These Tie Dye Donuts are easy to make because they’re baked instead of fried. Make them whenever you need an extra dose of happy color on your plate!
I think we could all use a colorful pick-me-up today. I’m taking a short break from watching the news and instead focusing on some of the little things that bring genuine happiness to my soul. And, yes – doughnuts are one of those things!
‘Tie dye’ is a bit of a misnomer here. More accurately, these doughnuts are dip-dyed in colorful glaze to achieve a swirly tie dye effect.
I love my doughnut pan. With one of these, you can turn almost any cake recipe into a doughnut. I used my pan and a basic buttermilk cake doughnut recipe for this version, which is less sweet than regular cake. A heaping helping of lemon zest and pure lemon extract in the batter will yield an end result that’s a real zinger!
The swirly tie dye glaze is easier than you’d imagine! Just pour a little plain glaze on a plate and swirl in some gel food color. Be sure to leave some of the glaze white. Dip a doughnut into the glaze and quickly turn it over. Tah-DAH!
You can keep dipping doughnuts until the color begins to fade, then just pour more plain glaze on top of the old glaze and swirl in more food color.
A couple of times after I dipped, there would be a bare (glazeless) spot on the doughnut after I turned it over. If this happens to you, just pick up a little of the glaze with a spoon and apply it directly to the spot. If you find the dipping isn’t working for you, you can always just spoon on the glaze instead.
Guess what I had for breakfast this morning? (Smile.)
These doughnuts are so fun to make, and the lemon flavor of both the cake and glaze are truly uplifting. I added some fondant daisies to the centers of a few doughnuts. I’ve always thought that tie dye and daisy chains go together like bread and butter.
Sources: I used Betty Crocker gel food color in all the classic colors, and the orange and purple colors from theneon colors package. The fondant daisy cutters can be purchased here, and the Wilton doughnut pan here. If you’re not into making the fondant daisies, then ready-made sugar daisies can be purchased here.
Lemon Tie Dye Doughnuts
- donut pan
- 2 cups/240 g cake flour sifted
- 3/4 cup/150 g granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup/180 g buttermilk
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- Zest of one lemon
- 2 cups/260 g confectioners’ sugar sifted
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- Whole milk about 6 teaspoons
- Gel food color in rainbow colors
- Fondant daisies optional
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray the doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the buttermilk, eggs, oil, lemon extract and zest. Beat until just combined. The batter will be thick. Transfer the batter to a piping bag with a 1/2-inch opening. Pipe the batter into the doughnut cavities until approximately 2/3 full.
- Bake the doughnuts for 7 to 9 minutes, or until the top of the doughnuts spring back when touched (mine baked in about 7 minutes exactly). Let cool in the pan for 2 minutes. Turn the doughnuts out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the glaze, put the confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the lemon extract and 2 teaspoons of milk. Stir together with a whisk. Add more milk as needed to form a thick glaze (I used about 6 teaspoons total). The glaze should fall from a spoon in a thick ribbon back into the bowl, leaving a trail that disappears completely by the count of 10.
- Pour half of the glaze onto a shallow plate. Use a spoon to swirl in different hues of gel food color (I used rainbow colors: red, orange, yellow, blue, and violet). Dip a doughnut into the glaze and turn it over. Wait a minute for the glaze to spread and settle. If you experience bare spots on the doughnuts, use a spoon to doctor the spot with more glaze. Dip more doughnuts until the color starts to fade. When this happens, pour the remaining glaze onto the plate and swirl in more food color. Dip the remaining doughnuts in the glaze. Let the doughnuts stand until the glaze is set, about 2 hours.
- Doughnuts can be stored in an air-tight container overnight, and they will still taste fresh, but the glaze will settle into a wrinkly appearance. If you need to make these ahead of time, I suggest making the cake doughnuts the day before and then glazing them the day you plan to serve them for the nicest presentation.