Strawberry buttermilk donuts

Frosted Strawberry Buttermilk Donuts

Nothing says “summer” quite like a big bowl of fresh, delicious strawberries.  In celebration of the gorgeous weather we’ve been having lately here in Massachusetts, I whipped up some strawberry buttermilk donuts with strawberry frosting.

The donuts are light and airy, thanks to the buttermilk.  While you could simply use water, liquid dairy product(s) play an important role in donut-making.  The liquid – whether it be milk, cream, buttermilk, melted butter, sour cream, or evaporated milk – tenderize the gluten in the batter, giving the donuts a softer texture, more body, and richer taste.

These aren’t the fried, glazed yeast donuts you usually get from your local donut shop – but I assure you, you won’t miss them (at least not too much).  Once you taste these soft, airy little bites of heaven, you’ll be sold.  The best part about making homemade baked donuts is that, since they don’t require hot oil, frying, or confusing yeast dough, you can make them when you’re half asleep, nursing your first cup of tea or coffee.  Perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast, brunch, or even to simply add a touch of joy to the dreaded Monday morning.  Loaded with fresh, diced strawberries and topped with a cheerful, bright pink strawberry frosting, you can’t help but smile – even before you take your first bite.

Step-by-Step Recipe:

Make the donuts:  In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon.  Mix until well blended.  In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients: melted butter, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and strawberry jam.

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Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Do not overmix.  Fold the diced strawberries into the donut batter.  Spoon, pipe, or pour the batter into the donut cavities, filling 2/3-3/4 of the way full.  Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.  Cool for 2-5 minutes and transfer to a wire cooling rack.

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Make the frosting:  Mix strawberries, jam, and heavy cream until blended.  You can leave the strawberries chunky or puree them in a blender or food processor.  Add the powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time, beating until combined.  If you want to make more of a glaze than a frosting, use less powdered sugar; if you want to make a thicker frosting, use more powdered sugar.

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Frost the donuts:  Place a piece of parchment paper underneath the wire cooling rack.  Dip the tops of the donuts into the frosting and place on wire cooling rack, over the parchment paper.  I dipped the donuts in the pictures below a second time after the first layer had mostly set.

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If you want more of a glaze than a frosting, add the powdered sugar little by little until you reach your desired texture.  I used a glaze rather than a frosting for the donuts in the picture below.

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Frosted Strawberry Buttermilk Donuts

  • Servings: 12 donuts
  • Difficulty: easy
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Light, airy baked strawberry buttermilk donuts, topped with strawberry frosting. Easy to make and perfect for a summertime breakfast, brunch, or a sweet treat any time.

Ingredients

Donuts:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry jam
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, diced

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, diced
  • 1 tablespoon strawberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 420°F (218°C).  Spray donut pans with non-stick cooking spray (I use the Wilton donut pans).  Set aside.
  2. Make the donuts:  In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon.  Mix until well blended.
  3. In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients: melted butter, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and strawberry jam.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Do not overmix.
  5. Fold the diced strawberries into the donut batter.
  6. Spoon, pipe, or pour the batter into the donut cavities, filling 2/3-3/4 of the way full.
  7. Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.  Cool for 2-5 minutes and transfer to a wire cooling rack.
  8. Make the frosting:  Mix strawberries, jam, and heavy cream until blended.  You can leave the strawberries chunky or puree them in a blender or food processor.  Add the powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time, beating until combined.  If you want to make more of a glaze than a frosting, use less powdered sugar; if you want to make a thicker frosting, use more powdered sugar.
  9. Frost the donuts:  Place a piece of parchment paper underneath the wire cooling rack.  Dip the tops of the donuts into the frosting and place on wire cooling rack, over the parchment paper.  I dipped the donuts in the pictures below a second time after the first layer had mostly set.

Additional Notes:

  • I find it easiest and fastest to use an ice cream scoop to get the donut batter into the pan, and then use a small spatula to wipe the batter off the raised center part of the donut cavity (does this have an actual name?).
  • To make the frosting in a stand mixer, make sure to use the paddle/flat beater attachment; I use the flex edge beater with my Kitchen Aid stand mixer for most of my frostings and glazes.
  • You can store any leftover frosting in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1-2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • You can make this recipe into 10-14 muffins using a muffin tin.  Bake at the same temperature for 18-20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  • Donuts taste best eaten the same day, though they may be covered tightly and stored at room temperature for 2-3 days.
  • Make ahead tip:  You can freeze the unfrosted donuts for up to 2 months.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, warm the donuts in the microwave (it should only take a few seconds per donut), and top with frosting.
  • If you want more of a glaze than a frosting, add the powdered sugar little by little until you reach your desired texture.

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