All the flavors of a gooey cinnamon bun with cream cheese icing baked into a doughnut! The perfect way to celebrate Doughnut Appreciation Day.
According to this handy little website, it is Doughnut Appreciation Day! I know there is a National Doughnut Day in June, but I fully support having two days a year when we can celebrate the mighty doughnut. If you follow my blog regularly, you probably think that I celebrate doughnuts on a weekly basis. I have been obsessed with making them ever since I bought this amazing doughnut pan!
Now I know that a baked doughnut is not the same as a fried doughnut, but honestly, they really are great. The key is to not overmix the batter and to not overbake them. The result is a light and tender doughnut, without the mess of frying and without the extra calories and fat! On Saturday morning, I made Cinnamon Roll Doughnuts with Cream Cheese Frosting. I mean how could those be bad?? All of your favorite cinnamon bun flavors baked into a doughnut! These were soooo good. The smell of cinnamon in our apartment was intoxicating! There are a few steps involved, but the result is totally worth it.
First, make a cinnamon / butter / brown sugar topping. Put a little bit into the bottom of each doughnut cavity and spread it around. Then mix up the batter, and spoon that on top of the cinnamon. Be careful not to fill the cavities too full. I find that just under ¾ full makes my doughnuts look just perfect! Bake the doughnuts, let them sit for about 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack. Not all of the the cinnamon goo (technical term) will come out of the pan. Initially, I was really upset about this. Then I realized that a) I could take it out with a rubber spatula and put it on the doughnut b) I could eat it plain as it started to harden up and c) the doughnuts had plenty of cinnamon flavor even without all of the goo.
Finally, make the cream cheese icing and drizzle it on top. I was going for all pretty zig zags. Then TheBetterHalf requested one with his name on it, so who am I to say no.
You can wait for the icing to set a bit. Or you can just dig right in! I obviously recommend the latter. What a great way to celebrate Doughnut Appreciation Day!
This recipe makes about 18 doughnuts, so you will need to bake these in two batches if you don’t have multiple doughnut pans.
Cinnamon Roll Doughnuts with Cream Cheese Icing
Cinnamon Roll Topping:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cornstarch
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cup reduced-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
1 – 2 tablespoon milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 3 doughnut pans with nonstick cooking spray (or cook these in 2 batches)
For the Topping:
In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, salt and milk and whisk until combined. Heat mixture until it just starts to boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Spoon a little bit of topping in each doughnut cavity and spread around.
For the Doughnut:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Batter may be slightly lumpy.
Spoon the batter into the doughnut pan, on top of the cinnamon roll filling, filling each one about ¾ full. Bake for about 8 – 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then turn the doughnuts out onto a cooling rack. Not all of the cinnamon roll topping will come out of the pan – you can leave it as is, or use a small rubber spatula to gently spread the excess topping onto each doughnut.
For the Icing:
Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl. Add the cream cheese, 1 tablespoon milk, and vanilla. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add more milk if it seems too thick. Spoon the icing into a small ziplock bag and seal. Snip off the corner of the bag, and decorate the doughnuts with the icing.