Oh my goodness, guys-I think I just won Hanukkah. Now let me start off by apologizing for sharing these the day that the holiday starts, but you really can’t rush greatness! Lucky for us, Hanukkah is 8 days long so there is still time to work these epic donuts into your schedule!
Now I wish I could tell you that this recipe came out perfectly on my first try. I was actually working on another flavor idea and couldn’t get the dough to work. So I thought I would try using my cinnamon bun dough because that recipe is amazing and it’s my most requested dessert. But then once I was using that dough my friend mentioned that I should just fry my cinnamon buns. I wasn’t so into that idea because that is basically just a fried cinnamon bun or coffee roll if you frequent Dunkin Donuts. That’s when the genius hit me! What if I stuff a cinnamon bun inside a donut and fry it?! It was not as easy as I thought. For one thing, my cinnamon bun dough is way to sweet and heavy. Perfect for baking, not so great in the fryer. There goes batch number one, into the garbage right out of the fryer. On to round two: finding a better recipe. I found one that was so similar to my original bun recipe, it just cut down on the amount of sugar and used a little less shortening instead of my butter/margarine. This recipe was similar to Alton Browns recipe but without all the weighing so I knew I was on to something. This new dough recipe turned out to be perfect! But my method now needed tweaking. I was rolling my cinnamon buns my usual way, cutting them into pieces and wrapping them in more dough. After letting them rest, they would fry up beautifully. But the centers were raw…insert sad face here! I was really going to give up-I was not only 2 batches deep in terrible cinnamon bun donuts, I didn’t even mention the 3 batches of my previously failed attempt at an interesting flavor combination. 5 batches of donuts in, I almost gave up. Aren’t you glad I didn’t?!
It turns out that you need to bake the cinnamon buns before you stuff them inside more dough and fry them. Otherwise you end up with raw donut centers. I don’t know of anything worse! So, that is definitely a downside of this recipe-they take some time and patience. But here is the good news-you only need to make one batch of dough. And you can plan in advance-make the dough and bake the cinnamon buns. Next day, take your buns, stuff them in some raw dough and fry! The icing is completely optional, but cmon…you got this far-the icing is the easiest part! Here is my dairy-free, perfectly epic cinnamon bun stuffed donut recipe. Enjoy!
In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the yeast with the warm water and 1 tsp. sugar. Stir until no longer lumpy and set aside to proof and bubble up; 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile add the ¼ cup sugar and the salt to the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
In a microwaveable bowl warm the vegetable shortening with the soy milk until the shortening has melted. Pour the shortening/milk mixture over the sugar/salt mixture and stir to melt. Allow to cool until lukewarm.
Add the flour and eggs into the mixer bowl. Then finish off with the yeast mixture. Mix on low using the dough hook until the dough comes together. Once it's pulling off the sides of the bowl, set the mixer to medium low and mix for about 6 minutes.
Grease or oil a large clean bowl and scrape the dough mixture inside.The dough will be sticky, but don't add flour! Grease your hands to better work with the dough.
Cover in plastic wrap and set in warm place to rise for one hour.
Once the dough has risen, cut off ⅓ of the dough (about 12 ounces if you have a kitchen scale) to make your cinnamon buns. Set the rest of the dough in the fridge.
Grease a 12 cavity cupcake pan and set aside.
On a well floured surface roll out the dough you just portioned off. Roll it into a rectangle about 12" wide and 6" tall.
Melt the margarine and brush over the dough.
Sprinkle the dough with the brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon. Roll the dough into a log, you are rolling the long side up so your log is still 12" long.
Once rolled up use a serrated knife or bench scraper to cut the buns into 12 pieces.
Place each bun in one cavity of the cupcake pan, cut side up/down.
Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Once the buns have risen, bake for 10-12 minutes until just lightly brown. You don't want to overbake-these will still be fried.
Remove the pan from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes and then carefully pop the buns out of the cupcake pan. The sugar will be extremely hot so your best bet is to flip them out onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Allow these to cool completely.
Once the buns are cool, remove the reserved dough from the fridge.
Divide the dough into 12 portions (just under 2 ounces each). Flatten each piece, I used well floured hands but you could use a rolling pin.
Place one bun pretty side down on the flattened dough. Carefullly wrap the dough over the bun and pinch the seams together at the bottom.
Set the donut to rise seam side down on a floured parchment lined baking sheet.
Once all 12 donuts are formed, cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
While the donuts are rising, heat your cooking oil. I use vegetable oil but use any oil with a high smoking point.
Heat your oil to 350 degrees F. Proper temperature is everything: too cold and your donuts soak up all the oil and become greasy. Too hot and your donut is burning but the inside is raw.
I use a deep fryer because it will regulate the temperature for me, if you don't have one-make sure you have a really good thermometer and keep a close eye on it.
Fry the donuts for about 1 minute per side.
Carefully remove from the oil and drain on a sheet pan lined with paper towels.
Once your donuts have cooled (if you haven't eaten them all yet) measure the powdered sugar into a bowl.
Slowly add a bit of water at a time until you have a thick icing consistency. I went thick with these but you can thin the icing out more if you are looking for more of a glaze.
Dip, drizzle, or pour the icing onto your donuts.
Sprinkle with extra cinnamon for an added touch and enjoy!
I absolutely love soft pretzels. They are the perfect any time snack, and they are surprisingly easy to make. Yes they start with a yeast dough, but their are only a few ingredients involved, and the dough comes together quickly. Once the dough is formed, it only needs to rise for an hour before it’s ready to be shaped and baked.
Shaping a pretzel seems complicated, but the way I twist mine is actually pretty easy. Follow these three easy steps and you will be making impressive looking pretzels too! Just make sure to roll the dough into a really thin strip because it puffs up a lot. I made mine into mini sized pretzels so they would make a lot (32 to be exact), but they can definitely be made into larger pretzels as well.
Pretzels get boiled in a warm bath of water and baking soda before they get baked. That process gives pretzels their unique tang and color. To help the pretzels brown a little more, I brushed mine with egg wash before sprinkling them with cinnamon sugar. I serve mine with a sweet non-dairy cream cheese dip (just in case you thought they weren’t sweet enough).
Here’s my son Charlie with my pretzels. He loves being part of my photo shoots. He’s always eager to help. I couldn’t say no to his cute face. Here’s my non-dairy recipe: the pretzel dough is adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe.
Mini Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzels with Sweet Cream Cheese Dip
Author: Lil' Miss Cakes
1½ cups warm water
1 package active dry yeast (2¼ tsp.)
1 Tbs. sugar
4½ cups flour
2 tsp. salt
4 Tbs. coconut oil
5 cups water
⅓ cup baking soda
1 egg yolk
1 Tbs. water
½ cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
Sweet Cream Cheese Dip
3 cups confectioners sugar
½ cup non-dairy cream cheese (I use Tofutti Brand)
2 Tbs. margarine
2 Tbs. soy milk or water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix warm water with the yeast and sugar. Allow the yeast to bubble and proof for 5-10 minutes.
Then add in the flour, salt, and coconut oil.
Turn the mixer on low and mix until the dough starts to form.
Switch the mixer to medium speed and mix for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth.
Remove the dough, spray the bowl with non-stick spray, return the dough to the bowl and cover with a towel. Allow to rise in a warm place for one hour.
Once the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Fill a large saucepan with 5 cups of water and ⅓ cup baking soda. Heat the water mixture on medium heat until it slightly simmers.
Divide the dough into 8 even pieces and then divide each piece into 4 even pieces yielding 32 pieces.
Roll each piece into a long thin rope, about 18 inches long. Form the pretzel shape. Drop each pretzel into the simmering baking soda water and let it simmer for 30 seconds. Use a flat spoon or spatula to remove each pretzel onto a baking sheet.
Once all the pretzels have simmered in the water bath, mix the egg yolk with 1 Tbs. water. Brush the egg wash onto each pretzel and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
Bake for about 10 minutes, until the pretzels are light brown. Serve with the sweet cream cheese dip.
Sweet Cream Cheese Dip
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the confectioner sugar, cream cheese, margarine, soy milk, and vanilla until smooth. Serve with the soft cinnamon sugar pretzels.
Pumpkin season is not over yet! I still have an exciting recipe to share with you. A few weeks ago I shared my recipe for pumpkin doughnuts with marshmallow and graham cracker glaze. Then I showed you what I did with the doughnut holes making cinnamon sugar pumpkin doughnut holes with orange cranberry jam. Those two recipes were amazing, but I was wondering what else I could do with that gorgwous pumpkin dough. I tried making them the same way I make my famous cinnamon buns, and they were amazing! Topping these buns with maple glaze put these over the top. I urge you to try this non-dairy recipe with your leftover canned pumpkin!
Here are the pumpkin buns packed with sugar, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. They are rising and almost ready for the oven. I just couldn’t get enough of this gorgeous pumpkin orange color!
Here are the buns fresh out of the oven. I allowed them to cool before drizzling on the sweet maple icing.
Here is a behind the scenes look at my photo shoot. My son Charlie was around for this one and wanted to be a part of it! This pose was his idea, love it!