buttermilk bar donut

Delicious Buttermilk Bar Donut

Buttermilk Bars are like the classic Old Fashioned Cake Donut, but with a twist—they’re full and hole-free, giving you the joy of savoring the entire delicious donut!

Guess what happened last week? My friend, also a California native like me, shared a pic on Facebook. It was no ordinary pic—it showcased a “Buttermilk Bar” donut, a sweet gesture from her sister. Now, imagine this: a road trip from California to Utah, and her sister brings back a donut, carefully cradled on her lap. If that’s not sisterly love, I don’t know what is! (I mean, seriously, isn’t that the definition of true love?)

That photo flooded my mind with joyful memories! I’m talking about those early morning donut runs before school, right at our local spot – amusingly named “The Donut Stop” (go figure!). My ultimate pick from their array was the Buttermilk Bar. Picture this: a vanilla-infused classic old-fashioned doughnut, no hole, just one big, glorious bar of Yum! (Big enough to share, but let’s be real, I’m not the best at sharing, especially when it comes to my carbs!)

Suddenly, an out-of-nowhere craving for a buttermilk bar donut hit me! (Yep, that’s me – spot a carb, want a carb! I’m basically every advertiser’s dream!) But here’s the kicker: I faced a dilemma. Despite my carb-loving heart, I’d never stumbled upon an old-fashioned cake donut recipe that truly satisfied me. It’s like I was on a quest for that perfect recipe, one that would fry up with that amazing craggy cake donut top you find in the best donut shops!

 

buttermilk bar donut recipe

Ingredients

FOR THE DONUTS:

  • tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • tablespoon vanilla extract
  • large egg
  • large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • About 2 quarts vegetable oil, for deep frying

FOR THE VANILLA GLAZE:

  • cups powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup boiling water

 

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How To Make Buttermilk Bar Donut

buttermilk bar donut recipe
buttermilk bar donut recipe
  1. Make the donuts: Place 4 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.

  2. Place 3 1/2 cups cake flour, 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

  3. Place the melted butter, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (Alternatively, use a large bowl and electric handheld mixer.) Beat on medium speed until fluffy, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed, about 2 minutes.

  4. Reduce the speed to low. Add 1 large egg and 3 large egg yolks one at a time, stopping and scraping down the bowl as needed. Add 3/4 cup buttermilk and mix until combined.

  5. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix just until a few streaks of flour remain. Remove the bowl and continue mixing by hand until there are no dry bits of flour. The dough will be quite sticky. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight. The rest in the fridge makes the dough easier to work with: it remains sticky, but firms up considerably.

  6. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Heavily flour a work surface and your hands with cake flour. Transfer half of the dough to the work surface, and sprinkle it with flour. Pat the dough into a 3×24-inch rectangle with the long side facing you, adding more flour to the work surface as needed. The dough is extremely soft and sticky, so don’t be afraid to use as much flour as you need.

  7. Use a floured bench scraper or butter knife to cut the rectangle into 1 1/2-inch wide bars, flouring underneath the bars, the work surface, and the bench scraper as you work. Once all the bars are cut, dip the bench scraper in flour and very gently press it down the center of each bar, making a slight indentation (this will give your donut the quintessential buttermilk bar look).

  8. Using a brush, lightly brush the excess flour off the bars. Use a floured bench scraper or thin metal spatula to gently transfer each bar to one of the prepared sheets, flipping it over so that it is indentation-side down. Brush the excess flour from the other side of the bars. Refrigerate and repeat with shaping and cutting the remaining dough.

  9. Fill a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven with at least 2 inches of vegetable oil. Heat the oil on medium-high heat until 350ºF, or a bit above (the temperature will drop when you add your donuts). Meanwhile, fit a wire rack over a baking sheet.

  10. Remove the first tray of bars from the refrigerator. Frying in batches of 4 to 5 so as not to crowd the pot, use a thin metal spatula to carefully transfer the donuts into the hot oil. Fry until dark golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Carefully transfer the donuts to the rack with the spatula. Repeat frying the remaining donuts. Let cool to room temperature before glazing.

  11. Make the glaze: Place 2 cups powdered sugar in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 1/4 cup boiling water and whisk until shiny and smooth. Dip a donut indentation-side down halfway into the glaze. Lift it up and allow the excess glaze to drip off. Return to the rack glazed-side up and repeat with the remaining donuts.

     

Pro Tip’s For Buttermilk Bar Donut Recipe

buttermilk bar donut
buttermilk bar donut recipe

Buttermilk bars, as the name suggests, break the circle mold and go for a cool rectangle shape. But, honestly, they’re pretty much like your classic old-fashioned donuts, just with that extra buttermilk love. Now, here are some super helpful tips for whipping up these delights in your own kitchen.

First off, sugar-wise, use whatever you’ve got in your pantry. I usually go for a mix of granulated and brown sugars, but feel free to rock it with all granulated or all light brown sugar—equally fantastic results await.

When it comes to dealing with the sticky dough, don’t be shy with the flour. It can handle a little tough love, so generously dust your hands and the work surface to keep things from getting too clingy.

Now, for the transfer operation – a fish spatula or a spider tool works like magic. Personally, I’m all about the fish spatula for its ease in moving the donuts in and out of the oil, but some folks swear by the spider tool. Use whichever one feels like your kitchen BFF.

And here’s the golden rule: don’t get too caught up in perfection! These donuts are all about that rustic charm. No matter what shape they dive into the oil as, trust me, they’ll come out delicious and ready to steal the show.

 

buttermilk bar donut recipe Card

buttermilk bar donut

buttermilk bar donut recipe

Buttermilk Bars are a vanilla-infused classic craggy Old Fashioned Cake Donut minus the hole...so you get to eat the whole delicious donut! 
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 30 Bars
Calories 457 kcal

Ingredients
  

FOR THE DONUTS:

  • 4 tablespoons  (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3 ½ cups cake flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 ¾ teaspoons  baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons  kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon  vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • About 2 quarts vegetable oil, for deep frying

FOR THE VANILLA GLAZE:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup boiling water

Instructions
 

  • Make the donuts: Place 4 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Place 3 1/2 cups cake flour, 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Place the melted butter, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (Alternatively, use a large bowl and electric handheld mixer.) Beat on medium speed until fluffy, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed, about 2 minutes.
  • Reduce the speed to low. Add 1 large egg and 3 large egg yolks one at a time, stopping and scraping down the bowl as needed. Add 3/4 cup buttermilk and mix until combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix just until a few streaks of flour remain. Remove the bowl and continue mixing by hand until there are no dry bits of flour. The dough will be quite sticky. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to overnight. The rest in the fridge makes the dough easier to work with: it remains sticky, but firms up considerably.
  • Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Heavily flour a work surface and your hands with cake flour. Transfer half of the dough to the work surface, and sprinkle it with flour. Pat the dough into a 3x24-inch rectangle with the long side facing you, adding more flour to the work surface as needed. The dough is extremely soft and sticky, so don’t be afraid to use as much flour as you need.
  • Use a floured bench scraper or butter knife to cut the rectangle into 1 1/2-inch wide bars, flouring underneath the bars, the work surface, and the bench scraper as you work. Once all the bars are cut, dip the bench scraper in flour and very gently press it down the center of each bar, making a slight indentation (this will give your donut the quintessential buttermilk bar look).
  • Using a brush, lightly brush the excess flour off the bars. Use a floured bench scraper or thin metal spatula to gently transfer each bar to one of the prepared sheets, flipping it over so that it is indentation-side down. Brush the excess flour from the other side of the bars. Refrigerate and repeat with shaping and cutting the remaining dough.
  • Fill a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven with at least 2 inches of vegetable oil. Heat the oil on medium-high heat until 350ºF, or a bit above (the temperature will drop when you add your donuts). Meanwhile, fit a wire rack over a baking sheet.
  • Remove the first tray of bars from the refrigerator. Frying in batches of 4 to 5 so as not to crowd the pot, use a thin metal spatula to carefully transfer the donuts into the hot oil. Fry until dark golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Carefully transfer the donuts to the rack with the spatula. Repeat frying the remaining donuts. Let cool to room temperature before glazing.
  • Make the glaze: Place 2 cups powdered sugar in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 1/4 cup boiling water and whisk until shiny and smooth. Dip a donut indentation-side down halfway into the glaze. Lift it up and allow the excess glaze to drip off. Return to the rack glazed-side up and repeat with the remaining donuts.

 

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