To no surprise, the United States has two National Doughnut days. November 5 is one of these dates, which fortunately aligned with my recent baking obsession! Over the last two months, I have been baking doughnuts bi-weekly and have really enjoyed coming up with creative toppings. I decided to bake doughnuts using the same base recipe I have now tried twice, but with three topping choices.
I have previously stated that I rarely eat desserts and sweets at home unless I make everything from scratch. I try to stay true to my rules. Well, awhile back I started missing doughnuts. I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to eat a doughnut again—and not wait for vacation time—then I’d have to purchase a doughnut pan and try out some recipes. Through a trial and error process, I baked really embarrassing doughnuts that were super dense and flat but also some awesome batches. My last two attempts have been very successful with overall texture and taste that stay true to an American version of the traditional cake doughnut.
I used King Arthur Flour’s Baked Doughnuts Three Ways Recipe. I followed the outlined directions but did not use King Arthur Flour or the topping directions. Also, my doughnut pan made a batch of 10 and not 12. I may have filled the wells of my pan too deeply, but they still came out well.
When I was thinking of toppings for this batch, I was inspired by my desert surroundings and wanted to try some locally sourced ingredients like lavender and salted caramel, kumquats, and powdered sugar, and a dark chocolate and prickly pear concoction. At my husband’s craving requests, I went another direction and focused on traditional toppings.
I made some caramel, chocolate, and cream cheese sauce toppings. For the salted caramel sauce, I followed The Merrythought’s recipe. Upon reading the ingredients, I knew this sauce was not going to have the saltiness I prefer in my caramel. I added a pinch of sea salt once I removed the sauce from the heat, but I feel I could have added a bit more. Otherwise, this caramel sauce recipe is solid! I am more than likely going to gift a few friends and family members with jarred caramel and some other goodies I am still perfecting.
The chocolate sauce and the cream cheese sauce were fairly simple to make. I have a tendency to not measure my own recipes but rather “go by eye” although I am trying to work past that. For the chocolate sauce, I literally took a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, 2/3 cups heavy cream, and salted butter. I melted the chocolate chips first and then added the butter and cream.
I actually did follow a recipe for the cream cheese sauce. I mixed softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and heavy cream. I know a lot of recipes use butter and/or whipped cream, but I decided to skip those and use a heavy cream instead. After tweaking a few recipes, I liked this combination the best…
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½-1 tsp. vanilla extract (depending on how much vanilla you’d like)
- 4 oz. heavy cream
Whisk together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Add the heavy cream and stir until smooth. Note: if your cream cheese is not soft enough and your mixture gets too clumpy, you can simmer on the stove at a low heat for a couple of minutes and stir until smooth.
This recipe is pretty basic and straight to the point. I do suggest using a whipped cream and more powdered sugar if you plan on making an actual cream cheese frosting. What I made was more of a sauce for dipping. Also, you can add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 ½ teaspoons of lemon zest to turn this into a fun springtime sauce!
I did add some hand chopped almonds and strawberries—not the best-looking cream cheese strawberry doughnut, but you gotta keep it real!—for texture and added flavor.
These doughnuts lasted for about 5-6 days in my fridge. I actually prefer chilled doughnuts and sweets with strong coffee, but I’d imagine if these were not refrigerated they may last for 3-4 days. Also, these doughnuts did not get very stale which is such a plus. I really don’t like having to “rush eat” sweets since I try not to waste anything.
Do any of you have go-to doughnut toppings? Please share! I am going to continue trying out different toppings, and I’d really like to hear anyone’s favorite combinations.