Ah, donuts. A delight, however they come. From fair grounds to vans dotted about city centres, from my early memories of McDonalds cinnamon ring donuts to the later discovery of the absurdly hedonistic Krispy Kremes; deep fried or baked – there is a place in my life for all forms of this sweet treat.
As much as I adore the full fat, deep fried versions you can buy cooked to order as you want them, deep frying is something I have only done three or four times in my whole life and I would want a crowd around me if I were to deep fry my own so that the pillows from heaven can go straight from oil to sugar to rack for the briefest moment to hungry, salivating mouthes whilst still warm.
A donut party is a happy thought is it not? Until then, these baby baked ring donuts will more than do.
The inspiration for this recipe came from first spotting this post about how to make your own pumpkin pie spice. I love Selma’s blog – it is beautifully shot and lovely to read. Well worth a follow. Now being English, pumpkin pie is not part of our baking tradition and I will hesitantly admit I’m not keen on the idea of the pie (it’s a textural thing) but the spice, oh yes please – gimme all that glorious spice.
Selma changed clove for cardamom and I am quite sure they are many more blends to chose from either store bought or homemade so use whichever you like best. I grind my own spices for lots of things and find pre-roasting them gently before grinding gives the best flavour. Here’s my version of her spice mix:
Next up in the inspiration stakes was the mini donut mould I bought at a food show last year from the lovely Jemma of Iced Jems – I got to meet the lass herself and she is lovely and adorable. I highly recommend her shop and blog (how fantastic that she uses her own shop products to create recipes for us to try?) – do check her out here. I wish I’d bought two to make this a quicker process but I give you instructions on how to bake these donuts using only one in the recipe.
To ensure a moist little mouthful, I used sour cream and some rapeseed oil in the batter, reserving the melted butter to brush on the freshly baked donuts so you get all the texture and all the flavour you possibly can. There are a lot of mini donut moulds out there on the market and mine are a silicone mould measuring 6cm across each donut. The only important thing to remember when you make yours, no matter the size, do not overfill with batter. Fill to no more than half full and the batter will rise without overhang and without losing the characteristic hole of a ring donut.
You can do it by spooning but it’s much more fiddly – a piping bag with the end snipped off, no need for fancy nozzles, is the way to go. If you can’t get or don’t want to make your own pumpkin pie spice blend, know that ground cinnamon is a great alternative (I am obsessed with cinnamon so of course, I would say that – see my homemade Cinnabons for further evidence) or if you like, ground cardamom even a chai latte spice blend would be in the same flavour family.
Whatever you choose, just get on and whip up this super easy, crowd-pleasing recipe – deep fat fryers, your name is not on the list, you’re not coming in.
- 80 g sour cream
- 90 ml vegetable/rapeseed oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200 g self raising flour
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 110 g caster sugar
- 30 g butter melted
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
Beat the sour cream, oil, vanilla and egg together in one bowl.
Whisk together the flour, spice and caster sugar in another.
Combine the two together and stir until just combined – like for muffins, a little lumpy is the best as you don’t want to over work the batter.
Spoon into a piping bag and cut an opening about 1.5 cm wide.
Spray your donut pan with oil and pipe in just enough batter to fill the moulds half way up – any more and the hole will disappear on baking. My donut mould holes are 6 cm across and each “tray” (they are silicone, not tin) has 8 donuts each.
Place the donut mould on a baking sheet if yours is silicone too and bake in an oven preheated to 180°C for approximately 12 minutes
If you only have one “tin”, rest the baked donuts for a couple of minutes only before turning gently out onto a baking rack – they are small enough to cool and firm up quickly. A quick spritz with a touch more oil and you are good to bake the second batch but this can take up to 2 minutes less because the tin and the oven are hot. Do check them at 10 minutes – they are don when risen and spring back when gently poked.
Put your caster sugar and spice in a small cup or bowl and whisk to mix thoroughly.
Melt the butter, paint each mini donut on all surfaces with it and roll in the cup of sugar – shaking the cup then flipping the donut is a good technique to ensure it is coated nicely. You can do this as soon as they are cool enough to handle – about 5 minutes for asbestos hands me, maybe 10 if you are less thick skinned.
These baby donuts are best eaten within 24 hours of baking.
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