• Little pillows from heaven - aka orange & raspberry donuts which are baked, not fried. Not that you would know it as they taste so wonderful!

Little Pillows from Heaven

Those of you who’ve found my Facebook page will know last week, I rejoined the gym. Today, I went for the first time – which makes it the first time since the day before my wedding… 18 months ago. Ok, it’s not as horrendous as it sounds – I’ve bought a bike and dabbled with jogging but honestly, I’m just not an outdoorsy person. My countryside-reared, vegetable patch owning, make-do-and-mend father is so exasperated at this stiletto wearing, fancy handbag carrying, car driving city girl of his.

I’ve returned to the refuge of the gym – the workout classes to be exact. After the 12 years I spent pounding the treadmill and pumping iron on the weights before I became a Mrs, I’ve been left rather uninspired. So, spin or dance classes, it is for me, after all, what city girl doesn’t love popping on the tunes and bopping away in their room, perhaps singing loudly (and in my case, badly) into a hairbrush?

Any calories burnt go undetected by one’s “effort-ometer” and actually, it’s much less painful than running on the spot, trying not to stare at one’s muffin tops wibble-wobbling away in the mirror before you! Plus, it makes you feel you’ve actually earned the right to eat these sweet Little Pillows from Heaven

Little pillows from heaven - aka orange & raspberry donuts which are baked, not fried. Not that you would know it as they taste so wonderful!

If you are of the opinion that making your own donuts is a step too far, that it must be fraught with difficult techniques and dangerous vats of boiling fat then you sound like me! Well, the “me” until I read a recipe for baked donuts in my latest edition of Olive magazine and tried them for myself, hoping and praying that they would be as wonderful as a deep fried delight from a donut van parked in the middle of town, if not Krispy Kreme itself!

It took some time as there are two rises for this yeasted dough but any tricky moulding of the balls is eliminated by simply stamping out 5-6cm diameter soft disks with a plain scone cutter. The danger now is in the ease of making these light as a feather, sweet treats – not the in the impending doom felt by the sight of the pan of oil, perched precariously atop the hob…


The recipe does stipulate a stand mixer and a scone cutter but there the fancy equipment ends. You *could* do it by hand, but it’s very sticky dough that would be a challenge to knead by hand. I changed the method to make it more streamlined by adding the soft butter to the scalded milk and I never activate yeast as it’s simply not necessary.  I was worried, I must admit, that I’d end up with the Stone Henge of Donuts but the super soft, supremely light and airy sweet baby buns all came out of the oven looking every bit the part that they do from the ubiquitous Mr Donut van, littered across the country from what I can tell.

They did double in size again so end up about 12cm across when finished but honestly, they feel lighter than Tinkerbell. Brushing the whole lot with a mere 25g of melted butter (and I didn’t even need that much, though I was slapping it on with abandon) was another step I feared would render these buns rather too virtuous in taste but again, I was wrong! Having only ever deep fat fried once I vowed never to do it again, it was so obscenely naughty I felt guilty just placing one on my plate, I never thought I’d ever get to make my own donuts! But let me reassure you, these baked donuts taste every bit as good as deep fat fried ones, I promise.

Little pillows from heaven - aka orange & raspberry donuts which are baked, not fried. Not that you would know it as they taste so wonderful!

If you have this edition of Olive too, you’ll see that they entitle the recipe “mini jam donuts”. I have entitled my version of the recipe “Orange and Raspberry Jam Donuts”. This is not by mistake. The reason I did this was that the first taste you get as you sink your teeth into one of these sugar-coated puffs of dough is very most definitely orange. Refreshing, light, summery. Even in bleakest February. The raspberry taste of the jam comes later and you finish with the archetypical jam donut flavour. So all in all, what Olive has produced is a lighter version of a much loved old classic, adding to the flavour and texture rather than taking away from it. Which, in my opinion, is a rare thing when seeking to make a naughty treat a halo-endowed version. So, now I have a reason to go back to the gym tomorrow – to burn off enough calories that I may have another sweet pillow from heaven before I box up the remainder for a friend to collect from me later, taking sweet temptation from my path ;)


Baked Orange & Raspberry Donuts
Servings: 12
: 275 kcal
Author: Just Jo
  • 425 g strong white bread flour
  • 10 g dried yeast
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Zest of an orange
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 75 g room temp butter
  • 175 ml milk
  • 4-5 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 25 g melted butter for brushing with
  • 6 tbsp caster sugar for rolling in
  1. Pop your flour, yeast, salt, sugar, zest and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  2. Heat the milk to just below the boil then drop in your 75g butter, whisking well to combine.
  3. Start the stand mixer up to combine ingredients in the bowl on low speed - pour on the milk mixture in a steady stream.
  4. Continue to knead for 5 minutes until you have a stretchy, very thick batter (don't worry - it doesn't come together in a ball like a yeasted bread dough does).
  5. Cover with oiled cling and leave to prove for about 1 hour (just go by eye).
  6. Tip the dough onto a well floured surface and knead for about 30 seconds.
  7. Pat out to 1cm thick and use a 5-6cm plain round pastry cutter.
  8. Pop each soft disk onto a lined baking tray (I always use reusable silicone paper - "Bake-o-Glide").
  9. Cover with oiled cling once more and leave to prove again until doubled in size and fear not if they rise a little unevenly!  Baking them will sort them out!
  10. Preheat your oven to 180°C as the donuts prove.
  11. Bake for a mere 10-12 minutes in the centre of the oven until risen, puffed, very lightly golden and you can just about smell them waft out of the oven - I did mine one tray at a time (the second cooked a touch quicker in the hot oven).
  12. Once cooked, brush all over generously with the melted butter, top and bottom then carefully, toss each donut in a shallow dish filled with the caster sugar (I always use vanilla caster sugar) then leave to cool.
  13. By the time all the donuts are coated in butter & sugar you can start poking holes in them with a chopstick or thick skewer - just twirl enough to make a hole into the centre of the donut.
  14. Fill a small piping bag (or strong food bag if not) with the jam -poke the tip into the donut and squeeze until you just see the jam reach the surface (any more and it will overflow!).
Recipe Notes

These are undoubtedly best on the same day of making, which is the same for traditional deep fried donuts.

Adapted from Olive magazine

Nutrition Facts
Baked Orange & Raspberry Donuts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 275 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 46mg 15%
Sodium 176mg 7%
Potassium 77mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 43g 14%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 16g
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 5.4%
Vitamin C 0.7%
Calcium 2.9%
Iron 2.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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By | 2018-02-19T19:49:24+00:00 February 23rd, 2012|Categories: Bread, Home Baking, Sweet Treats, Weekend Baking|Tags: , , , , , |32 Comments


  1. Lorna Buffey 23/02/2012 at 10:01 - Reply


    • jobakes 23/02/2012 at 10:04 - Reply

      Go for it Lorna, they are soooo good! And you could get inventive with the fillings too…

  2. Ann Koekepan 23/02/2012 at 10:05 - Reply

    must certainly try these! But can’t you stop blogging for a month or so? I can’t get all my wish to do things done ;-) Joking, just love your blog and keep it coming the nice, easy, tasty food Jo.

    • jobakes 23/02/2012 at 10:08 - Reply

      Lol, well the next post won’t involve a recipe Ann, stay tuned for why not ;)…

  3. thePatternedPlate 23/02/2012 at 10:11 - Reply

    Oh kill me now, kill.me.now………..hmmm, wonder if I can use coconut??? :-P I also hate deep frying and besides, fit do you do with the fat leftover?? I am SOOO going to give this a try!

    Lovely post Jodie :-))

    • jobakes 23/02/2012 at 10:30 - Reply

      I so reckon you could Carrie! Why not make up 175ml of that coconut milk powder and use in place of the milk? Maybe I’ll do them for Annette’s birthday (the coconut fiend I mentioned the other day!). Plus, I’m delighted if slightly immodest to say I think mine turned out as good as the ones in the magazine pictures :)

      • thePatternedPlate 23/02/2012 at 11:47 - Reply

        I love your idea of orange and rasp. Wonder if orange and chocolate would work? Or lemony ones with lemon curd in the middle? Cinnamon and apple puree?

        • jobakes 23/02/2012 at 11:52 - Reply

          All of the above Carrie! They suggest nutella or lemon curd but I’d probably leave out the orange in the former, though I’m not convinced it would be altogether bad….

        • jobakes 23/02/2012 at 11:53 - Reply

          Actually, you could do an assortment of jams and curds and have a Russian roulette of donuts for a crowd! It would be a fantastic way to use up half open jars plus imagine how cute if you used, say, the 3cm cutter??? :D

          • thePatternedPlate 23/02/2012 at 11:59

            I was thinking that! I was thinking that this would make a lovely hostess gift and if the post had come a day earlier I would have made it for tonight, but no time now! But that just means i have it ALL for myself! Muwahaa!

  4. Cap 23/02/2012 at 10:16 - Reply

    Wow. I love. Have no words. Need one now! Good thing I’ve scheduled a nice meeting with my zumba dvds today. Might get me thinking of other things. And if not, I’ve burnt enough calories to bake!

    • jobakes 23/02/2012 at 10:32 - Reply

      Well, the calorie content per donut is quite low and as I’ve said, they puff up to actually be rather large. So you totally can have one, after your Zumba DVD of course ;). I’m going to try Zumba once my muscles stop throbbing from yesterday’s class!

  5. bettybobkin 23/02/2012 at 10:52 - Reply

    Oh, I do indeed have that recipe, courtesy of the same Olive offer at the GFS of course ! They sound deeee-vine !

    • jobakes 23/02/2012 at 11:54 - Reply

      I was thinking of you and the girls Liz when I wrote that. These certainly are a real winner – my first Olive recipe is a success!

  6. Thanh @ eat, little bird 23/02/2012 at 13:16 - Reply

    Ooh these look delicious!!! What beautiful-looking donuts!! I adore donuts :-) I don’t think I have ever tried baked donuts so I would be curious to try this recipe. That said, deep-frying the donuts is not that scary but I do wonder what the difference is in the fat content between baked and fried? Whichever way you make them, there is something to be said for the satisfaction of making your own donuts at home :-)

    • jobakes 23/02/2012 at 13:25 - Reply

      Thanh I was thinking of you and your donut post whilst I made these. I think the deep fried ones must be much worse fat wise – I’m sure Krispy Kreme donuts are in the 500 calorie a donut realm – gasp! :O. Of course, these are still a luxurious rich treat but when something tastes so good and you know has far less calories than the commercially available variety, how can you not make them? ;)

  7. frugalfeeding 23/02/2012 at 18:26 - Reply

    I prefer not to use a gym anyway – I value fresh air :D. Never been to the gym in my life and I’m pretty fit :D. But, whatever works! These look really wonderful and I love the title of the post :D

    • jobakes 23/02/2012 at 18:44 - Reply

      If you make these, you’ll see why I called them that Frugal – a lil piece of heaven on earth! And go you! I totally get that’s it’s me weird who doesn’t like the outdoors, I know one can be very fit without seeing a gym. I’m just a big softie pants city lass ;)

  8. Nicola 23/02/2012 at 21:17 - Reply

    They really do look amazing! I bought this copy of Olive but I haven’t looked at it yet. I once made doughnuts years ago and my boys keep asking me when are we going to make them again. I might just give these a go soon xx

    • jobakes 23/02/2012 at 21:19 - Reply

      It really as a good issue Nic – I’ve ear marked another baking recipe for another day too ;). Buying magazines feels like I’m cheating on my “no more books” policy but I can’t help it – I love them so much!

  9. At Anna's Kitchen table 24/02/2012 at 14:46 - Reply

    Jo, I keep looking at these and marveling at how ridiculously good they look, how much they look ‘like the real thing’ but better!
    I’m not going to make them though, at least not for the time being. I really couldn’t trust myself with them.

    Btw, I LOVE how the recipe is PDF, with your designs across the top, it looks so great!

    • jobakes 24/02/2012 at 17:17 - Reply

      No one was more surprised than me when these lil babies worked so very well Anna! When you feel brave enough not to inhale them straight from the oven (like moi!) then you must try them! They are devious lil buggers who will ruin your hard work, if you let them mind ;).

      And merci beaucoup about the recipes! This was one of the struggles when I was redesigning and custom upgrading my site. I’m really happy with it now, just minor tweaks to do as and when :)

  10. thePatternedPlate 26/02/2012 at 09:45 - Reply

    Jodie! As you know I made these, and I just had to comment on your blog! I cannot believe how utterly easy these were and your instructions and descriptions were true to form. It was really rather effortless, particularly if you have a KA> And the texture! Fluffy, holey, light, perfumed with orange, not too sweet, altogether utterly divine!!! I cannot get over how good these are! You have made my Sunday morning!!!

    • jobakes 26/02/2012 at 19:15 - Reply

      I’m so delighted you loved them so much hunny, your photos certainly were beautiful. I love how you played with the recipe to make different flavours too. Thank you for coming back to comment – this recipe is too good not to share!

  11. Villy 27/02/2012 at 10:05 - Reply

    And when I was feeling safe NOT being able to bake donuts at home, there you go and show me that maybe I can! They look irresistible!

    • jobakes 27/02/2012 at 10:22 - Reply

      They certainly irressistible Villy, mwuahaha! ;)

  12. Sandra@the foodie affair 27/02/2012 at 17:09 - Reply

    Wow, look at those little beauties. My favorite are custard filled donuts. I may be in BIG yummy trouble with a homemade recipe!

    • jobakes 27/02/2012 at 19:46 - Reply

      Sandra these would be fantastic filled with custard! Go on, give it a try and let me know how it goes ;)

  13. Indigo Scones 19/06/2012 at 18:27 - Reply

    Ahhh! These look so fantastic!! The first time I tried to make fried yeasted doughnuts, they were a fail :( Sooo…you might’ve just made my life…
    How do you think these would hold up with whipped cream and a chocolate glaze? I’m not a huge custard person.

    • Jo Blogs 19/06/2012 at 19:15 - Reply

      I know for a fact my friend made coconut ones glazed with chocolate so that but works beautifully! I think you would need to whip the cream stuffer than if you were serving it *as is* to get it into the donut but I see no reason why not. Give it a whirl – loads of folk have fiddled and done all kinds of loveliness to them and they worked great :D

  14. Mandy C 04/06/2017 at 13:33 - Reply

    Oh, I am totally making these!

    • Just Jo 05/06/2017 at 07:05 - Reply

      I hope you do Mandy! It’s an easy recipe to halve if you don’t need all twelve x

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