There’s been a little bit of drama amongst my friend circle regarding my donut recipes. A good friend of mine refuses to accept my donuts as real donuts — she instead calls them “cupcake hoops”, arguing that “part of the ‘donut’ definition is ‘deep fried’.”

Well, haters gonna hate. Taters gonna tate.

Think about THAT, Masterson. Think about it.

Regardless of what my friends say, I’m loving my new donut pan. Ain’t nobody gonna be raining on my parade! And with that, I proudly present to you my second cake donut recipe:

Orange Scented Cake Donuts with a Milky Earl Grey Tea Glaze!

Kind of an odd flavor combination, I know. In truth, this recipe was inspired by the leftover food in my kitchen pantry. The quarter-filled cartons of milk, the tiny stubs of butter, the pinches of ingredients that I needed to get rid of before my big move from Denver to Portland.

Lucky for me, the first donut recipe I ever tried required small (and odd) proportions of ingredients. Tablespoons of milk and cream, half tablespoons of butter… exactly the sorts of leftovers I had left in my fridge.

So forgive me folks, if you were looking to try something new — this is the same recipe that I used for my lemon scented cake donuts with rosewater frosting… just reworked with some new flavor combinations. I promise I’ll be trying new donut recipes once I’m settled in Portland… maybe even some deep-fried ones too!

But in any case, this donut recipe is easy and most importantly, delicious. Definitely less intense and floral than the lemon-rosewater ones. I’ve always been a big fan of orange zest in baked goods (see my recipe for orange madeleines with a honey-orange glaze), but I’m an even bigger fan of Earl Grey flavored baked goods. I figured why not combine the two? Since Earl Grey tea is extracted from the rind of a type of citrus fruit (bergamot orange, I think?), I thought that they would compliment each other well:


In truth, the flavor from the orange zest overwhelmed the Earl Grey Tea glaze. It was definitely there, but it was very subtle — you kinda had to look for it. It didn’t help that I topped the donut off with some orange zest:

I think if you’re looking for a stronger tea flavor, I’d recommend skipping the orange zest topping and just leaving the donuts with the milky glaze. Maybe swapping it out for some Earl Grey tea leaves instead? Unless of course, you want a strong citrusy flavor. Because truth be told, despite the lack of Earl Grey Tea flavor, I would definitely make this again. The orange flavor is lovely — the donuts reminded me of childhood tea parties and go well with a glass of cold milk. Nothing is better than that.

So without further ado, I present to you the recipe. I hope you like it!


Get the Recipe: Orange Scented Cake Donuts with a Milky Earl Grey Tea Glaze

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For the Donuts

    (makes 6 regular-sized donuts or 18 mini donuts)

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (for sea-level, increase to 1 teaspoon)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 tablespoon (7 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    • 1 egg, at room temperature
    • 3 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature
    • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, at room temperature
    • 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest

    For the Glaze

      (enough for 6 regular-sized donuts or 18 mini donuts)

      • 3 tablespoons water
      • 1 Earl Grey tea bag
      • 1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
      • 2 teaspoons whole milk, at room temperature
      • extra orange zest or Earl Grey tea leaves to decorate


      * = different for sea-level; please consult ingredients list above

      • Preheat the oven to 375 (F); for sea-level, preheat the oven to 350 (F).
      • Spray the donut cavities in your donut pan with cooking spray. I like to use Coconut Cooking Spray Oil from Spectrum, but any kind will do. If you don't have any cooking spray, use unsalted butter to generously butter the cavities in your pan.
      • Put 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder*, and 1/2 tablespoon salt in the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on slow speed until everything is combined. If you don't have a freestanding electric mixer, use a regular ol' whisk. Gets the job done just as well!
      • Add 1/2 tablespoon melted butter, 1 egg, 3 tablespoons milk, 3 tablespoons cream, and 1 tablespoon orange zest to the flour mixture. Beat until well blended. Again, if you don’t have a freestanding electric mixer, you can stir these ingredients by hand this time using a rubber spatula instead of a whisk.
      • Once the batter is ready, fill your piping bag (or makeshift Ziploc piping bag 🙂 ) with the batter and fill each donut hole until two-thirds full. Be careful not to put too much dough into the cavities or you’ll end up with donuts without any holes!
      • Bake for 14 – 16 minutes (for sea-level, bake for 8-10 minutes) or until the donuts spring back when lightly touched. Don't worry if they look pale — trust me, the other side will be cooked. Place the baking tray on top of a cooling rack and let the donuts cool in the pan for a little bit before trying to unmold them.
      • Once the donuts have cooled, prepare the Earl Grey Tea glaze. Bring 3 tablespoons of water to boil in a small saucepan or in a tea cup in the microwave. Remove from heat, add 1 Earl Grey tea bag, and let steep for at least 5 minutes. The longer you let the tea steep, the stronger your glaze will taste of Earl Grey. Since it’s a very subtle flavor in the first place, I recommend steeping the water for around 10 minutes or so.
      • In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Earl Grey tea (from the water you just boiled), and 2 teaspoons milk until the sugar is completely dissolved and you are left with a liquid paste-like substance.
      • Add a couple more drops of Earl Grey tea for a stronger flavor if you like. Stir the glaze until the color is uniform — it should be a cream color at this point. Use immediately to glaze the donuts! If not the glaze will harden. The best way I found to glaze the donuts was to dunk the top halves of each donut into the bowl containing the glaze. Once the top has been glazed, lay the unglazed part of the donut on top of a cooling rack with a plate underneath — this will allow excess glaze from the donut to drip onto the plate.
      • Once the donuts have been glazed, sprinkle immediately with your chosen decorations (e.g., sprinkles, orange zest, Earl Grey tea leaves). If you wait to decorate the donuts, the glaze will harden and the decorations will not stay on the glaze.


      Adapted from CaffeIna for a high-altitude environment of approximately 5,000 ft
      Special Equipment:
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