A simple yet spectacular sweet treat!
I had no idea just how easy it was to make doughnuts until I bought a doughnut pan at my local kitchenware store. Baked doughnuts are great because they don’t involve the fuss and mess of deep frying. In fact, they’re as fast and easy as muffins and the possibilities really are endless. My first recipe was these scrumptious maple-glazed sour cream doughnuts and next up I am definitely going to go chocolate. This brown butter (beurre noisette) version, adapted from Joy the Baker’s great recipe, has a whole lot of flavour thanks to the nuttiness of the cooked butter and the gentle hint of cardamom. I love them with glaze and sprinkles, but you could also brush them with more browned butter and roll in cinnamon and sugar if you prefer.
For the Doughnuts:
- 1/3 cup salted butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom or nutmeg
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the glaze:
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease standard sized doughnut pan with oil or cooking spray (even if the pan is labelled as non-stick, a little oil is still a good idea and will aid with browning).
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. It will make crackling and popping sounds at first but once the water in the butter has evaporated it will just bubble gently as it begins to turn brown. Swirl the pan occasionally and watch it closely – as soon as it is light brown and has taken on a nutty aroma, take the pan off the heat and pour the browned butter into a small heatproof bowl.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom or nutmeg, and sugar. Set aside.
- In another small bowl whisk together egg, milk and vanilla. Add the browned butter and whisk to blend then pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir with a large spoon or rubber scraper until all the flour has been incorporated but do not overmix (it’s okay if the mixture looks a little lumpy as long as you can’t see white bits of flour).
- Spoon the batter into a large ziplock bag. Seal the bag then make a half inch (1.25 cm) snip in one corner (to turn it into a piping bag). Smoothly pipe enough into each compartment of the doughnut pan to fill each one 3/4 full.
- Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 4 – 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack, using a small rubber spatula to coax the doughnuts out if they are a bit stuck. Wipe the pan clean and re-grease before refilling with remaining batter.
- While the doughnuts are baking, make the glaze.
- To make the glaze, in a medium bowl whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla and milk until the mixture is very smooth and of a thick but pourable consistency. If desired, divide the glaze into two or three small, shallow bowls and tint with food colouring.
- Once the doughnuts are completely cooled, give the glaze a quick stir then dip the doughnuts into the bowl(s) topside-down (the tops will be less crumby than the bottoms) into the glaze. Return to the wire rack and add sprinkles, if using. Allow to set for about 30 minutes before serving.
- Store any remaining doughnuts in an airtight container; they are best eaten within 2 days of making them.
Makes 18 delectable doughnuts; recipe can easily be halved.