Forgive me for saying this, but this is meta, right? Donut bread pudding donuts! After failing to find a box of plain donuts for another recipe I am planning, I ended up with a mismatched bag of old fashioned and cinnamon cake and chocolate donuts that couldn't go to waste. That's how boutique the donut business is in this town, you can't just go to the grocery store and buy a box of plain donuts. Anyway, I remembered that I have been wanting to try bread pudding donuts for a while, so here we are!
Donuts with the prime ingredient being donuts. So funny. I know cherries are out of season, but I really wanted chocolate cherry bread pudding, one of our favorite flavors from a nearby bakery, so I used frozen cherries. This also comes with a rum butter, which was supposed to be a sauce but didn't work out that way for me.
Click on "read more" down below to get the full tutorial. This is an easy recipe, and SO DELICIOUS!
I made these donuts from this recipe I adapted from Michael Chiarello. I was surprised to see someone else had thought of donut bread pudding, but happy he did, because it is a strange substitution for stale bread and might've taken a few test runs otherwise. My version makes a dozen donuts. You will need six cake donuts of any type (a mixture is fine), 4 tbsp. of unsalted butter plus more for greasing the pans, 1/2 c. sugar, 2 1/2 eggs, 1 c. heavy cream, 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, 2/3 c. pitted cherries, and 2/3 c. semisweet chocolate chunks or chips. For the rum "butter" you will need 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, 8 oz. of powdered sugar and a few splashes of rum, to taste and to loosen the butter.
Start by chopping the six donuts into 1/4" cubes. Place in a large bowl. Also chop the cherries into similar sized pieces and set them aside. Everything should be fairly small, as it has to fit in the donut pan cavities.
Cream 4 tbsp. butter and 1/2 c. sugar in a mixer. Lightly beat 2 1/2 eggs (half eggs are awkward, I know, and it's okay if almost three whole eggs go in) and add to the mixer with the 1 c. cream and 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract. Mix until well combined. There may be a few bits of butter that don't incorporate fully with the egg mixture, but that's okay too.
Pour the egg mixture over the donut pieces and lightly fold in. After most of the donut pieces are moist, gently fold in the chocolate and chopped cherries, just until they are evenly dispersed in the pudding mixture.
Preheat your oven to 350º. Grease two donut pans generously with butter (flour and oil baking spray would also work, probably a little better than butter). Spoon the pudding mixture into the donut cavities, filling just a little bit higher than the tops of the pans. Keep the donut centers clear.
Cover both pans with foil, tented a bit or the foil will stick to the tops of the donuts. Bake at 350º for twenty minutes, then remove the foil, clear the centers again with a skewer or end of a spoon, and bake for ten minutes more to get a little crust on the tops. Remove from oven and let cool for about ten minutes on wire racks.
When donuts are cool enough to touch comfortably and have set up enough to handle, use a smallish spoon to loosen the edges of the donuts from the pans, then scoop it down and under the donuts to remove the whole donut in one piece. As they completely cool they become very sturdy, but when they are still warm they are a little loose, as they are pudding.
To make the rum "butter" (maybe it will be a sauce for you, but didn't work out that way for me!) melt 4 tbsp. butter in a saucepan. Mix melted butter in a bowl with 8 oz. powdered sugar and rum to taste.
These donut bread puddings are delicious warm with the butter, cold with the butter, warm without the butter and cold without the butter. When they cooled completely I packaged some up along with little containers of the butter to give to friends. Better them then me! xoxo