Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Old Fashioned Cake Donuts

Growing up in the south, my doughnut of choice was always Krispy Kreme. Those yeasty marvels bathed in sugar (or chocolate or maple glaze) simply couldn't be beat. When I was in nursing I had to drive past Krispy Kreme in Columbia, South Carolina to get home. I'd work the weekend night shift (7pm to 7am) and heading home in the morning I'd invariably hit the Krispy Kreme when the "Hot Donuts" sign was lit. That meant fresh doughnuts right off the line and those things are like crack for fat people! I'd pull into the drive-thru for a dozen and before I hit the first stoplight, I'd have the box open and be munching away. I'm embarrassed to say that most of the time they didn't even make it home. Of course, hospitals run on sugar and caffeine.

While Krispy Kremes were my favorite, I also enjoyed cake doughnuts from time to time. They aren't quite as obsession inducing as their counterpart from Winston-Salem, but they're still pretty good. They're also a lot easier to make for the home cook.

Entenmann's produces some fabulous old-fashioned cake doughnuts. We have a little bakery outlet near our house where we can get them pretty cheaply and I love to get a dozen now and again. The sour cream doughnuts are great with a little tang.

Recently, I ran across a number of recipes for cake doughnuts. Looking at them I thought it might be interesting to adapt a cake doughnut and cross it with my orange muffins for an orange cake doughnut. These have a nice taste and I found that letting them mellow a few hours (versus eating them hot) make a lot of difference in the taste. When right out of the oil, they tended to taste a bit heavy and greasy. Letting them sit for a few hours reduced that significantly. They remained soft inside with just a bit of crunch outside and the lovely sugary taste is balanced with a little hit of orange. Good stuff! I also discovered that this dough can be baked for a "cookie" that is equally delicious - especially when drizzled with an orange sugar glaze! (Just follow the directions for the doughnuts through cutting them out then heat the oven to 350° and bake for 15-18 minutes.)

Recipe: Old Fashioned Cake Donuts


  • 2 tbl. shortening, room temperature
  • 2 tbl. butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for processing
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. allspice
    2 tbl. fresh grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar for decorating


  1. In electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add heavy cream and vanilla and continue beating until mixture is light, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add orange zest and mix. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and allspice and add to mixture, beating until combined. Transfer dough to a large piece of plastic wrap and wrap tightly. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter dipped in flour, cut the dough into doughnuts. Place the doughnuts and holes on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
  4. Place enough vegetable oil in a tall, heavy bottomed pan or dutch oven to fill it about 1/3 full. Heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375°. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside.
  5. Working in small batches, fry the doughnuts and holes, turning once until they are golden brown (about 2-3 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the doughnuts to the paper towels to drain and cool. Repeat until all doughnuts and holes are fried. Make sure the oil returns to 375° between batches!
  6. Sprinkle doughnuts with powdered sugar or roll in sugar and orange zest that has been processed in a food processor until mixed.

Quick Notes

To keep the doughnuts from hitting the bottom of the pot and deforming while cooking, place them on a spatula and gently lower them into the oil until they float.

Prep time: 4 hour 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
Number of servings (yield): 24 Doughnuts and Doughnut Holes
Meal type: snack
Culinary tradition: USA (General)
Copyright © Buck Bannister and Sugar Pies.
Recipe by Buck Bannister.

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