Once upon a time Shirley, my mother in law, baked amazing cakes and other delicious treats as a side hustle from her home, and now she just makes them for people she loves and on special occasions. Dubs had a gorgeous coconut cake for his first birthday, the Christmas cookie spread is INCREDIBLE at their house, (plus homemade beignets are a Christmas morning tradition!) and Saturday morning banana bread or sour dough bread toast is a thing that you just don’t want to miss.
On top of this, my mama always talks about the great times she and my dad’s mama had sewing and painting together…how their shared interests always made them feel so close, so connected even though they were only daughters and mothers by marriage.
I’m exceptionally lucky when it comes to in-laws, ya’ll. They are warm, and fun, and easy to please, and they made me feel like a special part of their family from very early on. AND Brett’s mother loves to cook and his daddy loves to garden, so basically we’re made for each other.
When I knew we were going up to see them in the mountains of North Carolina, it seemed like a fun way to spend time with Shirley to see if she’d bake something with me. I’d fallen in love with old fashioned blueberry doughnuts back in Portland and wanted to see if I could recreate the magic at home, so I suggested we try our hand at baked cake doughnuts since no matter how wonderful your in laws are, the VERY LAST THING you EVER should to do is deep fry something in your mother in law’s kitchen (this is like Rule #2 that every daughter in law learns just instinctively. Rule #1, I’m pretty sure, is never mention ex-boyfriends or girlfriends in positive ways in their presence, or, maybe #1 is never criticize their son/daughter in earshot even it he’s just turned all the clothes pink in the wash or mowed down a new fruit tree that just got planted…just don’t do it. 😉
Ok, sorry for the digression. So, when I mentioned cake doughnuts to Shirley, she was so lovely and enthusiastic. Since this was a new expedition into the world of the cake doughnut baking for both of us, we decided to start with a recipe from someone we figured would know, Duff from Cake Boss. 😉 PLUS, these were baked.
She got us a doughnut baking pan and all the ingredients we needed to whip these up one morning, and y’all, in about an hour we had homemade blueberry amazingness for our fellas. And I had a fun hour hanging out with someone I love an awful lot. Win-win!
- THINGS YOU NEED:
- Doughnut pans (for baking)
- a plastic bag with the edge cut out or a piping bag to fill the doughnut pans
- FOR THE DOUGHNUTS:
- Cooking spray
- ⅓ stick butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup cake flour
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
- 1 pint (2 cups) frozen blueberries, thawed (or the same amount fresh.)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- DOUGHNUT GLAZE
- 3½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup milk
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Turn your oven on and preheat to 350 degrees F.
- Spray the doughnut pans with cooking spray (be generous).
- In your mixer, cream the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla until light and fluffy. (use the paddle attachment here. I almost forgot and let me say, the bread hook would have taken AGES.)
- In a different bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Add the eggs and yolk to the mixer and cream together.
- Using a measuring cup, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, mixing on medium-low.
- A few times, use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides.
- Once you've added all the flour and buttermilk, turn the mixer to low and add the blueberries, mixing just until evenly incorporated and the batter is a nice shade of blue. (very, very blue. smurf blue)
- Fill a large piping bag or a plastic bag with the corner cut out with the batter and fill each section of the pan ⅔ full. THIS IS IMPORTANT! DO NOT FILL THE BATTER TO THE TOP. We ended up with a first batch that rose so much there weren't any holes in the doughnuts. whomp whomp.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the tops are brown, you can also check them and will know they are done if the dough springs back when poked.
- When cool, dip the doughnuts into the glaze (see below) top side down. Place them on a cooling rack to harden and thicken.
- Dip them a second time to get the lighter color and add a bit more zing.
- DOUGHNUT GLAZE
- In a big bowl, combine all the ingredients and whisk together.
- You'll have A LOT more glaze than you'll have doughnuts, which is why I recommend dipping twice. 😉
A couple of notes about the original recipe. These taste delicious and are light and a lot like a glazed blueberry muffin. But they’re doughnuts. They’ve got the hole and everything (Unless you over-fill the pans. Beware over-filling the pans).
However, we recommend in the recipe above modifying the glaze recipe from the original a bit since it wasn’t as thick as we expected AND I kind of missed a citrus twist. AND the other thing we think about the original recipe is that, you know, it’s blueberry season, so fresh berries are possible. Highly, highly recommend substituting for the frozen if you can swing it. But if it’s January, then go with the frozen. They’ll still be delightful.