Among the many kitchen goodies I acquired thanks to our wedding gift card bounty was a mini doughnut pan. I’d seen the baked doughnut hype all over the blogosphere and I wasn’t about to miss out on the fun! You don’t need a doughnut pan to bake versions of these traditionally fried goodies. There are plenty of yeast-raised recipes out there that call for cutting out doughnut shapes and baking them on a cookie sheet. That variation is next on my list of doughnuts to make!
I opted for a mini doughnut pan because I was afraid full-sized doughnuts would just be too much. If you must know, I haven’t eaten a doughnut in…years, and the thought of one, even a baked one, kind of sends me over the edge. I figured that mini doughnuts would be slightly less scary and allow for easier portion control. Plus, their cute!
I perused many doughnut recipes to christen my pan but in the end the one on the package seemed like a logical starting place. I’d start simple. The batter game together easily and none of the ingredients were that extreme (a tiny amount of butter and reasonable amount of sugar). I used whole wheat pastry flour and it worked beautifully. I also ditched the vanilla glaze called for on the package in favor of simple cinnamon and sugar, which was by far my favorite doughnut topping back in the day.
Batter mixed, pan oiled, oven pre-heated – I was ready! Wait, how am I supposed to get the batter into these tiny doughnut molds?
I spooned in batter a tiny bit at a time, quickly discovering that getting the stuff in there was a time consuming task if I didn’t want to just glop batter over what was supposed to form the hole in my doughnuts. Along the way, I also realized that I was totally overfilling the molds. Oh well, I thought, we’ll just see what happens.
What do you think happened? I made mini muffins with holes in the bottom! Yay! They were certainly cute, especially with cinnamon sugar on top, but they were certainly not doughnuts.
Okay, mini doughnuts, take two: I had a little less than half the batter left so I scaled back on my mold filling. This time it looked like a more reasonable amount. I also tried dusting the tops of a couple doughnuts with cinnamon sugar before baking.
The result? Donuts! When removed the doughnuts from the pan they were still a little over-puffed and fat on top (what I made the bottom) but I dredged them in topping and sampled some. I give the doughnut taste and texture an 8 out of 10. The nutmeg, the spongy cake, the spic, sweet topping – it’s all there. While my doughnuts may be a little asymmetrical, they are hard to resist!
Based on my mixed experience with my mini doughnut pan I have this advice:
- Buy a regular sized doughnut pan unless you really, really want tiny, tiny doughnuts for some reason.
- If you insist on going small, get two mini doughnut pans. Then you can make a full recipe (this recipe was supposed to make 24 doughnuts) without having to refill the same pan.
- Consider using a pastry bag to squeeze your batter into the doughnut molds. This would really, really help but I don’t have one.
- Do not over-fill your molds! They really only need about 1 to 1.5 teaspoons to end up the proper shape.
- This recipe says it makes 24 doughnuts but really it would make 24 mini muffins with doughnut bottoms. Consider halving the recipe if you only have one pan.
- If you spray the doughnut molds with oil (which you should), then the part that was in the mold will stick to sugar toppings without additional butter dredging, as is often called for.
- Make doughnuts, whatever shape they are and however you make them. They are GOOD!
Baked Mini Cake Doughnuts (From Wilton Mini Doughnut Pan)
Makes 24 mini doughnuts
1 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Spray Mini Doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray
In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt.
Add buttermilk, egg, and butter.
Stir until just combined.
Fill each doughnut cup approximately half full.
Bake 4-6 minutes, of until the tops of the doughnuts spring back when touched.
Let cool in pan 4-5 minutes before removing.
Finish with topping of your choice (glaze + sprinkles or cinnamon sugar, or something else!). You may need to brush a little butter on your doughnuts to get sugar to stick.
I didn’t use this glaze but here’s the recipe in case you want to try it.
Vanilla Glaze ( also from Wilton Mini Doughnut Package)
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Stir all ingredients together until sugar is completely dissolved.
Use immediately to glaze doughnuts.