Old-Fashioned Cinnamon-Sugar Cake Donuts Wendy Goodfriend
Old-Fashioned Cinnamon-Sugar Cake Donuts (Wendy Goodfriend)

Fresh From the Fryer: Old-Fashioned Cinnamon-Sugar Cake Donuts

Fresh From the Fryer: Old-Fashioned Cinnamon-Sugar Cake Donuts

For quite a few years, I’ve been stymied by finding a cake donut recipe that I truly like, and that works. Either the dough is impossible to work with (overly runny, impossible to roll out) or they end up tough and dry. Batch after batch, the results were less than stellar.

This one, however, has won my heart. A little spice in the donuts plus egg yolks and sour cream help keep them flavorful and tender, while a healthy dusting (ok, a thick coating) of cinnamon-sugar on the outside gives them a sugary kick and a crispy-crunchy bite. Essentially, these are like deep-fried cinnamon toast donuts. How can you argue with that!?

Here are some tips to ensure success:

  • Be sure to chill the dough so that it’s easier to roll out.
  • Set everything your fry station in advance so you are ready to fry: paper-towel-lined baking sheets, tongs, a large metal spatula/spider/slotted spoon, a cooling rack, and the bowl of cinnamon-sugar.
  • Make sure you heat the oil to the correct temperature and then keep a close eye on it, using a deep-fry thermometer. If the temperature is too low, you’ll end up with greasy donuts, and if it’s too high, you’ll end up with donuts that are overly brown on the outside and raw on the inside.
  • Toss the donuts in the cinnamon sugar while they are hot, it will help it stick better.

If you like, you can just opt for all donut holes, in which case just use a 1-inch round cutter. Just try not to eat all of them in one sitting.

Old-Fashioned Cinnamon-Sugar Cake Donut Holes
Old-Fashioned Cinnamon-Sugar Cake Donut Holes (Wendy Goodfriend)

Old-Fashioned Cinnamon-Sugar Cake Donuts

Makes about 12 donuts and 12 holes

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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sour cream (not low-fat)
  • Canola oil, for frying

Cinnamon-sugar

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Instructions:

    1. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg together into a bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using an electric mixer with the beaters), beat together the butter, sugar, and salt. Add the egg yolks and beat well until combined. Beat in half the flour, then the sour cream, and then the remaining flour, just until combined. Scrape down the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. (The dough will be sticky.)
Prepare the dough in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Prepare the dough in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (Wendy Goodfriend)
The prepped dough should then be covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated until chilled, about 1 hour.
The prepped dough should then be covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated until chilled, about 1 hour. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    1. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
n a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
n a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    1. Flour 1 to 2 large rimmed baking sheets. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thick. With a 3-inch-diameter donut cutter, cut out donuts and holes and space them evenly on the floured baking sheets. Re-roll the scraps and cut out additional holes.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thick.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thick. (Wendy Goodfriend)
With a 3-inch-diameter donut cutter, cut out donuts and holes.
With a 3-inch-diameter donut cutter, cut out donuts and holes. (Wendy Goodfriend)
 Space the donuts and holes evenly on the floured baking sheets.
Space the donuts and holes evenly on the floured baking sheets. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    1. Fill a heavy pot with at least 2 inches of oil (the oil should not go more than halfway up the pan). Heat the oil over medium-high heat until a deep-frying thermometer registers 340˚F.
    2. Using a spider or slotted spoon, carefully lower a few donuts in the oil; do not crowd the pot. The donuts will initially sink to the bottom, then rise to the top after about 30 seconds. Fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes total, turning a few times (metal tongs are good for this). Remove with the spider or slotted spoon, drain on a wire rack over a paper towel, and let cool slightly. Repeat with the remaining donuts and holes. Adjust the temperature while frying to keep the heat consistent.

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Fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes total, turning a few times (metal tongs are good for this)
Fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes total, turning a few times (metal tongs are good for this) (Wendy Goodfriend)
    1. Toss the warm donuts and holes in the cinnamon-sugar, then serve.
Toss the warm donuts and holes in the cinnamon-sugar.
Toss the warm donuts and holes in the cinnamon-sugar. (Wendy Goodfriend)
Serve the Old-Fashioned Cinnamon-Sugar Cake Donuts
Serve the Old-Fashioned Cinnamon-Sugar Cake Donuts (Wendy Goodfriend)

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