Spice Cake Doughnuts with Vanilla Glaze

I made donuts because I decided that I wanted a donut.  I’m not saying it was a healthy decision.  In fact, the word donut is derived from an Ancient Greek term that we are all familiar with “do not”.  (Not really,  I just made that up) But the Good Lord gave us fried dough for a reason.  Because it is good.  Really good.  ” On the 8th day, after all that resting, God made donuts.”   I’ll stop now.

There are a few different parts to this project.  If this is your first time making a donut, I’d suggest this cake donut recipe.  A yeasted dough takes a little extra time/ steps.

First, gather the ingredients for the dough:

The original recipe calls for cake or soft wheat flour of which I have none, so I just used what I always have on hand: all-purpose.  But you can substitute 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch per cup of all purpose flour to make your own cake flour.  I did not do that and had no complaints.

Sift all your dry ingredients together (except the sugar because that comes later).  It’s annoying, but it helps in the long run I’ve learned.  So, sift… it’s worth it.  Wink.

Add that salt.

Add that baking powder.And then we have the nutmeg.  You CAN’T SKIP this ingredient if you don’t have it.  You don’t necessarily need a whole nutmeg, but it’s lovely if you have one.

I got this nutmeg from “the spice island” of Grenada when we were on a cruise last Fall.  I didn’t realize it was a nut that needed to be cracked open until I opened the package and heard the nut bouncing around inside the shell.  

When you grate it, it reveals all the little lovely swiggles. <Technical Term>

Extreme close up.  I think this little nutmeg was my favorite part of the donut making experience.  Well, until you get to the stuffing your face with a fresh donut part.

Ok, back to business.  Grate your nutmeg.  I used a microplane which worked great.  Hehe.

Then add your 3/4 teaspoon of grated nutmeg.  Confession!  I was just using my 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon measuring spoons for all my baking because I could never find my other ones.  So if a recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon I would totally just eyeball a 1/2 teaspoon in my 1 teaspoon measuring spoon. Frowny face.  So my mother-in-law got me these real measuring spoons!

Math:  1/2 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon = 3/4 teaspoon.  Right?

And sift…

And then look at the cute baby!

Moving on.  Next is time to incorporate your sugar with your fat.  Yep,  We’re making donuts, it was bound to happen.



Add fat to sugar.

Don’t lick the spoon.

Mix mix mix until it’s a sandy consistency.

1 egg + 1 egg yoke + leftover nutmeg

Add this to your sugar and fat.

Egg action shot.  Whoaaaaa….Splat.

Mix until it looks like this, scraping the sides of the bowl of course.

Next we add the dry ingredients alternating with the milk…after we measure out the milk.

I find it’s easier to just use a small measuring cup to dump in the dry ingredients rather than using the whole bowl to dump everything in.

You add the dry and wet ingredients in 3 separate additions and mix on low speed.  It’s really really really really sticky dough.  So don’t think you messed up.  It’s supposed to be really really really really really really sticky.

Sticky dough.

Really sticky dough.

Add it to a separate bowl.

And cover it with plastic wrap.

And stick it in the fridge for at least an hour and up to a day.

Moving onto the glaze.  Gather and stack your ingredients.

Sift powdered sugar into the mixer. (Annoying, but necessary)


Measure your golden syrup or corn syrup.

And pour it into your powdered sugar.

Next add your salt and vanilla.

Then you make a little syrup.

You add water and…


…to a pot and boil…

Add this to your sugar mixer in the mixing bowl.

Then run to the store because you realize you don’t have nearly enough oil for frying.  I bought the biggest thang of Canola oil I could find.

Glug, glug, glug, add in almost all of it into a heavy bottomed pan.  You need at least 2 inches of oil and  enough room up top to flip your dough.

Stick a candy thermometer in there and set your heat to medium.  You don’t want it to heat too quickly because then it may get too hot.

This takes a little while.  So while you are waiting for your oil to come up to temperature, get started on rolling out & cutting out your donuts.

Pull out the dough from your container and place it on your clean, floured surface.  This may take some time and patience since it is still really really really really really really sticky dough.

Roll it out with plenty of flour on your surface and on the rolling pin to about a 1/2 inch thick or 8 inches in diameter.  (PS: I broke out the measuring tape on this one)

And word of warning.  Since it’s also a really soft dough, it doesn’t take much elbow grease to manipulate this dough.  I starting goin’ to town on it like it was a pie dough or pizza dough.  And realized I was rolling it too thin.  Just be easy with it, it doesn’t take much force.

Next, choose your donut cutting device.  I don’t have a donut cutter, so I just used this glass from Ikea.  Make sure you flour it really well so it doesn’t stick to the dough too much.

And start cutting…

Let’s see, I got 1 – 2 -3 -4 -5 -6 – 7 rounds from that first roll.

Then you just gather it all up…

…and roll it out again.

And repeat your cutting.

Cut, cut, cut. 8 – 9 – 10

Hmm.  Do you think we can get 2 more out of that dough?

Cut.  11

Hand shape #12, and there is our dozen.

They look more like biscuits at this point.  We need to find something to create holes.

And poke, poke, poke.  Makin’ holes.

There they are…all ready for a fry.

Be super careful on this step.  Deep frying is dangerous.  (in more than 1 way) That oil is a warm 370 degrees.

When you first put them in the oil, they sink all the way to the bottom, then they float up to the top and start to puff up and brown.

Each side gets a 60 second turn in the oil.  Then you carefully lift them our with a spider if you have one, or the big end of a wooden (NOT plastic) chop stick.

Here’s the first 1/2 dozen all fried up and cooling on the paper towels.  It totally smells like the fair.

You can’t multitask during this frying step.  Your full attention needs to be on these donuts.  Not hard to do.

And those little donut holes get the treatment too.


Hurry and glaze them while they are still hot and glaze is still warm.  I had to heat my glaze up a tiny bit because it had been sitting out for a while.

All glazed and delicious.  You don’t have to glaze them though.  They are still really good on their own.

Here ya go.  Oh man!!

Share them!  Ok?  Or not.

Spice Cake Doughnuts

makes 1 dozen doughnuts

adapted from Top Pot Doughnuts

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

3/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

2/3 cup sugar

2 T shortening

1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk

2/3 cup almond milk

canola oil for frying

Sift flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix the sugar and shortening for 1 minute on low speed until it comes to a sandy texture.  Then add the egg and egg yolk and mix for another minute on medium speed until light colored and thick.  Make sure to scrape the side of the bowl.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three separate additions alternating with the milk.  Mix until just combines on low speed each time.  The dough will be sticky and wet.

Transfer dough to a clean bowl and cover dough directly with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for an hour or up to 24 hours.

Heat canola oil in deep fryer or a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.  Heat oil to 370 degrees using candy thermometer.

Roll out the chilled dough onto your floured work surface to 1/2 inch thick or 8 inches in diameter.  Flour the rolling pin and top of dough as needed to prevent sticking. Cut out doughnuts and hole, folding and re-rolling as needed.

Shake off excess flour from the doughnuts and holes prior to frying.  Place doughnuts in oil a few at a time taking care not crowding the pan.  Once the doughnut floats, fry for 60 seconds per side or until deep golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.

Glaze or ice doughnuts and holes if desired.

Top Pot’s Vanilla Doughnut Glaze

Small Batch coats 12 doughnuts and their holes

adapted from Top Pot Doughnuts

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 1/2 tsp light corn or golden syrup

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 T granulated sugar

1/2 cup plus 1 T water

Place sifted confectioners’ sugar, golden syrup, salt, and vanilla in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Set aside.

Next, make a syrup with the granulated sugar and water.  Whisk the granulated sugar and water together in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.  Add the syrup to the confectioners’ sugar bowl.  Using low speed on the mixer, blend until the mixture is smooth and all of the sugar has been incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if necessary.

To glaze, immediately dip one side of each hot doughnut into the warm glaze, and let dry for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.



2 thoughts on “Spice Cake Doughnuts with Vanilla Glaze

  1. Thanks, Dana! We miss you guys too! Hope you are enjoying the Fall in KS. I’m loving your newest blog! I’m a fan. ;)

  2. Yay! These are delicious and it’s so good to “hear” your narratives in the kitchen again. Oh, and that step about looking at the cute kid? Vital. Yumm….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>