Cooking Classics: Gingerbread Doughnuts

Buttermilk Gingerbread Doughnuts With Buttermilk Gingerbread Glaze By Rebecca Gordon Buttermilk Lipstick Southern Hostess Easy Entertaining Holiday Recipes How To Fry Old-Fashioned Doughnuts WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham Alabama Cooking Lessons HowTo Secrets To Making Fabulous Donuts From Scratch Cake Doughnuts Fried DonutsCooking Classics 

The Breakfast Staples

It’s Time To Make The Doughnuts

It was the seventies. There were no seat belt laws. Children squashed themselves into the back window of mile long sedans making googly faces at the drivers behind them & a routine trip to the dentist inevitably ended by swinging through the Krispy Kreme on the way home. Dinnertime may have been a mere hour away but that was completely beside the point. Doughnuts have never made my Top 10 but my mother’s… that’s a different story. While most ogle the Hot & Now yeast-raised variety, I found the cake doughnuts to be a bit of a tease with all of their sprinkley bits & pieces beaming up at me. Maybe I was hoping, just hoping it would be similar to eating a slice of luscious birthday cake but the frosting generally stood it’s ground on the dense fried cake forming a hard shell over the surface. After many visits & much trial & error, the simple powdered sugar coated doughnuts became my standard. Not to be confused with the Snoopy varetiey found on grocery store shelves. If I was going to eat a doughnut, freshly made as well as the best one on the entire tray was crucial. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in all my days of cooking, people really go ga-ga for certain foods & doughnuts happen to fall into that category. They may not be my favorite but that’s usually my cue to figure out why others love them.

Classic cake-style doughnuts get their lift from chemical leaveners such as baking powder & baking soda. They tend to be a little less intimidating than the yeast-raised counterpart. Cake doughnuts are an easy starting point if you’ve ever wanted to make your own from scratch. After experimenting with several ingredient ratios, dough textures, oil temperatures & various techniques, I found this method to be the most straightforward yielding a soft cake interior, a lovely shape once fried & a rich golden color. The molasses & the brown sugar will have the exterior looking a tad bit darker than those prepared without it but Clark Griswold would probably be quite pleased with the scents of the season infused directly into the gingerbread dough & glaze. The key to this particular recipe lies in a quick fry time at a slightly higher temperature than a standard cake doughnut coupled with a diligent effort to drain them well once they have been removed from the hot oil.

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Gingerbread Doughnuts By Rebecca Gordon Buttermilk Lipstick Southern Hostess Holiday Entertaining Fox 6 Birmingham Alabama Cooking Lessons How To Make Fried Cake Donuts How To Fry Doughnuts Donut Tips

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickGingerbread Doughnuts
makes about 20 doughnuts

The doughnuts are best the same day they are prepared. Expect a smaller doughnut that’s the perfect size for young children. The dough can be cut into festive 2 5/8 x 2 3/8-inch gingerbread men. The shapes will expand while frying & dome slightly on one side.

1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tbsp molasses
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 3/4 cup ap flour
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Vegetable oil
Buttermilk Gingerbread Glaze

one
Whisk together the dark brown sugar, the butter, the molasses &
the buttermilk in a large bowl. Stir in the egg with a rubber spatula.

Whisk together the flour, the pumpkin pie spice, the baking powder,
the baking soda & the salt in a small bowl. Fold into the buttermilk mixture
just until blended. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour.

two
Divide the dough in half. Roll 1 portion of the dough on a floured surface.
Cut the dough into 2 3/8-inch round shapes. Cut the centers with an 11/16-inch piping tip.
Place onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. 

Re-roll & cut the dough scraps, including the holes.
Repeat with the remaining portion of the dough.
Let the cut shapes stand 15 minutes, uncovered, before frying.

three
Attach a candy thermometer to the side of a 3 1/2-quart pan.
Pour 1-inch of oil into the pan & heat to 360 degrees over Medium.
Adjust the dial as necessary to maintain the oil temperature.

Drop 4 to 5 pieces of dough into the hot oil at a time.
Fry 30 seconds & flip the doughnuts. Fry an additional 30 to 60 seconds.
Remove from the grease.

Drain on a cornucopia of stacked paper towels.
Flip the doughnuts & let them stand a few minutes.
Flip them again & allow them to stand on a fresh stack of paper towels.
Allow the oil to return to 360 degrees before dropping a new batch.
Let the doughnuts stand 20 minutes on fresh paper towels before glazing.

four
Prepare the Buttermilk Gingerbread Glaze.
Dip the doughnut tops in the glaze.
Place the doughnuts on a wire rack to set.

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread Cake Doughnuts By Rebecca Gordon Buttermilk Lipstick Southern Hostess WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham Alabama Good Day Alabama Cooking Lessons Frying Tips The Secret To The Best Donuts Troubleshooting Doughnuts Holiday Entertaining Making Donuts With Kids & Children Christmas Recipes Breakfast

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickButtermilk Gingerbread Glaze
makes about 1 3/4 cups

The molasses provides distinctive gingerbread flavor. If you’re sensitive to the robust notes, you can always omit it for a simplified spice glaze.

1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp molasses
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
4 Tbsp whole buttermilk, well shaken

Whisk together the powdered sugar, the butter, the molasses
& the pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. 
Whisk in the buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the glaze is smooth.
Use as directed.

The glaze should be thin enough to easily dip the doughnut tops
but thick enough to cover the surface without excessive drips down the sides.

Southern Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickFROM THE KITCHEN OF BUTTERMILK LIPSTICK 

{testing notes}

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread Doughnuts By Rebecca Gordon Buttermilk Lipstick Southern Hostess WBRC Good Day Alabama Fox 6 Birmingham Christmas Breakfast Holiday Entertaining Brunch Cooking Lessons How To Fry Donuts Troubleshooting Donuts Making Cake Donuts Frying Cake Doughnuts How To Make Cake-Style Doughnuts From Scratch

Cake doughnuts are extremely easy to make.
Traditionally perfumed with a smidgen of nutmeg, this recipe offers a seasonal twist.
Dust with powdered sugar or roll in cinnamon sugar for simple variations once fried.
Follow these essential tips & get ready to handcraft the best doughnuts in town. 

How To Make Old Fashioned Cake-Style Doughnuts From Scratch By Rebecca Gordon Buttermilk Lipstick Southern Hostess Holiday Entertaining Good Day Alabama WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham Buttermilk Gingerbread Dough How TO Donuts Tips Frying Cooking Lessons The Dough

Many recipes call to use cake flour which has a lower protein content.
It’s great for producing a texture that’s light & soft.

However, I chose to use all-purpose flour.
Most folks will already have this in their cupboard.
With a few pointers, you can create a lovely texture nonetheless.

Blending the dough by hand helps reduce the gluten that may develop.
It will give you that soft cake-like texture desired.

Expect a sticky mass once blended but easy to use.
Sprinkle a little flour over the dough to help remove from the bowl.

Buttermilk Gingerbread Doughnuts By Rebecca Gordon Buttermilk Lipstick Southern Hostess Birmingham Alabama Cooking Lessons How To Make Donuts From Scratch Cake-Style Old Fashioned Doughnuts Pastry Chef Holiday Entertaining Christmas Breakfast

The Rolling & The Cutting

The process is very similar to making gingerbread cookies.
Instead of baking the dough, you’ll just fry them in hot grease.

Place the dough on a well floured surface.
Well floured hands & tools are essential, too.
Work the dough as little as possible for the best texture. 

Dip the cutters in flour between cuts.
Swipe your hand down the rolling pin occasionally to keep stickiness at bay.

The fry time is quick.
Re-roll the doughnut holes as they are very small.
You’ll get a few extra larger doughnuts as a result.

By the way, I did bake a batch & it was a miserable fail.
They were dry, pale & well, sad.
Definitely a different doughnut experiment for another time.

How To Make Cake-Style Donuts By Rebecca Gordon Buttermilk Lipstick Southern Hostess Cooking Lessons Birmingham Alabama WBRC Fox 6 Pastry Chef Frying Doughnuts Tips For Making DoughnutsThe Frying

The grease.
There are several rules of thought on this topic. 
A temperature that kept popping up was 325 degrees.
I tried it. Even though I knew better.

The idea here is that you can fry the doughnuts longer 
to keep them from getting too dark on the exterior.
This invited excess grease that absorbed into the surface
& a little into the interior of the doughnut, too.

After a few additional temperature tests,
I found 360 degrees delivered consistent results every time. 
It is a quick fry for sure. 

 Allow the doughnut shapes to stand before frying.
This step will create a barrier over the surface
to prevent grease from absorbing into the dough while cooking.

Drop 4 to 5 pieces of dough into the oil at a time.
They will begin to expand in the hot grease from the leavening.
Flip the doughnuts from the center using a wooden coffee stick.
One side will be flat & the other side will have a cobbled appearance.

Once the doughnuts have an even color on both sides,
remove them from the hot grease.
Drain the doughnuts well over fresh layers of paper towels.

etc

Holiday Entertaining
Try these recipes infused with more gingerbread flavor

Chocolate-Walnut Gingerbread Boys

Buttermilk Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Snowballs

Chocolate Gingerbread Thumbprints

Gingerbread-Red Velvet Cupcakes

music to your ears
“From This Moment On” Ella Fitzgerald

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Be sweet.

About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Southern College Football Fanatic * SEC Tailgate Strategist * Southern Recipe Writer & Sometimes Novelist * Half-Hour Hostess * Media Personality * Houndstooth Hound Owner * Small Town Dreamer * Big Idea Doer * 3rd Generation Pimiento Cheese Fixer * Casserole Maker * Budweiser Drinker * Bourbon Cocktail Sipper * Peanut Butter Love Affair * Cookie Monster * Calorie Burner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer but doesn't care * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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