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Mini Pumpkin Sour Cream Doughnuts with Cream Cheese Frosting

My love for pumpkin is well known, as is my passion for doughnuts.  My passion extends to spelling doughnuts correctly.  The extra ‘ugh’ in the middle there won’t rub your typing fingers off into nubs any faster.  These doughnuts are both correctly spelled and delicious, and they’re fast and as easy as falling off a log.

Santa raided Think Geek, we’re also test driving the Mini Doughnut Maker.  ThinkGeek did not provide this, it was purchased.  If you would like to purchase one, consider using this link: ThinkGeek.com That activates the bat signal and earns us a commission if you have to have one.   It’s a cute little devil, it looks just like my 10 year old George Foreman when it’s closed.  I see a batch of grilled hotdog cornbread savory doughnuts in my future, and likely yours as well, readers.

We’re using a pretty standard recipe for the batter.  I’m guessing any cake-based doughnut recipe will work, I bet quick breads would, too, for a doughnut shaped muffin.  I’m trying everything in here, because what can’t be improved by being doughnut shaped?

Our pumpkin doughnuts start like this:

2  cups cake flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (3/4 tsp cinnamon + 1/4 tsp cloves + 1/4 tsp ginger + 1/4 tsp nutmeg)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, softened

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt together in a bowl, or mix with a whisk.

Cream butter, sugar, eggs, milk, sour cream and milk together on medium.  Slowly add flour mixture, 1/3 – 1/2  cup at a time.  Mix until moistened – don’t over mix.

Prepare the doughnut maker

If this is the first time out, the instructions say to wipe out the individual cups then to coat them with a thin bit of vegetable oil before turning the machine on to season it.  I did this, waited for it to stop smoking (it was only a bit, and to be expected.) and wiped out the cups with a clean, damp sponge again.  Then I sprayed them lightly with cooking spray.

Pour the batter into the cups to the top of the bottom cup, like such. You can use a fancy pancake dropper or pastry bag (not plastic, if you touch it to the griddle surface it will melt and stink for days.) or you can go old school practical and use a 1/2 cup measure or my personal favorite, a ladle.

Close the lid, and wait for the magic to happen.

Pop the doughnuts out and cool on a rack completely.  I’m totally not kidding, if you put the frosting on before the doughnuts cool it will melt.

Frosting:

1 package cream cheese

1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground (or whatever you have) cinnamon

Use a hand or stand mixer if you have one, this is a PITA to stir by hand.  Make sure your cream cheese is softened to room temperature, it’s the key to success. Drop it in a bowl and turn your mixer on low, beat until fairly fluffy.  Add the sugar a little bit at a time.  Too much and it will poof in your face, trust.  When all the sugar is added, add the vanilla and cinnamon, whip on high until fluffy.

Spread a small (really, this is sweet frosting, it only takes a little) amount of frosting on each tiny (cool!) doughnut.  You can sprinkle with a little more cinnamon, or even a bit of your pumpkin pie spice mix.  These go great with spiked or unspiked eggnog or warm cider.  I’m enjoying one with coffee right now.

I meant to make a second batch today to take pictures, but I ran out of time.   The doughnuts came out golden brown on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.  They are fantastic.

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

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