mini pumpkin donuts

pumpkin donuts
Are you a little baked out after all that Holiday baking?

I hate to admit it … but I am baked out.

December was spent in the kitchen whipping up eggnog eclairs (numerous batches … a very popular treat), monkey bread, coconut-pecan sticky buns, coconut-date sticky buns, double chocolate gingerbread cookies, sweet & salty brownies, cranberry bliss bars, toffee coconut oreo squares, lemon tarts, chocolate-cranberry tarts, apple chocolate chip spice cake, chocolate ganache cheesecakes, double chocolate pecan tarts, cupcakes (so many cupcakes) … and these.

pumpkinspicedonut

Pumpkin donuts.

Ridiculously delicious.  These donuts quickly found a place in my stomach.  And my heart.

I found the original inspiration (and recipe) for this on pinterest.  It was the kind of picture that made me go … “yeah … I need to try this”; and then when I clicked on the blog, blueeyedbakers, I was hooked.

It’s a winner of a recipe.

Plus … they are dead easy to make.  The only caveat is that you need a mini donut baking pan.

I know … yet another thing to add to your kitchen.  But believe me … once you make these donuts and try them … you’ll be hooked.  And just like me … you’ll end up making a batch of these every week.  For a month.

And again  … even when you’re all baked out.

Because they’re that good.

spices 6

mini pumpkin spiced donuts

ingredients:
1 3/4 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. buttermilk

Heat your oven to 350 F.  Spray your mini donut pan with non-stick spay.  Set aside.

Image

In the bowl of your stand-mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat together the oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, canned pumpkin and buttermilk together.  This shouldn’t take too long – you want everything to be nicely mixed together.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves together.

Turn off the stand-mixer, pour in the dry ingredients, and then beat together on the lowest speed.  You want the flour to be incorporated, but you don’t want to over-mix the batter (it’s considered a cake batter, so treat it the same when mixing).
piping the dough 2

Grab a piping bag (no tip required) and fill it with the batter; then pipe each donut round with the batter.

I only have one donut pan, so I filled the twelve holes and placed the pan in the oven.  Bake for 8 minutes.  The donuts are ready when you press against them and they spring back.

baked donuts cooling 2

Remove from the oven, and turn them out immediately onto a wire rack.  That’s when I toss my donut pan into the freezer.  I want to cool it down quickly so that I can bake off the rest of the donuts.  I tend to get 18 donuts out of the batter.  18 perfect little bites of joy.

But the work doesn’t end here.

Nope.

Now we make them extra-delicious.

Melted butter + cinnamon sugar = delectable donuts.

cinnamon-sugar coating:

ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1-2 tablespoons cinnamon

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan.

Once the butter has melted, take your mini donuts and lightly dunk them in the melted butter, pull them out, shake them a little (get rid of the excess butter), and then put them in your cinnamon-sugar bowl.

In order to not get clumpy sugar, take a large spoon, and spoon the sugar over your donut.  Make sure you spoon over the entire thing.  Take the donut out and place it to cool completely on your wire-rack.
side view sugared donuts

Or eat one immediately.  That’s what I do.

If I still haven’t been able to convince you to give this recipe a chance … here are another couple of reasons:

1.  Since you bake them, rather than fry them, you kitchen smells delightfully like pumpkin and spices, rather than hot oil!

2.  They taste just as good the following day.  Kept in an airtight container at room temperature, you’ll not only have an afternoon treat today … but tomorrow … and the day after.

3.  Baked’s pumpkin chocolate-chip loaf is the most popular recipe on my blog.  So if you’re already using a can of pumpkin purée for the loaf … you might as well make a batch of these donuts as well.  Think about it … you’ll get a double bang for your buck when you buy pumpkin purée.

Are you sold yet?

I thought so!

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courgette cake

I’ve been meaning to share this recipe with all of you since May.

Seriously.

You might be wondering how a courgette cake recipe could be on my mind for such a long time?  Well you see … this is the recipe that just keeps on giving …  it worked as a layer cake … and as a bundt cake … then as cupcakes … and cute little pumpkin cakes … and they’ve all worked.   CLAPS!I’ve made it with zucchini and chocolate chips and chocolate chunks and ribbons of melted chocolate. I’ve frosted it with a whipped chocolate frosting … and with a cinnamon sour cream frosting … and finally with whipped brown sugar frosting.  All successes.

Then I thought about it … courgette doesn’t only mean zucchini.  What about swapping out the zucchini for some squash???  And so … with that in mind, I decided to completely twist up this recipe.

butternut squash mini cakes filled with caramel and covered in cinnamon sugar

What?

It sounds like a mouthful doesn’t it?

It is.  But it’s all good.  Really really good.

The inspiration for this one  came from two places… the first was Edgar’s lemon beignets and the second were Golden Eggs – a recipe I discovered this past winter when I read the book Confections of a (Closet) Master Baker (which I LOVED).  I figured by mixing and matching the two ideas together, along with the courgette cake recipe I love so much, that I would come up with a real winner.

I figured this was fall baking at its best.

Butternut squash, caramel, melted butter, cinnamon sugar … DELISH!

And if adding the caramel to the centre doesn’t catch your fancy, the butternut squash option also works really well with a dollop of sour cream cinnamon frosting.

So many options!

The original recipe comes from (no surprise here) the hummingbird bakery’s cake days (I heart that book).  The hummingbird bakery‘s version is a courgette, walnut and cinnamon layer cakeAs you can tell … I opted not to use walnuts in my version, and preferred to swap in chocolate for the zucchini version.  Perhaps the next time I make it with butternut squash I’ll toss in pecans and white chocolate chips … or pecans and dried cherries?  Who knows … Just remember to go with flavours you LOVE.  That’s the joy of baking!

Whatever you decide to do … just know that you will have stumbled on a winner of a recipe.  And you might become as obsessed with it as I’ve become.

Oh … you’ll notice that for these mini cakes I used pumpkin molds – they are basically the same size as a regular cupcake mold – so feel free to make these into cupcakes or even a regular 9-inch 2 layer round cake … it’ll all work

butternut squash mini cakes filled with caramel and covered in cinnamon sugar

ingredients:

3 eggs

300 mL vegetable oil

300 g brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

300 g flour, sifted

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

300 g peeled, seeded and grated butternut squash (or zucchini)

caramel, at room temperature

3/4 c. butter, melted or as needed

cinnamon sugar, as neededPreheat your oven to 325 F.  Spray  each mold in your pumpkin pan or cupcake pan with non-stick spray.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, brown sugar and vanilla until everything is well combined.

Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger and freshly grated nutmeg.

Add the dry ingredients to your wet mixture in two batches – beating well and fully incorporating everything.

Turn off your mixer and fold in the grated butternut squash.Divide the batter evenly between the pumpkin/cupcake molds (I was actually able to get the dozen pumpkins and 2 dozen mini cupcakes out of this batter).

Bake regular sized cupcakes for 20 minutes and mini cupcakes for 12 minutes.  You know when it’s ready … the tops will be springy to the touch :0)

Turn the cakes out of their pans IMMEDIATELY.  This is the one time you don’t want your cakes to cool completely.

It’s easiest if your caramel is in a piping bag … grab the caramel and stick the piping bag tip into your cakes and fill each centre with caramel.When they are all filled, grab each cake and dip them in melted butter, and finish by rolling them in cinnamon sugar.That’s it.  Simple eh?

And if you don’t feel like a buttery cinnamon sugar treat … this recipe works really well with a cinnamon frosting.  I opted to make a buttercream using cinnamon, vanilla and a solid dollop of sour cream to cut the sweetness factor.