I bought a mini donut pan many, many months ago and it has been sitting in my pantry ever since. I wanted the pan because it was so cute, but when it comes down to the time to make a donut – which isn’t all that often in the first place – I usually opt to go for fried donuts and take a few extra calories with my cake. But the pan is so cute it that i finally tempted me into trying out baked mini donuts in it.
Baked donuts don’t quite have the crisp crust of fried donuts, but the dough that you ends up delivering a donut with a similar consistency and flavor to a plain cake donut. They’re easy to make, easier to eat and lots of fun to decorate because they provide a great excuse to use up all kinds of sprinkles!
This recipe bakes into a batch of donuts that is not too sweet on their own, but absolutely perfect when iced. The texture is somewhere between a regular donut and a muffin, as they don’t have the fried exterior, but they’re moist and satisfying all the same. I think that they’re best on the day that they’re made because that is when they are at their most donut-like; they will keep well for 2-3 days in an airtight container, but become more moist and muffiny over time. These little donuts are too small to fill with jelly or anything like that, so I finished them off with some glaze and sprinkles. If you’re motivated, melt some chocolate and dunk the donuts in for chocolate-glazed mini donuts!
Baked Mini Donuts
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
Lightly grease a mini donut pan (you could also bake these in a mini muffin pan if you don’t mind the lack of a hole in your donuts).
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together brown sugar, egg and melted butter until mixture is smooth. Beat in vanilla extract, then half of the flour mixture. Mix in the buttermilk, followed by the remaining flour. Stir only until all ingredients are combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain visible. Scoop batter into a quart or gallon-sized plastic bag and chill for 1-2 hours, or overnight if you want to prep the donuts the night before.
Preheat the oven to 325F and remove the bag from the refrigerator after batter has chilled.
Snip the corner off of the plastic bag and pipe batter into mini donut cavities, filling each about 2/3 full.
Bake for 9 minutes, until cake springs back when lightly pressed. (For regular-sized donuts in a larger donut pan, bake 12-15 minutes)
Turn donuts out to cool on a wire rack. Dip tops of donuts in glaze when donuts are completely cooled and decorate with sprinkles, sugar, spices or anything else you can think of.
Allow glaze to set for at least 1 hour before storing, or just eat and enjoy!
Makes about 18 mini donuts.
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tsp milk
Whisk all ingredients together in a small, shallow bowl, adding milk as necessary to make the glaze thick enough to stick easily to the donuts. If it becomes too thin, simply add a bit more confectioners’ sugar.