Recipe: Frosted Animal Cracker Donuts

It’s probably a surprise to no one that donuts are one of my favorite desserts (or breakfast depending on the morning). In my hierarchy of desserts**, donuts are pretty high on the list (along with cookies and pie) and something that G and I are always on the hunt for when we travel or just looking for a new Philly treat.

So when G shared an IG post from a bakery making donuts with crushed up Frosted Animal Cracker on top, I new I needed to make my own spin on it. And let me tell you, these donuts are like a vanilla-y sweet flavor bomb in your mouth. Funfetti baked donuts with a lot of vanilla extract and a little sour cream to cut the sweetness, topped with a vanilla glaze and crammed with broken-up frosted animal crackers.

If you grew up loving these classic cookies, you’ll fall in love with these donuts (trust me, I ate 2 or 3 in one night when I made them 😳).

Let’s get cracking…

** Do you ever think about your hierarchy of desserts and where things rank? This is something I think about OFTEN and ask people about all the time. Let me know your top 3 desserts in the comments!

Frosted Animal Cracker Donuts

yields a dozen donuts

For donuts:

  • 2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup cake flour

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 stick butter, cold and cut into cubes

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup rainbow nonpareils

For glaze:

  • 5 cups powdered sugar

  • 5 tablespoon water

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 12-oz package of frosted animal crackers, chopped into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a donut baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg to combine and aerate the flours. Add the cubes of butter and using a pastry blender (or your hands), cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and sand-like. You'll want tiny pieces of butter throughout the mixture.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until fluffy. Add in sour cream and vanilla and whisk until combined. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold together with a rubber spatula. Lastly, add the nonpareils by sprinkling a little at a time and mixing. Mix until the color just begins to swirl.

Scrape the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip (or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off) and pipe the batter evenly among the wells of the greased pan. Before placing into the oven, lightly tap the donut pan on a flat countertop to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then let cool completely on a cooling rack. 

Once the donuts are fully cooled, place wax paper underneath your cooling rack and start making your glaze. Add powdered sugar and water into a medium saucepan and start whisking them together. The mixture will be very stiff and not come together easily. Once it is mostly combined, heat glaze over medium heat, whisking frequently. The glaze will start to come together and thin out. Remove from heat when the mixture is warm but not hot.

Here’s where it might be helpful to have an additional person (but I did it along so you can too). Dip each donut into the glaze, bringing it in and out of the glaze 2-3 times, and place it on the cooling rack. The glaze will harden quickly, so add your chopped animal crackers, pressing them softly into the glaze to get them to stick. You need to work QUICK.

I find that because of the moisture level in the donuts, it’s best to eat these within 24 hours, or stack on a plate and wrap with plastic wrap. Keeping the donuts in an airtight container may cause them to sweat and the glaze to soften. Enjoy!

Frosted Animal Cracker Donuts via Unusuallylovely.com

Recipe: Banana Bread Donuts with Cinnamon Buttercream

As you can tell by my lack of recipes lately, my balance skills have seriously fallen to the wayside this summer. I've been actual months since I've turned my oven to actually bake something for fun that didn't turn out a disaster. but what can I say? Sometimes you're good at balancing everything and sometimes you're busy every weekend for 3 months and that's that.

But I do have to say that today's recipe is certainly worth the wait. We're using up brown bananas. We're covering it in cinnamon buttercream. We're not making your average run-of-the-mill banana bread anymore. Break out the donut pan, because we're making banana bread donuts!

Banana Bread Donuts with Cinnamon Buttercream

Yields 18 donuts

Donuts
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
2 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 medium very ripe bananas

Cinnamon Buttercream
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons milk
3 tablespoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a donut baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Make your donuts: In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg to combine and aerate the flours. Add the cubes of butter and using a pastry blender (or your hands), cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and sand-like. You'll want the texture to be sand-like with tiny pieces of butter throughout the mixture.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until fluffy. Add in sour cream/yogurt and vanilla and whisk until combined. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold together with a rubber spatula. Once dough comes together, mash the bananas with a fork in a separate bowl and mix in until combined.

Spoon the batter evenly into the wells of the greased pan. Before placing into the oven, lightly tap the donut pan on a flat countertop to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then let cool completely on a cooling rack.

Make your buttercream: In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip your butter for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrap down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add in 3 cups of powdered sugar and mix for 4-5 minutes, beginning on slow and increasing the speed as the buttercream comes together. Add in vanilla extract, milk, and cinnamon, and the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar and mix again. Using an off-set spatula, frost your donuts and top with a dusting of cinnamon and coarse decorating sugar.

Keep donuts in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Recipe: Funfetti Holiday Donuts

I tried to make a holiday funfetti 3-tiered cake for you last weekend and it failed miserably. Though I've posted a few cakes on this blog, I just can't seem to get a vanilla multi-layered cake to turn out right. The edges are always overdone. The texture doesn't seem right. It's too dark or too sweet or too vanilla-y. I need to go back to the drawing board on that one. So after that debacle, I decided I wanted to use up the rest of the sprinkles I'd purchased and make something I knew I could make right: donuts.

These little babes will be my last recipe of 2016! I'll be taking next week to prep some things for the new year and take a proper rest. As much as I enjoy holiday baking, I'm excited to transfer that motivation into the new year and bake some new things for you in 2017. 

As for right now, I hope you all a restful and lovely holiday weekend and I hope you give someone in your life the gift of butter, sugar, and sprinkles.

Funfetti Holiday Donuts

Makes 12-14 donuts

For donuts:
2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 stick butter, cold and cut into cubes
2 eggs
1 cup full-fat sour cream
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup sprinkles

For glaze:
4 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a donut baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg to combine and aerate the flours. Add the cubes of butter and using a pastry blender (or your hands), cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and sand-like. You'll want tiny pieces of butter throughout the mixture.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until fluffy. Add in sour cream and vanilla and whisk until combined. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold together with a rubber spatula. 

Scrape the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip (or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off) and pipe the batter evenly among the wells of the greased pan. Before placing into the oven, lightly tap the donut pan on a flat countertop to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then let cool completely on a cooling rack. 

Once the donuts are fully cooled, place wax paper underneath your cooling rack and start making your glaze. Add powdered sugar and water into a medium saucepan and start whisking them together. The mixture will be very stiff and not come together easily. Once it is mostly combined, heat glaze over medium heat, whisking frequently. The glaze will start to come together and thin out. Remove from heat when the mixture is warm but not hot. Dip each donut into the glaze and let cool on the rack. The glaze will harden quickly, so if you want to add decorations, sprinkle them on immediately.

I find that because of the moisture level in the donuts, it’s best to eat these within 24 hours, or stack on a plate and wrap with plastic wrap. Keeping the donuts in an airtight container may cause them to sweat and the glaze to soften. Enjoy!