Food: Donuts or doughnuts however you want to spell it

I wanted to post this recipe before Easter and call them Easter donuts because they are topped with almond, vanilla and chocolate glazes - but after making two batches with varying degrees of success and ending up with awful photos of all of them I gave up. I looked at my kitchen, a disaster zone of icing sugar and sprinkles and decided enough was enough. There would be no donuts. But then there was peer and sibling pressure and I gave in and made more and this time the pictures are ok. And  according to the people in this house who like donuts they're pretty good. 

These are baked donuts so you could argue that they are a healthier version. Really they're just a donut shaped cake though, so they're not that healthy. But they do look pretty and are fairly easy, if a little messy, to make. They're light and cakey and don't leave your with that heavy I've-just-eaten-a-donut-and-now-I-feel-sick-and-a-tiny-bit-dirty feeling - which is a bonus in my book.

To make your own you will need:

225g (8oz) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
175g (6oz) caster sugar
175ml (6 fl oz) whole milk
2 eggs, beaten
30g (1 1/ oz) melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

A donut pan - I have two of these.

Makes 12 large donuts


Brush your donut pan lightly with oil and dust with flour - I tried various methods to stop my donuts sticking and this was the best, but you still need to slide a knife very carefully around end each little cake to loosen them once they're cooked. 

Pre-heat your oven to 160c/325f/Gas 3. Place the dry ingredients in a bowl and give them a quick whisk (I do this instead of sieving because I'm lazy). 

In another bowl whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla, then add this mixture and the melted butter to the dry ingredients and mix to a smooth batter. It shouldn't be too stiff and should pour easily off a spoon.

Fill each of your donut cups 3/4 full - I found about one and a half tablespoons was the right amount. This is a bit of a fiddle and you have to ease the mixture around the cup, don't be too worried though, because the mixture is loose it spreads quite well. Once the batter is settled in each cup don't be tempted to add more - when I did that my donuts ended up a little lumpy with a two tier effect. If you over fill your cup you'll lose the hole in the middle of your donut, so take your time with this bit.

Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden and firm but springy. Leave to cool slightly in the pan. Then using a table knife carefully ease the blade around the edge of each donut and around the hole in the middle. Then slide the blade underneath and around each one to carefully lift it out of the pan onto a cooling rack. Don't worry if they stick and end up looking a bit rough and ready - you can hide most problems with the glaze. 

To make the chocolate glaze:

100g (4oz) plain chocolate
1 tbsp golden syrup
25g (1oz) butter

Melt all the ingredients gently over a low heat then dip your donuts. For easy dipping keep the chocolate warm - if it gets cold it goes too thick and harder to work with. This glaze is enough to cover 4 large donuts.

To make the sugar glaze

250g icing sugar
25g (1oz) butter
2 tbsp milk
Pinch of salt
Your chosen flavouring and colouring.

Melt the butter and milk together and sift in the icing sugar and salt to make a paste. Divide it in half and add half a teaspoon of flavouring and a few drops food colouring to each half. I chose to make a yellow almond flavoured glaze and a pink vanilla glaze. Dip your donuts while the glaze is still warm. I found I needed to spoon some over to cover gaps. There is enough to cover the remaining eight donuts here.

Then cover with sprinkles.