Donuts for Hannukah? Why not, especially if they can be lightened up and still be delicious.
Donuts, potato pancakes and other fried foods are traditionally enjoyed during Hannukah, a holiday that celebrates a Jewish victory over religious oppression in 168 BCE.
After the war, there was only a day’s worth of oil left to rededicate the Temple. However, according to the Talmud, a sacred text, the oil miraculously lasted eight days, until a new supply could be delivered. Eating fried foods is a reminder of that oil.
Eight Days of Splurging?
Hannukah, which begins Dec. 18 this year, lasts for eight days. Eight days of enjoying fried, high calorie foods isn’t the greatest idea for 1. those have prediabetes 2. anyone who wants to fit in their holiday clothes the rest of the season.
Baking, not frying, donuts is the way to lighten up part of the celebrations. I borrowed this recipe from my daughter, who as a teen loved to try new recipes she found on YouTube. One afternoon I came home and saw a rack of baked, iced donuts on the kitchen counter. After sampling one, I knew the recipe was a keeper.
The baked donuts have much less fat than a regular cake donut, and also fewer calories. The taste is similar to that of Hostess mini donuts, only with a lighter texture. They are very easy to mix up.
Although you may be tempted to skip the powdered sugar glaze to save carbs, I think the icing is really needed; without it, the donuts, which are not very sweet, will lose much of their flavor. The original recipe calls for double the amount of icing; to lower carbs, I cut back and the donuts are still delicious. However, more icing certainly wouldn’t hurt – your call.
The baked donuts are best eaten the day they are made. I have not tried to double the recipe, but made two batches in a row in about 40 minutes.
Ideas for Holiday Brunches
In addition to being a Hannukah dessert, baked donuts would also be perfect for a Christmas or New Year’s brunch. Play around with different colors of sprinkles and/or tint the icing with food color to correspond with the holiday.
Whatever holiday you celebrate, enjoy baked cake donuts, guilt free!
Baked Cake Donuts with Icing
- 1 baked donut pan Generally available at Target, Bed Bath &Beyond and other places where kitchen goods are sold
- 1 small or medium Ziplock bag Other brands are fine; just make sure the bag is sturdy
- 1 Cup flour
- 1/3 Cup white sugar
- 1 Teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 Teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 egg
- 2 Tablespoons butter, melted then slightly cooled
- 1/4 Cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 Cup milk
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons vanilla
- 1 Cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 Cup milk
- 1/2 Teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 Teaspoon oil
- 1 Teaspoon butter optional
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray. Melt butter.2. In medium-large bowl, add all dry ingredients. In a small bowl, mix wet ingredients - make sure yogurt is fully incorporated.3. Make well in dry ingredients; add wet ingredients and mix just until combined; don’t over mix. Dough will be thick.4. Scoop dough into Ziplock bag and seal. Then, snip off tip of one side of bag; (Note: err on the size of cutting too small an opening, as it can be easily made bigger, but you will have to start over with a new bag if opening is too big.)5. Working slowly, squeeze dough into donut pan; being careful to fill indentations only half full. (If you have one pan that makes six donuts, just reuse pan again for the last three.)6. Bake in oven for about 9 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into donut comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake.7. Remove from oven: run knife around donuts if necessary to loosen, then place on rack.8. In small pan, mix confectioner’s sugar with enough milk to make icing, then add remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and butter. Heat pan on low, stirring icing until well blended and warm. Add oil, stir again.Spread icing on one donut and immediately add sprinkles. Repeat with each donut - ice, then immediately add sprinkles. If icing gets too stiff, add a bit of milk and rewarm.