Baked Doughnuts with Fresh Berry and Pomegranate Glaze

baked doughnut with fresh berry glaze

I say it all the time, I love what I do, but I have pretty much forgotten what a weekend feels like. A day off is an extremely precious thing not to be taken for granted. Waking up on a day free of work to do anything you want to do – or nothing at all – feels as good if not better than waking up on your birthday! Oh the beautiful possibilities.

After a sleep in, a lazy cup of coffee and a walk in the sunshine to the farmers market or the beach or my favourite café, my favourite thing to do on my day off is, of course, baking.

baked doughnut with fresh berry glaze

I have quite a large archive of doughnut recipes. I do love making them and coming up with fun flavour combinations, but deep frying can be messy and tricky to keep the temperature at a consistent level. When I saw this recipe for baked doughnuts that claimed they were as good as the fried kind, and didn’t need a specialised doughnut pan, I obviously had to try it out.

It is a yeasted raised recipe from one of my most trusted sources on all things doughnuts, Lara Ferroni. Of course containing yeast, it does take some time to prove, but I had all the time in the world on my glorious day off to potter around the house while I waited. Bliss.

baked doughnut with fresh berry glaze

Fresh berries are just starting to come into season and they are wonderful so far, definitely one of my favourite things about spring time. I wanted to achieve the classic look of a pink glazed doughnut but using fresh berries and pomegranate for flavour and the perfect colour, without artificial ingredients or food colouring. And of course, I piled as many fresh berries and pomegranate seeds on top as would fit. The combination is delicious.

This is a great base recipe to start from and would be delicious with any flavour of glaze or icing you can imagine! If you prefer a more traditional doughnut, you can brush with melted butter while fresh and hot from the oven and dip straight into cinnamon sugar.

baked doughnut with fresh berry glaze

When eaten fresh, these doughnuts are truly as good as the real thing, but a whole lot better for your waistline. I’d definitely recommend eating these on the same day as you bake them – all doughnuts are best eaten fresh but these ones especially. However if you do have some left over, store in an airtight container and warm them up for around 10 seconds in the microwave to soften them back up before you eat.

baked doughnut with fresh berry glaze

Baked Doughnuts with Fresh Berry and Pomegranate Glaze
Adapted from ‘Doughnuts’ by Lara Ferroni
Makes 10-14 regular doughnuts (I made mini ones)

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup (60g) caster sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk, just warmed
  • 8g active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 300-400g plain flour, plus extra for kneading
  • 112g butter, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1/4 cup mixed berries (any kind you like – fresh, or defrosted from frozen)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • Fresh berries and pomegranate seeds, to decorate
To make the doughnuts, in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg and sugar on medium speed until blended, about 1 minute. Add the milk, yeast, salt and vanilla and stir to blend. With the machine on low speed, add 2 cups of flour half a cup at a time and beat until the dough is thick and pulled away from the side of the bowl.
Switch to the dough hook. With the machine on medium speed, add the butter one piece at a time and beat until no large chunks of butter are left at the bottom of the bowl (3-5 minutes). Reduce speed to low and add additional flour until the dough fathers around the hook and cleans the sides of the bowl. It will be soft and moist, but not overly sticky.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead gently until the dough no longer sticks to your hands. Lightly grease a large mixing bowl and place dough in bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let rise in a warm spot for about 1 hour, or until doubled in volume. 
Punch down the dough and roll out to 3cm thick. With a doughnut or cookie cutter, cut out circles with smaller holes. I made mini doughnuts about 6cm wide. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Place doughnuts at least 3cm apart. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot for about 20 minutes, until nearly doubled in size. 
In the meantime make the glaze. You can either puree the berries in a food processor or mash with a fork in a bowl and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in the pomegranate molasses and icing sugar slowly. The glaze should be quite thick. Adjust the consistency by adding more icing sugar or a touch more pomegranate molasses. 
Bake until doughnuts are light golden, being careful not to over bake them. Immediately dip into the glaze, and decorate with fresh berries and pomegranates. Allow glaze to set for about 10-20 minutes and eat while still warm.

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