Tag Archives: cinnamon

Here a donut, there a donut, wait, isn’t that a muffin?


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:

  1. Buy a regular sized doughnut pan unless you really, really want tiny, tiny doughnuts for some reason.
  2. 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.
  3. Consider using a pastry bag to squeeze your batter into the doughnut molds. This would really, really help but I don’t have one.
  4. Do not over-fill your molds! They really only need about 1 to 1.5 teaspoons to end up the proper shape.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.


Filed under other goodies

Baking out of Season

I get annoyed with myself when I make something wintery in the summer or something summery in the winter. Out-of-season ingredients tend to make me cringe and I feel guilty for not making use of the bounty available. Sometimes, though, you just have to have pumpkin pie in July.


Okay, so I didn’t make pumpkin pie. I made applesauce bread. There was a jar of applesauce in the fridge that needed to be used…and there’s still a little left in that jar. There is also still half a carton of heavy cream left after I tried to use it up in this recipe. Guess I’ll just have to bake more!

I like this recipe. I’m surprised that I like it, actually, since Paula Deen’s style is usually a little too heavy for me. I like that she only calls for 1/4 cup of sugar but, in retrospect, I think that’s because she meant for me to use sweetened applesauce. I don’t remember when I last bought sweetened applesauce.


With only 1/4 cup of brown sugar this bread is not at all sweet. It’s spicy and fruity, though, and I was happy to find that the heavy cream added plenty of richness. It was a perfectly adequate substitute for butter, and hey, compared to butter, cream is light!

Other than throwing in my needed-to-be-used cream, I also healthified the flour in this recipe. I tried graham flour, something I had only read about until I found it in the bulk bins at my local co-op. Graham flour + wheat germ turned out a grainy bread with a crumby, crunchy crust. I approve! If you don’t have graham flour, whole wheat will make a fine substitute


Applesauce Bread
Adapted from Paula Deen

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup brown sugar (add more if you want sweet!)
1 1/2 cups graham flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs
optional: 1 cup raisins, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, blend flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
In a separate, larger bowl, beat cream and sugar together until sugar dissolves.
Add eggs, beating well, then add applesauce and vanilla extract. Stir until fully combined.
Pour dry mixture into wet. Stir until well blended but do not over mix.
Fold in nuts and raisins, if using.
Pour into greased and floured 8x4x3 inch loaf pan or some combination of smaller pans (I used 2 mini loaf pans and 2 mini Bundt pans).
Bake at 350 for 60-65 minutes if using larger pan or 30 minutes for smaller pans.

Ahhh, smells like fall!

1 Comment

Filed under Bread

What is a Brown Betty?

I certainly didn’t know until I set out in search of crisp and found a betty instead.


        Breadcrumbs instead of flour and oats? Is it a dessert or a breakfast? I still haven’t figured that one out. This is what Wikipedia told me about Brown Bettys. The article says it’s a dessert, usually made with apples, that originated in colonial times. Other recipes I came across said the Brown Betty is a breakfast dish with Southern roots. I love history, especially when it relates to food!
        What drew me to this recipe was the inclusion of cinnamon raisin bread. I’ve been on kind of a cinnamon raisin bread kick recently. I love PB&J on cinnamon raisin and it’s even good for egg sandwiches! Now I know it’s also a delicious addition to baked fruit.
        I made my Brown Betty for dessert but it would make a fantastic breakfast. It’s not sickeningly sweet and all the fruit is a great way to start or end the day. I added some spices and oats to the original recipe. We enjoyed ours with vanilla ice cream, although I thought about toasting a marshmallow in the fireplace and smooshing that on top!


Gingered Pear-Apple Betty (makes 6 servings)
Adapted from Cooking Light

4 (1 oz) slices cinnamon raisin bread (I used Barowsky’s All Natural)
1/2 cup oats
2.5 cups sliced, pealed pear
2 cups sliced, peeled apple
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons crystalized ginger, chopped
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 – 1 teaspoon cinnamon, depending on taste
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Tear bread into small pieces and process in food processor until finely ground.
Mix oats and bread in a large bowl.
Combine 1 cup bread/oats, pear, apple, sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and both kinds of ginger in a bowl, stirring well.
Spoon this mixture into an oiled 11 x 7 in. baking dish.
Combine remaining bread and butter. Sprinkle over the fruit mix in the dish.
Optional: sprinkled a 1/4 cup or so of sliced almonds on top.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 40 minutes or until bubbly.
It ends up quite crispy with little to no liquid. (If you want it juicier cover it for half the baking time, then remove cover to brown the top.)


Filed under Uncategorized

Sweet and spicy curried egg sandwich


        It was always my intention to make this blog about whatever I feel inspired to cook, with and emphasis on baked goods, especially breakfast ones’s since those are my favorite! I realized yesterday that I’ve been grossly neglecting egg sandwiches. I make them for Lee almost every day and they’ve only made a couple of appearances here!
        When I ask Lee what he wants for breakfast in the morning I usually give him a few choices: Oatmeal? Smoothie? Eggs? His answer, usually: Eggs. What kind of Eggs: Omelet? One-eyed bandits? Egg sandwiches? Lee chooses egg sandwiches 75% of the time. You’d think the same old breakfast would get boring but I make sure that doesn’t happen. I’ll admit, sometimes I fall into a fried egg with green tabasco on an english muffin rut. I often add variety by incorporating last night’s leftovers or the dregs of whatever jarred condiment I want to use up. This makes for some very interesting sandwiches!
        This week, I’ve been making egg sandwiches on cinnamon raisin bread. This combination may sound weird – why put an egg on sweet bread? Well, it’s delicious. While I was doing yoga this morning I had an idea for a fabulous raisin bread combination: curry spices. Raisins and cinnamon are both common curry ingredients. Something about the warm curry spices and bites of fruit and onions really works.
        When I was done with yoga I asked Lee what he wanted for breakfast (you know what his answer was) and pulled out my sandwich arsenal: large skillet, silicon pancake/egg rings (you laugh but they’re awesome!), bowl, spatula, and whisk.


Curried Egg Sandwiches (makes 2)

2 eggs (or whatever egg/egg white combination suits you)
4 slices cinnamon raisin bread
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
Pinch of cumin
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of cinnamon
2 tablespoons chopped onions (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped apple (optional)
Chutney (optional)
Oil or butter for the skillet

Heat skillet over medium heat.
Break eggs into a bowl and beat in curry, cumin, paprika, cinnamon and onions+apples if using. Beat with whisk until eggs are well scrambled.
Get started toasting your bread, especially if the slices have to take turns in a pop-up toaster.
Spread a little oil or butter in the skillet and place the egg rings on it (if using).
Pour egg mixture into rings or straight into the skillet if you’re not using rings.
Without rings: scramble eggs like you would normally scramble eggs. I cover the pan to heat things up a bit, then stir the mixture around in the pan till everything is cooked.
For rings: fold down the handles and cover the skillet for a couple minutes. Then check to see if the eggs have firmed up enough to remove the rings. Remove rings when ready and flip the eggs. Cook briefly on the other side till eggs are fully cooked.
Plop each egg round, or half of your scramble, on a piece of toast. Top it with some chutney if you’d like, and cover with a second piece of toast.
Enjoy as part of a balanced breakfast with fruit and maybe some coffee or tea with milk!

Also, enjoy explaining what you’re cooking to the next person who enters the kitchen and says “It smells good in here!”

1 Comment

Filed under egg sandwiches