As my work day was winding down on Friday I started thinking how great it would be to start my Saturday morning with donuts. When I was pregnant I got the urge for donuts a couple of times and my husband swiftly ran out to get them for me. The conversation went a little something like this…. Me: “Donuts. I need them now. But not a dozen because I’ll end up eating most of them. Now go.” Him: “OK.” Naturally he would bring home a dozen and we (I) would pick at them all day until we (I) polished them off. Obviously now I don’t have the pregnancy excuse to inhale a large number of glazed confections, and neither of us really wants to hop out of bed and go on a donut-finding mission first thing on a Saturday morning.
So I moved on to the next idea; I’ll make them myself. I went online and found an easy cake donut recipe because I didn’t feel like dealing with a yeast batter. And since I didn’t feel like cleaning up the greasy mess that comes with frying homemade donuts, I decided to pull out my favorite appliance of 2012: my Babycakes Pie Pop machine. Even though Babycakes makes an actual donut making machine, I knew deep down in my soul that my pie pop version could also be a donut hole baker… And I was right. Were they a perfect substitute for donut shop treats? Nah, but they surely hit the spot and satisfied my craving. Here’s the recipe I used (courtesy of http://www.cooks.com) and how I made my fun little donut poppers:
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg (I went much lighter on the nutmeg)
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup milk
cinnamon sugar (1/4 sugar and 1-2 tsp cinnamon)
Mix up the dry stuff, mix up the wet stuff, and add the wet to the dry. Nothing to it.
I heated up my Babycakes machine and dropped batter by the TEASPOON into the little divots, closed the top, and in about 2 minutes I had cute little bite-sized cake donuts to roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. It’s really important to not use more than a teaspoon of batter because it will squish out of the sides and look weird. That happened with my first batch. Also, since the original recipe calls for frying the donuts, and I baked them instead, there’s nothing on the donut (oil) for the cinnamon sugar to stick to. So I melted some butter and dipped my little donut bites in it before rolling in the cinnamon sugar. Worked like a charm! You can make a TON of donut bites with the recipe since you’re only using a teaspoon at a time. I ended up throwing out about half the batter because the three of us had our fill long before the batter was gone. Next time I’ll cut the recipe in half.
Now obviously everyone doesn’t have a Babycakes machine so this post may be useless to some people. But if you have one, try using it for donuts. And if you don’t have one, maybe you should! I’ve never used my pie pop machine for pies, but I’ve used it for a bunch of other things, including pocket-sized meals for my little one.
After I chiseled off the cinnamon and sugar from my son’s hands and face I started thinking about other donut nuggets I could make in the future. Drop a little jam on top of the raw batter before baking and you’ve got jelly donut poppers. Drizzle with chocolate instead of coating with cinnamon sugar. Mix mashed banana in the batter for banana donuts and dust with powdered sugar. Maybe we’ll have donuts for breakfast tomorrow too……