Brown Butter & Cinnamon and Pistachio Cream Glazed Doughnuts

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In today’s world, making a choice can become an almost impossible task.  It is easy to feel confused and overwhelmed when faced with too many options.  I find that I tend to choose what is familiar in such times.  It brings a sense of comfort and relief.

At other times, we wish we had some choice.  Faced with a tub of vanilla ice cream in the freezer, we wish we had bought chocolate instead, because we want chocolate.  Damn.  Talk about first world problems …

Complex and annoying little creatures, us humans, no?

So today I am giving you a recipe for simple vanilla doughnuts with a choice of two glorious glazes.  If you love classic cinnamon sugar glazes, this browned butter and cinnamon glaze will knock your socks off.  If you love rich creamy glazes, and something a little exotic, the pistachio cream glaze is for you.  If you are like me, and you just want it all, why not have both?

I love these doughnuts because they are quite macro-friendly as they are lower in fat and have no added sugar.  That’s right, no added sugar.  The glazes are made with Natvia Icing Mix.*  Trust me, nobody can tell it’s not a normal icing sugar glaze.

I am not a fan of the current insanity around “quitting sugar”.  There is nothing wrong with sugar, per se.  The truth is that most of us simply consume too much of it.  Reign in the overall consumption and apply rules of moderation across your diet and you will be winning.  Of course, there are exceptions for those with medical conditions that require restrictions in their  diet.

So these doughnuts can be enjoyed knowing you have cut down a little on the empty calories but can still satisfy that craving for something sweet.

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I created these quite some time ago, as a contribution to the Natvia Ultimate Icing Recipes Book.  But it was high time I shared them here, because, hot damn, they’re good.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do at home!

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Brown Butter & Cinnamon Glazed Doughnuts

Yield: 6 standard doughnuts (each glaze recipe makes enough to glaze 6 doughnuts). The doughnut recipe can be doubled.

This is a simple baked vanilla doughnut recipe. The doughnuts are lovely and light and have a very pronounced vanilla flavour that comes from using whole ground vanilla beans (I used Heilala Vanilla).

The Brown Butter & Cinnamon glaze sets beautifully and has a nice sheen to it when set. If you are not a fan of cinnamon, feel free to substitute the spice with some vanilla instead or your favourite spice blend. For best results, I recommend using vanilla seeds scraped from a bean or whole ground vanilla bean powder. The browned butter in this glaze gives the flavour an extra dimension that is just wonderful with either the cinnamon or vanilla. This glaze is also beautiful drizzled over cupcakes or a bundt cake too.

The Pistachio Cream Glaze is sumptuous with the richness of both the pistachio paste and cream. A hint of orange blossom water gives it a little edge that is really lovely. I always think of this glaze as my Scheherazade glaze, inspired by the tales from 1001 Nights. This glaze is fabulous for the vanilla doughnuts but can be used on cupcakes or cake. Double the recipe for the Vanilla Doughnuts to make a batch of each.


Vanilla Doughnuts

125 gram unbleached plain flour

65 grams Natvia Baking Mix (stevia blend sweetener)

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 grams whole vanilla bean powder OR 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

52 grams whole egg (1 large)

60 grams buttermilk

60 grams plain Greek yoghurt

25 grams macadamia oil (or 30 grams unsalted butter, melted)

Brown Butter & Cinnamon Glaze

40 grams unsalted butter

125 grams Natvia Icing Mix (stevia blend icing mix)

¼ – ½ teaspoon cinnamon (to taste)

30 grams warm milk (whole or skim)

Pistachio Cream Glaze

30 grams 100% pistachio paste

60 grams cream (35% fat)

125 grams Natvia Icing Mix (stevia blend icing mix)

5 grams orange blossom water


Vanilla Doughnuts

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Lightly grease your doughnut pan with butter, oil, or baking spray, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, Natvia, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and vanilla powder.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, yoghurt, and oil (or butter).

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.

Pour in the wet ingredient mix and whisk the batter until very smooth.

Divide the batter between the doughnut pan cavities.

Tap the pan on a bench once or twice to make sure the batter is level in each cavity. This will ensure a more even rise for each doughnut.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until risen and golden and cooked through.

Remove from the oven and allow the doughnuts to cool completely before glazing.

The doughnuts are best eaten on the same day they are baked and glazed, but will keep for several days in an airtight container.

Unglazed, they can also be individually wrapped and frozen.

Brown Butter & Cinnamon Glaze

Have your doughnuts ready to be glazed before you start as you will need to work quickly once the glaze is ready.

Place the butter in a saucepan over a low heat to melt. Raise the heat slightly, when melted, and gently brown the butter until it starts to give off a warm, nutty aroma. Take care when browning butter not to overdo it, or it will burn.

Once golden and browned, remove from the heat, and add the Natvia Icing Mix and cinnamon.

Whisk the icing mix into the butter.

Add the warm milk and whisk until it is completely smooth. If it starts to cool too quickly, place back over a very low heat and whisk until pourable and smooth.

This glaze sets very quickly so you have work fast.

Either dip the tops of the doughnuts into the glaze or pour the glaze over the tops of the doughnuts.

Either method works well. Just remember to work quickly and re-melt the glaze, if it starts to set in the pan before you have finished.

Pistachio Cream Glaze

Have your doughnuts ready to be glazed before you start as you will need to work quickly once the glaze is ready.

If you are like me, you will make your own pistachio paste. I prefer it as I like to use fresh nuts and make sure the flavour is fresh and the colour vibrant. If making your own paste, just process your pistachios until you achieve a very smooth consistency.

Place the pistachio paste and about one third of the cream into a saucepan and whisk together until the pistachio paste is more fluid.

Add the remaining cream and place over a low heat.

Heat the cream and pistachio mixture until it just reaches a boil, stirring.

Remove from the heat and add the Natvia Icing Mix.

Whisk well until the icing is very smooth.

Add the orange blossom water and whisk well.

Work quickly to dip each doughnut into the glaze or pour the glaze over the doughnuts, as preferred.

This glaze also sets quickly so re-melt the glaze, stirring it well, if required, as you glaze each doughnut.


You can easily substitute a good quality gluten-free flour for the wheat flour in the doughnut recipe to make these gluten-free, if required. The recipe has been tested and works really well as a gluten-free option.


*This is not a sponsored post.  References to Natvia are purely because a) this recipe was developed especially for them and b) I highly recommend the product because it’s amazing!  I use it all the time.    Natvia is available in Australia, New Zealand, UK, US, and Europe.  Check for stockists online.