Indian Spiced Doughnuts

As New Englanders, we’re all about Dunkin’ Donuts. Of course, I don’t eat doughnuts much anymore, but if I’m craving one, I definitely head to Dunks. There was that year that Krispy Kreme tried to invade Boston, but they didn’t last long. What can we say? Bostonians “run on” Dunkin’ Donuts and aren’t likely to make a switch. I’ve heard AMAZING things about Krispy Kreme, but they were a little greasy and “empty-tasting” to me. That’s what happens when you grow up on a particular brand.

Whenever people ask me if I was a good softball player (I played for 8 years as a kid), I always think back to the ONE home run I hit in my career. After the game, my mom took me to Dunkin’ Donuts because she was so proud of me. She told the girl behind the counter that I hit a homerun and she gave me a free donut. And at age 9 and a member of the Pink Pigs team (along with Chels!), that was the highlight of my softball career. At that point, I think doughnuts were 49 cents at Dunkins. Now, they’re probably closer to $1.

In my recent bread-making obsession, I came across a recipe for Indian spiced doughnuts. Because they were in the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day book, they actually claim to be a bit healthier than other doughnuts. Supposedly, because the doughnuts are fried at a high temperature, the water inside starts turning to steam immediately. It pushes outward through the pores and prevents the oil from moving inward. The authors of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day actually weighed the doughnuts before and after they were fried and found the doughnuts only absorb between 15 and 45 calories worth of oil. Sweet! And since we’re using a healthy oil, this isn’t bad at all.

SEE why I LOVE this book??


The dough I used is made with whole wheat flour and vital wheat gluten. I had a slightly tough time finding vital wheat gluten, but eventually found it in Whole Foods. This is necessary for whole grain bread so it can rise and won’t be too dense when you store it. Oh and beware, this dough needs 2 hours to rise and 2 hours to chill, so make sure you save time (or make it the day before).

Whole Wheat Brioche Dough (you’ll need less than half this recipe for 12 doughnuts, but I suggest making it all and doing something with the leftover dough):

    • 4 C white whole wheat flour (I didn’t have “white,” so I used regular)
    • 3 C unbleached all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 T granulated yeast (2 packets)
    • 1 T kosher salt
    • 2 1/4 C vital wheat gluten
    • 2 C lukewarm water
    • 3/4 C (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
    • 3/4 C honey
    • 5 large eggs



Indian Spiced Doughnuts (makes 12):

    • 1 1/2 lbs (small cantaloupe size) pre-mixed whole wheat brioche dough
    • 1/2 C sugar
    • 1/2 t ground ginger
    • 1 t ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 t ground cardamom
    • 1/4 t ground cloves
    • Neutral-flavored oil for frying (like canola, peanut, or vegetable-blend)



Making the dough was super simple. The more I do it, the easier it gets!
Just whisk together the flours, yeast, salt, and vital wheat gluten in a 5-quart bowl, or lidded (not airtight) container.


Combine liquid ingredients– water, butter, honey, and eggs.


And mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, using a spoon, without kneading. OR you can mix the ingredients together in your stand mixer with paddle (or food processor with dough attachment).


Cover (not airtight) and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for about 2 hours.

At this point, you must chill the dough for at least 2 more hours. Once it’s done, you can keep it in the fridge for 5 days, or store in the freezer (in airtight container) for 2 weeks.

Once my dough had chilled for 2 hours, I was ready for some doughnut making! (actually, I’m lying. My dough defnitely sat in my fridge for 1.5 days, before I was ready to get frying.)

I had whole cardamom pods that I opened and removed the seeds from. I also had whole cloves.


I ground them all up in my little Cuisinart grinder.


And mixed them with the sugar, cinnamon, and ginger.


You’ll want to get your oil heating, too. Heat it to 360-370 degrees.

By the way, I LOVE my Foodnetwork candy thermometer.


While the oil is heating, roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle. The vital wheat gluten made the dough like none other I had made before. It was SUPER elastic-y. To the point that I would roll it out and then it would start moving back to it’s original form. At least it wasn’t sticking everywhere?


Ideally you’ll want to use a 3-inch biscuit cutter (or round cookie cutter) to cut the dough into 12 circles. Mine was a bit smaller.

You’ll also want a 1-inch cutter to remove the centers. Keep the centers! For Munchkins! Doughnut holes? Whatever you call them in your part of the country!


Now your oil should be ready.


Drop the doughnut dough in.


Don’t do too many at once because you want them to have plenty of room to fall and then float to the top without getting stuck to each other. I stuck to 2 at a time to be safe.


Let them sit for about 1 minute before flipping them to the other side with a slotted spoon.


Let them sit another minute and then remove them from the oil.


Place on a paper towel to sop up excess oil and then immediately move to spice mixture while still warm.


Of course, you’ll want to make sure you fry up the doughnut holes too. Because sometimes you just want a Munchkin or two. Or 12.



And then serve up your doughnuts and dig in. These were absolutely delicious, especially when still warm. You could definitely tell the dough was slightly healthier, but in a good way. They were a tiny bit chewy, which I think was from the gluten. I didn’t hate it, but I would have preferred a more crumbly doughnut. But I guess that’s the “healthy” sacrifice! I might try without as much of the gluten next time.


I would definitely make these again and think they would be fun for a fall party. They were super duper easy, especially now that I’m more comfortable with the dough-making process.

I loved the flavors of the Indian spice, but would also like to play around with different types of doughnuts. Perhaps a jelly doughnut? You thought my bread obsession was bad, I might start making a different doughnut every day of the week now. Essentially, I could probably put Dunkin’ Donuts out of business. But don’t worry, I wouldn’t do that to them.

What’s your favorite kind of doughnut? How about doughnut bakery?


28 Responses to "Indian Spiced Doughnuts"

  1. Kelly says:

    These look gorgeous. I love a good donut although sadly, I don’t think there are any upscale donut bakeries in Chicago or Boston the way there are in SF and Portland, at least I haven’t come across any. I prefer apple cider donuts fresh fried at the orchard or the little italian donuts I get at the farmers market.

  2. Simply Life says:

    Look at those great pictures! That’s one recipe I haven’t tried from the book yet but now I’m thinking I might need to change that!

  3. Erica says:

    I know I’ve told you this but Dunkin Donuts is NOT the same outside New England…its nasty. Makes me sad. We have one in our town and I’ve been one time….. Dunkin in New England is what got me loving coffee. And I also enjoyed their munchkins. I’ve heard so many good things about this cookbook. I think I need to own it. Great job on the doughnuts. They would be perfect for a party OR you could have a doughnut making party!!

  4. Michelle says:

    The food styling looks beautiful in this post. Have you ever tried Donna’s Donuts in Tewksbury? Awesome donuts!

  5. Chris says:

    Perfect desert after eating some lamb vindaloo 🙂

  6. Those look delicious! I need to find a place that does gluten-free donuts…sigh. That’s the thing about fall — perfect time of year for hot apple cider and a donut. Until then, I’ll just daydream. The Indian spices sound like a fabulous addition.

  7. Pam says:

    Beautiful! I could eat a few right now.

  8. Jessica Harper says:

    These doughnuts make me drool. But I will share this confession with you: When the Krispy Kreme opened in LA a few years back, I went immediately, ordered 4 (your basic poofy glazed), ate them all, was in heaven for the dureaation of the eating process, and then went home and have not been back since. If I were on a desert island, I’d take Krispy Kremes (and the NY Times).

  9. Lora says:

    Wow. These look fantastic. Love the flavor. Believe it or not we have Dunkin Donuts here in Germany…sigh…a little piece of home…

  10. I was thinking these didn’t sound very good… but “doughnuts” sucked me in… glad I visited bc they look REALLY good!!

  11. Whoa, gutsy 🙂 I want one asap!
    PS- Dunks Boston Cream pie is my favorite donut of all time. Can you healthify that one? Ok, thanks! 😉

  12. brandi says:

    oh. my. goodness. They look perfect! I want to try doughnuts at home, but it seems so intimidating!

    Nothing has ever topped the chocolate cake donut from a local donut shop, Carol Lee’s.

  13. Monique says:

    Diva, i am SOOOO impressed that you made these!
    I am only now branching out further into the bread category and the only thing that stops me from making bagels and the like is the added time. This is crazy! i love it.
    A cinnamon sugar donust is always a win in my book… especially a spicy one!

  14. Daisy says:

    I drooled through this entire post. They don’t even seem that difficult to make. thought i’d need to purchase more tools like a thermometer and the hole punchers. haha. my kitchen lacks basic supplies.

  15. i definitely have a goal of making my own donuts at home. id love to have some old-fashioned glazed ones <3 amazing! plus it would be fun to play with wheat gluten..kinda like play-doh lol

    xoxo <3

  16. Sharlene says:

    Doughnuts are something I’ve always always wanted to try out but all that oil has consistently scared me away. It’s comforting that these doughnuts have such little oil absorption, definitely nothing a little jog around the block can’t fix!

  17. Megan says:

    I love apple cider doughnuts! I made them twice last year and can’t wait to make them again. The process seems very similar to these Indian spice doughnuts. Love the way you served the little doughnut holes.

  18. Evan @swEEts says:

    Such fabulous spices! My dad used to make doughnuts like this when we were little.. I’m going to have to try my own hand at them soon after reading this! I love their books!

  19. Emily @ The Happy Home says:

    those look soooooo good! they must be so aromatic when cooking!

  20. Bridget says:

    Mmmmm donuts haha…this makes me excited for cider donuts this weekend. THat cook book sounds awesome though and I know the hubs would LOVE if I made donuts!! They look amazing

  21. peachkins says:

    I prefer more the donut holes more than the donuts! I love the flavor of your donuts!

  22. Kelsey says:

    your tiny little rolling pin is adorable

  23. i’ve got donuts on the brain – just got a batch of vegan gluten free ones sent to me! but there is nothing like a jelly donut!

  24. Joanne says:

    I’m a Dunkin girl, all the way. You’re right about Krispy Kreme. They are way too airy.

    These donuts have my stomach GROWLING uncontrollably! I have this cookbook…so why haven’t I made them yet?

  25. Lisa says:

    All my favorite spices and in a donut no less. You just can’t go wrong with that.

  26. Shannon says:

    loved these spiced beauties 🙂

  27. Molly says:

    I went to comment on the strawberry doughnut post, but when I saw the words Indian-spiced, I knew I had to read this recipe first. Yum!

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