Baked Blueberry Crumb Doughnuts
I was originally going to act like this recipe and post is no big deal. Yeah, blueberry baked doughnuts. So what? Oh yeah, I totally put a cinnamon crumb topping on them, doesn’t everyone? Scoff scoff. I was going to pretend to not even be excited about them, because that would be much cooler, right? The reality is, I’m not that good of an actor. Also I underestimated my love of doughnuts. I’m not even going to pretend that I don’t like those pillowy delicious treats and that this post isn’t a big deal, because it is in fact a very big deal. Monumental actually. Let’s all take a moment to ponder and comprehend the gravity of the situation we find ourselves in at the moment. The situation being that we’re all going to have to stare at these doughnuts for the next several minutes, and have to deal with the fact that they aren’t right in front of our faces. Why aren’t they right in front of our faces? Why aren’t we devouring them at this very moment? I mean, this is the stuff that dreams are made of. I’m convinced that blueberries and cinnamon are up in heaven, for sure. Just between the two of us though—you and I, don’t tell anyone else—I’m still very surprised that I was able to come up with such a delicious recipe, almost overnight. Sometimes I surprise myself, like whoa.
Right from the beginning, I knew I wanted to make another baked doughnut recipe, like the one before, if you recall (Baked Peanut Butter Chocolate Doughnuts) because that one actually changed my life forever. Maybe even in ways that I could never have dreamt of. So there I was one day last week, scratching my head and pondering as hard as I could, “What should my next post be? What can I make, but really what do I feel like eating?” Then BAM it all sort of made sense to me in an instant. It came to me in a vision-like dream. It hit me hard like a bullet (slight dramatization). I knew I needed to make these doughnuts because in reality my all time favorite doughnut is the cinnamon crumb doughnut. You know the kind? The yeast variety rolled around in a cinnamon crumb topping. It’s the best. I could go for a few dozen right now actually, but that’s a whole other story. They’re delicious and completely addicting. Like wake up in the middle of the night and eat about ten of them without realizing it, addicting. Then wake up in the morning and proceed to have another ten like if your life depended on it and you were about to win a medal for it. That’s the best kind of addiction to have, in my opinion.
So a few days later I was getting ready to make a batch of baked cinnamon crumb doughnuts for you guys—but let’s be honest it was really for me—when I realized I had a pint of fresh blueberries in the fridge. The only thing on the top shelf actually, and it was almost as if someone was telling me to make blueberry doughnuts at that very instant. A sign sent from I don’t know where. Probably from me because I’m like seventy percent sure I bought those blueberries in the first place. Several hours later I was devouring the best doughnut I’ve had in a very long time. Turns out blueberries and doughnuts are meant to be together forever, and if you don’t believe me, I guess you’ll just have to find out for yourself. Be sure to let me know the moment you become addicted so that I can rub it in your face and say I told you so. I’m kidding, I wouldn’t really do that….I’d also throw in an “I Told You So” dance because that’s the way to do it.
You’ve heard me repeatedly profess my undying love for cinnamon. It’s my favorite spice in all the world. No joke. The entire world. Now, throw cinnamon crumb topping into the mix and all bets are off. Who knows what will happen. I might go crazy. Or crazier than I already am. It’s possible. In case of an emergency, you can’t count on me to not eat all of the crumb topping. I’ll totally gobble it all up without regret. You’ve also heard me on several (more like all the time) occasions mention my obsession with doughnuts. Sure you know that they’re my all time favorite treat. Of course you realize that if I were given a choice of eating only one thing for the rest of my life, doughnuts would be at the top of that list. So this post shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. Not in the slightest. I do love me some doughnuts and baked doughnuts are no exception. I’ll take doughnuts any way I can get them. Just shove them into my mouth as fast as I can. It’s not a pretty sight, but boy is it tasty.
Let’s start by mixing together the dry ingredients for the crumb topping, which happens to be the best part of this recipe. We’ll need a large bowl and a whisk.
**Tip: Since we’re going to be mixing in the brown sugar, it’s best not to sift the ingredients. The brown sugar won’t go through the sifter. This is a super basic recipe so believe me when I say, whisking will be just fine. It’s okay if there are lumps. This is a crumb topping, there should be lumps.**
We’re going to need:
Fresh Ground Nutmeg.
Next up is very cold butter. Unsalted butter that you’ve diced, that way it’s easier to breakdown.
**Note: The cold butter helps keep the crumb, crumbly and coarse, if that at all makes sense.**
Using a pastry blender, a fork, a potato masher, two knives or your fingers, breakdown the butter into the dry ingredients until coarse crumbs form, the size of peas. Basically you just want it to look like large breadcrumbs that are different sizes and what not.
So that’s a basic crumb recipe for you. If you wanted, you can use this recipe for many other recipes. Plop it on top of cake batters and make coffee cake. You can dump it all over fresh fruit for a crumble. Since we’re going to use this as a topping for doughnuts, we’re going to bake this so that it browns and crisps a little.
Pour the crumb topping onto a baking sheet and evenly spread it out.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until just golden brown.
Once out of the oven, place the sheet on a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Then using your hands, breakup and toss the crumb topping so that you don’t have large chunks. Then just set it off to the side. Of course you can sneak a few spoonfuls here and there, not a problem. This is a lot of topping so don’t worry about it. I got you covered.
**Tip: If you have extra crumb topping you can store it in the fridge and then sprinkle it over yogurt or ice cream.**
Let’s turn our attention to the doughnut batter now, shall we? We shall. We shall.
So let’s start like we normally always do, by mixing together the dry ingredients.
We’re going to need flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt (it might appear to be the same image over and over again, but I assure, it’s not. Look for the changes).
Give it all a good whisk (or sift) to make sure all the ingredients are well incorporated. You want the baking soda and baking powder evenly distributed because this will ensure the doughnuts rise in the oven evenly.
Okay, so set the dry ingredients off to the side.
Grab a large mixing bowl. I know, I know we’re dirtying so many bowls and utensils and that there are a lot of steps but believe me, these doughnuts are worth it.
We’re going to cream together the butter and sugar.
**Note: You can easily make this batter by hand with just a wooden spoon, or if you’d like to really speed things up and make it as easy as possible, you can definitely use a hand or stand mixer. Whichever method you decide on, it’s important to not over mix the batter when adding the dry ingredients, because that will result in dry doughnuts. Nothing is worse than dry doughnuts. NOTHING! I’ll throw those dry doughnuts in your face. Keep that in mind.**
Now let’s add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add the vanilla extract and stir once more, until well combined.
We’re going to add the dry ingredients from earlier, along with the buttermilk. Buttermilk makes batters moist. You heard it here first. Okay, you’ve probably heard that before, and frequently, but pretend for me yeah?
**Tip: Just like with most cake batters, we’re going to add the dry ingredients, alternately with the buttermilk. Make sure you begin and end with the dry ingredients. This method of mixing the dry and wet ensures that the batter doesn’t get over mixed. Mix after each addition until just combined.**
So it goes: dry and stir.
Milk and stir.
Dry again, and stir.
Milk again, and stir.
And so on and so forth until all the milk and dry ingredients have been added.
Finally, we’re going to fold in the fresh blueberries. You can use frozen blueberries if you’d like, just don’t tell me about it. Also make sure you drain them of all that frozen juice in the bag. You don’t want to add that excess moisture because it will mess up your batter.
That’s it! The batter is good to go. We’re now ready to make doughnuts. DOUGHNUTS! Spray a doughnut pan liberally, with non-stick cooking spray, and then spoon in the batter. You can spoon it to the top of each cavity.
Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes in a preheated 350°F oven or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. I know what you’re saying, “But Jonathan, there is no middle! It’s a doughnut silly!” Well just stick the toothpick towards the center. The edges will be slightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then carefully remove the doughnuts and place them on a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat until all the batter is used.
Once all the doughnuts are baked and are completely cooled, they are ready to be topped. Make a simple powdered sugar glaze by mixing powdered sugar in a bowl with enough milk to make it a spreading consistency. Just eyeball it. If I can do it, so can you.
Then take a doughnut, dunk it into the glaze and then dunk it into the crumb topping we made earlier. Place back on the wire rack to allow the glaze to set.
Repeat with the remaining doughnuts.
Once all the doughnuts are topped, it is important to allow them to sit for a bit so that the topping sets. It’ll just be better that way, trust me.
This will most definitely be the hardest part of the entire recipe. Just knowing you can’t eat them yet and all you can do is stare and stare while your mouth waters and your body starts to shake because you’re going through doughnut withdrawals…wait, that totally didn’t happen to me. I don’t know what you’re talking about. Stop staring at me.
The best part about these doughnuts is their deliciousness of course, but really it’s the fact that they are baked. And we all know that because they aren’t fried like traditional doughnuts it means we can eat as many as our stomachs can handle, right? That seems like the most logical thing I’ve ever said. You can quote me on that. I’m pretty sure it’s a rule that everyone follows, and if it isn’t everyone should follow it. So let’s just make dozens upon dozens of baked doughnuts and eat them all because they’re guilt-free.
These are the perfect excuse to eat sweets for breakfast. No one can really judge us for waking up and scarfing down doughnuts first thing in the morning because it’s totally a breakfast treat. I mean, there are blueberries in here after all and blueberries are a wonderful source of antioxidants. Which is good for us. So really, if you think about it, we’re doing our bodies a favor. We really should be eating nothing BUT blueberry doughnuts in the mornings from now on. It’s the only solution we have.
You can make a big batch of these doughnuts on the weekend, like let’s say, Sunday for instance. And then you can have them ready and waiting for you, at your disposal all week long. Just wake up, pour yourself a cup of coffee and grab a doughnut (or two). I won’t judge you if you eat more than two though, and I won’t blame you either because I can honestly say that once you start eating them, you won’t be able to stop. Someone might have to physically restrain you. Either that or they might have to hide the doughnuts because you’ll definitely want to eat as many as you possibly can. But don’t worry, they’re baked remember. Go ahead and eat them all.
If you’re not really feeling the crumb topping, you don’t have to make it. Instead, you can add lemon zest and a splash of fresh lemon juice to the glaze and just dip the doughnuts in the glaze. Lemon and blueberries go really well together so it would be a perfect match. And if you’re not really liking that idea either and just want to eat the doughnuts plain, well you can do that as well. I mean, sure, it’s a little boring but I’m not judging. You can simply dust them with powdered sugar and call it a day. They’ll still taste amazing.
I think I’ve run out of things to say about these doughnuts, can you blame me? I’ve been chatting your ears off for a while now. You must be saying, “Jeeze Jonathan, just can it already. Move on. Show me the recipe!” Well, rest assured I’m done. No more. This post is finished. We’ve reached the end. I have nothing left to write. Except of course, what I’m writing right now, but it doesn’t really count because now I’m just typing whatever is coming to mind and believe you me it isn’t anything important. Anyhow, I hope you give these doughnuts a try. They might just become your new favorite doughnut and I’m completely okay with that because it might just be my new favorite (for like a minute). Enjoy!
Baked Blueberry Crumb Doughnuts
These (semi) guilt-free doughnuts are baked, not fried, so it gives you the opportunity to eat them by the dozen and not feel an ounce of regret. It doesn’t get any better than this, right? Not to mention the copious amounts of fresh blueberries in the doughnuts themselves and don’t even get me started on the cinnamon crumb topping. Like whoa. These doughnuts will change your mind on baked doughnuts all together. They’re just as good as their fried counterparts.
yield: about 18 doughnuts
For the crumb topping:
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter, chilled and diced
For the doughnuts:
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 to 6 tablespoons milk
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. Spray a doughnut pan with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.
2. Make the crumb topping. In a large bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the butter and cut in with a pastry blender, fork, two knives, potato masher or your hands, until the mixture is crumbly and coarse crumbs form, about the size of peas. Spread the crumb topping onto the prepared baking sheet and give it a good shake to spread it out evenly. Bake for about 20 minutes, tossing halfway through baking, or until it begins to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool down completely. Run your fingers through the topping to break up any large clumps. Set aside.
3. Make the doughnuts. In a medium bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients, alternately with the buttermilk, making sure to start and end with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the blueberries. Spoon the batter into the prepared doughnut pan and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the doughnuts are golden brown on the edges and a toothpick, inserted in the middle, comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for about 10 minutes. Remove the doughnuts, place on a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batter until all the doughnuts are baked.
4. Make the glaze by mixing together the powdered sugar and enough milk to make it a smooth spreading consistency. Once all the doughnuts are fully cooled, you can dip them into the glaze and then into the crumb topping from earlier. Place back on the wire rack and allow the glaze to set before eating. Store any leftovers in an airtight container. Will keep for up to 4 days. Enjoy!