One of these I really am going to make real deal holy field cinnamon buns, especially since I’ve already managed to make homemade croissants and lived to tell the tale, but until that day comes I’m perfectly happy to indulge in shortcuts like cinnamon bun cookies or, dare I say it, cinnamon bun donuts.
It’s no secret that I love baked donuts, probably way more than I should, and I’m always trying to think of new ways to make them – kind of like how I’m always thinking I really should stop stalling already and make cinnamon buns from scratch.
So when an off-the-wall craving for cinnamon hit me earlier this week, I knew what I had to do:
Create a new shortcut and marry the two ideas.
I’m sure my donut pan is loving all this extra attention.
Now that I’m experimenting more while I’m in the kitchen, it’s funny how a recipe develops and takes shape.
Like for example: I knew I wanted cinnamon donuts, so I found a solid plain donut recipe and added some cinnamon.
Simple enough, right?
But then I wanted more cinnamon, so I made a cinnamon glaze.
And then I wanted cinnamon crumbly goodness on top, so I tracked down a quick (and kind of fun) recipe for that.
And finally I wanted to add a splash of color, so I drizzled a very simple vanilla frosting over all of it.
Did you ever read the book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” as a kid? It seems my whole cooking strategy is based entirely around that.
Another perk of this recipe: these donuts baked the most and fully of any I’ve ever made, so I can foresee this being a foundation recipe I’ll use going forward for all my future donut endeavors.
… Of which I’m sure there will be plenty, as it seems my solution to get around preparing elaborate breakfasts is just to make a donut version of it.
But that’s not a bad thing, right?
Cinnamon Bun Style Baked Donuts
For the Cinnamon Donuts
In a large mixing bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk*, egg, and melted butter.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, whisking together until there are no longer any clumps.
For filling the donut pan, use a pastry bag or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut to pipe the batter into the pan. Fill the donuts about 2/3 full or until all batter is used.
Bake in the oven for 7-9 minutes or until stop of donuts are puffy and appear dry. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 2 minutes in the donut pan, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
For the Cinnamon Crumble Topping
- In a large bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
- Add softened butter and mash with your fingers. Begin mashing the butter into the dry ingredients. Continue to combine until you can pick up all ingredients in your hands. Squeeze dough together to pack everything together.
- Once dough is smooth and firm, begin pinching the dough within your fingers so that it breaks apart into small pieces. Set aside.
For the Cinnamon Icing
- In a wide bowl, whisk together milk, sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
For the Vanilla Icing
In a small bowl, whisk together milk, sugar, and vanilla. Pour icing into a pastry bag with a small tip or in a Ziploc bag with the corner cut out. Set aside.
Putting it All Together
- Dip cooled donuts in cinnamon icing. Quickly sprinkle cinnamon crumble topping on top so that it sticks to the cinnamon frosting.
- Allow donuts to dry for 15 minutes, then drizzle vanilla frosting on top of the donuts. Let donuts dry for another 15-20 minutes before eating.
* * If you don't have any buttermilk, you can make your own. Using a measuring cup, pour in 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of either lemon juice or vinegar. Then pour milk in the measuring cup, going up to 1/3 cup. Stir and let mixture sit for 5 minutes, then use as buttermilk in the recipe.