You know, I used to be afraid of deep-frying.

Vats of boiling oil. I mean, doesn't that sound like some form of medieval torture? Just the thought of it gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Still, if you want homemade doughnuts...

"Leave the kitchen, kids! Get out from underfoot, there, puppy dog. Cat: off the counter. Mama is making doughnuts!"

Hmph. Makes me want to don my hazmat suit.

Heck, it isn't as if I've never heated a pot of oil. At one time or another, I've made Jelly Doughnut Holes, Classic Beignets, Vermont Doughnut Holes, Mashed Potato Doughnuts, Fried Dough...

No french fries – yet. But I'm considering them.

Still, even with my favorite shallow-frying method (1" of oil in an electric fry pan), doughnuts are a production.

Unless they're BAKED doughnuts - and then they're just about as easy as muffins.

Which is to say: E.Z.

And versatile. I started thinking about all the different things you could do with baked doughnuts.

Frost 'em. Fill 'em. Coat 'em with coconut, or chocolate. Roll 'em in cinnamon-sugar, or powdered sugar.

All of which we're going to try out in the recipe below.

Are you ready?

"Into the kitchen, kids. C'mon, puppy dog. Cat, you can sit right there next to the toaster. Mama's going to bake doughnuts."

Coconut doughnuts, chocolate chip doughnuts, and cinnamon doughnuts, to be exact.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease two standard doughnut pans.

Can you make these baked doughnuts without pans?

Sorry, but no. You can, however, make Doughnut Muffins - same batter, different shape, just as yummy.

Mix the following until smooth:

4 tablespoons (57g) butter
1/4 cup (50g) vegetable oil
1/2 cup (99g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (71g) brown sugar, packed

Add 2 large eggs, beating to combine.

Stir in the following:

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 to 1 teaspoon nutmeg, to taste
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

*Use the smaller amount of nutmeg for coconut or chocolate chip doughnuts; the larger amount for cinnamon doughnuts.

Stir 2 2/3 cups (319g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour into the butter mixture alternately with 1 cup (227g) milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.

The batter should be smooth and glossy.

Next, it's decision time. Want to make chocolate chip doughnuts? Stir in  3/4 cup semisweet chocolate mini chips (first choice) or semisweet chocolate chips. Spoon batter into the pans, filling each well right to the brim.

Want to make coconut doughnuts?

Sprinkle 2 teaspoons toasted coconut into each of the wells of the doughnut pans, shaking the pans to distribute the coconut.

Divide the batter evenly between the pans, filling each well to within about 1/4" of the rim. Sprinkle the top of each doughnut with an additional 2 teaspoons toasted coconut.

Can you use plain instead of toasted coconut? Not really; it browns unevenly, and doesn't produce as good a result.

How about chocolate "frosted" doughnuts? Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons crushed chocolate chips (or any crushed chocolate) into the wells of the doughnut pans. Fill pans with batter.

"Make mine plain," you say? Just spoon the batter into the wells of the prepared pans, filling to within 1/4" of the rim.

Bake the doughnuts for 10 minutes.

What are those lava-like doughnuts on the left? My attempt at making streusel stuffed doughnuts. They tasted pretty good, but boy, what a mess... plus it was a pain trying to spoon just a little bit of batter into the doughnut pans, add the streusel, then cover with a little more batter. Not worth the effort, IMHO.

Remove the doughnuts from the oven; wait 5 to 7 minutes before turning them out of the pans onto a rack.

For cinnamon doughnuts, shake warm doughnuts in a plastic bag with about 1/4 to 1/3 cup cinnamon-sugar.

For sugar-coated chocolate chip doughnuts, shake doughnuts in a plastic bag with about 1/2 cup non-melting white sugar (for best results), or confectioners' sugar.

Here's what I mean by best results: on top, that's non-melting white sugar on the left, confectioners' sugar on the right. Both look fine.

But by the next day, look what's happened to the confectioners' sugar: gone, melted into the doughnut. While the non-melting sugar still looks great.

And here are those chocolate "frosted" doughnuts. See why I say these are "frosted?" The chips don't melt; they just soften. Still, the final effect is mighty tasty!

Store doughnuts airtight, at room temperature, for several days.

Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for Baked Doughnuts Three Ways.

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About PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was an award-winning Maine journalist (favorite topics: sports and food) before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. Hired to write the newly launched Baker’s Catalogue, PJ became the small but growing company’s sixth employee.PJ wa...
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