinnamon
To make the dough, place ¼ cups of the warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk. Let sit for 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining ½ cup of milk with the sugar and butter. Add it to the yeast mixture. Stir to combine. Add the egg and stir until incorporated. Add the flour, nutmeg, and salt and stir until the dough starts to form. Change to the dough hook and knead for until the dough starts to become smooth. If the dough is too sticky, slowly add more flour until it is no longer sticky.
Transfer to the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic and has formed a ball. Place the dough ball in a large lightly greased bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm place for about 1 hour, until doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until ½ thick. Using a doughnut cutter (if you don’t have a doughnut cutter, you can use 2 biscuit cutters – 1 that is about 3 inches, and the other that is about 2 inches for the inner circle) cut out the doughnuts until you have no dough left. If desired you can gather up the scraps into a ball and roll it out and cut out more doughnuts. I prefer not too because I feel the dough becomes too tough.
Place the doughnuts on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper, about 2 inches apart. Cover with a clean towel and let sit for about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven 375 degrees F.
Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 7 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Be careful to not overbake these. You want them to be light and doughy inside. Let the doughnuts cool for about 5 minutes until ready to top with either the glaze or cinnamon sugar topping
While the doughnuts are cooling make the glaze and/or cinnamon sugar glaze. Each recipe makes enough to cover all the doughnuts. I made a half recipe of each and topped half of the doughnuts with each topping. Or you can choose to just do one of topping for all the doughnuts.
To make the glaze, combine the milk and the vanilla in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until just warmed. Slowly add in the confectioners sugar and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Remove the glaze from the heat and place over a bowl of warm water.
To glaze the doughnuts, dip them halfway into the glaze and place on a draining/cooling rack set over a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sprinkles if desired. Let set for about 10 minutes.
To make the cinnamon sugar topping, melt the butter in a saucepan or a microwave, and place in a small bowl. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl.
To top the doughnuts with cinnamon sugar, dip the halfway into the melted butter. Then dip them into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Set on a draining/cooling rack to set, about 5 minutes.
Serve and enjoy :)!