Do you say donuts? Or doughnuts?
I say donuts, even though I’m pretty sure it’s not “correct.” It’s how I visualize the word in my head when I hear it. Blame Dunkin. Plus, it’s easier to type out. Hah.
These DONUTS are a fun twist on something you might find at your local donut chain. First, they are made with sweet potato, which I’m fairly certain you won’t find at most donut shops. Sweet potatoes = super food. Thus, sweet potato donuts = super food. Right? Just go with it.
Secondly, they are baked, which makes them even healthier.
Thirdly, they are mini, which makes one feel better about popping multiple donuts into his or her mouth at any given time. Super food, remember?
I came up with this idea after receiving an adorable mini donut baking pan from my sister for Christmas. She was nervous about giving it to me. She was unsure that I would find it useful. I assured her that I would put it to good use. So, a few weeks ago, when I was a little overzealous with my baking of sweet potatoes (namely, for this dish) and had several perfectly good ones sitting in the fridge, I knew I wanted to do some sort of baked good with them. Sweet potato bread, muffins, and cake were the first things to pop into my head. And not that there’s anything wrong with any of those ideas, but they weren’t quite exciting enough for me.
Then. It hit me. Donuts! SWEET POTATO donuts! In mini form! Tossed in cinnamon and sugar! Hell yes.
The result was heaven. They baked up perfectly moist (and so darn cute!) and cakey. They came out kind of like an old-fashioned cake donut that many people overlook when given a donut choice, but with a unique sweet potato flavor. The cinnamon-sugar really MADE them, though. If you attempt these, do not skimp on the coating. So good.
My husband isn’t the biggest fan of sweet potatoes (unless they are in fry form), and he walked into the kitchen as I was pulling the first batch out of the oven. He didn’t ask what was in them, so I didn’t tell him. And guess what? He devoured them.
When I told him later that they were chock-full of sweet potato, he acted betrayed. Hah. Men. He then said that he didn’t REALLY like them. An hour later, I caught him sneaking a few more out of the kitchen.
And so will you if you make these. They are a super food treat. I know, I know. Donuts don’t count as a super food. Just let me pretend for now. After all, between the two of us, the entire plate shown below was consumed. Yup. All 30 of those little suckers.
Mini Baked Sweet Potato Donuts with Cinnamon-Sugar Coating
(makes 30 mini donuts)
2 cups sweet potato flesh, mashed
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon lowfat buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
For the Coating:
4 tablespoons of butter, melted
1 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter or spray a mini donut pan (you can make these in a regular donut pan as well, but the baking time will definitely increase).
In a large bowl, combine the mashed sweet potato, egg, syrup, sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla. Mix until completely smooth.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Slowly fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared donut pan and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a rack. Continue until all the batter is used.
For the Coating:
Melt and cool the butter. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and the cinnamon until completely combined.
When the donuts are cool enough to handle, brush lightly with the melted butter and then toss them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Return to the rack and allow the excess to fall off. Repeat with all the donuts. Store donuts in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Donut batter lightly adapted from here.