Friday, September 10, 2010

Vanilla Bean Mini Donuts

My friend Diego sent me a recipe for baked mini donuts via Twitter a few weeks ago. (Yes, I accept recipe suggestions through Twitter. Welcome to the year 2010.) The recipe was from Heather at Sprinkles Bakes and these donuts are just soooo cute that I knew I had to make them myself. An added advantage to making something mini-style is that you can eat 15 of them and not feel guilty about it. At least until you get that nasty stomachache an hour later.

The only thing stopping me now was the fact that I didn't have a mini donut pan. Which. I. Couldn't. Find. Anywhere. How is it that no major retail stores on the East Coast sell mini donut pans? OK, I confess that I didn't search that hard. Eventually I caved and purchased a pan online at It was pretty cheap and as soon as the pan came in the mail and I saw how small it was, I realized that I had made a costly mistake. The pan itself was great. But I had purchased only 1 pan. For the sake of your own sanity, I urge you to purchase at least 2 mini donut pans. 3 would be best, since this recipe yields about 5 dozen donuts.

Vanilla Bean Mini Donuts
recipe from Heather at Sprinkles Bakes
yields ~5 dozen donuts

  • 2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • Seeds from one vanilla bean
* You can make your own buttermilk by adding 1 tbsp of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk. Let the mixture stand for 5-10 minutes so that it curdles, then use the amount required.

1) Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly spray the donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2) In a large bowl, sift together all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

3) Add the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract, vanilla seeds and butter. Beat until just combined.

4) Fill each donut mold approximately 1/2 full.

5) Bake ~5 minutes or until the top of the donuts spring back when touched.

6) Let cool in pan for another 5 minutes before removing and topping with vanilla glaze.

Vanilla Glaze
  • 1 cup confectioner’ s sugar
  • ~ 1/4 cup milk**
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • several drops of liquid food coloring, if using any
** Add the milk slowly as you may need more or less of the milk, depending on how thin you want your glaze.

1) In a small bowl, stir together sugar, milk and vanilla extract until the sugar is completely dissolved.

2) Add food coloring, if using any, and stir until color is uniform.

3) Dip donuts in glaze immediately. Sprinkle on any nonpareils immediately after, as the glaze will become firm over time.

As mentioned in Heather's blog, I put the donut batter in a piping bag to help speed the donut pan-filling process. Best advice ever. Of course, after I was done, I realized that there was nonstick cooking spray all over the kitchen counters and the floor. Unfortunately this is a side effect of making numerous batches of mini donuts. On the positive side, this recipe was really easy to whip together, but as I mentioned earlier, the baking process was tedious with only 1 pan.

So, about those donuts. It really hurts my soul to say this, but I wasn't bowled over by them. The vanilla flavor shone through, but the texture of the donuts was a little dry and rubbery. I also think the dough/batter could also have used another 1/4 cup of sugar.

Well, there will be another attempt in the future. Perhaps I will find another recipe to use. I will not be conquered by the baked donut. But maybe I'll order another donut pan before I get to all that conquering.