Doughnuts Take Center Stage in These 6 Decadent Dessert Recipes

Doughnuts are just too delicious to only be enjoyed in the morning. With their sweet flavors, fried finish, and fabulous frostings and glazes, the popular breakfast food works just as well for dessert. And when you incorporate them into cakes, cupcakes, sundaes, and pudding, you’ll find that doughnuts become even more decadent.

Some of these desserts call for already-made doughnuts, ensuring you get your sugar fix quickly, while others require you to make a fresh batch before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. Bake an elegant mocha-flavored doughnut cake, turn stale doughnuts into a tasty bread pudding, or create a stunning sundae by grilling them and topping with ice cream, hot fudge, and sprinkles. No matter what your doughnut craving may be, we promise these 6 dessert recipes will cure it!

Source: iStock

1. S’more Doughnut Sandwich With Easy Homemade Beer Marshmallows

You won’t be able to go back to standard s’mores after making Half Baked Harvest’s S’more Doughnut Sandwich With Easy Homemade Beer Marshmallows. Gooey, mouth-watering marshmallows and chocolate are sandwiched in between 2 doughnut halves and topped with hot fudge, creating an indulgent treat your tastebuds will find irresistible. Do note that your marshmallow mixture must sit for at least 4 hours or overnight, so be sure to plan accordingly!

Ingredients:

Beer Marshmallows

  • 12 ounces beer
  • 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 2¼ cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

S’mores

  • 4 (½- to 1-ounce) squares of dark chocolate or milk chocolate
  • 4 beer marshmallows
  • 4 Mini Graham Cracker Doughnutsor other mini doughnuts, sliced in half
  • Hot fudge sauce, for drizzling (optional)

Directions: Make the marshmallows. Pour beer into medium saucepan and whisk vigorously to remove some carbonation for 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle gelatin over top. Let stand 1 minute. Oil a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and sprinkle on powdered sugar to cover and coat. Set aside. Add sugar and vanilla. Bring to boil and cook for five minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool 10 minutes. Beat on high for 15 to 20 minutes until stiff peaks form.

Turn marshmallow mixture into pan and let sit for at least four hours or overnight. To cut run a knife along the edges of the pan and turn out onto a surface covered with powdered sugar. Cut into large squares. To make the s’more place 1 piece of chocolate on the inside of each doughnut half and then top with 1 marshmallow.

Heat the broiler in your oven, placing the oven rack directly underneath. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until the marshmallows are golden, bubbly, and runny. Remove from the oven and top with the top half of the doughnuts. If desired drizzle with hot fudge sauce.

Source: Thinkstock

2. Grilled Hot Fudge Sundae Doughnuts

Grilling glazed doughnuts gives them an extraordinary caramelized flavor, along with a nice crisp texture. The key here is to keep an eye on your doughnuts when they’re on the grill; Climbing Grier Mountain warns that they burn quickly, and leaving them on a tad too long will not garner the results you were hoping for. Once they’ve been grilled to perfection, top them with ice cream, fudge, sprinkles, and whipped cream, along with any other ingredients you can think of. Feel free to make your own doughnuts using Epicurious’s recipe, but storebought ones will work just as well.

Ingredients:

  • 4 glazed doughnuts, cut in half
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Hot fudge
  • Sprinkles
  • 4 Maraschino cherries
  • Whipped cream

Directions: Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Place doughnuts non-glazed side down and grill for a few minutes. It won’t take long to get the grill marks. Set doughnuts aside on plate until ready to dish up.

To serve, place one doughnut slice on a plate. Scoop out two scoops of vanilla ice cream and place on top of doughnut slice. Drizzle hot fudge on top of ice cream followed by whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry.

Source: iStock

3. Doughnut Cake With Mocha Whipped Cream

Sugar Hero’s recipe combines doughnuts, coffee, cake, and chocolate into one glorious dessert. Stacked sour cream doughnuts are held together with mocha whipped cream, topped with ganache, and then decorated with a few more doughnuts for good measure. The doughnut recipe is adapted from the cookbook Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker.

Ingredients:

Sour Cream Doughnuts
  • 13.5 ounces (3⅓ cups) cake flour
  • 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 5¼ ounces (¾ cup) granulated sugar
  • 1½ ounces butter
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 6 ounces (¾ cup) sour cream
  • 1 quart canola oil, for frying
Chocolate Ganache
  • 4 ounces heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
Mocha Whipped Cream
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions: To make the doughnuts, sift the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg together in a bowl. Combine the granulated sugar and butter in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream them together until the sugar is moistened and it’s the texture of wet sand. Add the egg yolks one at a time, and mix until the mixture is thick and light. Turn the mixer speed to low and add a third of the flour mixture. When it is mostly mixed in, and just a few streaks of flour remain, add half of the sour cream.

Continue to alternate adding flour and sour cream until everything is added. Stop the mixer when there are just a few streaks of flour left and scrape down the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl. The dough will be sticky. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover it with cling wrap, and refrigerate it for an hour to chill. Once chilled, lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough until it is a little thicker than ¼ inch. Cut out circles about 1¼ inch wide using a small circular cutter, then cut a hole in the center about ½-inch wide.

Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting the doughnuts. Pour the oil into a large saucepan until it’s about 1½ to 2 inches deep. Insert a deep fry thermometer and heat the oil over medium heat until it is 325 degrees Fahrenheit. During the frying process, you’ll want to monitor the temperature carefully, and take the pan off the heat if it starts climbing too high. It’s important that this temperature remain steady so your doughnuts cook properly, so try always to maintain around 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fry the doughnuts in small batches until they’re puffed and golden, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. It should only take about 1 minute on each side. Cover a baking sheet with paper towel, and transfer the cooked doughnuts to the sheet to let the excess oil be absorbed. Continue until all of the doughnuts have been fried. Let them cool completely before assembling the cake. To make the whipped cream and assemble, pour the cream into a chilled mixing bowl. Sift the powdered sugar, cocoa, and espresso powder over the cream, and add the vanilla extract. Whip until the cream holds firm peaks.

Place a cake cardboard in the bottom of a 7-inch springform pan. Place a 4-inch acetate cake collar around the inside of the pan. If you don’t have an acetate collar, you can form a tall ring with aluminum foil; you just need something to extend the top of the springform pan about 4 inches. You can also use a different size of springform pan, just be aware that you may not get the same number of layers if you make a larger cake.

Spread a thin layer of mocha whipped cream on the bottom of the cake cardboard. Arrange a ring of doughnuts around the edge of the cardboard, then fill in the center with more doughnuts, cutting some if necessary to try and cover as much of the space as possible. Top this layer of doughnuts with a thick layer of mocha whipped cream, spreading it out almost to the edge of the cake. Add another layer of doughnuts, then continue to alternate layers of cream and doughnuts until you have four layers of doughnuts total.

Top the top layer of doughnuts with more whipped cream, spreading it into a smooth, even layer on top. Cover the cake with a loose tent of plastic wrap, and refrigerate it overnight so the doughnuts soften and everything melds together. To make the chocolate ganache, pour the cream into a small saucepan and add the espresso powder, and turn the heat to medium-high. Place the chopped semi-sweet chocolate in a medium bowl nearby. Bring the cream to a simmer, so that bubbles appear along the side of the pan.

Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate, and let it sit for one minute to soften the chocolate. Whisk them together gently until the mixture is shiny and smooth. Press a layer of cling wrap on top and let sit at room temperature until you’re ready to use it. To finish the cake,unclasp the springform pan and remove the cake from the pan. Unwind the acetate cake collar or foil collar from the sides of the cake, and place the cake on your serving platter.

If the ganache has firmed up too much to be easily pourable, warm it in the microwave in short 5- or 6-second intervals, whisking often, until it is liquid and flows easily. Pour it on top of the cake, and gently spread it to the edge of the cake so some of it drips down. Add sprinkles on top, if desired. Refrigerate the cake for about 20 minutes to set the ganache. Once set, top with additional small doughnuts, whipped cream, or any other garnishes if desired.

Source: iStock

4. Doughnut Bread Pudding

Don’t throw out day-old doughnuts! Instead, use them to make AllRecipes.com’s Doughnut Bread Pudding. Tear doughnuts into small pieces, combine with raisins in a baking dish, and cover with a sweet milk mixture consisting of eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, almond extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Let the dish stand for at least 15 minutes, and bake. Almost any type of doughnut will work well in this dessert, so don’t be afraid to experiment!

Ingredients:

  • 4 stale raised glazed doughnuts
  • ½ cup raisins or other dried fruit
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 (12-fluid-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a small glass baking dish. Tear the doughnuts into bite-size pieces. Combine doughnut pieces and raisins in the prepared baking dish. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to blend together the eggs, evaporated milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Mix in the cinnamon and nutmeg.

Pour the milk mixture over the donuts in the dish, and press down lightly to help absorption. Let stand for 15 minutes, or cover and refrigerate overnight. Place the baking dish inside a larger baking dish, and fill the outer dish with enough water to go about halfway up the sides. A dishcloth may also be placed under the bread dish, to prevent drying. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Source: iStock

5. Dessert Doughnuts

King Arthur Flour’s Dessert Doughnuts are simpler than some of the recipes we’ve compiled, but that doesn’t make them any less divine. Cake doughnuts are baked, not fried, creating a healthier base for your favorite fillings. Ice cream, pudding, whipped cream, caramel, and nuts are all great additions!

Ingredients:

Doughnuts

  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups applesauce, mashed bananas, puréed strawberries, or the puréed fruit of your choice
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar or cinnamon-sugar, for coating

Filling

  • Possible options: ice cream, pudding, whipped cream, sliced fruit, fudge sauce, caramel sauce, nuts, sprinkles

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease two standard doughnut pans. If you don’t have doughnut pans, you can bake these in a standard muffin tin; they just won’t be doughnuts. Beat together the oil, eggs, sugar, puréed fruit, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder until smooth. Add the flour, stirring just until smooth.

Fill the wells of the doughnut pans nearly to the rim; use about ¼ cup of batter in each well. If you’re making muffins, fill each well about ¾ full; the recipe makes about 15, so you’ll need to bake in two batches. Bake the doughnuts for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean.

If you’re making muffins, they’ll need to bake for 23 to 25 minutes. Remove the doughnuts from the oven, and loosen their edges. After about 5 minutes, transfer them to a rack. While the doughnuts are still warm, gently shake them, 1 or 2 at a time, in a bag with the sugar. If you’ve made muffins, sprinkle their tops with sugar.

Cool completely, and wrap airtight; store at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage. To make dessert doughnuts, fill the hole in each doughnut with your choice of ice cream, pudding, mousse, and sliced fruit. Top with sauce; add whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry if desired.

Source: iStock

6. Doughnut Trifle

Glazed doughnuts, pudding, sour cream, milk, whipped topping, and sprinkles create a top-notch trifle. The best part? It only takes 15 minutes to make Kraft’s recipe. Whisk the pudding mix and milk together, and stir in the sour cream. Layer half of the doughnut pieces, pudding mixture, and whipped topping in a large bowl, repeat the layers, and top with sprinkles. It doesn’t get any easier or more delicious than this dessert!

Ingredients:

  • 2 (3.4-ounce) packages vanilla flavor instant pudding
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 8 glazed doughnuts with sprinkles, each cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 (8-ounce) container whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon multicolored sprinkles

Directions: Beat pudding mixes and milk in medium bowl with whisk for 2 minutes. Stir in sour cream. Layer half each of the doughnut pieces, pudding, and whipped topping in large bowl; repeat layers. Top with sprinkles.

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