Apple-Kumquat Doughnuts with Cinnamon Sugar

What? Words on a Wednesday? Yes, surprise! But it’s for a good reason- my second Daring Bakers challenge! This month’s theme: Doughnuts. I am really liking these challenges for making me step out of my comfort zone. Deep frying is definitely not in my comfort zone, so I actually enlisted Soy to help me out cos I am a scaredy cat with hot oil. In the end though, we made an executive decision to bake these doughnuts for the sake of our arteries and because our waistlines are starting to show physical evidence that we’ve been writing a food blog for a few months (how do the rest of you food bloggers do it?!) At least I knew I wanted an apple filling (hey, fruit!) because one of my most favourite things in life is fresh, warm stewed apples. Even better with the sweet, spicy cinnamon! And Soy added an extra special suggestion: Why not stew the apples in the kumquat jam that she made last summer? Apple-kumquat-cinnamon….. all in stretchy spongy dough…. it was sounding promising…..

I was very good with the dough recipe- made it the night before, let it rest and it rose like a dream. Knocked it back down, and it rose heaps again, then kept it in the fridge overnight to develop. The next day, it was good to go! It was fun rolling out the dough because I didn’t feel like I had to be too delicate with it like with my ‘friend’, pastry. I could actually use some pressure on the dough as it was stretchy and elastic… fun!

Spoon little drops of sweet, sticky, fragrant apple and kumquat filling….

… then cover to make little pillows.

After baking, roll in cinnamon sugar and voilà! Even though I am not a terribly huge fan of doughnuts, I think they’re ok, but I don’t go crazy about them like I do cake or croissants, I was breathing in the aroma of these as they left the oven and my mouth was watering. Think of the aromas of sweet sticky fruit, buttery hot bread and spicy cinnamon all mingling together. It was very hard for me to wait until I had finished photographing the doughnuts before taking a bite!

Oh, and I have a small confession to make.  In all my patting myself on the back for prepping the dough the night before, I actually forgot to add the sugar into the dough! *sheepish look* BUT I must say that they sweetness of the filling and the cinnamon sugar was more than sufficient for a yummy doughnut! I actually think they would have been far too sweet with the added sugar. The dough was chewy and the different elements all came together beautifully. Granted, because they’re baked, they aren’t as crispy on the outside or as tender as if they had been deep fried. And they’re also a pale yellow rather than golden. But I think it’s a worthwhile sacrifice for our waistlines….. and for future chocolate croissants! ;)

Blog-checking lines: The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

Apple-Kumquat Doughnuts with Cinnamon Sugar

makes 12 doughnuts

Yeast Doughnuts

adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe

Preparation time:
Hands on prep time – 25 minutes
Rising time – 1.5 hours total
Cooking time – 12 minutes

Milk 1.5 cup / 360 ml
Butter 1/3 cup / 80 ml / 70 gm / 2.5 oz
Active Dry Yeast 4.5 teaspoon (2 pkgs.) / 22.5 ml / 14 gm / ½ oz
Warm Water 1/3 cup / 80 ml (95°F to 105°F / 35°C to 41°C)
Eggs, Large, beaten 2
White Granulated Sugar ¼ cup / 60 ml / 55 gm / 2 oz (I forgot this in my doughnuts and they were sweet enough so I would omit, unless you have a very sweet tooth)
All Purpose Flour 4 2/3 cup / 1,120 ml / 650 gm / 23 oz + extra for dusting surface


  1. Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the butter. (Make sure the butter is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter.)
  2. Place the butter in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.
  4. Add the eggs, sugar (if using) and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.
  5. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.
  6. Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
  7. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  8. Knock down the dough, and let rise again, then refrigerate overnight. Or if you are time pressed, skip this step.
  9. Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass. Drop teaspoonfuls of cooled apple filling in the middle of the rounds, brush the edges with milk, place another dough round over and press edges firmly to seal. Make sure you seal the edges well, or your filling will escape when you cook the doughnuts. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
  10. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 190°C until the bottoms just turn brown.
  11. Dip baked doughnuts in some melted butter then coat in cinnamon sugar.

Apple-Kumquat filling

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored and chopped coarsely

3 tbsp Kumquat jam (we had some that Soy made)

8 tbsp maple syrup

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and stew over low to medium heat until apples are tender (about 15 minutes).

Cinnamon Sugar

1 cup caster sugar and 2 tsp ground cinnamon mixed together!

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  • Lollcakes

    What an awesome adaptation! I share your fear of hot oil, I had to get Frank to do the first two… Well done on your second challenge Honey and Soy!!

  • Heidi – Apples Under My Bed

    These look absolutely delightful. I would like one right now please, that would be blissful! I love the baking element – it’s always good to have it a bit healthier. It means you can eat more, yes? :)
    Heidi xo

  • Shelley C

    Those look so fantastically light and delicious, and the filling sounds delightful. I am definitely going to try my hand at baking donuts next time, too. Really great job on the challenge.

  • Hannah Terry-Whyte

    I’ve never been much of a donut person either (give me cheesecake instead anyday!) but these do look magnificent. I think you had me at cinnamon!

  • Audaxartifex

    They look perfect and the flavour profile Apple-Kumquat sounds even better and I like how you baked them also well on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    I’m absolutely loving the sound of this combination! Apple in anything gets my vote :D

  • Anonymous

    I’m freaked by the deep fryer too so I sadly didn’t try this month’s challenge, but your creation is definitely inspiring me to conquer the fear.
    I’ve seen a correlation between food bloggers, pastry chefs and marathon runners, regarding maintaining fitness, eep! And food bloggers and well-nourished workplaces :)

  • AmandaP

    OMYummy! This is like the love child of Krispy Kreme and an Apple fritter…must try to make this!!!

  • Prerna@IndianSimmer

    Wow, some really great doughnut recipes from all you daring bakers this time! Apple is something I have ample amounts in my pantry right now and I’ve been hunting for recipes that can make them interesting. This one looks great! And I’m a big fan of doughnuts with fillings.

  • Faith

    That apple-kumquat filling sounds really delicious! I love how you baked your doughnuts instead of frying them…so much healthier!

  • Nicola

    Perfect doughnuts with a really delicious sounding filling!

  • Anonymous

    I understand that they weren’t as crispy, but did they have the same doughnutty taste otherwise? I think baking is a huge improvement on this old favourite, but don’t be afraid of deep frying. Ingredients can smell fear….

  • Yuki

    This combo sounds yummy =) Great work!!

  • Yuki

    This combo sounds delicious =) Great work ^^

  • Celia

    These look delicious!

  • Iron Chef Shellie

    mmmm looks so good!

  • Heide M.

    I’ll have to try these. These doughnuts are perfect for fall.