cider cardamom doughnuts

These are my take on NYT Cooking’s recipe for baked apple cider doughnuts. Measurements are based solely on the ingredients I prefer at the moment: Miyoko’s cultured butter and liquid JUST Egg. Using a different butter or egg substitute may yield different results. But hey, that’s just an excuse to make multiple batches, right?

NYT Cooking’s baked apple cider doughnuts

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I like reducing my apple cider for a bit more concentrated flavor. It’s not necessary (and doesn’t require a change in ingredient weights or measures), but it’s easy to do while I set up the oven and mise en place. I find that in my kitchen (i.e. whatever sea level I’m at) one cup of apple cider will reduce by half if simmered for ten minutes. I don’t often weigh ingredients for cakey things, but these are a little delicate and I get the best results for these baked doughnuts when I weigh the butter, brown sugar, and flour. Oh! And for some reason, cooking spray works better than greasing the doughnut wells with butter or oil. I hate using the stuff, but make an exception for these beauties.

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BATTER
1 3/4 cup/225 grams all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup/112 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
3/4 cup/165 grams light brown sugar
3/4 cup/150 grams granulated sugar
6 tablespoons liquid JUST Egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup/120 milliliters apple cider (1 cup/240 mL if you’re going to make a reduction)

SUGAR COATING
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2-4 tablespoons butter, melted

If using an apple cider reduction, do this step now. I keep a heat-proof Pyrex measuring cup next to the stove, and begin checking after seven minutes. If you evaporate off too much liquid, just top it off with fresh cider until you have 1/2 cup.

Place an oven rack in the center position and preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease 2 (6-cavity) doughnut pans with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and whisk to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the liquid egg 3 tablespoons at a time and mix until well incorporated after each addition, scraping the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated. With the mixer running, add the apple cider in a slow, steady stream and mix to combine. Scrape the bowl well to make sure the batter is homogeneous.
Spoon (or pipe) the batter into prepared doughnut pans, filling them about 2/3 of the way. Bake until evenly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the thickest portion comes out clean, 15 to 17 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through baking.

While the doughnuts bake, whisk the remaining dry ingredients (1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon) together in a wide, shallow bowl – I use an 8-inch tart pan. You want something wider than the doughnut, so you can swirl it around. In a separate bowl, melt a couple tablespoons of butter in the microwave. Let the doughnuts cool for 5 minutes after baking, then unmold them from the pans, brush with the melted butter (don’t forget the centers!) and dredge them in the cinnamon sugar while they are still warm. Serve immediately, or let cool to room temperature.

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes

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