The Chocolate Cult: Baked Donuts Options

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Baked Donuts Options

Easy Baked Donut Cookbook by Mellas
On September 22, 1997, 15 years after the introduction of "Time to Make the Donuts" and the character of Fred the Baker by Dunkin' Donuts, the company gave away free donuts. This year, I had a baked donut cookbook to review so I'm finally revealing how it work today in honor of Fred the Baker's first retirement. I was a sent a free copy of Sara Mella's The Easy Baked Donut Cookbook from Rockridge Press to test out in the hopes that I would review it; no other form of compensation was received.

For National Donut/Doughnut Day 2020, I used this cookbook to make my family donuts. I tried the first two recipes in the book at that time -- Old Fashioned Cake Donuts (pp 14-15) and Chocolate Cake Donuts (pp 16-17). Later I made other recipes from this book: This review is a reflection of all of these testings.

There are several things I love about this cookbook.

First, I love that it is focused on baking and not frying donuts because that is my preferred way to make them at home. The recipes clearly state using icons if you need to use a baking pan and the oven or if you can use an electronic donut maker -- I have both options at my house but it was going to get to near 90°F at my home when I tested this so I used the maker.

Second, there is a wide variety of donuts including holiday variations. True, some of the recipes are really more make this type then add these extra ingredients which can be annoying in terms of flipping the book back and forth, but why take the extra space when you can keep each recipe to just two pages long. Of all 60 recipes, 20 use cocoa powder or chocolate in the dough and/or the glaze or frosting and 3 other recipes could use one of those 20 basic doughs but that is the baker's choice.

Third, I love the icons that mark the type of pans and utensils you'll need, if it has alcohol or not, and even cute icons for mini vs regular sized donuts. This makes it quick and easy to see what I could make with ingredients and tools that I had on hand.

These recipes make a lot of donuts, especially if you make mini ones. If you are using an electronic donut maker, this is a time-consuming activity. Just don't promise your family any donuts quickly because that's happening. The minimum it took me to test these out was an hour from start to finishing the full recipe using the oven and multiple pan; my mini donut maker took about twice that time.  I've had electronic my mini donut maker now for almost a decade and it still works great but is a pain to clean.

However, I do have some criticisms of this cookbook as well.

I wish there were more photos but that's my common complaint about Rockridge Press cookbooks, isn't it? At the beginning and ending there are a few photos generally of tools used in making the donuts but also of a couple of the recipes. Why not just put those near their recipes?

I also really wish that sour cream was not used in nearly every single recipe. I had to double check on substitutions when several should be listed in the cookbook itself. We bake donuts to save on fat and calories but sour cream is like 91% fat calories, so that really isn't what we want in this family.

I was sent a free copy of this cookbook in the hopes that I would review it; no other form of compensation was received.

Extra References Used for this article:

Baltimore Sun Article

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