You have to go back to the 1400s to find the first sign of donuts in the world, in a cookbook published in Nuremberg, Germany. It’s fair to say that in the 600+ years since, they have stood the test the time, with countless different versions of the original donut now being commonplace in supermarkets and bakeries across the world.
From jam-filled donuts to iced ones, there is more than likely a donut for everyone now. In this article, we are going to be focusing on crumb donuts, checking out their origins and how to make the perfect one. Let’s take a look.
Interesting facts about crumb donuts
Crumb donuts are essentially your standard donut, just with a crumby layer sitting on top which gives the donut more flavor and crispiness. The crumb topping is typically made out of butter, flour, cinnamon and sugar but some bakers like to experiment and can add additional ingredients to the mix if they are looking to produce something unique.
One of the most frequent additional toppings to crumb donuts is nuts. The crunchy exterior of a nut adds to the crispiness of these treats and can be flavorsome. However, as many people suffer from nut allergies, you will want to check the ingredients of a crumb donut before you purchase one.
It is unknown when the first crumb cake was created or who the genius was behind the idea of mixing crumbs and donuts together but we do know that they have been in circulation for a couple of decades, at least, because of Entenmann’s.
The American confectionary giant say that crumb donuts are one of their signature products and they’ve been around since the late 1800s. They are considered to be some of the nicest crumb donuts on the market, so if you’d rather buy some readymade ones then perhaps they should be your first port of call. Please note there are 250 calories in one of these donuts.
If you’d rather make them yourself from scratch then there are a couple of different ways to make a standard crumb donut, with some people electing to fry them and others baking. There isn’t really a right or wrong way to do it with both methods having their merits. Shortly, we will advise you on how to create these tasty treats using both methods.
One final thing to mention about crumb donuts is the fact that they can get really messy. Once you’ve taken your first bite, the crumbs will start falling off the donut and all down you. With that in mind, make sure you have a spare t-shirt handy, or a napkin or two, for when it comes to tucking in!
As mentioned already, there are various ingredients and recipes out there for crumb donuts, so we’ve decided to pick two of the best ones – one for a fried approach and one for a baked approach.
Ingredients for a fried crumb donut
For the donut:
- 550g of all-purpose flour
- 50g of white sugar
- 5g of yeast
- 3g of diamond crystal kosher salt
- 3g of nutmeg
- 250g of whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 110g of unsalted butter
For the donut glaze (which the crumbs will stick to):
- 250g of powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 8 tablespoons of whole milk
For the crumb topping:
- 120g of flour
- 100g of brown sugar
- 30g of powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of grated nutmeg
- 75g of melted butter
Ingredients for a baked crumb donut
For the donut:
- 65g of flour
- 35g of sugar
- 100g baking powder
- 15g of salt
- ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
- 35g of milk
- 1 egg white
- 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the glaze:
- 125g of powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons of milk
- ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the crumb topping:
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 35g of flour
- 35g of brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
Step-by-step recipe for crumb donuts
Now that you have the ingredients sorted, it’s time to look at how you can transform them into lovely and crispy crumb donuts. Here are the step-by-step guides for creating both fried and baked crumb donuts:
Fried crumb donut recipe:
Step1 Whisk the milk, eggs and vanilla extract together in a bowl and set aside.
Step2 In another bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt and nutmeg together and sprinkle the yeast on top.
Step3 Pour the milk into the mixture and continue to mix all ingredients together in the bowl until the dough has come together and is soft and smooth.
Step4 Once the dough is formed, add the butter one tablespoon at a time. Continue mixing until the dough is very smooth and stretchy.
Step5 Roll the dough together into a ball and place it in your fridge for 3-4 hours on a lightly greased tray or bowl.
Step6 While the dough is rising in the fridge, get to work on the crumb topping –
Step7 Preheat your oven to 180.
Step8 Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and then stir half of the melted butter in until it all starts to crumble.
Step9 Add the remaining butter in and continue to mix with a fork until there are large crumbs.
Step10 Spread the crumbs on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes.
Step11 Wait for them to cool and then transfer them to a separate bowl until they are needed for the topping.
Step12 Once the 4 hours have elapsed and the dough has risen in the fridge, take it back out and use a rolling pin to make it all around ½ an inch in thickness.
Step13 Create circular donut shapes out of the dough.
Step14 Cover the donuts for around an hour to allow them to become puffy.
Step15 Boil a pot of oil until it’s around 180 degrees Celsius then fry each donut for 3 minutes on each side.
Step16 Transfer the donuts to a cool tray or cooling rack and wait for them to cool.
Step17 While they’re cooling, create the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar and milk until well-formed. Feel free to add additional tablespoons of milk until you reach your desired consistency.
Step18 Once the donuts have cooled, dip the tops of the donuts in the glaze and then add the crumbs.
Step19 Leave it all to set for an hour at room temperature and then tuck in.
Baked crumb donut recipe:
Step1 Preheat your oven to 180 and grease a baking tray with cooking spray.
Step2 In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg to create dough.
Step3 In a small pan, stir in the milk, egg white, vanilla extract and butter over medium heat until the butter has dissolved.
Step4 Mix the items in the pan with the items in the bowl until you have a solid batter consistency.
Step5 Split the batter into 6 donut shapes and bake for 10 minutes.
Step6 While it’s baking, create the crumb topping by combing the butter, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon together. Add the butter and mash it in with the previous ingredients, using spoons or forks. Put this mixture on a baking tray and put it into the oven once the donut sheet has come out.
Step7 After both trays have finished baking, scrape through the crumb mixture with a fork to make it crumble while you let the donuts cool.
Step8 Finally, create the glaze by whisking all of the glaze ingredients in a bowl.
Step9 Dip the donuts into the glaze and then add the crumbs on top.
Step10 Give the crumbs a bit of time to set into the glaze and then tuck in.
1. Are baked donuts nicer than fried donuts?
This is entirely down to personal preference. The one thing we would say is that baked donuts are going to be slightly healthier than fried ones.
2. How long are donuts edible for?
We recommend that you eat your donuts within 48 hours of making them. While they may not cause you much harm if you eat them a day or two after that, they aren’t going to taste as nice.
3. Are crumb donuts animal friendly?
No, absolutely not. The ingredients in the recipes stated above contain food items that are harmful to animals so do not feed them to your cat, dog or any animals in the wild.
Crumb donuts are a delicious version of donuts that will leave you with a much different experience than you would get by just eating a plain ring donut. The crumby topping is a game-changer that will leave you coming back for more.
We hope that the recipes and instructions given above will help you out when it comes to you creating your own crumb donut. However, if you just don’t have the time then head to your local bakery and try them that way instead.