Olive Kitteridge–Let’s have donuts.

Donuts got some serious page-time throughout the collection–they were even the subject of several questions in the mock-interview with Olive at the end of the book.  Rather than overanalyze their presence (a buoy, feeding appetites that aren’t otherwise met, etc., etc.), I’m going to let them speak for themselves.  Donuts.  Word.

The following recipe is for baked donuts, as I don’t have the proper equipment or kitchen elves to make the “real deal.”  That said, these babies are still delectable morsels of cinnamon-sugar deliciousness.  Like little intertube churros.  See the instructions below:


Baked Donuts (this recipe is one of Ina Garten’s, though I lowered the bake time a bit for Colorado altitude–here’s the link:original recipe)

*You will need a donut baking pan if you want the OG donut shape.

Baking spray with flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the topping:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 doughnut pans well.

Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the baking pans, filling each one a little more than three-quarters full. Bake for 16 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then tap the doughnuts out onto a sheet pan.

For the topping, melt the 8 tablespoons of butter in an 8-inch saute pan. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip each doughnut first in the butter and then in the cinnamon sugar, either on one side or both sides.

More thoughts on donuts (and doughnuts)…

If you want to branch out from the cinnamon-sugar topping, this is a great base for other donut flavors as well.  I came up with my own chai topping, shown below, but you could also use powdered sugar, citrus sugar, lavender sugar–I foresee someone doing something awesome with matcha or maple and bacon (we don’t judge here).  Tell me about your successes!

Chai sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ginger

1/8 tsp cloves or allspice

1/8-1/4 tsp cardamom, depending on your spice preference

Blend all together and use after the butter, as you did with the cinnamon topping above.

Here’s to you, Olive.  Happy baking!


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