Sometimes we crave donuts but we don’t have any, the shops are closed and making traditional fried yeast donuts is just too much work. That’s where baked donuts are a great alternative. Swap out the brown butter for normal butter for an under 30 minute snack.
Watch how to make them below:
Yields: 12 mini donuts
Preparation Time: 30 - 45 minutes
Baking Time: 15 minutes
Oven Temperature: 170°C (fan oven)
light coloured pan
a piping bag (large round piping tip optional)
mini donut pan
82g butter, cubed (65g browned butter)
50g caster sugar
1 egg, medium, room temp* (approx. 50g)
100g plain flour (10% protein)
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cardamom (optional)
¼ tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
50g butter (for coating doughnuts and greasing the tin)
50g caster sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
*room temp = 20°C
Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan oven).
In a stainless steel or light coloured pan brown the 82g butter over a low heat, stirring frequently. The butter should go through three phases: melting, boiling and finally foaming. Once the furious popping sound has died down and the butter is a golden brown, take it off the heat immediately and pour it into a heatproof container. Let it cool at room temperature before popping it into the fridge to firm up to a softened butter state.
In a large mixing bowl, add the now solid brown butter (65g) and 50g caster sugar and cream until pale.
In a separate bowl, lightly whisk together the 1 medium egg (50g) and ¼ tsp vanilla. Then add it to the butter-sugar mixture and beat together until it’s nicely combined.
Sift 100g plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg, ¼ tsp ground cardamom and ¼ tsp salt (skip if using salted butter) together and add a third to the batter; folding with a spatula until well combined.
Next, add half the milk (around 25ml) and fold to combine. Continue to add a third of the dry ingredients, then the last of the milk and finish with the final third of the dry ingredients; mixing well each time.
Melt around 50g of butter (in the microwave or in a pan) and lightly grease the donut pan. Set the rest of the butter aside for later.
Transfer the batter to a piping bag. Using a piping tip is optional but if using, choose a large round tip. Pipe a single layer of batter into each donut pan hole.
Bake at 170°C on the middle rack of the oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool a little.
In a small bowl, combine 50g caster sugar and ½ tsp ground cinnamon, stirring until sugar and spice are well distributed.
Lightly brush all sides of the donut with the previously melted butter (melt again if needed) and then drop the donut into the bowl of cinnamon sugar to coat.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I need to sieve the brown butter?
The short answer is no. Some people insist on sieving out the milk solids, others insist on keeping them in. Personally, I've tried both and I've not found a big enough difference to feel strongly in favour of either side. I will, however, choose whether I keep them in based on how I want my final product to look versus if it's worth the extra work of cleaning a fine-mesh sieve afterwards (I really hate cleaning sieves). For this donut recipe, the visibility of the milk solids is not a problem (to me) so I keep them in.
Can I make this without the donut pan?
It depends. If keeping the donut-hole look is important to you, then it'll be hard to achieve it without the pan. I have considered some DIY ideas but until I've succeeded, I'll just keep the answer here simple. However if you're happy to have little cakes that do not physically resemble a donut anymore, you can try baking them in a muffin pan instead. Same instructions: grease the pan with melted butter, pipe or spoon in roughly the same weight of batter, bake, cool, coat in melted butter and cinnamon sugar.
Can I use normal butter instead of brown butter?
Absolutely! Make sure you're using 65g butter (to replace the 65g brown butter). Using brown butter adds an extra depth to the flavour (kinda nutty?) which will be lost when using normal butter so it might be worth adding a little more cardamom, or vanilla to give the donuts a little more oomph.
How should I store the donuts?
Store these donuts at room temperature in an air-tight container.