I love donuts.
I always have, and always will. Glazed, cake, cream-filled, or plain – I don’t discriminate. I love them all.
You know what else I love?
I have cupboards and cupboards full of kitchen gadgets – mini treat makers, specialty pans, novelty food creators, and both major and minor appliances. Some get a healthy workout (ie my ice cream maker), while others just sort of sit there unhappy and dejected, like an old childhood toy that has been long replaced with something newer and cooler (cake pop maker…I’m talking to you).
This year, I promised myself (and my better half), that I would refrain from adding to the Kitchen Collection Store that is our home, and instead focus on consolidating the piles what we currently have.
Things were going great when one night, my good friend Pinterest showed me something that would jeopardize my newfound sobriety:
A Donut Pan.
This donut pan thing seemed like the perfect marriage of my love for both donuts and kitchen gadgets. Better yet, it would enable me to make donuts at home anytime I wanted, without the fried, oil-splattered-for-days mess.
I knew as soon as I saw this thing that I needed to have it in my gadet arsenal.
But, I also knew it would also take a major sales pitch on my part to convince my fiancé that we needed this pan in our lives, let alone our cabinets, which were already chock-full of useful (and useless) culinary items.
Immediately, I began formulating my strategy, and approached my fiancé with marked caution. The conversation went a little something like this:
Me: So you know how we wanted to try to be healthier this year and eat better and exercise and all that?
Him: <suspicious look>
Me: Well, there’s this donut pan…
Him: <Eye roll, low grumbling sound> Here we go.
Me: No, listen! It makes donuts and you bake them so they are healthier than the fried ones and they are really cute and it would be fun to be able to bake donuts for our house guests and –
Him: Absolutely not. (Proceeds to point at gloomy Corner of Misfit Gadgets collecting dust in the kitchen).
Me: But –
Feeling as dejected as my poor cake pop pan, I began formulating my back up plan (ie, my donut-loving, super sweet future father in law who also happens to have a penchant for kitchen gadgets).
After casually mentioning my fiancé’s callous indifference for my latest kitchen endeavor, my wonderful FIL instantly took pity.
“I’ll get you a donut pan, sweetheart.”
(I knew he’d understand!)
A few days later, do you know what arrived at my doorstep? Not one, but two donut pans, just begging to fill my house with circular little treats.
(I know, I’m spoiled!)
For my inaugural batch, I actually ended up making two kinds of donuts. I had my heart set on lemon, but my partner in crime loves chocolate. So, I made both!
So, I got to work, expecting one kind to be the clear winner over the other. Well, I was wrong – both were phenomenal. Instantly, the ROI on my donut pan skyrocketed, and my Belly Monster was quivering with happiness. (I chose to go the lemon route for this post because I was in dire need of some sunshine, but stay tuned for the chocolate one later on!)
These donuts are everything you would want them to be: light and fluffy with a fresh lemony flavor – the perfect pick-me-up for those of us suffering from the winter blues. Plus, they have buttermilk in them (and when is that ever not a good thing?)
Run, don’t walk, to your nearest computer and order a donut pan. You wont be sorry! I think even the largest of skeptics will say it’s worth the money (and shelf space).
Special thanks to my loving Pops, the only one who truly understands my kitchen gadget addiction 🙂
Happy scooping! And…donut baking.
Baked Lemon Donuts
Adapted from The Corner Kitchen
Yield: 12 donuts
You will need:
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered (aka confectioners) sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (or, to taste)
2 tablespoons milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the donut pan (nonstick cooking spray works great!) and set aside.
2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set asie. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, buttermilk, egg, lemon juice, zest and vanilla; add to dry ingredients and mix into a smooth batter (will be the consistency of pancake batter).
3. Spoon batter into a resealable plastic bag or pastry bag and pipe into the prepared donut pan. Treat the donut pan as you would a cupcake pan and only fill until ½ of the way full (donuts will rise and if you use too much batter, the cute hole in the middle will disappear and you’ll end up with a strange muffin-looking thing.). Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into donut comes out clean, about 13-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on rack for a few minutes. Carefully turn donuts out directly onto rack and cool fully.
For the glaze:
1. Whisk together powdered sugar, lemon zest & juice, and milk until smooth. Add additional milk if you like a thinner glaze (I did!) When donuts are cooled, dip the tops into a bowl of the glaze and return to wire rack or piece of parchment until set. Enjoy!