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Cake Donuts with Saffron Glaze

Two platters of cake donuts with saffron glaze, crushed pistachios and rose petals.

These are the cake donuts with saffron glaze that I made on season 3 episode 3 of Zoë Bakes on Magnolia Network!

Cake donuts with saffron glaze, crushed pistachios and rose petals.

Typically I make jelly doughnuts or sufganiyot for Hanukkah, but this year I wanted to try something different. These cake donuts are topped with a saffron glaze, crushed pistachios and rose petals. I also made potato latkes with an array of toppings. Be sure to check out that recipe as well!

If you’d like to watch this episode, you can find details of how to watch my show here. You’ll find it on discovery+ and the Magnolia | Time Well Spent app.

A closeup of Zoe Francois' cake doughnuts.

Cake Donuts with Saffron Glaze

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Active Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 donuts

Equipment

  • a piping bag fitted with a large (size 806) round tip

Ingredients

Donuts

  • 1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for frying

Saffron Glaze

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • A few drops of orange blossom water

Garnishes

  • Dried rose petals
  • Chopped pistachios

Instructions

Donuts

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, whole egg, egg yolk, milk, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons oil together until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk to combine. The mixture should resemble thick pancake batter.
  • Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a large (size 806) round tip. Pipe the batter in rings onto 4-inch parchment squares. You can refrigerate the piped doughnuts at this point until ready to fry, or fry them right away. If refrigerated, allow the dough to come to room temperature before frying.
  • In a large heavy-bottom pot, heat about 2 inches vegetable oil to 350°F. Fry the doughnuts in batches, slipping them still on the parchment into the oil. Fry about 3 minutes on the first side, until golden brown. Once the parchment releases from a doughnut, remove the parchment from the oil with tongs and discard. Flip the doughnuts and continue to fry about 1 minute longer on the second side, until golden. Place on a sheet pan fitted with a wire rack to drain.

Saffron Glaze

  • In a small saucepan, warm the milk until small bubbles appear on the edges of the pan. Remove from the heat and add the saffron. Let steep for a few minutes. Add ground turmeric and whisk to combine. Place the confectioners’ sugar in a bowl. Pour the hot milk a few tablespoons at a time into the confectioners’ sugar and whisk to combine, adding only enough milk until the glaze is pourable (you may have some leftover saffron milk). Add a few drops of orange blossom water to taste.

Assemble

  • To glaze and decorate the doughnuts, dip the warm (not hot) donuts into the glaze. Sprinkle with rose petals and pistachios. Serve them the same day they’re made.
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