Monday, June 10, 2013

Zucchini Cake Donuts

Zucchini Cake Donuts
Have some extra zucchini? Try adding it to cake donuts!

Look what came out of the community garden on the campus of my husband's company:

Fresh zucchini from the community garden
What to do with this beast?
When Blair brought this bad boy home, I had actually just bought a bunch of zucchini for making vegetable soup and zucchini bread, so I decided to use this monster for a double batch of donuts.

In the donut cookbook, Doughnuts: Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home, I saw that carrot cake could be made into donuts, so I figured that zucchini bread was only a hop-skip and a jump away.

These donuts were like zucchini bread, but softer, fluffier, and with a really nice crust that I coated in cinnamon sugar.

Homemade zucchini bread doughnuts
Homemade zucchini donuts are fluffier and less dense than zucchini bread

The extra moisture from the zucchini made the dough extra sticky, so make sure that you chill it completely before cutting out donuts...and use lots of flour!

INGREDIENTS for 12 smallish (2.5") cake donuts

Zucchini Donuts
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp unsalted Irish butter
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup whole milk
1 cup fresh grated zucchini
lots of canola oil for frying - enough to fill your pot 2" deep

Cinnamon-Sugar Coating
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon


  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp ground nutmeg and 1 tsp ground cinnamon. Whisk to combine and aerate and set aside for a sec.
  2. Pop on the paddle attachment to your mixer and blend the 1 cup sugar and 2 tbsp butter at medium speed until you have fluffy sand.
  3. Add the large egg and egg yolk and mix again on medium speed for about 1 minute.
  4. With your mixer speed turned down to low, add the dry ingredients, then the whole milk, then the grated zucchini. Mix until just combined.
  5. Throw the dough in a bowl, cover it with plastic and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours. The dough is sticky and needs to be well chilled so you can handle it...kind of like pie crust.
  6. Once your dough is chilled, you can roll it out and start cutting some donuts! Roll to 1/2" thick and go to town with your 2.5" donut cutter. Place each donut on a floured cookie sheet but don't wait too long to fry. As the butter in the dough comes to room temperature, the donuts will get sticky and soft and they'll be harder to get into the oil without bollocksing the shape.
  7. Lug out your big stock pot and fill it 2” deep with canola oil, turn the heat on to medium, stick in a thermometer and wait for the oil to heat up to 360° F. Unload your dishwasher or do some other multi-tasking that keeps you in the kitchen so you can check the oil temperature frequently.
  8. Once your oil reaches 360° F, it's fry time! Using a metal spatula, lower each ring into the hot oil. The donuts will sink to the bottom at first, then pop up to the top. Cook them for 40 seconds then flip and cook the other side for 40 seconds or until the donuts are golden brown and then transfer to a wire rack.
  9. While the donuts are still hot, toss them in a bowl of cinnamon sugar and spin them around to coat. Eat a few, wash down with a swig of coffee and share with your friends.


  1. The zucchini donuts taste great, Misha! Thank you! I agree: kind of like zucchini bread but with a crispy crust and powdered sugar. Mmmmmm, powdered sugar. :)

    1. Hi Li!! I'm so glad that you liked them! Now that we've had "healthy" donuts with fruit and veggies in them, maybe the next donut should be something ridiculous...

      Like that oreo monstrosity we had at Psycho Donuts??

  2. I can't believe you made donuts again! (Given how pregnant you are.) Maple bars this time. I'm looking at one on my desk right now. :)

    1. I KNOW! I really wasn't planning on it, but the baby was craving a maple bar :)

  3. What is Irish butter and if we don't have it will regular unsalted butter work? These sound delish!

    1. Irish butter has a higher fat content (and a lower water content) than regular butter, which is why I used it as a substitute for vegetable shortening. The original recipe from the Top Pot Doughnut cookbook calls for vegetable shortening, so if you don't have Irish butter, use that. I haven't tried it, but I bet that regular unsalted butter would be fine too! :)