I know, it’s hot outside. I should be making ice cream, or popsicles, or lemonade. The last thing I should be doing is turning on the oven. But what if I made the doughnut version of lemonade? And what if I told you they only take five minutes to bake?
You’d forgive me right?
I thought so.
Not just any lemonade either. Cherry Lemonade. You’ll find no boring old lemonade in this house. Actually you’ll find no lemonade. Because I drank and/or ate it all.
I’m not sure what it is about lemonade that’s just so undeniably refreshing. Maybe it’s because it’s best to drink it super cold with loads of ice cubes. Maybe it’s because of that satisfying crack noise the ice makes when you drop each inside. Maybe it’s because of those beads of condensation that form on the outside of the glass that make it all so inviting. Maybe it’s because of the bendy straw you just have to drink it from so you don’t get ice in your face every time you take a sip or because it’s lemonade and it’s wrong not to. Maybe it’s because of that instinct you get to drink it on the porch since it’s the closest you can get to lounging on a sunny beach somewhere with a floppy hat and oversized sunglasses.
Maybe it’s a combination.
I always enjoy taking an classic recipe and mixing it up a bit. What could be more classic than lemonade? It’s the new and improved pink lemonade! This version is just as refreshing, twice addictive and thrice adorable. Being that they’re bite-sized they tend to disappear quickly. Get some before they’re gone!
Cherry Lemonade Doughnuts
Makes about 5 dozen mini doughnuts.
Source: Adapted from my family recipe.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup cherry juice (3/4 cup pitted cherries then blended and strained)
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp cherry juice (5 pitted cherries then blended and strained)
1 – 2 cup powdered sugar
Note: When blending the cherries, it’s important to strain it and incorporate it into the batter or glaze right away. Leaving it even a few minutes will cause it to oxidize and turn a brownish-purple which isn’t very appetizing.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and position a rack in the center. Butter and flour your mini doughnut pans and set them aside.
Cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until it’s light and fluffy. Add the eggs and blend them until they’re just incorporated. Mix in the 1/2 cup of cherry juice.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt then combine it well with the cherry mixture until the colour is smooth.
Fill a large pastry bag fitted with a round tip with the batter and pipe it carefully into the prepared mini doughnut pans. I found that filing each circle about 2/3 – 3/4 of the way makes perfect mini doughnuts. Filling them any more than that will create shrunken or non-existent doughnut holes.
Bake them for about 5 minutes or until the edges are a light golden brown and the tops are matte and springy to the touch. Don’t be afraid of under-baking, be more afraid of over-baking. Gooey doughnuts can be fixed with a little more oven time and crunchy burned doughnuts can’t. Allow the doughnuts a few minutes in the pans to cool off before flipping them out onto a cooling rack. The pan may need a few encouraging taps, but they should come out easily.
In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, cherry juice and powdered sugar until you get your desired consistency. When stirred, the glaze should leave swirls on the surface that disappear slowly but are not permanent. If the swirls disappear almost instantly, you need more powdered sugar. Dip the top of each doughnut in the glaze, give it a few taps then set it on a rack to drip and set. For easy cleanup, place a piece of wax paper under the rack to catch all the drips. Enjoy!