Today is a super special day!
Is it because I made tender, moist apple cider donuts, spiced up to here with warm autumn spices, rolled in cinnamon sugar, and drizzled with a pomegranate glaze? No!
Is it because I had a moment when I first tasted these babies, a moment where I dropped my chin and widened my eyes in disbelief that they could so rich, moist, baked and vegan? No!
Is it because I sent the rest to work with O (because you know what would happen if I kept them in the kitchen) and they were scarfed down in three minutes flat? Is it because his vegan colleague texted him to tell me they were “f***ing awesome*”?! No!
But no, today is special because today we celebrate Melissa Belanger of a Teaspoon of Happiness. She grew a human and it’s almost time to meet her! That’s my super creepy (I’m still totally awed by the actual um, childbearing process) way of saying.. she’s having a baby, and it’s a girl!
Now, if you’ve never read Melissa’s blog, a Teaspoon of Happiness, it’s time you start. Melissa comes up with totally family-friendly recipes that are both easy and elegant, a gorgeous mix. Her husband is a professional hockey player, and they move around constantly—they’re currently in Amiens, France, but when I “met” Melissa, they were in Kazakhstan! There was always a couple views on my blog from Kazakhstan each day back then—so Melissa creates these recipes that both feed a hungry man and use universal, wholesome ingredients. She writes about her travel tales in her sister blog, Love in a Suitcase!
Melissa and I have been bloggy friends for what seems like forever, starting with sending lengthy emails back and forth discussing blog strategy and tactics, lamenting blogger life (recipe testing failures and the “Oh I have a friend who writes a blog, too!” response when you tell someone you are actually a food blogger. The struggle is real, people), sharing guilty pleasure TV shows, and discussing men in general. This girl is awesome, and you want to know her. Just saying.
So since I couldn’t actually, you know, go to France to throw this hot mama a baby shower, I figured I’d gather some blogger friends and do it virtually! Some incredible bloggers and I have all made the recipes we would have brought to Melissa’s baby shower in real life and posted them to share and celebrate! We’ve got some seriously great stuff for the virtual party, and I hope you love their recipes as much as I have.
These donuts are positively perfect for a fall baby shower, and the pomegranate drizzle is perfectly girly without being, you know, a baby carved out of a watermelon. They’ll go fast at any shower you throw, but they’re perfect for fall without any great purpose. The apple cider is reduced, concentrating the flavor, and the cinnamon sugar adds the perfect texture to the moist cake, making these a recipe you’ll make all autumn and drool over on Pinterest during the summer months!
Baked Apple Cider Donuts with Pomegranate Glaze (Vegan)
- 1 1/4 cup and 1/4 cups apple cider
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or pumpkin spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 flax egg , room temperature (combine 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal and 3 tablespoons room temperature water and set aside for about 5 minutes)
- 2 Tablespoons Earth Balance , melted
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar (dark brown works, too!)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup about 1/2 cup unsweetened unflavored almond milk , room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons pomegranate juice
- 1 drop or two red food coloring , optional
- Simmer apple cider over low-medium heat in a small saucepan on the stove for 15-20 minutes. Add cinnamon sticks, if you like, to enhance the apple cider a bit. We're reducing the apple cider so you get a strong apple cider flavor; you need 1/2 cup total cider reduction. Allow the reduction to cool in the refrigerator as you prepare the other ingredients.
- Pour 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice into a measuring cup then add almond milk to make 1/2 cup. Set aside and allow to curdle to make "buttermilk".
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray a donut pan with nonstick spray. Set aside. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together in a large bowl.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flax egg, melted Earth Balance, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until smooth. Whisk in the "buttermilk", vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup of reduced apple cider.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and very gently mix together with a whisk. Overmixing will create gluten, which makes a tough donut, so be very careful! Whisk until just combined. A few small lumps are OK, especially since we'll be rolling the donuts in cinnamon sugar.
- Pour the batter into the donut pan, filling 1/2 of the way full. Bake the donuts about 9-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool a few minutes in the pan a few minutes then remove the donuts from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- To make the topping, simply whisk together the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. To make the glaze, simply whisk together the powdered sugar and pomegranate juice. If you want a pinker glaze, add a drop of red food coloring at a time.
- To assemble: one by one, toss cooled donuts in powdered sugar mixture until completely coated. Place on a wire rack then, using a butter knife, spoon, whisk, or piping bag with very small tip, drizzle glaze over tops of donuts. Let set for about 10 minutes before serving. There are best the day of but keep for a couple days in an airtight container.
Without further ado.. Melissa B’s virtual baby shower!