Making Donuts with Grandma Clymer

Julia and Grandma Clymer reading together

On of my favorite childhood memories is making donuts with my Grandma Clymer.  Mom and Dad used to go away for medical conventions, and Grandma Clymer would come and stay with us three kids.  We have lots of wonderful stories and memories from those times together.

I always liked baking and Grandma Clymer did too, so we baked a lot while she was with us.  We made plain glazed donuts that had to rise and then were fried, similar to this recipe.  They were light and fluffy, sweet and delicious, especially when warm.  The only donuts I’ve had that compare to this memory are Krispy Kreme glazed donuts that you get when the hot light is on.  I made donuts a few times without Grandma, but they never tasted the same.

As part of my baking exploration during the pandemic, I decided to try donuts again.  Of course, times have changed and I don’t fry anything, not even donuts.  So I looked for a cake donut recipe.  My sister made some that looked very good and she shared her recipe with me.  I decided to make double chocolate cake donuts, similar to her recipe but with a chocolate glaze.

Jackie told me she had a donut pan, so I borrowed it to make the donuts.  But it was a really odd donut pan.  There wasn’t a rise where the donut hole should be.  It looked more like a muffin top pan.  Which led to the question, “When is a donut a donut and when is it cake?”  After all, if you are making a cake donut and it doesn’t have a hole, isn’t it just cake?

I went ahead and made the donut recipe with Jackie’s donut pan and a muffin tin.  I doubled the recipe because I share everything with Mom and Dad and John and Jackie.  The recipe was really easy – just like cake batter – and they baked up nicely.  The glazed “donuts” were delicious.  But they ended up looking like muffin tops and cupcakes instead of donuts. I ate them warmed up in the microwave with some ice cream.

It was fun to make the donuts and we had some laughs about “when is a donut a donut?”  But a chocolate cake would be easier and just as delicious.  I think I will leave the donut baking to my sister and to Krispy Kreme from now on.