Tiny Tonsure Cakes

aka Your Favorite Franciscan Saint's Baked Donuts

We all know (all Catholics, that is) that our favorite Franciscans, like St. Francis and St. Anthony, wore their hair shorn on top, leaving the ring of hair around the sides, front, and back -- known as a tonsure (although a tonsure can also be completely shorn, as well). According to Catholic Encyclopedia, this practice was picked up by St. Francis because Greek and Roman slaves wore this hair "style" as a badge of their state in life. This practice is now not only known to Franciscans, but it seems this symbol of service to God is most recognizable from pictures of our favorite Franciscan saints.

St. Anthony of Padua                                                       St. Francis of Assisi

This morning I decided to greet the day with some Tiny Tonsure cakes, which are really just baked donuts. I think they look more like little cakes, however, than real donuts. My children were happy for the surprise. I intended to just make the Lemon Buttermilk variety, but before I knew it, I had the cocoa and chocolate chips out as well for Chocolate Cake Donuts -- a double pleasure today.

These little donuts would make a lovely breakfast on any Franciscan Saint day (if you mix up the dry ingredients the night before you can whip up the batter before the coffee brews), or even dessert or afternoon tea treat. The recipe does require the use of a donut pan, however.

The Lemon Buttermilk recipe is a variation of the one found at The Sweets Life, and the chocolate variety is modified from the recipe which came with my Norpro donut pan (except for the glaze, which I threw together).

Lemon Buttermilk Baked Donuts

1 c. whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 c. honey
2 T. butter, melted
1 T. vanilla extract
1/2 t. lemon extract (or the zest from 1 lemon)

1 c. confectioners sugar
2 t. lemon juice 

enough milk to make a runny glaze

 Preheat oven to375F. Spray a donut pan lightly with cooking spray and set aside. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together buttermilk, eggs, honey, butter, vanilla extract, and lemon extract (or zest). Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing just until combined.

Using a spoon (or a cookie batter scoop), fill donut pan cavities about 2/3 full. Bake for 7-8 minutes, until golden and donuts spring back when touched. 

Remove from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack. Re-spray the pan and repeat with remaining batter.

Once donuts have cooled, prepare the glaze by whisking together the confectioners sugar and lemon juice and milk, if needed. Dip cooled donuts into the glaze before flipping over (glaze side up) and placing on wire racks until glaze is set. 

Chocolate Cake Baked Donuts

1 1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. unsweetened baking cocoa
1 t. baking powder
1/8 t. salt
2 eggs
2/3 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. milk
2 T. butter, melted


1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 T. heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, sugar, and salt.

Make a well in dry ingredients and add wet ingredients (eggs, milk, melted butter and vanilla). Stir together just until well combined.

Spray pan lightly with cooking oil. Fill with batter 2/3 full.  Bake 8 minutes. 

Cool. Carefully remove. Repeat with rest of batter.

Place chocolate chips and cream in a micro safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds on high. Stir. Heat for another 15-30 seconds and stir until smooth. 

When donuts are almost completely cool, dip tops in chocolate glaze.

Pin It

1 comment:

  1. These are great, Barbara! What a fun idea for today's feast!