I used to have a thing for baked doughnuts. You see, previously, I never knew doughnuts are typically fried, so the whole idea of baking them seemed quite the revelation. Bursting to life with the kiss of heat.. actually rising! I know, she never knew? Alright, simmer down. I tested this recipe 3 times and each time yielded a perfectly risen, fluffy, sweet set of 6 little doughnuts. They’re almost bite-sized, yet nothing overly indulgent (but I guess if you pile on the glaze…).
Some of you are probably thinking: Oops, I don’t have a doughnut pan. Therefore, I cannot make baked doughnuts, no matter how good they look. I’ll pass, thanks. I mean, who would want to buy a doughnut pan just to make these, right? I already have a 9×9-inch baking pan, so isn’t that good enough for practically any occasion?
Goodness, I know exactly how you feel. You’re practically echoing my years-long mindset, that is, before I decided to set out and buy a doughnut pan. It’s no big deal, my dear friend, just pop into the nearest baking supply store in your neighbourhood, grab a doughnut pan (I got a simple 6-doughnut baby), come home, make this recipe, and you’ll be as happy as a clueless gob in no time. It won’t take you long, I promise, be it driving to the supply store or making doughnuts. No really, they take no time at all to make, for it’s really just a matter of having a bowl for your dry ingredients, one for the wet ingredients, a whisk and a spoon. You could go ahead and embark on the real deal, with litres of oil and a deep pan for frying, but if you’re pressed for time, these guys will do just the trick. Out in less than 20 minutes. The flavour combinations are exciting, diverse, ever-expanding. After standardising a recipe, I decided the addition of maple syrup to the wet ingredients would make for something a little more seductive– not sickly sweet, but with an overtone of toffee. I improvised 2 glazes– one is a cream cheese maple glaze, the other is cream cheese and salted caramel. The one you see below is the salted caramel version, and the version above is smothered in cream cheese divinity. I love improvs. I really do.
Maple Syrup Baked Doughnuts (makes 6)
125g all-purpose flour, or you can use half whole-wheat
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
30g melted unsalted butter
120g caster sugar
50g plain yoghurt
60ml (quarter cup) milk of your choice; I used whole
2 tbsp (30ml) maple syrup
Preheat your oven to 177C (350F) and position the rack in the middle. Spray your doughnut pan lightly with cooking spray, and then wipe each well with a paper towel so nothing is too greasy. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt) together well, for around half a minute. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (egg, melted butter, yoghurt, milk, maple syrup). Pour the wet mixture into the dry one, and using a big spoon, mix until everything just comes together. The mix should not be too thick or too wet. A flick of the hand using medium pressure will allow the mix to drop easily from the spoon. Using two large spoons or a piping bag, pipe/dispense the mix into each doughnut mold. Fill each mold until it’s just about full.
Bake for 15-16 minutes (mine took 16 minutes), until they’ve risen and turned a lovely golden on top. In the meantime, try out one of these glazes:
Cream cheese maple glaze
80g softened cream cheese (you can use the spreadable sort, or microwave a block in bursts of half a minute until it is spreadable)
50g icing sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
if needed, a splash of milk
Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl, and place in the fridge to cool whilst the doughnuts bake.
Salted caramel cream cheese glaze
25g softened cream cheese
3 heaped tablespoons of salted caramel (I used store-bought, but you can make your own. I made a lovely one last year and should put up a recipe for it soon)
50g icing sugar
large pinch of fine salt
half tablespoon milk
Whisk all the ingredients together thoroughly in a small bowl. Add or subtract the icing sugar, salt and salted caramel according to taste.
So quick, so do-able, so good.