Maple Bacon Doughnuts

My mom trudged through four years of college with four kids to earn her nursing degree (and graduated magna cum laude, she will promptly — and repeatedly — inform you).

Her job as a nurse left her with little time or energy to spend on being an extraordinary entertainer, something she’s always had an innate talent for. One day as a small girl, though, I went to forage in the kitchen and found her frantically frying doughnuts.

There was literally a multi-tiered tower of doughnuts on the kitchen table. There were more doughnuts bouncing around in hot oil on the stove. There were pale, puffy rings on the counter waiting for their turn in the stock pot.

And then there was little Julie in the middle of the madness — and I was all about eating some doughnuts.

Mom immediately shattered my doughnut devouring dreams, though, explaining that her friends from work were on their way to discuss some adultish, worky things, and that the doughnuts were for them. I had thoughts of launching an all-out siege à la Hyperbole and a Half, but managed to control myself.

When the ladies arrived, Mom was somehow curled and coiffed, standing in a clean kitchen, and wearing a cute outfit. The tower of doughnuts beckoned enthusiastically from the table as she invited each of her friends to sit and poured them coffee. I watched in eager anticipation, certain they were about to notice the doughnuts and react with appropriate awe.

But they didn’t.

No worries. My mom would offer them the doughnuts in a moment, and they were probably just waiting on that polite social cue to reveal their utter amazement. Sure enough, she gestured toward one of tiers resplendent with multicolored rings, saying, “Would you like a doughnut?” But the unthinkable happened.

“Oh, no thanks.”

That’s right. Those ladies did not eat a single doughnut. They were dieting, or they weren’t hungry, or some such something.

My mom carried on warm conversation, refilling their coffee like nothing had happened. Like fresh homemade doughnuts just appeared on her kitchen table any old day! Like she hadn’t just spent literally hours making them from scratch!

At 7 or 8 years old, I was not so deft a hostess. I sort of wanted to grab one of those ladies by both shoulders and give her a good shaking, screaming, “SHE MADE YOU HOMEMADE DOUGHNUTS, WOMAN!” I had seen Mom’s hours of hard work, and I was heartbroken for her.

The ladies left before too long, having accomplished their adulty, workish business, and the doughnuts still sat undisturbed on the table. I could tell Mom was sad about it, despite my assurances that I would both eat and enjoy every last one.

Seriously, who turns down a homemade doughnut?! In fact, who turns down ANY version of a yeast doughnut?! (Those cakey things are another story altogether; you’ll have to forgive my obvious bias.)

Indeed, Mike’s mom told me a story years ago about when she was in school. She and her friends would wait for the “Hot Doughnuts Now” sign to come on at the nearby Krispy Kreme, drive over, and eat a dozen doughnuts each. That’s the power of a yeast doughnut. (And youthful metabolism).

Well, in honor of my mother and doughnut lovers everywhere, I made a variety of filled doughnuts last weekend. I’m still tweaking my super secret version — and will share it soon, along with a great little trick for using yeast dough scraps — but this flavor combination I found on Cherry Tea Cakes had me immediately intrigued. Maple Bacon Doughnuts!

They don’t just sound amazing; they are amazing! And even though it may seem like a trendy flavor combination, these are not simply novelty doughnuts — they taste flippin’ awesome. They’re pillows of salty-sweet, doughnut-pancake, breakfast-dessert heaven. I feel like I should be confused, but I’m not. I just want another one.

While we’re talking doughnuts, we might as well jump in the fray: Are you a cake doughnut or yeast doughnut person?

Maple Bacon Doughnuts

Recipe by: Adapted from Cherry Tea Cakes
Yield: about 12 3-inch doughnuts

Doughnut Ingredients:
1 0.25-ounce package yeast
2 tablespoons hot water, roughly 110 degrees in temperature
3/4 cups milk, scalded (heated to a slight simmer-not a boil) and cooled
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons shortening
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
vegetable oil for frying

Maple Mousse Filling Ingredients:
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 large egg yolks
11 1/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup whipping cream

Maple Glaze Ingredients:
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons bacon grease/melted butter
1 cups powdered sugar
5-6 tablespoons maple syrup
about 1/2 pound bacon, for topping

Directions: Make the doughnut dough: Dissolve the yeast in warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer, and then let it sit for about 5 minutes. The yeast should foam to show that it’s active. Beat in milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 1 cup flour (scraping down bowl when needed). Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes to fully combine. Mix in remaining flour completely. Cover this dough and let it rise in a draft-free place (I warm my oven for a few seconds on 200 degrees just to get the chill out — make sure it’s not hot! — and then put my dough in there to rise) until doubled, about 50-60 minutes.

Make the Maple Mousse: While the dough is rising, bring maple syrup to a boil over medium-high heat. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks. Pour about 1/4 cup of the hot maple syrup into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, to temper them and be sure they won’t cook from the heat. Then whisk the egg yolks into the maple syrup. Whisk constantly until the mixture reaches about 170 degrees F on a candy thermometer. In a separate bowl, measure out 1/4 cup of the whipping cream and sprinkle the gelatin over it to soften. Let it sit for about 5 minutes before mixing a couple of tablespoons of the warm syrup mixture in and stirring to dissolve the gelatin. You can heat for 10 seconds at a time, stirring between each, to ensure the gelatin is dissolved. Whisk this mixture into the syrup mixture, and then whisk it occasionally for the next hour while it cools.

Beat the remaining cream to soft peaks. Stir about a third of it into your now-cool maple syrup mixture to lighten it, and then gently fold the remaining cream into it. Refrigerate for at least an hour while you complete the rest of the components.

Make your doughnuts: Flour a surface well and turn your doughnut dough out onto it, flouring the dough as well. Gently roll the dough out to 1/2-inch thick and cut into solid rounds with a 3-inch cooking cutter. Place each round on a baking sheet and let these rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes. About 25 minutes into their rise time, start heating your oil in a heavy, deep stock pot to 350 degrees F on a candy/fry thermometer.

Cook bacon topping: Preheat oven to 400 degrees (only once your doughnuts aren’t in there rising!) Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay your bacon slices out side by side. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate, reserving the bacon grease in a small bowl. When cool, crumble bacon up.

Fry your doughnuts: Gently lower 2-3 doughnuts at a time into hot oil with a slotted spoon. Fry about 1 minute on each side or until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

Make the Maple Bacon Glaze: Add enough melted butter to your bacon grease to make it 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons worth. Whisk this together with the confectioner’s sugar until combined. Add maple syrup one tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency. Set aside.

Assemble doughnuts: Use a chopstick or butter knife to poke into each doughnut and “sweep” gently to create a pocket. Pipe mousse into each doughnut using a piping bag. Then dip them in the glaze and sprinkle cooked bacon on top. Best eaten the same day.

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81 responses to “Maple Bacon Doughnuts

  1. I would probably jump up and scream ever now. I can’t imagine people doing such a thing, even though I’m dieting, if somebody offers me homemade anything, I make sure to have atleast one! I’m sure that wouldn’t happen to these doughnuts though, they look amazing!

  2. Maple bacon donuts. Bestill my heart. Need to try these ASAP!!!

  3. Yum yum yum. I can’t wait to do something maple and bacon flavored!

    I feel so bad for your mom 😦 I’ve been in that position before too (and not just with doughnuts) and as much as I understand, it still really sucks. I get so excited about sharing and then people are just like, “eh… No thanks.” I’m not so much sad that they’re not eating them, just sad that they can’t bring themselves to appreciate them.

    Anyway, I am definitely a yeast doughnut kind of girl. Cake doughnuts are lameeeeee.

    • I know, Kaitlin — usually it’s something that’s taken hours and of course others might not realize that. They think you just whipped something up.

      I’m a yeast doughnut fan as well. Can’t get enough of them!

  4. These are some incredible looking donuts! Sounds like a perfect tribute to your mom a few days before Mother’s Day!

  5. You wouldn’t have to twist my arm to eat homemade donuts. I’m sure their irresistible.

  6. Lisa

    I am a doughnut person. 😀 I like them both. It’s hard to get good cake doughnuts around here, though, so yeast wins.

  7. Vivian (AKA Mom)

    I do not remember making them, but I remember thinking “more for us” when they leave! I remember eating a ton of them, myself, when they left… (back then I had a super-metabolism, too). Now, I would probably be one to say a polite “no thanks”! I did eat NINE cream filled KK when told I HAD to eat whatever I could get down to gain weight with Alex!

    I also have a recipe for a Maple Bacon yeast roll that is SO good! And although is sounds awful, do you remember the pancake batter coated hot dog roll pastries? From the Bill Rice Ranch? I could never believe they were hot dog buns!!! :0 Tasted like fresh, filled pastries!

  8. These look soooooo good they almost make me want to get over my fear of home frying.
    Almost :/

  9. I am constantly on a diet and yet I would never EVER turn down homemade donuts. EVER.

    Especially not maple bacon ones. Hellz yeah.

  10. My hands down favorite doughnut is maple and I can only fathom that bacon would make it 100% better!

  11. Ha ha. I know all about waiting for that Krispy Kreme sign. Not much beats a hit doughnut. Those ladies should be ashamed of themselves! I definitely would have taken one… or 10.

  12. Is there anything better than a hot yeast doughnut? Only if there’s maple and bacon too!

  13. These look amazing!! Do you have to have a deep fryer to make them or can you just put some oil in a pan? I’m a donut newbie I need all the help I can get!

  14. Meggie Wallace

    Those ladies just don’t know what they were missing out on. I personally think it is a little rude to not try something that someone made, even if I am not hungry or on a diet.

    I think I am drooling over those chocolate donuts… they look wonderful!

    My husbands favorite is a good cake donut. I, however, prefer my donuts yeasty…. with some jelly inside. Oh geez, crazy good!

  15. I love all doughnuts, yeasted or not – I’m easy to please 🙂 These sound really delicious, I know I’d love them! I would have wanted to shake those ladies too – who turns down doughnuts??

  16. There are no words!! Simply amazing! I love bacon with syrup…and in a donut!! Heaven!!

  17. I was always a cinnamon cake donut myself. I think the other ones were glazed/filled with too much sugar for me….of course it’s moot now since I’m celiac- BUT- I am drooling to try a maple bacon donut! Oh heavens! Maple bacon anything is incredible, but I”m loving the donut. I’m going to have to figure out how to get a second rise out of my yeast dough and see if I can’t come up with something that will work. And your Mom- what an awesome human being!

  18. I am a yeast doughnut girl 100%. We make them in the bakery: they are called Berliners in German. Everyday I have to fill and glaze a few hundred, if not a few thousand of them depending on the time of year! The resistance I have to not shove them all in mouth is ridiculous because they are hot and waaaay too delicious! Yummmm!

  19. Ro

    I have never had a yeast doughnut! What’s it like?

  20. June g.

    I shall pay for overnight shipping 😀

  21. Hi! Your doughnuts look delicious….would it be rude to eat them all? JK. But seriously, I DO think that it is rude to snub the work that your host has clearly gone to! It’s not as if your mom whipped out to Tim Horten’s and grabbed a box of doughnuts. They were FRESH!! Helloooo! Anyway, yours look delicious and I can’t wait to see your recipe!

  22. Do you actually have to “eat” a hot Krispy Kreme? They kind of just melt in your mouth 🙂

    I can’t believe those ladies didn’t even eat one of those donuts. I would have. And I need one of those maple bacon donuts right now.

  23. Yeast doughnuts all the way. Those cakey things are awful.

    • I kind of want to try some various cake doughnuts now after someone mentioned Dunkin aren’t the best — they’re the only ones I’ve had! But I still think I’ll be a yeast doughnut gal when all is said and done 🙂

  24. Kim

    these look so good, but unless they’re the frsh doughnuts from the farmer’s stand about 15 minutes from my house, I’m a cake doughnut girl all the way. I could live off Tim Horton’s Maple Dipped or their Vanilla Dipped doughnuts, I swear.

  25. Vivian (AKA Mom)

    I think Tim Horton’s is in Canada, Julie! ROAD TRIP!!! 🙂 What could be better than a road trip AND doughnuts!?

  26. Vivian (AKA Mom)

    Dad, Alex, and I actually ate doughnuts all through Vermont (or was it Maine?) once! We ate our way through about 3 states eating from establishments from the book Roadfood. 🙂 Yep, you didn’t get your love of food from the air, ya know!

  27. Who turns down homemade donuts?! Those wacky women. I want to go back in time and eat them for her. ha!

    These llok amazing by the way, and they are a perfect tribut to your momma. You’re so sweet.

  28. starre

    when I was little my gramps did carpentry for a company that built Krispy Kreme shops; this was back in the 60’s He would bring home boxes of free doughnuts. Thus began my love affair with deep fried wonders. He had a soft spot for cruellers. To this day when I see that kind of doughnut I think of my grampa. My favs are those old fashion buttermilk ones with that perfect slight hint of nutmeg. Having said that though I will eat any kind and can’t even conceive of someone turning down a fresh homemade doughnut. I mean come on were they CRAZY

  29. Clinton

    I’m a lover of all things donuts. These look incredible!

  30. Such a cute story 🙂 Love that your mom just smiled and went on like nothing happened 🙂

    These look so good!

  31. Wow, Julie! Those look incredible, and perfectly suited to my Canadian-ness! 🙂 I’ve never made donuts, but have always wanted to. This may be the reason to go for it. Thanks for sharing!

  32. creativkitchen

    Oh wow….can’t pass up Krispy Kreme ever!! I grew up in Winston-Salem, NC from age 10 on….and seriously thought those were the only kind of doughnuts. Imagine my disappointment biting into a dunkin doughnut for the first time. I was stumped as to why they didn’t taste as good. Every summer when I’m back home, I treat my 3 girls to hot Krispy Kremes with ice cold milk. It’s a tradition we ALL love!!!

    You’ve got me thinking of trying the homemade yeasted doughnuts here…it’s been ages since I have. My girls would flip 🙂

  33. They would never be invited over to my house again!! These look soo good!

  34. gingerbreadbagels

    Oh my word I need these doughnuts in my life. Maple and bacon is heaven. 🙂 They look AMAZING!!

  35. Oh my! I saw maple bacon doughnuts on a show a couple years ago and have drooled over them ever since. For some reason I still haven’t tried them! **gasp**

    And yes, I am a doughnut person. I don’t care if they are cake or yeast doughnuts, just pass them over and I’ll take care of them.

    And I would LOVE to eat a dozen “hot now” Krispy Kreme doughnuts thank you! Or you could just send me a box of these maple bacon donuts. Thanks!

  36. Cathy (cattarina)

    I want to change my answer. I originially said yeast, and while I’m still partial to yeast – especially filled….I want to choose donuts that YOU or your Mom make!!! My heavens Julie, those look so good I think I’m drooling 🙂

  37. I’m going to attempt these this weekend for a bacon-lover friend’s birthday! I hope they turn out well, this is my first doughnut attempt!! 🙂

    • Yayyy I hope your friend LOVES them! If you’re new to deep frying as well, just be sure to use a candy thermometer and get the oil to the right temperature — then just take your time and fry up a doughnut or two at a time. My first ones ALWAYS come out too dark, and then I can fiddle with how long I leave them in 🙂 Good luck!! Let me know how it goes!

      • He and my Dad loved them! I somehow messed up the mousse though, so they didn’t have that. I may have measured tablespoons instead of teaspoons and when I took it out of the fridge it was hard!! 😦 ooops! They were still good without it though! After all that work though, I can imagine how pissed your mom must have been!! 🙂

  38. Pingback: And the winner is… « Treats+Drinks+Love

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