Simply put, these donuts look quite striking. They remind me of the kind of treat you’d find in one of Tim Burton’s creepy little worlds. The dramatic orange and black colors should put you in the right mood for some Halloween fun. My husband wasn’t so sure about adding green and purple at first, but even he agreed the final product looked wickedly good. Bring these to a school Halloween party (they still have those, I hope?) and watch the little ghouls and goblins’ faces light up. Serve them at your own Halloween bash or bag them up as a treat for some special trick-or-treaters. We brought them to our family’s annual pumpkin carving party, and they were a big hit. That said, they’re also good to just munch on while watching a scary movie in your jammies because Halloween.
These donuts are baked, not fried, and although they are sweet, they’re not overly sweet. They bake up light and fluffy and very quickly. Best of all, this recipe can be modified to use any color scheme you like. Of course we decided to Halloween it up, but you could easily make them in your child’s favorite colors, school colors, or whatever you like. You can find the original recipe here. We made rainbow donuts as leprechaun bait last March, and despite my fears that I was about to embark on the latest Pinterest fail, they came out looking and tasting amazing.
The evil secret behind these donuts? Well, maybe not an evil secret, but definitely a good one. The secret is: they’re really easy to make because they start with a box of cake mix. Add some food colors and a donut pan, a dash of Halloween magic and a sprinkle of DIY spirit (ha ha I’ll stop now) and you’re on your way. This project does require some special prep and supplies, so read everything carefully before you begin. But by all means, give this recipe a try.
You’ll have everyone marveling at your magic secrets. 😉
What you will need:
- A box of cake mix (I used Golden Butter, as suggested in the original recipe)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 stick of butter, softened on the countertop or in the microwave
- Food colors of your choice (we used black, orange, green and purple)
- A donut pan (available at most craft stores)
- Icing bags or plastic baggies
- Bowls, spoons and toothpicks
- Tall cups or mugs – one for each of your colors
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease the donut pan. A quick spritz of cooking spray will do.
To make the donut batter, mix the cake mix, eggs, milk and butter until blended. Divide the batter into four smaller bowls and tint each batch with one of your food colors. I use the gel colors, so I dip a toothpick into the color and swirl it into the batter. Add more color in this manner until you get the intensity you like. Use a new toothpick each time so you don’t get batter in your food color jar. Repeat the process for each color you wish to use.
I used icing/decorator bags for this next step, but you could also use a plastic baggie. I place the bag with the pointed side down into the cup, and fold the edges of the bag over the sides of the cup. Scoop all of the batter into the bag. Roll the edges of the bag back up, and give it a little twist. I place the bag, uncut, back into the glass. Repeat for all your colors.
When all of your colors are ready, snip off the ends of the bags, and squeeze a small blob of batter into the donut pan. You can do this randomly with different colors until the well is full, and you get a swirly, kind of tye-dye looking donut. You can also arrange your colors in a pattern. Me being me, I planned out my patterns.
Continue filling in all of the donut wells. When you are finished with a color, place it back in it’s cup or mug. I found this helps keep your work space clean and prevents batter from getting all over. My donut pan has six wells, and this recipe made enough to make three trays of donuts. I probably could have gotten a fourth tray had I really scraped all batter out of the bags.
Bake in preheated oven for about 7-10 minutes. I checked my donuts around eight minutes. If in doubt, use the toothpick test: if a toothpick inserted into the donut comes out clean, they’re done.
I gently tap my donuts out onto cooling racks to cool. As soon as the tray is cool, give it another quick spritz of cooking spray, and then start piping more batter into the wells.
And that’s it! Delicious, delightful and so impressive, these donuts are sure to please.
Bonus Ghost Marshmallow Project
This happens sometimes: I’m in the grocery/craft store (one of two places you are sure to find me) and I see something that sparks my imagination. I was in the bulk aisle of my favorite grocery store when I spotted these large ghost marshmallows. The wheels in my mind started turning – what could I do with them? I decided to grab a bag, and when I got home, I dug out my sparkle icing gels. Because what makes icing better? Sparkles of course!
This little project couldn’t be easier. Set out your little ghosties and pipe on the eyes and mouths. You only need a little dab of gel icing, and it sort of sinks into the marshmallow. This took about five minutes total, and they look awesome!
If you’re pressed for time, these would make great cupcake toppers. Stick one on top of a pudding cup and add some crumbled up cookies crumbs and you have an instant spooky snack. We stuck a few on top of our donuts for an extra special treat. Or just set them out on a plate and watch them disappear. Boo!
I hope you enjoy making our spooky treats this Halloween. Maybe we can try this again with red and green donuts for Christmas. These donuts are so tasty and fun to make you may just find yourself making excuses to make them again and again!