Look out everyone because I have been on an insane doughnut rampage recently. And the most dangerous part is that indulging in and making doughnuts only makes me want more in return! It’s a vicious cycle, but luckily you seem to enjoy when I post a doughnut recipe so at least I have that as my excuse. What’s yours?! Just kidding, everyone understands a doughnut obsession and if they don’t they may not be trustworthy (kidding again, sort of). These classic cake doughnuts are absolutely positively delightful and as a warning, they’re highly addictive. You just can’t beat that fried golden brown crust with that tender, soft, and delicate interior. And then to top it all off with a super rich, chocolaty, and fudgy glaze just takes it to a whole other level. Make these for your family and they won’t believe you did, they’ll think you went to the bakery they’re that good.
The best part is that they don’t take nearly as long as yeast raised doughnuts but are just as good. Where yeast raised doughnuts are ultra light and fluffy, these have some more heft to them and are slightly crunchy, but still soft and satisfying. Cake doughnuts actually get their rise from baking powder instead of yeast. They also still have that hint of nutmeg flavor which is absolutely characteristic of just about any doughnut, but feel free to omit the nutmeg if you don’t like it. By the way, these doughnuts are deep fried without apology and it’s glorious. If you fry at the correct temperature they actually won’t absorb much oil at all. You can try baking them, I haven’t personally because I know they wouldn’t be nearly as delicious.
Be sure to have a candy thermometer on hand to measure the temperature of the oil not just for safety reasons, but to ensure your doughnuts don’t end up greasy and limp or overcooked or even burnt. I also love my doughnut cutter tool, but you can use two round cookie cutters for the same effect.
The flavor and customization options with this cake doughnut recipe are limitless. Top with any type of glaze, sprinkles, powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, just have fun!
For the doughnuts
- 3 cups (13.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (or milk), at room temperature
- Vegetable, canola, or peanut oil, for frying
For the chocolate glaze:
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
For the doughnuts:
In a large bowl, mix together all the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to beat the eggs and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. On low speed, alternately add the flour mixture with the milk and melted butter, starting and ending with the flour. The dough will be soft. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, or until the dough is firm enough to handle.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Roll the dough out into 1/4-inch thickness and cut with a doughnut cutter or with a large round cutter and a small cutter for the holes. Place the doughnuts on a lightly floured parchment lined baking sheet. Let the doughnuts sit at room temperature while you heat the oil.
Heat the oil in a large, deep, and heavy pan to 350°F. Place three to four doughnuts in the oil at a time and fry until golden brown, about 1 minute or less per side (30 seconds for the holes). Do not overcook the doughnuts. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
For the glaze:
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla and heat until the butter melts. Decrease the heat to low and add the chocolate, whisking until melted. Turn off the heat and add the powdered sugar, whisking until smooth. Immediately dip the doughnuts into the glaze. If the glaze begins to set return the saucepan to low heat and stir until liquid again. Let the glaze set on the doughnuts for 30 minutes before serving.
The corn syrup in the glaze keeps it nice and shiny and thick, but feel free to omit it if you prefer not to use it.
Adapted from Joy of Baking