Spiced Glazed Donuts

I am my own worst enemy.

Spiced Glazed Donuts - Poet in the Pantry

I haven’t slept well in weeks. Part of it comes from my continuing battle with TMJ–which has been aided, somewhat, by getting a bite guard from my dentist, but also requires sleeping on my back, which is not natural to me–and part of it comes from my insistence to pack in as much as possible this summer. Because with each day that passes, the light wanes and I am reminded that winter is coming. Not the kind that lasts years, thankfully, but winter, nonetheless, and with it a home schedule that requires exceptional creativity in finding ways to fulfill my need for getting out and about while ensuring my children remain cared for. The third of the year when my husband works his second job–24+ hours a week on top of his regular job–and I become a prisoner of my own home. Or it just feels that way, sometimes.

It’s a great sacrifice that he makes, but don’t feel sorry for him. He loves working at the local ski hill. And while the days are quite long, he is afforded the opportunity to ski all he wants when he’s not working–as well as one of our children. It’s a trade-off, but it’s been worth it in the past.

Spiced Glazed Donuts - Poet in the Pantry

This past spring, for the first time since my back surgery, I tried skiing again. It was an attempt to reclaim part of the winter, to find a way to break the imaginary chains and spend some quality time with my kids. The last time I had skied with them, they had only just begun. They’ve come so far since then. I’ll never be able to keep up with them now–I definitely cannot carve turns, not that I was particularly wonderful at them before. Gliding downhill with a foot that doesn’t do what your mind tells it to is a little unnerving. And exhilarating. Definitely challenging. A challenge I’m willing to take on.

So yes, I’m armed with a pass for the next season. And I intend to use it. I will not allow myself to wallow in self-pity for another winter. But in the meantime, I’m trying to live life as much as possible. Even if it means I don’t get much sleep. I can always sleep later…right?

Spiced Glazed Donuts - Poet in the Pantry

Baked donuts are really just muffins in disguise. Even so, there’s something about the shape-shifting that makes them feel just a bit more special. This is what kept me going when attempts #1, #2, and #3 were all wrong, in their own little ways. Because 3 times was not the charm with these stubborn little bites. Nope, it took 4 tries. And now? They’re pretty darn good. Not too sweet, with a bit of wheatiness (but not too much!), the spices play around on your tongue, reminiscent of colder months and darker days. But in a good way. Winter is coming.

Spiced Glazed Donuts
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Breakfast/Brunch
Serves: 12-14
  • ½ cup (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease heavily 2 donut pans and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the butter, brown sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract until well-blended.
  3. Add the flours, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Stir until just combined.
  4. Spoon into a 1 gallon zip-top bag and cut off one of the corners; pipe into the wells of the prepared donut pans.
  5. Bake on the center rack for 10-12 minutes, or until they spring back when the tops are lightly pressed on.
  6. Let sit in pans for 2 minutes, then remove to wire racks placed over wax paper.
  7. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the confectioner's sugar, cinnamon, and water.
  8. Dip the tops of the donuts in the glaze and return to wire racks to set.
  9. Best eaten the same day as prepared.
It is essential that you grease the donut pans well, even if they're "nonstick." I don't often recommend sprays but in this case, the baking spray comes in handy to prevent disaster.

If you will not be consuming all the donuts after preparing them, cover only loosely; the glaze will become too wet if sealed in an airtight container or plastic baggie.


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