Pumpkin Doughtnuts

I recently purchased a Wilton Doughnut Pan and had every intention of making cinnamon doughnuts to try it out but then some other recipes got in the way of that and I kept putting the doughnuts on the back-burner. But then last week I made Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce (which was super simple and quite delicious) and I had leftover canned pumpkin and it was only a day or two before that I had come across a recipe for Pumpkin Doughnuts in the recent issue (October 2013) of Real Simple magazine… It was pretty much kismet. I scratched the cinnamon doughnuts and opted for the pumpkin doughnuts instead.

The pan and the leftover canned pumpkin…

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To begin I whisked all of my dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and ground cloves. (The recipe actually called for pumpkin pie spice which I didn’t have on hand, hence me using cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and ground cloves.)

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In another bowl I whisked together pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, egg and vanilla extract.

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Next up I mixed the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture.

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Then it was time to scoop it into my prepared doughnut pan.

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Per the directions I scooped a 1/4 of a cup of the batter into each doughnut crevice.

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I then baked them in a 350 degree preheated oven for 13 minutes.

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After letting them cool in the pan for 15 minutes I prepped my second batch of doughnuts to be baked. I ran a little short on batter so as you can see one of the crevices was barely filled.

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That small doughnut ended up being my tester and I was quite pleased with how they came out. I let the remaining 11 doughnuts cool properly before trying another one.

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The doughnuts were a hit among my friends and I already received requests to make them again!

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Pumpkin Doughnuts*

Makes 12

Ingredients

1/2 cup canola oil, plus more for the pans

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup pure pumpkin puree

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350° F. Lightly oil two 6-compartment doughnut pans* (or use 1 pan and bake in batches). Whisk together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (do not overmix).

3. Spoon ¼ cup batter into each compartment of the prepared pans. Bake until the doughnuts are golden brown and spring back lightly when touched, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

*The original recipe included a Sour Cream Icing which I opted not to put on the doughnuts.

A Quintessential Fall Birthday Cake

A good friend recently celebrated a birthday and a few days prior to it I asked her what kind of cake she would like me to bake for her and she responded with an apple cake. The only apple cake I could recall making was an Apple Walnut Cake that really wasn’t what I would consider to be a birthday cake. So, after a few texts back and forth we settled on an apple cake with walnuts with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting. While her birthday technically falls in the summer according to the calendar it’s unofficially in the fall since it is after Labor Day, hence this cake being the quintessential fall birthday cake. Since I haven’t mastered creating my own recipes I did a few internet searches to find a recipe for the cake and frosting. After coming up empty handed I decided to follow the recipe for my favorite carrot cake and substitute grated apples in lieu of the carrots and for the frosting, I made my favorite cream cheese frosting and added in ground cinnamon in small increments until I reached my desired flavor.

To begin I prepped my Granny Smith Apples…

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First I peeled them…

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Then cored and sliced them using an apple divider…

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And finally grated them using a food processor.

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I started the batter by combining the dry ingredients and setting it aside.

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I then creamed butter and sugar together.

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Once the butter and sugar were mixed together well I added in the eggs and dry ingredients by alternating between the two.

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And them some vanilla extract.

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It was then time to add in the grated apples.

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And finally I folded in some chopped walnuts.

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Once the walnuts were incorporated well into the batter it was time to divvy it up among my prepared pans.

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Once divided I popped them into a 350 degrees oven.

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After baking for 25 minutes the cakes were done.

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I let them cool for a bit in the pans and then inverted them onto cooling racks to let them cool completely.

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After the cakes cooled completely I made the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting by combing cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and of course cinnamon.

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I spread frosting between each of the layers…

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And then crumb coated the cake and refrigerated it for a bit while I made another batch of frosting to finish covering the cake and for decorating.

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After about twenty minutes in the fridge I finished frosting it…

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And then I added some decorations and scattered some walnuts along the sides of the cake prior to writing a birthday message on it.

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Final verdict: It was a hit… Definitely something I’ll make again!

Apple Walnut Cake
(Adapted from Gigi’s Carrot Cake)
Ingredients
3 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups grated apples (I used Granny Smith apples)
1 cup chopped walnuts
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray 3 (9-inch) cake pans with baking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer. Add the sugar, and beat. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the eggs, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Add the apples and beat on medium speed until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Fold in the walnuts. Divide the batter between the 3 cake pans and bake until set and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest in the cake pans for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, remove from the pans, and let cool.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions
In a medium bowl cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add in the vanilla extract and then gradually add in the confectioners sugar. And finally mix in the ground cinnamon.
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