I know that technically summer is over and we shouldn’t be thinking of or making anything with fresh strawberries at this point of the year, but I just can’t help it. In my defense though, California has some of the best strawberries around and they’re in season all year round, so it makes it a bit easier to bake up some strawberry goodness. The other piece of great news is that even if strawberries aren’t in season wherever you are, you can easily make these doughnuts with frozen strawberries instead. So no excuses. Everyone should be making them soon. Now, speaking of doughnuts, let’s get to the main event. I’ve posted my fair share of doughnuts on this site, and each one is just as delicious as the last. These are Baked Neapolitan Doughnuts, and if I’m being honest, the main and only reason why I love Neapolitan so much (aside from the killer flavor combination) is that you don’t have to pick between one flavor or the other. It’s really the best of all three worlds. These are baked doughnuts that are half vanilla and half chocolate. The strawberry part comes in through the glaze and the crushed up dried strawberries on top. Give them a try this weekend and enjoy with family or friends, while you grasp that fleeting summer heat. It doesn’t get any better than this.
I’m going to preface this by saying there’s double the work in this recipe, but it’s not hard at all. The first thing we have to do is make the vanilla cake batter for the vanilla part of the Neapolitan doughnuts. Start by whisking together the dry ingredients.
**Note: The great thing about this recipe is that you can do it all by hand. No mixers or fancy equipment required. Which means you can do it in no time.**
In a separate bowl, or measuring cup whisk together the melted butter, milk, egg, and vanilla until smooth.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. You don’t want to over-mix the batter or else you’ll end up with tough doughnuts. Transfer to a disposable piping bag and set aside.
**Tip: The disposable piping bag is optional but it does make it a lot easier to transfer the batter into the doughnut pans!**
Now let’s do it all again for the chocolate batter. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Cocoa powder, sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder.
Whisk together the milk, butter, egg, vanilla, and white vinegar until smooth and then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.
**Tip: The white vinegar reacts with the cocoa powder in a strange way to really make sure you have the most moist chocolate cake batter. You won’t be able to taste it, but believe me it works.**
Add the chocolate chips to the batter and fold until evenly distributed. Transfer the batter to a disposable bag.
Pipe out the vanilla batter into a greased doughnut pan, on one side of each cavity. Then pipe out the chocolate batter on the other side. Give the pan a few taps on the counter to dislodge any air bubbles and to smooth out the batters somewhat.
**Tip: You can use two regular sized baked doughnut pans, and those definitely have to be greased. I use this non-stick, flexible, silicone doughnut pan which I LOVE. It’s worth the price tag, because you don’t have to grease it and they’re bigger sized than the metal pans.**
Bake the doughnuts until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. As they cool, let’s make the strawberry glaze. Place the fresh strawberries in a blender with a splash of water, sugar and salt. Blend until smooth.
**Tip: If you can’t find fresh strawberries, you can use frozen thawed strawberries. If you use the frozen kind, you don’t have to add the splash of water since they already have a lot of moisture in them.**
Pour the strawberry juice into a measuring cup, through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any seeds or lumps. Then whisk the powdered sugar, melted butter, pinch of salt and as much of the strawberry juice as needed to create a smooth pourable glaze.
**Tip: Pour in the strawberry juice a bit at a time, because you can always add more but you can’t take any back.**
Once the doughnuts have cooled completely, dip them top side down into the glaze. While the glaze is still wet, sprinkle the top with crushed up dried strawberries, chocolate shavings and/or sprinkles.
**Note: For the chocolate shavings, I use a semi-sweet chocolate baking bar and then shave with a vegetable peeler. You can also use mini chocolate chips instead.**
Return the doughnuts to a wire rack and allow the glaze to set before serving and enjoying. I like when the glaze is firm on my doughnuts, so I think it’s worth the wait.
Baked doughnuts (as with regular doughnuts I guess) are best when eaten the day they’re made. I mean, they’re okay the next day, but they’re be a bit drier than the first day. All this to say that you should enjoy them the day of.
If you have any leftovers by any chance, you need to reevaluate your life’s choices, but you can wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store them at room temperature for up to 2 days.
These are a great weekend project you can make, especially this weekend because it’s starting to really feel like autumn (it officially is) but maybe we want to hold on to summer just a tiny bit longer. These Baked Neapolitan Doughnuts will help us grab that last straggling heat of summer.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- 5 to 6 medium to large strawberries, stemmed
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup crushed up dried strawberries
- 2 tablespoons chocolate shavings
- 2 tablespoons sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two doughnut pans with cooking spray and set aside.
- To make the vanilla batter, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold with a rubber spatula until just combined. Do not over-mix. Transfer the batter to a disposable piping bag and set aside.
- To make the chocolate batter, in a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar, and butter until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir until evenly incorporated. Transfer the batter to a disposable piping bag.
- Pipe out the vanilla batter into the prepared doughnut pans, halfway around the cavity. Then pipe out the chocolate batter on the other half. Give the pans a few taps on the counter to dislodge any air bubbles and to even them out a bit.
- Bake until lightly golden brown and a toothpick, inserted in the middle, comes out clean, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the glaze, add the strawberries, water, sugar and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, butter and as much of the strawberry juice as needed to create a somewhat thick glaze, but pourable glaze.
- Once the doughnuts have cooled completely, dip the tops of each into the strawberry glaze and while they're still wet, sprinkle the top with crushed up dried strawberries, chocolate curls and sprinkles. Return to the wire rack and allow to set before eating. Serve right away. Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days. Enjoy!