Homemade Mini Donuts

I am a donut freak. It’s a problem. I pretend I make them for my kids, but the truth is, that’s not the whole truth. Imagine my excitement when a few years ago, at Target, I ran into a Sunbeam mini donut maker, at Target, on sale! I bought it, used it a few times, forgot about it, recently rediscovered it, and now, the obsession is real. It’s pretty easy to make cake donuts at home, but they don’t always taste so great. So, here are my 3 current favorite recipes, that taste awesome, with a few slight adaptations/ changes.

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The first recipe I love is from the blog Crunchy Creamy Sweet. It’s actually a recipe for donut muffins, but works great in the mini donut maker. It’s super easy, really fast, and egg-free for those with allergies. It could easily be modified to be dairy free, if you just use almond or hemp milk, instead of regular. Here are the directions and slightly-modified recipe, for making them in this maker (you could also easily use a donut pan like this, in the oven):

Ingredients

For the mini donuts:
    1. 1/2 c granulated sugar
    2. 1/4 c unsalted butter, melted
    3. 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice or allspice
    4. 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
    5. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    6. 1/2 c milk
    7. 1 tsp baking powder
    8. 1 c all-purpose flour
For the cinnamon sugar coating:
  1. 1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
  2. A generous 1/2 c granulated sugar
  3. 1 tsp cinnamon

Yield: 9-10 mini donuts

Directions

  1. Plug in and preheat mini-donut maker. The green light that says “bake” comes on when it’s ready, after a few minutes. (If you’re using an oven pan, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.)
  2. Technically, you’re supposed to mix the ingredients together in stages, but I throw them all into the bowl, whisk a minute or two until smooth, and call it good.
  3. Grease the donut cavities with nonstick spray, on both sides. Use a regular kitchen spoon, heap it full, to fill each cavity. You can also put the batter into a gallon ziplock, cut a corner, and pipe the donuts into the donut cavities.
  4. Bake in the donut maker for 4 minutes. (Or the preheated oven for 15 to 17 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center of each donut comes out clean.)
  5. Lift them out gently with a fork and let them cool on a plate for a minute or two.
  6. Prepare the coating: melt butter in a small bowl; in another small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon.
  7. Dunk each one in melted butter, completely covering it, and then roll in cinnamon sugar. I roll and roll and roll those suckers, to make sure they’re generously coated with the cinnamon-sugary deliciousness.

They taste best eaten right away, and they remind me a bit of cinnamon sugar elephant ears, but still pass the taste-test for pretty darn good, up to a couple of days later, as long as they’ve been sealed tight in a tupperware container. There’s also an awesome version of this for pumpkin-lovers, here. (For the pumpkin donuts, I use pumpkin pie spice instead of the ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, and add some extra cinnamon to the batter.)

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The second donuts are so pretty to look at, and super fun to make. They’re my daughter’s favorites, because she loves anything with sprinkles. The original recipe is from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I slightly modified the recipe (I hate nutmeg in donuts), and made the directions fit the mini donut maker.

Ingredients

For the mini donuts:
  1. 1 c of flour
  2. 1 tsp of baking powder
  3. 1/4 tsp of baking soda
  4. 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1/3 c of brown sugar
  7. 1/4 c of milk
  8. 1/4 cup of plain yogurt
  9. 2 Tbs of melted butter
  10. 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
For the chocolate and sprinkles coating:
  1. 1/2 c of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  2. 2 Tbs of butter
  3. 2 tsp of light corn syrup
  4. 2 tsp of water
  5. Sprinkles!!!

Yield: 9-10 mini donuts

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Directions

For the mini donuts:

  1. Plug in and preheat the mini-donut maker. The green light that says “bake” comes on when it’s ready, after a few minutes. (If you’re using an oven pan, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.)
  2. Technically, you’re supposed to mix the ingredients together in stages, but I throw them all into the bowl, whisk a minute or two until smooth, and call it good. Be sure to melt the butter before mixing it in.
  3. Grease the donut cavities with nonstick spray, on both sides. Use a regular kitchen spoon, heap it full, to fill each cavity. You can also put the batter into a gallon ziplock, cut a corner, and pipe the donuts into the donut cavities.
  4. Bake in the donut maker for 3 minutes. (Or the preheated oven for 9-10 minutes, or until the edges are slightly brown.)
  5. Lift them out gently with a fork and let them cool on a plate for a minute or two.
For the chocolate glaze and sprinkles topping:
  1. Place the chocolate chips, butter, corn syrup, and water into a bowl and melt in 20 second increments in the microwave, stirring after each time, until melted and smooth. It only takes 40 seconds when I make it.
  2. Dip the tops of the donuts into the glaze, and either sprinkle sprinkles on top, or dunk the freshly-glazed donuts into a bowl of sprinkles.

As with the others, they’re best eaten the same day, and pretty good the next day, after being sealed tightly in a tupperware container.

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Last, but not least, chocolate cake donuts, glazed. These are AMAZING freshly out of the donut maker, and pretty great the next day, too. These were my husband’s favorites. The original recipe is from Buns In my Oven. This time, I didn’t change anything from the original recipe, except, of course, I used the donut maker instead of a pan in the oven.

Ingredients

For the mini donuts:
  1. 1 c of flour
  2. 1/2 c of sugar
  3. 1/4 c of cocoa powder
  4. 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  7. 1/4 c of milk
  8. 6 Tbs of sour cream
  9. 1/4 c of vegetable oil
For the glaze:
  1. 2 c of powdered sugar
  2. 6 Tbs of whole milk
  3. 1 tsp of vanilla

Yield: 10-12 mini donuts

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Directions

For the mini donuts:

  1. Plug in and preheat the mini-donut maker. The green light that says “bake” comes on when it’s ready, after a few minutes. (If you’re using an oven pan, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.)
  2. Technically, you’re supposed to mix the ingredients together in stages, but once again, I throw them all into the bowl, whisk a minute or two until smooth, and call it good.
  3. Grease the donut cavities with nonstick spray, on both sides. Use a regular kitchen spoon, heap it full, to fill each cavity. You can also put the batter into a gallon ziplock, cut a corner, and pipe the donuts into the donut cavities.
  4. Bake in the donut maker for 2.5-3 minutes. (Or the preheated oven for 8 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched.)
  5. Lift them out gently with a fork and let them cool on a plate for a minute or two.
For the glaze:
  1. In a small saucepan, over low heat, combine ingredients and melt together until smooth.
  2. Place a wire rack over a cutting board, cookie sheet, or wax paper. This part is messy and you’ll be glad you have something to catch the glaze drips.
  3. Dunk the donuts fully into the glaze and place on the wire rack to cool. I recommend pouring the glaze out of the saucepan into a bowl, to let it cool and coat the donuts more thickly. Move quickly, before it gets too thick!

Again, these are best eaten the same day, and pretty good the next day, after being sealed tightly in a tupperware container.

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There you have it, something great to go with your morning coffee, a fun treat for the weekend mornings, or a cool trick to make your kids think you’re the bestest.

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(As usual, all of my photos were taken with my iPhone 6. Here’s a tutorial on how I take and edit my photos.)

 

The Luxury of Staying Home

Once a mom, no decision is easy. There’s one main decision, that seems to plague moms (and parents in general, high-five to stay-at-home dads!), and generate the so-called “mommy-wars:” Go to work, miss moments. Stay home, miss the stimulation and contribution of work. I thought I had the best of both worlds, when I started and ran a business from home. My business was creative and artistic. I built it alone from nothing. My items, that I made with my own two hands, were sold in Nordstrom, worn by countless brides on their special days, and featured in many print and online publications. I was so very proud. But, with the birth of my second baby who didn’t love to sleep, something had to give, or I was going to lose myself. So, I sold it. And I miss it.

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What used to be harder for me than missing a business desperately, that I grew and ran for almost 5 years? When people told me, “you’re so lucky to have the luxury of staying home.” It’s such a pat and dismissive little phrase. I scream inside, “don’t you know what I gave up to stay home‽” I know it’s fortunate I can stay home with my children. Not everyone gets that choice. The fact it’s a choice at all is in itself, a luxury. I completely get that. But, I can’t help but thinking that there is nothing luxurious about being covered in bodily fluids that aren’t even my own (I suppose my own would still be gross, but someone else’s seems worse somehow), biting my tongue and taking a deep breath when yet another double tantrum starts and the screaming leaves my ears ringing for hours, answering “why” seventy-million times, holding 2 toddlers at once, because one is jealous if I hold just the other, cleaning up poop…so much poop, being caught up in the “nap-trap,” being so tired the very thought of getting dressed makes me want to cry, not having a hair cut in 6 months, budgeting very carefully and putting my needs last, not feeling excited about new work and contributing to my household in an obvious financial way, never drinking my coffee while it’s hot, feeling a bit like my own thoughts, feelings and personal/ career development is on hold, giving up a realized dream of building my own business that I put so much blood, sweat and tears into, and not having a single finished conversation or thought with a friend. It’s sometimes, a very isolating and lonely existence, and luxury is the last thought that comes to mind.

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But, then my almost-three-year-old pretends she’s a puppy, licks my 13 month old’s face, and they both collapse in giggles so hard, that I do, too. My eldest says to my youngest, with such innocent sincerity, “I’ll always take care of you. I love you, sister.” My heart can’t stand the amount of love and laughter it just got to feel, and I realize: this is a luxury. It may not be so in the conventional way one thinks about, but my days are full of laughter, new beginnings, and so very much love. I get to wear sweats if I want to, while little hands slip theirs into mine, and soft, chubby cheeks nuzzle into my neck. I get to cure pain with a kiss. I get to watch my children get to know each other and become friends. My days are all different, and as slow or fast as we decide to make them. I get to bake cookies in the afternoon, make volcanoes erupt on the kitchen table, and have dance parties. I get to document it all with my old, nearly-forgotten and now-revived love: photography. I’m not using my degree in a conventional way. It’s not glamorous. I still yearn for a creative job again, and will constantly be looking for ways to “have it all.” But, my life right this moment? It is luxurious, in its own special way. And I’m so very grateful I get to experience this luxury.

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(Once again, all these photos are taken with my trusty iPhone 6. Here’s my post on iPhone photos.)