Pumpkin Spice Baked DoughnutsThanks to the current kitchen frenzy about a certain non-stick baking pan, “doughnut” is no longer a dirty word for the home cook. Now, I don’t need a pot full of hot oil and I don’t need to feel guilty about eating the fattiest dessert possible. I feel a little funny, honestly, about calling these “doughnuts,” however. A doughnut -- let’s face it -- is a deep-fried, moist, melt-in-your-mouth wonder. These baked pastries, merely shaped like doughnuts, are little cakes. Can I call them “circle cakes” instead?

The “Pumpkin Spice Baked Doughnuts,” from Baked Doughnuts For Everyone, by Ashley McLaughlin, is “the best doughnut I’ve ever had,” according to my young child. And that’s saying a lot, right? ‘Tis the season of having leftover pumpkin purée in my fridge, so I felt destined to face this recipe, which touts itself as “gluten-free.” Instead of white flour, it includes a combo of oat flour and sweet rice flour and almond meal (and I’m sounding like a commercial for Bob’s Red Mill products, but there it is). I baked these “circle cakes” for 28 minutes, and they were indeed very moist.

The ground cloves and other pumpkin-pie-type spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice) were nice, here. But the real blast was the frosting. I made only half the “maple-cinnamon glaze” that the recipe suggests … I was fearful of too much goo. The frosting caps these “circle cakes” with the flavor and the sweetness that makes them “the best doughnut I’ve ever had.”

PREP TIME: allow 90 minutes or so for prep, baking, cooling and frosting, before you eat your first “circle cake“
sweetly frosted circle

Next time, I want to cook the “Savory Chickpea Pancakes with Smoky Roasted Carrots,” from The Year In Food, along with the “Breadcrumb Roast Potatoes,” from Eat Boutique. Come back to my site next week, to see my meal.