Blue Apron’s Head Chef John Adler might be stuck at home, but he has company. In his own words, here’s how he’s keeping his family busy (and well-fed).

I’m no pastry chef, but I love making doughnuts. I had bomboloni on the menu at Franny’s, and just one bite of a cider doughnut sends me down a long path of nostalgia that ends up at the late and great Schultz’s Cider Mill in Westchester. 

chocolate and sprinkle doughnuts
Chocolate or sprinkles?

Last weekend my daughter Ella Jane and I decided to make our own doughnuts. To adapt the process for a home kitchen, I started with Ina Garten’s Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts (Ina really knows how to stay home in style). Baked doughnuts are super easy, and, if you’re cooking with kids, a little safer to execute. Ina treats doughnuts like a quick bread; just mix wet into dry and go. No yeast, no gradual additions, they’re that simple and straightforward. 

stir the doughnut batter
A+ kitchen helper

I did make a few adjustments here. I don’t keep cooking spray around, so I greased my doughnut pan with a little bit of shortening. I also left out the nutmeg because my wife has a strong aversion to it. Finally, instead of the cinnamon and sugar topping, we made a basic glaze and dusted them with “sparkly sprinkles” (that last part was Ella Jane’s idea). For the sake of variety, we also took half the batter and mixed in approximately 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder to make a chocolate version—these turned out really well! They tasted like a cross between a brownie and a doughnut—let’s call them bronuts. 

The recipe calls for baking these in a doughnut pan. Unfortunately, I overfilled the first batch quite a bit—Ella Jane said the finished doughnuts looked like mushrooms!  Luckily, it was an easy fix; we took out some ring molds and manicured them back into shape. 

More people should make doughnuts at home, and this recipe makes it possible. Including preheating the oven, this project was just 45 min from start to finish. Of course, it helps if your sous chef is totally adorable.

eating a doughnut
Ella Jane approves

Ina Garten’s Cinnamon and Sugar Baked Doughnuts 

  • Baking spray or shortening
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1¼ cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare your doughnut pans by coating with baking spray, lard, or shortening. 

2. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt into a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

3. Spoon the batter into the baking pans, filling each one a little more than three-quarters full. Bake for 17 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then tap the doughnuts out onto a sheet pan.

4. For the topping, melt the 8 tablespoons of butter in an 8-inch sauté pan. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip each doughnut first in the butter and then in the cinnamon sugar, either on one side or both sides.