Mmmmmmm mini-donuts, one of life’s greatest indulgences….and one of my greatest weaknesses!

I must say that I imbibed my fair share of donuts this summer in the States. Many of which came from a little food truck called Chef Shack at the Kingfield Market on a Saturday morning..or two…or three… These special donuts were tossed in the most perfect mystery sugar mixture which they defined as Indian. “Indian Spiced Donuts” to be exact. Myself and the little farmer got on famously with these little delights.

So, it should come as no surprise that as I was preparing to attend the Irish Food Board’s {Bord Bia} food bloggers workshop last week, I decided on trying my hand at making donuts to share with everyone. I wanted to go for a raised + baked variety to be a little less sinful, but still had fun with the spices..adding in a little Swedish/Morroccan love to the mix. In the end, I wasn’t able to make the blogger’s event, but the donuts sure were a big hit here at the farm!

I had fresh home-made butter on hand {practising for my GIY Gathering demo on the weekend} which I think went a long way for the flavour and they turned out just divine without being deep-fried.

Here’s the recipe, give em a try!


1 1/3 or 300 ml cups warm milk

1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)

2 tablespoons butter

2/3 cup or 85 g sugar

2 eggs

5 cups or 750 g all-purpose (cream) flour

A pinch or two of nutmeg

1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

To Toss:

1/2 cup or 120 g unsalted butter, melted

1 ½ cups or 375 g caster sugar

1 ½ tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground star anise

½ tsp  ground cloves

pinch of black pepper

Place 1/3 cup (80ml) of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and set aside for five minutes or so. Be sure your milk isn’t too hot or it will kill the yeast. Stir the butter and sugar into the remaining cup of warm milk and add it to the yeast mixture. With a fork, stir in the eggs, flour, nutmeg, and salt – just until the flour is incorporated. With the dough hook attachment of your mixer beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. If your dough is overly sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. If dry, add more milk a bit at a time. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and eventually become supple and smooth. Turn it out onto a floured counter-top, knead a few times (the dough should be barely sticky), and shape into a ball.

Transfer the dough to a buttered (or oiled) bowl, cover, put in a warm place and let rise for an hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on your floured countertop. Stamp out donut circles with donut cutter. (you can also use round cookie cutters or press dough into mini donut baking tray) Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and stamp out the smaller inner circles using smaller cutter. If you cut the inner holes out any earlier, they become distorted when you attempt to move them. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.

Bake in a 375F/190C degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes – start checking around 8. While the doughnuts are baking, place the butter in a medium bowl. Place the spice mix in a separate bowl.

Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Dip each one in the melted butter and a quick toss in the sugar bowl. Eat sooner than later.

 Makes 4 dozen mini doughnuts or 2 dozen regular sized 

Slan Abhaile,


Photo and styling by Imen McDonnell. 

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19 Responses to “Spicy Farm Fresh Donuts”

  1. Imen, new to your blog, and oh heavens these look sublime…the moment you add star anise to anything it becomes pure magic…looking forward to trying these! Janice

  2. Mmmmm these look lip smacking good. Must get my nephews over to bake them with because if I bake them myself I just know I would manage to munch my way through every single donut :)) maybe thats not a bad thought either.

  3. Karen says:

    I just made these Imen and they are to die for. Much less effort than I imagined it took to make doughnuts. I tweaked a couple of things to try and emulate yours (used half buttermilk and half milk to bring in the richness you describe from your own butter and used a seven spice mix along with the cinnamon and sugar for the spiced coating). Will be repeated over and over in this house – thanks for a great recipe

    • imen says:

      Karen, so delighted that they turned out well for you. They take a bit of time but the outcome really makes it worth it! Happy donut eating =) xx

  4. Móna Wise says:

    These look gorgeous. Although I do not have a sweet tooth at all, I am glad doughnuts have not really taken off as a popular fried snack on the island.
    When fresh, they are delicious. Yours look wonderful Imen.

    • imen says:

      Mona..these could turn a savoury into a sweety! the spice mix is savoury-ish….and they are baked so not toooooo bad for the waistline! Thanks for your comment. xx

  5. Wiosanna says:

    When I read you will bring them to the Friday’s meeting they already sounded delicious, but they look even more amazing.
    I always feel guilty, even just thinking about baking the donuts. I have to try yours and some typical Polish ones as well, there were ages when I last ate good donut.

  6. Susan says:

    Wow! These look delicious, will be trying these at home very soon. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I recently purchased a couple of donut tins & never got around to looking for a recipe! These look so good, I’ll definitely give them a go.

  8. Aoife Mc says:

    Holy donuts, they look incredible! I’m with Kristin in thinking they’re a rather intimidating treat to make but you’ve made them look so delicious I might just have to risk it 🙂

    Lovely to have you back in Ireland with us!

    • imen says:

      Can’t wait to read your Berliner post Aoife! We are off to Germany this weekend and the next for Oktoberfest. My maiden voyages over if you can believe it! Thanks for the comment…hope you try them, they have that north african/mid east spice happening….xx

  9. Kristin says:

    Oh my god you made donuts! I’ve seen so many recipes for homemade donuts but have always been daunted by the prospect of making them at home. I eat far too many whenever I go back home, they’re my major weakness. Luckily, the new Brown Hound bakery in Drogheda makes American-style donuts now – including pumpkin ones! – so I can get my fix there.

    • imen says:

      That’s right, you are a donut eater too! I love donuts……..could eat 2 bags at the state fair. somehow the spicy indian ones over the summer seemed less sinister as they were fancier but still deep fried. These take time but are yummy and a wee bit healthier =) . Thanks for your nice comment, must try the Brown Hound! xx

  10. I so wish I could make/eat these. And Chef Shack’s too – Nathan & my sister hit them hard just yesterday, right in front of my jealous face, argh. Lovely pics as always, you, glad you’re settled at home. Hugs, S

    • imen says:

      I am so sorry that you cannot participate in stuffing your face with donuts my dear. But it does look good on you!!!! Thanks for the nice words lovely, miss you! xx

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