Vegan Pear Doughnut

The beloved cake doughnut is taken to new and fluffier heights at Cider Belly Doughnuts in Albany.
Photography By Brie Passano | September 25, 2016

About this recipe

The texture of Cider Belly’s doughnut is incredibly light (a feat for the cake variety), without the excessive dryness and crumb often associated with the form. The glazes are applied by hand and batched up as needed, using fresh, local ingredients everyone can pronounce. The shop bakes six standard flavors with a rotating variety of seasonal options. Executive chef Jennifer Jones Novak shared a recipe for vegan pear doughnuts that brings a whole new layer of harvest flavor to breakfast. Doughnuts can be either fried or baked. 

Instructions

Serves 12

Vegan Doughnut Base

2 2⁄3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (King Arthur flour works well)
2 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1⁄4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1⁄4 teaspoons kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
3⁄4 cup maple syrup (Maple Valley is wonderful)
1⁄3 cup pear puree (cut one pear into chunks and put into blender until pureed)
1⁄3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sunflower oil
1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups palm, soy or sunflower oil (optional, for frying)

Preheat oven to 375°. Mix all ingredients together and spoon into nonstick doughnut pans. (Standard muffin pans work, too). Fill the pans three-quarters full.

Bake until golden brown (30–40 minutes). When golden brown, use a cake tester to ensure the doughnuts are cooked through. Place pans on cooling rack.

When the pan has cooled for about 5 minutes, remove the doughnuts from pan and let cool again for 2 minutes.

Optional: While pans are cooling, heat a pan of oil to 375°. Place baked and cooled doughnuts in heated oil. Fry for 5–10 seconds on each side. (The frying process adds a delicate crunch and seems to lighten the interior texture further). Remove doughnuts from the fryer, place them on a cooling rack for 1 minute.

Dip the top of the baked or fried doughnut into the glaze (ingredients and instructions below). Rotate the doughnut in the glaze until the top is covered with glaze. Place the glazed doughnut (glazed-side up) on the cooling rack until the glaze dries.

Pear Glaze

4–5 very ripe pears
Pinch of cinnamon
3–4 cups of confectioner’s sugar (more sugar means a thicker glaze)

Puree the pear and add a small pinch of cinnamon. Transfer to mixing bowl and slowly add three cups of confectioner’s sugar while beating on a low speed. The glaze should be the consistency of a thick creamy soup. Adding sugar will make it thicker. Once a good consistency is achieved, mix on medium-high for 3 minutes or until there are no lumps. 

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