If you know me, then you know I’m crazy for doughnuts (or donuts… however you prefer to spell it)! I think what I love about doughnuts is they are so delicious, everyone likes them, they are comforting, and really they can come in so many different flavours. I think you could say I wish I was a doughnut, but sadly I am not. But you can still be loved by people as if you were a doughnut with this perfect yeasted dough. It is so light clouds are jealous, and it is perfect whether you want to glaze, fill, or dip. For this post I have done my favourite go to doughnut, cotton candy. Also you will find a filled doughnut that was an idea that came to me when making my lemon curd. These lemon meringue pie doughnuts were so good, like better than hmmm not sure what to compare them too. So scroll down to enjoy these recipes, or just use this dough and let your own imagination run wild.
First things first, even though that picture probably makes you want to shove a doughnut in your mouth (no just me?), is we have to make our dough. This dough is really simple to make and fries up a beautiful golden brown. So lets get started so we can eat one of these sooner than later.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (if you don’t have a stand mixer that is ok you can use an electric hand mixer, or just go old school and get your whisk) add the warm water. The right water temperature is important. Too hot it will kill the yeast, too cold and it won’t be as happy to wake up. A good test is it should feel warm, but not so warm you don’t want to leave your finger in it ( the dirty jokes I could make right now). Sprinkle the active dry yeast and sugar on top and give it a little stir. Now leave it to get foamy, about 10 minutes.
You can sit and relax, get the rest of your ingredients ready, or if you are like me encourage your yeast with some nice words or a song (this little yeast of mine I am going to make you shine…).
Once the yeast mixture has gotten nice and frothy with lots of beautiful bubbles let it know how proud you are and get ready to add the rest of the ingredients. Start by adding in the eggs, using the whisk attachment, give a quick mix to incorporate. Add in the flour and salt, using the hook attachment mix the dough until its all incorporated.
Using a spatula scrap down the sides of a bowl with a spatula and start adding the butter. Do this one tablespoon at a time. Mix between each addition until butter is fully incorporated. Once all the butter is added let the mixer knead the dough for 2-3 minutes.
The dough will feel very sticky, its ok I promise it will stop it from getting dry when we roll it out on our floured surface. Grease a large glass, or metal, bowl with oil and place the dough into it. You made need a spatula to help get the dough out of the mixer bowl and into your greased bowl.
Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft free spot for about one and a half hours. The dough will roughly double in size.
Once the dough has proofed its time to get closer to making these delicious doughnuts. Well flour your countertop and scrape the dough out on top of it. I like to do a couple kneads incorporating a little bit of the four to firm the dough up a bit and take away some of the tackiness. About there to four kneads, with a turn between each one, should make it perfect. Form the dough into a ball and using your rolling pin roll it out into a a large rectangle, or circle, square, whatever it look like is fine. Just don’t roll it too thin, you are wanting it about a half inch thick.
Once your dough is rolled out and ready cut out your doughnut shapes. For these I did six round doughnuts to be filled, and six doughnuts with holes. If you only have a rounder cookie cutter, like me, using an upside down pipping tip can cut out the holes for you.
Place doughnuts on a parchment lined cookie tray and cover with a tea towel. Let them rest for about 3o minutes in a warm, draft free area. I will be using a deep fryer so usually this is when I would start heating it up. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a deep fryer no worries, I just got mine for Christmas and up until now I was using a large dutch oven type pot. The oil temperature you want is about 350 degrees. You can set your deep fryer, or if using a pot test oil temperature with a thermometer. No thermometer, you should get one they are worth every penny, that is ok too. Just pinch a piece of some bread and toss it in the oil. If it floats on top and turns golden brown by the count of ten it should be ready to go.
Fry the doughnuts until golden brown, it will take about 1-2 minutes per side depending how large your doughnut cutter is. You should have a nice white line circling the middle of the doughnut, this tells you they aren’t over cooked but just right. Another tip is when you remove them from the oil they should feel so much lighter than when they went in, that lets you know they are fully cooked.
Remove the doughnuts from the oil once golden brown to paper towel so it can absorb any extra oil. Then place the doughnuts onto a wire rack to cool completely.
While the doughnuts are cooling lets get our toppings ready…
First up we will make our cotton candy glaze. This needs icing sugar, heavy cream (or milk up to you), and cotton candy extract ( I found the greatest one on Amazon). Also this glaze works with vanilla extract if you don’t have cotton candy extract. Just replace the cotton candy extract with vanilla, then dip the glazed doughnuts in some sprinkles for a Vanilla dip doughnut.
Place your icing sugar in a large bowl, add a couple tablespoons of heavy cream, and the extract. Whisk to combine. If the mixture is still to thick add one tablespoon at a time of heavy cream to get the right consistency. If it ends up too thin don’t worry add a little more icing sugar to thicken it back up.
Once the glaze is ready dip one doughnut at a time by immersing it in the glaze about halfway. Lift the doughnut up and allow some of the excess to drip off. Once the dripping has slowed quickly flip it upright and onto the wire cooling rack. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.
Once all the doughnuts are glazed you should have enough left to add a little decoration. Take the remaining icing and separate it into two bowls. Add one drop of blue food colouring to one bowl, and one drop of pink to the other. Mix to get a nice uniform colour.
Now you can use pipping bags, a ziploc bag with the corner cut off, a spoon, whatever you need to do to drizzle the pink and blue icings over your glazed doughnuts. I used a pipping bag with the tip cut off.
Let doughnuts sit on wire rack until glaze sets, this won’t take long. Now shove it in your face and enjoy because you have earned this!.
For the Lemon Meringue doughnuts I already have my lemon curd, leftover from my mousse, so I don’t need to make it again. If you need the curd recipe you can find it here. Now that the doughnuts are cooled place a large circular tip into a pipping bag. Fill it with the lemon curd. Take each doughnut and using a sharp paring knife make and ‘x’ on the side of the doughnut. Take the knife and put it through the ‘x’ into the doughnut and wiggle it around a bit to make a pocket for the curd.
Using the pipping bag fill one doughnut at a time, I like to give it a gentle tap on the counter to make sure the filling has gone all the way down into the doughnut. You will know when its full because the curd will start coming back out of the doughnut.
Once they are filled I like to prop them on angle using the side of the wire cooling rack to let the curd have a chance to sink into place.
While the curd is soaking into the doughnut creating a perfect lemony surprise we can make our meringue topping.
Start by placing sugar, water, and corn syrup into a saucepan. Using a spatula carefully stir to moisten all the sugar. Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Continue to boil until mixture reaches 230 degrees on a thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer you can dip a spoon in and without burning your fingers touch the mixture on the spoon and rub between two fingers. If you feel sugar granules then it needs to cook longer.
While this is coming to temperature you can get your egg whites whipped and ready to add our sugar mixture. But don’t forget to keep an eye on the sugar.
Place egg whites into your stand mixer and using the whisk attachment beat on medium high until soft peaks form. Now you can add in the remaining one tablespoon sugar.
Return the mixer to medium high and beat until stiff peaks are starting to form. By the time your egg whites are at this stage the sugar mixture should be ready.
With the mixer on medium low speed slowly add the sugar mixture by dripping it down the side of the mixing bowl into the egg whites.
When all the sugar mixture is incorporated return the mixer to medium high and let it whip for about ten minutes. You will know its ready when the bowl is no longer hot to the touch, and the meringue is super glossy (yes that is a technical term) and holding its shape.
Now that you have the meringue place it in a pipping bag fitted with the rain drop tip, or really whatever funky pattern you want to create on top of your filled doughnut.
Pipe the meringue onto the top of each doughnut, once all doughnuts have meringue pipped on comes the really fun part (if you have a kitchen torch…it was a good christmas for me this year, thanks babe, and this is my first time using it eek!) browning the meringue.
Using a kitchen torch lightly toast/brown the meringue on top of each doughnut. If you don’t have a kitchen torch you can give them a quick broil in the oven. I tested it with one doughnut and it works just the same. It doesn’t take very long in the oven so make sure to watch through the window of the oven. Or if its like my oven and you can’t see anything leave the door slightly open so you can watch it. The one in my oven took less than a minute with the broiler on high and the rack at the top of the oven.
You did it!! I am so proud of you, and a little jealous because by the time I wrote this out my doughnuts are all gone and I wish I had one to shove in my face. Oh well I don’t. But you do so enjoy eating the doughnuts, and all the accolades you will receive, right up.
Yeasted Doughnut Dough:
1 ⅔ cups All-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. Granulated sugar
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Active yeast (dry)
1/4 + 2 Tbsp. Warm water
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
Zest of half a lemon
4 ½ Tbsp. butter (soft)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer add the warm water.
- Sprinkle with sugar and yeast, and give a little stir to incorporate.
- Let the yeast mixture sit about 10 minutes to get frothy.
- Once the yeast mixture is bubbly add in the eggs and lemon zest and mix on low using the whisk attachment until just incorporated.
- Once that is fully incorporated add in the flour and salt. Using the hook attachment knead the dough until all the flour is fully incorporated.
- Now you have a nice dough that is ready to be hit with some butter to make it light and flaky.
- Add the butter one tablespoon at a time kneading after each addition until the butter is incorporated.
- Once dough is ready place in a large oiled metal bowl that is covered with a tea towel.
- Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
- After the dough has doubled well, flour your countertop and place the dough on top of the floured surface.
- Knead the dough a few times into the flour to remove any tackiness and make it easier to work with. Knead the dough, turn, knead the dough, turn, knead the dough turn. Now it should be ready to roll.
- Roll out the dough using a rolling pin to 1/2″ thickness.
- Cut out 12 doughnuts using a circular cutter ( I used a 1 1/2 ” cutter) If you aren’t making filled doughnuts cut out hole in the centre (unless you have a doughnut cutter than lucky you).
- Place cut doughnuts onto a parchment lined cookie tray and cover with a tea towel to rest for about 30 minutes.
- Now they are ready to fry, be gentle you will feel how delicate these lovely doughnuts are.
- Heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry doughnuts until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes per side.
- Remove from oil using tongs onto paper towel to let any excess oil be absorbed.
- Place on wire rack to cool.
- While cooling get your imagination ready to create your dream doughnut, or try one I made for this blog by following these recipes below.
Cotton Candy Glaze:
1 cup Icing sugar
4 Tbsp. Heavy cream (you made need to add more to get desired consistency)
2 tsp. Cotton candy extract
Optional: Blue and pink food colouring ( I like the Wilton gel food colours)
- Put icing sugar into a medium sized bowl.
- Add in the extract and 4 tablespoons heavy cream.
- Whisk together until fully incorporated. If the mixture is still too thick add additional heavy cream one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency.
- Take one doughnut at a time and dip the top surface into the glaze by submitting it about halfway in.
- Let excess glaze drip off then flip the doughnut over and place on wire rack to set up.
- While waiting take remaining glaze and put it into two bowls. Tint one pink, and one blue.
- Drizzle, or pipe, pink then blue icing over the glazed doughnuts
- Allow to set up so they aren’t messy (takes about 20 minutes)
Meringue Doughnut Topping:
3/4 cup +1 Tbsp. Granulated sugar
1/3 cup Water
1 Tbsp. Light corn syrup
3 large Egg whites, room temperature
- In a small saucepan place 3/4 cup sugar (keep the 1 Tbsp for later), water, and the corn syrup.
- Using a spatula stir gently to make sure all the sugar has been moistened and incorporated.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, no stirring.
- While the sugar syrup is cooking place 3 egg whites into a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Whisk the egg whites on medium high until soft peaks form.
- Add in the 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat on medium high until stiff peaks form.
- Once the egg whites are ready your sugar syrup should be too, or close to ready. Turn the stand mixer to medium-low.
- Slowly pour the sugar mixture down the side of the stand mixing bowl, go slow so you don’t splash and burn yourself.
- Once all the sugar mixture has been poured in turn the mixer back up to medium-high.
- Continue to whisk the mixture until it is glossy and the peaks are firm, but not dry. About 7 – 10 minutes.
- You can tell its ready when the bowl of the stand mixer is no longer hot/warm to the touch.
- Place into a pipping bag fit with a rain drop (or whatever you choose) tip.
- Pipe the meringue onto the top of each doughnut (this is also great on pies, tarts, or cupcakes)
- Using a kitchen torch, or the broil setting in your oven, lightly toast/brown the meringue. This will not take long, seconds with a kitchen torch, less than a minute in the oven.
Find the Lemon Curd recipe here