Orange Pistachio Cake Donuts

Home made cake donuts……oh my! Cake donuts have always been my favorite, and I have many childhood memories of enjoying them fresh baked at a farm stand my family use to frequent when we picked apples in the fall. When I saw this recipe that combined orange with pistachio I just knew this was a winner.

I wanted to include the recipe for our readers, as it would be perfect for those family occasions when you want to make something creative and special that will be a lasting family memory. All one would need is large pot or high sided fry pan and a little patience to make these lovelies happen in your home.

Orange Pistachio Cake Donuts
Cuisine: donuts
Serves: 12 donuts
You can also substitute different extracts and nuts to create a variety of flavors out of this classic recipe
  • Donuts
  • 3 cups cake flour, plus more for rolling and cutting
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon Crisco shortening
  • 1 large egg plus one egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of one large orange
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • canola oil for frying ( 4+ cups depending on your size of pan)
  • Triple Orange Icing
  • 4½ cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1½ teaspoon light corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon orange extract
  • Grated zest of 1 large orange
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
  1. Donuts
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the sugar and shortening for 1 minute on low speed, until sandy like. Add the egg and egg yolk, then mix for 1 minute on medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. The mixture should be light colored and thick. Stir in the vanilla, orange zest and orange extract.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three separate additions, alternating with the mil, mixing until just combined on low speed each time. The dough will be very sticky, like very wet biscuit dough.
  5. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and refrigerate, covered directly with plastic wrap for 1 hour or overnight.
  6. Using a candy thermometer to measure the temperature, heat oil (at least 2 inches deep) in a large pot, high sided fry pan or deep fryer to reach 370.
  7. Gently roll out the chilled dough on a counter with ¼ cup of flour to be about ½ thick, flouring the top of the dough and the rolling pin as you go. This is a very wet dough and it's helpful to cut two doughnuts at a time and insert in the oil as you go. It's also helpful to dip your donut cutter in the flour as well. Fold and gently preroll the dough to make extra donuts or holes. (working with floured hands makes the dough less sticky)Because this is such a soft dough I found it helpful to cut two donuts and transferring them immediately to be deep fried with a spatula.
  8. Shake any excess flour off the donuts before carefully adding them to the hot oil. It's important to not crowd or have the donuts touching when they deep fry. Once the donuts float, fry for about 60 seconds per side, or until deep golden brown on both sides. Drain on a paper towel.
  9. When the donuts have cooled completely, dip one side of each into the warm Triple Orange Icing. Sprinkle immediately with the nuts. Let dry on a cooling rack until the glaze sets- about 15 minutes.
  10. Triple Orange Icing
  11. Place the confectioners sugar, corn syrup, salt, vanilla, orange extract, orange zest and orange juice in a large mixing bowl or in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Using a whisk or with the machine on loused, blend until the mixture is smooth and all of the sugar has been incorporated. If the icing seems too thick add more orange juice, a teaspoon at a time.
  12. To dip, dip one side of the cooled donut into the icing

The recipe mentioned being gentle with the dough and cutting two donuts at a time- this was good advise as the dough was easy to work with but it was important to keep the surfaces well floured and to gently lift the cut donut with a spatula. My first couple did not come out perfect but by the last few you could not tell mine from Dunkin Donuts:)

We are making donuts frequently at the inn. Consider staying with us this summer and seeing why all of our guests are raving about the donuts and Byron’s delicious homemade sorbet. Our breakfasts are mighty special!

We have been making several different kinds of donuts, and it’ been agreed by the Freeman taste tester– i.e. Byron, that the simple old fashion raised glazed ring donuts are the best so far. 

Happy summer every one!

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