There’s a little doughnut shop, in a little town I have visited every summer since I was…well…little.

They make every variety of doughnut you can imagine: bear claws, cinnamon sugar, honey glazed, chocolate jimmy, jam filled. And when they sell out, sorry, they sell out.

When we were kids, my dad used to rouse my brother and me at the crack of dawn, load us in the car, and drive us there to stand in line and pick out our doughnuts.

As I stood there mean mugging people in front of me and snickering at those behind, I’d run the numbers to see if I’d get my flavor.

“Okay, four families in front of us, 16 people, 7 chocolate honey glazed left, if I put 10 over x, cross multiply, divide by the average of y, carry my decimal….yes okay, I should be able to get it.”

No matter the equation, it was never a guarantee, which made this family tradition exciting and terrifying for a young, chubby doughnut enthusiast.

We’d reach the counter, and I’d anxiously pull my dad’s sleeve, “Don’t forget the chocolate honey!!! Dad, remember the chocolate honey! Did you get the chocolate honey??”

Anticipation, stress, success!

We’d hop in the car with that grease-spotted, paper-lined, perfect box of doughnuts and will ourselves not to break the masking tape seal (though we usually would) until we were home and could finally dig in.

I think what I liked best about those doughnuts, other than the unique combination of chocolate cake and sweet honey glaze, was how they brought us together. As donuts can do.

We are grown. We have complicating factors. We can’t gather as easily around a box of doughnuts, but I wish we could like we did during my childhood.

For now, I’ll bake a batch of my own, hoping that when it is summer, my family will assemble—as we have every year—just the four of us, in that tiny town, with that perfect box of doughnuts.

Here’s my recipe:

Get your ingredients out and measured. Preheat your oven to 375°F.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time.

Add vanilla.

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients.

Follow with 1/2 of the liquid.

Finish with second 1/3 of the dry, final 1/2 of the liquids, and final 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.

Pipe into a lightly greased doughnut pan.

Bake for 10 – 11 minutes until puffed. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

To make the honey glaze, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, honey, and milk. Spoon over doughnuts. Let glaze set for 10 minutes.

If your family is like my family, the box of doughnuts won’t last long. Ours rarely made it out of the parking lot!

Chocolate Honey Glazed Doughnuts

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
1 stick of butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp of baking soda
1/4 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of freshly brewed coffee, cooled slightly 

For the Glaze:
2 cups of confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons of honey
4 tablespoons of heavy cream or whole milk

Directions: 

Preheat your oven to 375°F.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Combine heavy cream and coffee. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs in one at a time and beat until just incorporated.

Add vanilla.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the creamed sugar-butter. Follow with 1/2 of the wet stuff. Add the second 1/3 of the dry, the final 1/2 of wet, and finish with the final 1/3 of dry ingredients.

Scrape down between additions.

Mix until just combined; don’t over work it.

Lightly grease a doughnut pan and add batter, filling wells 2/3 of the way up.

Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 10 – 11 minutes until puffed.

The cake is ready when it springs back to the touch.

Let cool for a few minutes in the pan before flipping out onto a wire rack and cooling completely.

While the doughnuts cool, make the glaze.

Whisk together sugar, honey, and heavy cream or milk.

Glaze cooled doughnuts.

Let sit for 10 minutes until the glaze forms a shell.

Then enjoy!