I love doughnuts. There is nothing better than a perfect fresh doughnut and nothing worse than a disappointing, stale doughnut. I love the variety of doughnuts: glazed, cake, cream-filled, jam-filled, fritters. And let’s not even get started on the flavors, of which there seems to be no limit.
The only other thing that depresses me about doughnuts is the calorie count. Sometimes it’s worth splurging (see VooDoo Doughnuts in Portland — the magic is in the hole and boy do they mean it). But too often, you bite into the old and stale doughnut, are filled with disappointment, but must finish because children are starving somewhere in the world and America wastes so much food and you feel bad throwing out a doughnut just because it’s not up to your standards. Oh first world guilt, you bizarre mistress.
Anyhow, my solution? Baked doughnuts, of course! Avoiding the fryer significantly cuts down on the calories and the resulting doughnut is soft, delectable, and quick. The day I decided to make doughnuts, I churned out 76 of them in an afternoon. I couldn’t help it. I sent 36 of them to my work and 36 of them to my husband’s work and they were all gone by the end of the day. Even the more adventurous ones (lemon lavender!) got a thumb’s up from my students, who are often my taste-testers.
Make these doughnuts on a cloudy day. Make them on a sunny day. Make them every day you want a treat, because they are delicious and perfect and require making regularly. Makes about 16-19 per batch.
Delicious Oven-Baked Doughnuts
- 2 2/3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup milk (the 1/4 is reserved for the glaze)
- 1-2 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tbsp of the reserved milk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract for vanilla cupcakes
- food coloring (optional)
Note: for a variety of flavors, experiment with the milk. For chai latte doughnuts and a gentle flavor, warm the milk on the stove and add 4-5 bags of chai tea. Allow to steep until the milk is a delightful light creamy brown. Then add to recipe. The same is true for lavender, but strain the milk before adding to the recipe. To make it lemon lavender, add a teaspoon of lemon extract with the vanilla extract or zest a lemon into the recipe. For plain vanilla, up the content of the vanilla extract.
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
3. If making flavored doughnuts, heat your milk to a low boil in a pot (if using lavender, put lavender in at the beginning, only a few teaspoons). If making tea-flavored milk, remove from heat and allow tea to steep until the milk turns a light creamy brown. When removing tea bags, squeeze them out over the milk using tongs to get as much flavor as possible. Do be careful, though, as they will be hot!
4. In a separate bowl, mix together with a hand mixer the melted butter, oil, and sugar until smooth.
5. Beat in each egg individually then the vanilla extract and zest if you’re making lemon doughnuts.
6. Add in the flour mixture and the milk. Starting with the flour, alternate between the two, the milk being added in two portions and the flour in three, ending with the flour. Mix until just combined.
7. Spoon into greased doughnut pans. Really. Spoon.
8. Bake for about 7-8 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
9. When cool, mix the glaze ingredients together in a bowl, adding more powdered sugar if it’s too thin or more milk if it’s too thick.
10. Frost your doughnuts by dipping them in the glaze. Add sprinkles, if you want, which I always do!