When I made a list of cakes to bake for this year’s Vegan Month of Food I also added Frankfurter Kranz to my list. It’s a layered sponge cake topped and filled with buttercream, and sprinkled with caramelised nuts. It’s wonderfully rich and sugary. But it’s also a lot of cake. And even if you like sugar and fat as much as I do it can be too much. So I made these miniature cakes in my doughnut pan instead, telling myself that this format change would result in less cake. Of course it didn’t but the doughnuts are pretty, they keep well in the fridge for a couple of days, and are a fantastic party contribution. And I bet your co-workers won’t say no to them either. I admit that they are a bit complicated to make and things might get messy with all the coconut oil based buttercream (melts easily) and the nut sprinkling. It’s a decadent cake and I don’t mean decadent in the sense of “naughty” and “empty calories”. It’s decadent because it will steal a lot of your time. But if you are like me and this is something you really like to do in your free time then it is a great project.
A note about the brittle nuts (Krokant): These skinned, finely chopped, and caramelised hazelnuts. They are available in most supermarkets here in Germany, but if you can’t get them they can be easily made at home. (I would recommend to use skinned nuts.)
Frankfurter Kranz Doughnuts (makes 12)
For the doughnuts:
180 g (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) sugar
120 g (1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons) softened refined coconut oil
320 g (2 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
240 ml (1 cup) soy milk
1/4 teaspoon ground vanilla
For the buttercream:
150 ml soy milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150 g (1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons) refined coconut oil, room temperature
100g (1 cup, sifted) powdered sugar
redcurrant jelly for stuffing (strawberry is fine, too.)
250 g (8.8 oz) hazelnut krokant (brittle nuts)
Maraschino cherries, if you can find vegan ones, canned cherries, or fresh blueberries
To make the doughnuts:
Grease a 12-hole doughnut pan and preheat the oven to 190°C (327°F).
Cream together sugar and coconut oil.
Add flour, baking powder, salt, soy milk, and ground vanilla.
Beat well until the thick batter looks smooth. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.
To make the buttercream:
In a small pot combine soy milk and cornstarch. Whisk until the starch is dissolved, then bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Boil or one or two minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Set aside and let cool to room temperature. Whisk in vanilla.
Beat together coconut oil and powdered sugar.
Once the cornstarch mixture has cooled to room temperature carefully beat it it into the coconut oil mixture.
Pease note that if your two mixtures are not at room temperature, everything will curdle or turn into a liquid mess.
Remove the doughnuts from the pan and cut them in half lengthwise. Spread the bottom half with a thin layer of jelly. Spread the top half with buttercream. Please note that due to the use of coconut oil the buttercream will melt easily. You can place it in the fridge for a short time if this happens. You can also place the doughnuts in the fridge as soon as you’ve spread them with buttercream.
Put the two halves together and carefully frost with buttercream. Again, if it starts to melt, place the buttercream (and maybe the doughnut you’ve been decorating) in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
Try to sprinkle as much of the krokant on the frosting as possible and place the doughnuts in the fridge while you fill a pastry bag with a star tip with the remaining buttercream. Decorate the doughnuts and top with a cherry or blueberry. Store in the fridge but remove about 30 minutes before serving.