Recipe: Baked Cake Donuts

Does the thought of a powdery donut make you weak in the knees? To wrap up a month of healthy baking, I'm ending with a fabulous recipe for an alternative to a cake donut. It's a recipe that you can modify and add-to in a handful of different ways. It makes a great breakfast, snack, or even dessert. I especially like this recipe for a breakfast brunch--more fun than a muffin, but a little more sophisticated than a donut on the platter.

Baking these in a muffin tin gives each cake a wonderful crusty edge, just like a donut, but without all the heavy oil. As you can see, I split the batch and coated half with powdered sugar and the other half with cinnamon and sugar. Then, I spent a half-hour tasting both and trying to decide which I liked best! That's my favorite kind of problem to solve. Baked Cake Donuts 1 cup sugar 1 large egg 1/4 cup oil (vegetable or canola) 3/4 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 2 tablespoons butter, melted (for sugared donuts) 1/2 cup super fine sugar 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 1 cup confectioner's sugar 1 cup jelly (optional) Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat sugar and egg together until creamy and light-colored. Add oil, milk, and vanilla and mix well. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Slowly add flour mixture into egg mixture until well combined. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. These would also work great in miniature muffin tins with a reduced cooking time of 8-10 minutes. Do not overcook! You want a nice, dense, moist cake. For powdered donuts: While donuts are still warm to the touch, remove from tins and immediately roll the crust with powdered sugar, until it is well coated. Dust the tops with sugar as well. For sugared donuts: Using a pastry brush, coat each donut with a thin layer of melted butter. Roll each buttered donut in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. (Perform this step immediately before serving. If the butter and sugar cool for too long, it will make more of a "crust" on the donut, which you may or may not like as much!) Note: You could easily add blueberries, cinnamon, almond flavoring, or lemon flavoring and lemon zest to this recipe. Use it as a canvas for your own personal creations. And what if jelly-filled donuts are your favorite? Well, that works too!

Nothing a simple squirt of the pastry bag can't fix! (If only I had a nickel for every time I've said that.)

I know your mouth is watering. This is driving you crazy, isn't it? Go and make some baked donuts and get some relief!

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