baked ricotta doughnuts…or something like that.

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Doughnuts are one of my biggest weaknesses.  They’re one of those foods that I hardly ever eat because I know that if I do eat them even occasionally, I’ll remember how much I love them, and will crave them even more.  I’ve heard of baked doughnuts before, but have never really thought much about them since honestly, the part of doughnuts that makes them irresistible to me  is the fact that they’re fried and crisp on the outside but light on the inside.  Nonetheless, given my attempt to make healthier Chanukah foods (and yes, jelly doughnuts are a Chanukah food), I decided to give it a try.

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I opted for ricotta doughnuts because they just sound so good, and since I don’t have one of those jelly-injector things, I needed some way to make these interesting.  Basically, I ended up with these fantastic little things, that basically taste just like you’d imagine baked doughnuts would taste: not a whole lot like doughnuts!  They’re tasty though – airy and moist, not overly sweet, and perfect with coffee, tea, or jam.  They remind me a bit of tea cakes, which is impressive since those are generally made with butter/shortening.  Although these aren’t the decadent fried dessert that doughnuts are, they’re elegant, light and yummy.  

Best of all, they literally take 20 minutes to make.  I don’t think I’ve made anything simpler.  These would be great to whip up for last minute guests – how impressed would your friends be if you brought these out with coffee?!  They stay moist for a few days.

Baked Ricotta Doughnuts

1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese (3/4 cup)
1 egg
1 egg white
confectioners sugar, for sifting

Preheat oven to 400.

In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.  Add in remaining ingredients, and stir until ingredients are just well combined.  Dough will be very sticky.  Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Each doughnut should be about 1 heaping tablespoon of dough.  

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Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and sift confectioner’s sugar of the tops of doughnuts.

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Note: you could also create a quick glaze with the confectioners sugar – glazing the doughnuts and allowing the glaze to harden might give these a more doughnut-y feel.  Combine 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar with 1 tbsp water and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, mix until smooth and then dip doughnuts into glaze or brush them with the glaze.  Allow glaze to harden before serving.

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