living the sweet life

Baked Chocolate Donuts

Two things. One, oh my god I love donuts, especially these baked chocolate donuts, because baked means they’re healthy, right? And two, as of tomorrow, I have been in LA for 5 months. Um, what? When did that happen?

Time is seriously flying. I feel like a broken record sometimes, but it’s true. Like, 4th of July was 6 days ago. It feels like yesterday. I moved into my new apartment – it feels like maybe a month has gone by but it’s actually been closer to 4. I hate it. I hate how fast time is moving. Though when I sit down and think about it, I’ve accomplished quite a bit in the past 5 months. I have two restaurant jobs for right now, I worked on a web series, a short film, and waiting to start on a web series I was cast as the lead in. I signed with a commercial agency. I’ve made some friends out in LA and am slowly adjusting to life on the west coast. I’ve also been posting pretty consistently on here and figuring out ways to make this little blog of mine grow. Life has been changing and adapting and sometimes I just want to take a step back and take a deep breath.

And eat a donut.

I love donuts. Back east, one of my favorite treats was to get a Boston Cream donut from Dunkin Donuts, whether it was after a double shift on my way home from work, on a Sunday at work when I would go pick up a dozen donuts and we’d feast before we opened, whether it’s breakfast on a tropical island with a best friend, a morning pick-me-up donut with my Dad on our way to a day of filming for an independent film, or in some sort of train station/airport.

DD doesn’t exist on the west coast (WHYYYY) so I have had to explore some good privately owned mom-and-pop donut shops out here. I’ve found some delicious glazed donuts, but no Boston Cream donuts yet. I also have started to make my own iced coffee, because I miss Dunkin’s coffee too. Maybe I’m bitter, but when they say “America runs on Dunkin”, they clearly don’t mean California. Apparently they’re trying to open a bunch of stores in the next few years but that can’t come fast enough.

So, I made donuts. Baked donuts, that is, because something about a large vat of frying oil intimidates me. It also feels like a waste using so much oil for frying and if you bake a donut, it must be healthy.

I bought this donut pan a year and a half ago, and I love it, though I’m ashamed I haven’t used it more. It’s almost too easy to whip up a batch of baked donuts and it’s even easier to eat them. Now that I’ve vowed to use it more, I’ve had my eye on this mini donut pan, this heart shaped donut pan, and this donut twist pan. Maybe a tad excessive? Whatever.

These donuts are delicious. They’re moist, fluffy, and the glaze adds a perfect amount of sweetness and the coconut gives these a fun summery taste and a nice little crunch as well. They taste a little like chocolate cake, which makes them even more perfect. Using the donut pan makes the donuts smaller than the size of my face donuts most places have, but this way you can eat 2-3 and not feel bad!

Make these to share, or you know, hand out 2 and eat the other 6 yourself. No judgements here.

Baked Chocolate Donuts

makes about 8 donuts

For the donuts:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup toasted coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Using non-stick cooking spray, liberally spray the donut pan and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, brown sugar, egg, melted butter, and vanilla until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into large mixing bowl and stir wet and dry together until it is just combined.

Transfer mixture into a large ziplock bag with the corner cut. Pipe batter into the donut pan until about 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until the donut springs back at your touch. Let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes and then take donuts out and let cool completely on a wire rack.

While donuts cool, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until combined and a glaze has formed. If it’s too thick, add a little milk. If it’s too thin, add a little powdered sugar. To test, use a spoon and dip it into the glaze. When you hold it above the bowl, you want the glaze to drip back into the bowl at a steady pace. If it runs back in quickly, it’s too thin. If it barely runs and drips in clumps, it’s too thick.

Dip donuts twice, letting excess glaze drip back into the bowl and sprinkle with toasted coconut or any other topping you like (sprinkles, for example). Let donuts rest on rack until glaze dries and then store donuts in air tight container.

[source: adapted from Shutterbean]

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