To calm my nerves when I have a new cookbook come out, I bake my way through the recipes in it. That’s how I remind myself that yes, I did develop develop develop then test, test and retest every recipe, and that they all work.
Along the way, I also end up developing some new recipes that could have been in the new book, but that I honestly just didn’t think of in time. With my newest cookbook, Gluten Free Classic Snacks, nothing has changed.
I’ve been baking plenty of gluten free Hostess Chocolate Cupcakes and Twinkies (the Twinkies are in the oven as I type!), and I just couldn’t resist a copycat recipe for gluten free Hostess Crunch Donettes.
I mean, just look at them. But if you find yourself resisting, we have at least 9 other gluten free donuts recipes. To each his own. :)
Do you remember these mini Hostess donuts? They’re the yellow cake ones that are topped with that crunchy-sweet crumb that tastes of honey and faintly of coconut. Can I get an amen?!
The donuts can be made in a mini donut pan in the oven (my current favorite donut pans are the cheap-o ones made by Wilton), or in an electric miniature donut maker. Mine is Babycakes brand, and I bought it at Kohl’s. With a coupon. On sale. For next to nothing. And I highly recommend it. It makes the cutest, roundest donuts.
I know we’ve already talked about why I love copycat recipes, but I think it bears repeating. Being able to duplicate a favorite snack (or even just one you’ve never tried but have seen on grocery store shelves!) means that nothing is out of reach. That if you loved it before, you can have it back, which creates a sense of possibility where maybe before there was sadness. And it also means that you can and should share your childhood memories with your children and grandchildren. Along the way, you’ll create new memories that they can then share with theirs. Basically, we’re saving the gluten free world, one Twix bar at a time. ;)
Gluten Free Hostess-Style Crunch Donettes
For the Crunch Topping
3 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) unsweetened gluten free cornflakes (I used Erewhon corn flakes), crushed into small crumbs (I used a food processor, but you can crush them by hand as well)
1/3 cup (32 g) nonfat dry milk powder (try replacing with an equal amount blanched almond flour)
1/3 cup (67 g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, melted
For the Donuts
1 5/8 cup (228 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)*
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
6 tablespoons (54 g) cornstarch (try replacing with arrowroot)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup (133 g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (56 g) neutral oil (like canola or safflower oil)
1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) plus 1 egg white (25 g) at room temperature, beaten
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (5 fluid ounces) buttermilk, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (42 g) honey
1/2 teaspoon pure coconut extract (can replace with an equal amount of pure vanilla extract)
4 to 6 tablespoons (84 g to 126 g) honey
Crunch topping (above)
*If you are using Cup4Cup gluten free flour. my mock Cup4Cup blend, or another high-starch blend like King Arthur Flour all purpose gluten free flour, replace the all purpose gluten free flour, xanthan gum and cornstarch in the ingredients list with 2 cups (280 g) Cup4Cup.
First, make the crunch topping. Preheat your oven to 300°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside. In a large bowl, place all of the crunch topping ingredients, and mix to combine well. Turn the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet, and spread into an even layer. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until just beginning to brown (about 20 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet while you make the donuts.
Make the donuts. To make the donuts in the oven, increase your oven temperature to 350°F. Grease a miniature donut pan, and set it aside. To make them in an electric donut maker, warm the appliance according to the manufacturer’s directions. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the oil, egg, egg white, buttermilk, honey and coconut extract, mixing well to combine after each addition. The batter will be thick.
Bake the donuts. If making the donuts in an oven, fill the prepared donut wells about 3/4 of the way full. Place in the center of the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the donuts are set and a toothpick inserted in the center of a donut comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. If making the donuts in an electric donut maker, fill the bottom of the donut maker wells completely with batter, then close and secure the lid. Allow to bake for 3 minutes. Open the donut maker and remove the donuts with the remover tool or the tines of a fork. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Assemble the donuts. Place 4 tablespoons of honey for the coating in a small, heat-safe bowl and warm in the microwave for about 20 seconds or over a double-boiler until thinned. Place the cornflake crunch in a shallow bowl and set it next to the honey. Dip both sides of each cooled donut in the warm honey, and then press firmly into the crunch topping on all sides so the topping adheres before placing on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining donuts, adding more honey to the dipping bowl as necessary. Allow the donuts to set before serving.