I’ve been on a bit of a doughnut kick lately. This could be construed as an unfortunate habit, if you consider the extra time on the elliptical trainer a freshly cooked doughnut or two adds, but I consider it a very good thing when it brings together a kitchen nook full of friends and neighbours to hang out over coffee and warm doughnuts. If you’re going to have a doughnut, it might as well be fantastic, and made from scratch – this time, I experimented with cake doughnuts. Sour cream cake doughnuts are my favorite – it was easy to make the soft dough, and faster than the yeast-raised kind. The result was light and crisp – not as heavy as cake doughnuts you buy at the store.
This is a simple batter, made in much the same way as you’d make a cake batter, but thick enough to pat and cut into doughnut shapes. If you don’t have a doughnut cutter, simply cut rounds with a round cutter or glass rim, then cut out the middle with a shot glass or poke a hole with your finger. It doesn’t have to be neat.
Sour Cream Cake Doughnuts
Adapted from Bon Appetit, October 2004
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream or full-fat plain yogurt
canola oil, for cooking
In a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes, until thick and pale yellow. Beat in the butter and vanilla. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
Gently beat in a third of the flour mixture, half the sour cream, another third of the flour, the last of the sour cream and the last of the flour. Cover; set aside for an hour.
On a lightly floured countertop, roll or pat out the dough to about 1/2″ thick. Cut into doughnut shapes using a doughnut cutter, or cut into rounds with a round cutter or glass rim, then using a shot glass or small round cutter, cut out center of each circle of dough to make holes.
Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Pour about 1 1/2 inches of oil into a large deep skillet or pot. Heat until hot but not smoking. Cook doughnuts and holes in batches, without crowding, until golden brown on the bottom; flip using tongs or a slotted spoon and cook until golden on the other side. It should take 3-4 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels. If you like, douse in cinnamon-sugar while they’re still warm. Makes lots.