April showers bring May flowers…and floral donuts too!
I recently had to drive through a neighborhood I visit all too infrequently. The drive reminded me just how beautiful that neighborhood is, especially in spring. Each house seemed to be framed by a blossoming bush or tree. The bold house colors of the historical row homes and their antique details really seemed to sing. I drove at an elderly pace, taking in the views of white petals, bright pinks, a lot or two transformed into communal gardens, trees swaying on the blistery day… all of these views reminded me of how deep my hibernation had been.
Like the awakening annuals, the busy bees and the returning birds, I am ready for this change of season, for exploring new flowering fields and even the blooms breaking through concrete too. Despite the wanderlust whirling inside me that yearns for the exotic, far-off corners, I’m making a conscious effort to be more adventurous, more playful and to take the time to explore what’s close to home.
A flowering breakfast donut is a great reminder of all those goals! Here’s to April and its promises of spring in full bloom!
Blackberry, Lemon & Lavender Cake Donuts with Lemon Lavender Glaze
yield: about 12-15 donuts, depending on the size of your cutter
About this Recipe: Be sure to source an organic lavender bud for this recipe. I found mine at a Farm-to-Table conference, but I’m sure there are farmers or smaller stores that sell them as well. Avoid lavender that isn’t labeled food-grade, as it probably was sprayed with pesticides. I used a food processor to grind the lavender with the flour to make sure it was equally dispersed and to achieve a more palatable texture. You can substitute your favorite berry for the blackberries. Be sure to use an organic, non-gmo oil to keep these donuts as guiltless as possible. They’re best when fresh and still warm.
Blackberry, Lemon & Lavender Cake Donuts
4-1/2 cups organic whole-wheat pastry flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
2/3 cup organic raw cane sugar
2 Tablespoons baking powder
3 Tablespoons organic lavender buds
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest (~2 small organic lemons)
1 cup organic whole milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten (organic/cage-free)
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (from ~2 small organic lemons)
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (8 Tbs) organic, unsalted butter, melted
2 cups blackberries (sliced in halves if extra plump)
Organic, non-GMO Safflower oil for frying (about 1 quart)
Use a food processor to grind the lavender buds with 1 cup flour until the lavender is finely ground and incorporated.
In a large bowl, combine the lavender mixture, the remaining flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and zest, whisking to combine.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the egg, milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice until incorporated.
Add melted butter to the dry ingredients, quickly stirring to disperse the butter and form small crumbs.
Stir in milk/egg mixture, and bring the dough together with a spoon, or use the dough hook attachment.
As the dough comes together completely, add in blackberries, mashing some as you stir, and bring dough together with your hands.
Form the dough into a large ball, then roll it on a floured surface to about ½-inch thickness. Cut donuts using a biscuit cutter. Use a smaller cutter to create the donut hole. Repeat with dough scraps until all the dough is used.
Heat oil in a large pot or deep fryer, bringing it to 375℉. Fry donuts 1-2 at a time, frying for about 1 1/2-2 minutes, flipping halfway through. After your first donut, check it by cutting into the center and making sure the dough is cooked, and adjust time accordingly. Finish remaining donuts, transferring to a cooling rack as you go. Once all the donuts are made, add the glaze.
Lemon Lavender Glaze
2-1/2 cups organic powdered sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons organic lavender buds
Combine ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until combined and smooth. If the glaze is too thin, add sugar a few tablespoons at a time, and pulse. If the glaze is too thick, add more water or lemon juice by the spoonful, pulsing or whisking in between each addition. Drizzle glaze over donuts, and set aside for the glaze to harden slightly.
Note: You may need to make a second batch depending on the size of your donuts and your glaze preferences.