Have you ever tried to make homemade cake doughnuts? Not the yeast kind… the cake kind? Well, I tried to last weekend and it was a disaster. I had dough stuck to my hands. Stuck to the counter. I did manage to squeak out a few doughnuts, but they ended up with crusty outsides and doughy, sticky insides. I was really frustrated, disappointed and ultimately donutless. But, I’m pretty sure I know what went wrong.
- When recipes say generously flour your surface… They mean it
- When recipes say heat oil to 365 degrees. They mean it. (But, in my defense, I didn’t have an oil thermometer and the oil looked hot.)
So this weekend, I gave it another go… and with much better results. Not perfect, but much better.
The dough was really sticky on both attempts, so I was sure something was wrong. But this time, I generously floured everything around… the surface, the rolling pin, my hands, me. I sprinkled flour on top of flour determined to make the dough workable.
And it worked. I was able to roll out the dough and cut circle shapes for the doughnuts. I don’t have a doughnut cutter, so I used two different size circle cutters. One about 3 inches wide and the other about 1 inch wide. Looks pretty good, huh?!
Not so fast. Ugh! I guess I still didn’t use enough flour because I couldn’t get them to come away from the surface.
Frustrated, again… I just took the dough in my hand and formed doughnut patties and I used the small cutter to remove the centers while still holding the dough. (Hey, it worked.)
Eventually, though, I got it down and was able to turn out some really pretty ones that I could even pick up. Yay!
They went in the oil when the temperature was right.
And I knew just when that would be because of my handy dandy new oil thermometer. It definitely makes a difference.
See. Doughnuts. (applause, here)
The best thing about doughnuts? The scraps.
You can fry them, too. Cover them in powdered sugar and it almost makes it worth all the trouble.
You can also make a glaze and dip the tops of your doughnuts.
Sprinkles don’t hurt either.
Yum! And definitely not doughy inside. They were really pretty good. Maybe a tiny bit dry… or maybe I left them in the oil too long.
But, I’m not going to find out.
It was fun trying something new, but the next time I want doughnuts, I’ll be hitting up my local Dunkin’ Donuts for some chocolate glazed munchkins… and maybe a few blueberry ones for kicks.
Here’s the recipe I concocted after researching multiple ones for cake doughnuts in case you want to improve on it.
Slightly Dry Cake Doughnuts
4.5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
4 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk*
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
- Beat eggs in a medium bowl until frothy. Add sugar and continue beating until combined.
- In another bowl, combine melted butter, milk and vanilla.
- Add the milk mixture to the egg mixture and stir until combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture stir until combined.
- Chill the dough for about 30 minutes to make it easier to work with. (Ha!)
- Generously flour your work surface and roll dough out about 1/4 inch thick.
- Use a doughnut cutter or two circle cutters (1 and 3 inch) to cut out shapes.
- Heat about 2 quarts oil (about 3 inchees deep) in a large, heavy pot to about about 360 degrees.
- Fry 1-2 doughnuts at a time about a minute on each side. (I didn’t actually time this, but it wasn’t too long)
- Remove and place on a paper towel-lined tray.
- When cool, sprinkle powdered sugar or dip them in a vanilla glaze.
- Makes 12 doughnuts and 12 doughnut holes.
* Most of the recipes called for a cup of milk. I dropped it back thinking the dough was too wet, but it probably needs it for the moistness if you can figure out how to work with the dough. :)
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
3-5 Tbsp milk
- With a mixer, mix sugar and butter.
- Add vanilla
- Add milk one tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
P.S. Here’s what happens when you don’t own an oil thermometer. Doughnut disaster!