This past weekend was initially just going to be a wash. Work has been crazy hectic lately, so I’ve been using the weekends to recover. And by recover, what I really mean is watch an insane amount of Netflix and spend hours on Pinterest and Tumblr. I’d even decided to give myself a little bit of a baking break, pulling on my polka dotted stretchy pants from Uniqlo and parking myself in front of the TV with my iPad in one hand and my phone in the other. Ahhh, the good life.
Halfway through an episode of My Cat From Hell (which, by the way, is the best show ever), I picked up my phone to idly scroll through my Instagram feed when — BAM — I spotted Melissa’s pretty donut pictures on Instagram (which, by the way, if you guys aren’t following Melissa on Instagram, you are seriously missing out).
Whoa, I thought to myself, after being hypnotized by her beautiful picture of a chocolate and vanilla donut checkerboard. Now I kinda want a donut. I wish I lived in the same city as Melissa. Maybe she’d bring me donuts. Well… I could also probably go get a donut… but that would require getting up and changing out of my stretchy pants. And I also want to find out if Jackson manages to tame City the Kitty (a beautiful Bengal cat with a propensity to leap at its poor owner’s head).
Just as I had decided that it was probably a good idea to bike a few blocks to check out the newly opened Blue Star Donuts after the episode, my phone buzzed again. Lo and behold, it was Melissa herself, emailing to ask if I was doing a post for this week’s upcoming National Donut Day. I paused. I hadn’t been planning on it, but I did have a donut craving and an afternoon clear of any plans (well, except for binge watching My Cat From Hell). What if I skipped the long lines at Blue Star and made the donuts myself?
And so, armed with inspiration from Melissa’s pretty instagram pictures, I pulled out my go-to donut cookbook and realized that I had just the ingredients to make a batch of sour cream donuts:
Okay, real talk here for a second. What are sour cream donuts? They’re pretty similar to cake donuts, but the additional sour cream adds an extra richness to the dough. As they fry up, they split and crack all over the place, making a crispy craggy crust that catch glaze and frosting:
As for topping the donuts, I played two different cards, with one hand being more successful than the other. The winner was simple: I glazed half of the donuts with Nutella, leftover from the day I made this Nutella swirled brioche, and topped with some raspberry sprinkles left over from my last trip to the Netherlands. The other half of the donuts were glazed with a classic powdered sugar glaze with a pinch of blue Kool Aid to give them their color and a tangy kick. It was actually pretty good (and reminded me of Voodoo Doughnut’s Miami Vice Berry donut), but nothing can really beat Nutella.
I know, I know, it’s crazy that I happened to have both raspberry sprinkles and blue Kool Aid in my pantry. But I’m really into experimenting with crazy ingredients, and when I see them on the grocery store shelves, I can’t help but buy them for “future projects”. Most of the time, they do end up just sitting in my pantry languishing (lucky for me both sprinkles and Kool Aid have an insane shelf life… yay?), but then again, there are days like today when a blogger friend calls on you to make donuts and you go ahead and do so and top them with said crazy ingredients.
Happy National Donut Day, folks! And be sure to check out my other donut recipes and of course, my talented blogger friends’ recipes too:
- Melissa’s Mix and Match Donuts at The Faux Martha
- Kelly’s Donut Marshmallows and DIY Donut Floppy Hat (!!!) at Studio DIY
- Ashley’s Samoa Baked Donuts with 1 Minute Maple Caramel (OMGOMG) and Classic Buttermilk Baked Donuts at Edible Perspective (also, both are gluten-free!)
- Molly’s beautiful Biscuit Donuts at My Name is Yeh
- Lyndsay’s MMM Milk Tea Donuts (mmm indeed!) at Coco Cake Land
- Stephanie’s ABSOLUTELY GENIUS waffle donut recipe at I Am A Food Blog
- Billy’s Peanut Butter Oreo Donuts at Wit + Vinegar
- Adrianna’s Rhubarb Poppy Seed Donuts at A Cozy Kitchen
Some baker’s notes:
- No donut cutter? No problem! In a pinch, use a drinking glass with a 3-inch diameter to cut out donuts and a regular old shot glass to cut out the donut holes.
- You don’t need a deep fryer to make donuts. I actually have a deep fryer, but prefer to use a cast iron skillet to fry donuts since I feel like it’s safer and easier to clean. Make sure your pot is deep enough to hold at least 2 inches of oil, with at least 2 inches of clearance from the top of the pot. You also don’t really need a candy thermometer, but it makes your life a lot easier if you’ve got one.
Sour Cream Donuts
- a 3 1/2 inch donut cutter (but see baker’s notes)
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 large egg and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter until smooth. Add the flour mixture (from the 1st step) a little at a time until a smooth dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the batter for 15 to 20 minutes.
- After the batter has chilled, heat at least 2 inches of oil in a deep fryer or a cast iron skillet until a candy thermometer registers 360 (F).
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/2 inch thick. Use a 3 1/2 inch donut cutter to cut out donut holes.
- With a metal spatula, carefully place 1 or 2 donuts at a time in the oil. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until light golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel on a wire rack. Let cool slightly before glazing. Like most quick breads, the donuts are best on the day they are made.