Donuts are usually fried. Deep frying is not my favorite way to cook, but I love donuts. So, when I came across a way to bake donuts, I was very interested. I was even more so when I found a second way.
The first came with the discovery of a donut pan. It’s like a muffin pan but the cavities are shaped like donuts. You fill them with a donut batter and bake them like muffins. They’re even a little crispy like a donut. (The recipe is fat-free; fat softens the crust.)
We sell a line of mixes for the pan but you can also make them from scratch. You’ll find a recipe further into this article.
The second was a recent discovery. In a cookbook of Middle Eastern and Eastern European recipes, I found a recipe for filled baked donuts. (I don’t recall whether the author called them “baked donuts.”) They were made with a sweetened yeasted dough and filled with a lemon-lime curd. They were round like a dinner roll.
Making both the dough and the filling from scratch was too much work. I grabbed a raised, glazed donut mix from the shelf and a pre-made lemon pastry filling. Now the prep time was very reasonable.
I served them in the store warm, rolled in butter and sugar. I was a pretty popular guy. Everyone wanted to know how to make them. They followed me through the store as I pointed out which mix I used and where the filling was. Since then, we’ve made them with different fillings.
We now sell these as a Baked Donut Kit; the mix, and a filling in lemon, raspberry, or cream. We think we have a winner.
How to Make Filled Baked Donuts
To do them our way, you will need a donut mix and a bag of pastry filling, the kind that you clip the corner and press the filling into a donut or cupcake. You can also make your filling from scratch and look for a raised, glazed donut recipe online.
If you make dinner rolls, this will be a breeze.
- Mix the dough and let it rise according to package instructions.
- Instead of cutting the dough into donut shapes, shape dough pieces into round pieces about 1 ½-inches in diameter. (See yield note below.) Form them into tight balls just as you would dinner rolls. Place them on a baking sheet spaced apart so that they have room to expand without touching. Cover the pan with a plastic sheeting or place the pan in a proofing bag.
- Let the rolls rise until very puffy. The dough is very elastic and will expand until more than doubled. Be patient. How fast they rise will depend on the room temperature. If they start to blister, just poke the blisters with a toothpick and get the pan in the oven.
- Bake at 375 degrees for ten minutes or until the rolls are a golden brown. When done, gently remove the rolls to a cooling rack. The rolls will be very soft.
- Immediately brush the rolls with melted butter using a pastry brush. The butter not only adds flavor but helps the sugar to adhere. Roll the warm rolls through granulated sugar placed in a bowl.
- Gently take a paring knife and poke a slit in the side of each roll. Snip a ¼-inch corner off the pastry filling bag. Stick the open corner in your cut slits and squeeze filling into each roll.
They are now ready to serve. If you have kids at home, brace the door.
Yield: We recommend cutting your dough into 1.3 to 1.4 ounce pieces to yield 34 to 36 nice-sized donuts. We have made them as large as 1.6 ounces.
If that is more donuts than you want to make, you can refrigerate your remaining dough for three to five days. You may also buy a smaller donut mix.
Note: Instead of rolling your donuts in sugar, you may also glaze them. In a large mixing bowl, mix 3 cups powdered sugar with 1/2 cup warm water and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth.
Note: You will have leftover filling. Fold the open corner over, put a clip on it, and store the bag in the refrigerator for up to six months. Do not freeze.
Leftover filling can be used in cupcakes, between cake layers, for stuffed French toast, between waffles, in thumbprint cookies, and in other pastries.
Frosted Spice Baked Cake Donuts
These are great spice donuts. Since you bake them instead of fry them, they have less fat and fewer calories.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
For the frosting
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a baked donut pan.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt in a large bowl.
- In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar, vanilla, milk, and melted butter.
- Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture a third at a time, stirring after each addition. Stir until the batter is smooth.
- Fill the donut cavities 2/3 full of batter. This recipe will make 12 large donuts.
- Bake for eight minutes. Cool for several minutes in the pan and then remove the donuts with a silicone spatula to completely cool on a rack.
- For the glaze, mix the water a little at a time into the powdered sugar until it is the desired consistency, adding the butter and vanilla. Frost the donuts.