Donuts have always been on the short list of foods I don't make at home. To me there is no need to bring a frier into the house. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy fried foods! However, I try to eat healthy to make room for all the luscious desserts I consume, and I am most definitely not afraid of butter and sugar. Also, there are some cravings that can only be satisfied by something golden-brown, crispy, and deep fried. I have always thought fried foods belong at restaurants and fairs.
So enter this recipe for baked donuts. I have been seeing donuts all over the blog-o-sphere and they looked delicious, but I knew they were not the recipes for me. I skimmed past to other confections. One day I stopped skimming because this recipe from Andie sounds trust worthy. First of all, she has a great story and tends to cook on the healthy side. Second, this was a recipe for BAKED donuts, hmmmmmm, I could get behind that. Plus, there was pumpkin!
On a recent trip to Target I was doing an excellent job sticking to my list, but you know how it is when you go to Target, you always need to buy something random, and then I saw this donut pan - Norpro 3980 12-Count Nonstick Mini Donut Pan. I thought about it and walked away. I still didn't know how I felt about making donuts at home. But then I went back and picked up the pan. Only one random purchase at Target equals a pretty successful shopping trip if I do say so myself!
I am so glad I went back and picked up that donut pan! These donuts are incredibly moist and flavorful. There is very little fat and none of it is missed. This is a cake-like donut bursting with pumpkin and spice and everything nice! I made three different topping because why not? I had the left-over salted caramel sauce in the fridge and that was my favorite topping. The salted caramel pairs perfectly with the spicy pumpkin donut. I also enjoyed the cinnamon-sugar topping, that was the most traditional. Baked donuts are easy to whip up and offer a nice variation from muffins and quick bread for breakfast treats!
Baked Pumpkin Donuts Adapted from Can You Stay for Dinner? Yield - 14 small donuts
1 3/4 cups flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 teaspoon ginger 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon cloves 1/2 teaspoon allspice 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/3 cup applesauce 3/4 cup pumpkin puree 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup milk Toppings - salted caramel, melted butter, cinnamon, sugar, powdered sugar, etc
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease your donut pan.
- Whisk together the flour, powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the sugar, applesauce, pumpkin, egg, vanilla, and milk until well combined.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined.
- Divide the batter into the greased donut pan and spread to smooth. The batter should almost fill each donut shape.
- Bake for 12 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the donuts easily slide from the pan.
- Set aside on a wire rack.
- Top as desired and eat ASAP!
- Salted caramel - Warm the jar of sauce in a pot filled halfway with water over the stovetop until the caramel is a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the donuts.
- Powdered sugar - Add about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar to a large plastic bag and add the warm donuts, shake to coat.
- Cinnamon-sugar - Melt 2 tablespoons (for 5 donuts) in a small bowl. Mix together 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon in another bowl. Dip the donuts one at a time into the butter and then into the cinnamon-sugar.