Homemade Bite: Maple Glazed Spice Doughnuts

Rich maple glaze paired with a pillow-soft cake doughnut. What could be better?

For some reason, the world thinks maple only tastes good in the fall.

Well, I hope you also feel like giving maple off-season love. It’s July, and I decided to revive the flavor that I miss so dearly.

And, what better way to do it than with maple doughnuts? About a year ago, I tried to use yeast dough for maple-glazed doughnuts. Since that resulted in a debacle, I tried cake doughnuts this time. One vital step in making cake doughnuts is that you should always use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. All-purpose flour will weigh down the dough and give it a very dense, heavy texture. Cake flour is all-purpose flour that has been sifted 10 times, so it’s much finer and gives the dough a light, airy texture. 

Instead of using standard cake dough, I decided to spice things up a bit (literally). With the addition of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and brown sugar, the dough achieved its own unique flavor. In fact, these subtle spices actually (by contrast) bring out the deep, rich maple flavor of the glaze. Interestingly, when spicy flavors like cinnamon and nutmeg enter your mouth, you actually become a supertaster--for a quick second--to flavors that contrast the spice. In this case, that contrasting flavors are the maple and sweetness in the glaze, which makes the glaze so delicious. 

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What made these doughnuts truly great wasn’t the dough, though. It was the glaze. It’s rich maple flavor from both the maple syrup and the maple extract made it one of a kind. I can’t stress enough how essential maple extract is to perfecting this glaze. Without it, you might as well have made any other maple glaze on the Internet. 

Plus, the glaze is so simple! All you have to do is melt butter into maple syrup and add sugar and maple extract.

All in all, these doughnuts really blow away all other maple doughnuts I’ve ever tried. And that’s saying something. The spices in the cake in conjunction with the intense maple flavor of the glaze offer a delectable balance of sweetness and zest. I think that’s what makes these doughnuts so great—they’re not just a sugar overload. The different flavors will excite your palate and highlight the strengths of each individual ingredient.



Timing: 45 minutes

Yield: 8 Doughnuts


  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple extract *
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk*
  • 1/4 cup yogurt*
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

*Maple extract is not absolutely vital, but it does make a difference. Do your best to get your hands on it.

*I used buttermilk, but you can use anything from fat free to whole milk. You can also use almond milk or coconut milk. 

*I used vanilla greek yogurt, but any vanilla or plain yogurt will do (doesn't have to be greek). 


In a small saucepan over a low/medium flame, melt the butter and maple syrup together, whisking periodically. Once the butter has melted, remove it from the stove and whisk in the powdered sugar. Next, add the maple extract. Set glaze aside and allow to cool and thicken.

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Spray a donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside. Whisk the egg, brown sugar, milk, and yogurt together until smooth. Add the melted butter and vanilla, and whisk until fully combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter will be very thick.

Spoon the batter into the donut cavities. You can also pour the batter into a ziplock and cut off a corner to pipe the batter into the donut cavities. The cavities should be 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for 8–10 minutes or whenever the edges are lightly browned and the batter has risen. Allow to cool for ten minutes and move to a wire rack. Bake the remaining donut batter and, once baked, transfer the final round of donuts to the wire rack.

To glaze, firmly hold the donut and dip into the glaze. You should dip each donut twice (because the glaze is so good!). Place the glazed donuts back on a wire rack to let the glaze drip off of them.

Storage Instructions:

Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days. You may freeze the donuts (glazed or unglazed) for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up to your liking.

Recipe Adapted From: Sally's Baking Addiction

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