When I’m working with a shaped pan, like the Wilton Doughnut Twist Pan, I will often start out working with the recipe that comes on the packaging. These recipes are usually tasty and are always formulated to fit the pan, so there is no guesswork involved in trying out the recipe. The recipes are also a good jumping off point for making changes to a recipe easily because it gives you a basic formula that you know will work with the pan without making too much (or too little batter). This is exactly what I did with the Donut Twist Pan: I took the recipe on the back of the box, tried it and tried my own twist on it.
The recipe for baked crullers is simple, muffin-type recipe that is enriched with buttermilk to ensure that the crullers have a tender crumb and a moist interior. The original recipe has a few hints of spice added to it, but after playing around with it a little bit, I decided to make mine all vanilla. I omitted all of the spices, added additional vanilla extract and used homemade vanilla sugar to finish off my donuts. You can glaze the crullers with a glaze made with confectioners sugar and milk (or water), but since I like real donuts that are rolled in sugar, I rolled my baked crullers in sugar, too. This gives the crullers a crisp, sweet outer layer that is surprisingly similar to that of a fried donut.
This recipe is designed to work with Wilton’s Doughnut Twist Pan. If you don’t have one, you could use another type of baked donut pan or even a muffin pan, filling each cavity up about 2/3 full with batter. Brush your baked goods with a little butter, roll them in sugar and you’ll definitely be happy with the results of the baked donuts.
Baked Vanilla Crullers
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar (or vanilla sugar)
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup vanilla sugar
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a Doughnut Twist Pan.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk. Stir in remaining flour mixture and mix only until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Do not overmix.
Divide batter evenly into prepared pan.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed. Allow to cool in pan for 2 minutes.
Turn donuts out of the pan one at a time. Immediately brush each with melted butter (using a pastry brush or silicone barbecue baster) and roll in vanilla sugar. Place on a wire rack to cool completely before serving.
Note: If you don’t have vanilla sugar for the topping, and don’t want to make any, add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract to your melted butter when preparing the topping to add a little more vanilla and just use regular sugar.