An Easy-Bake Sufganiyot Alternative

Forget the Cronut; dig a Duffin for a simple, no-fry Thanksgivukah dessert option.

Jewish Week Online Columnist
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Just in time for Hanukkah, with its glad ritual consumption of doughy, fried sufganiyot, comes news of a doughnut that’s got the bakery world in a tizzy -- and it's not the Cronut.

The Duffin.

Say what?

The Duffin, the latest in the crazy, fusion-oriented, let’s-make-a-hybrid pastry. We’ve all heard about the Cronut, the cross between a croissant and doughnut which has risen to such heights of popularity that people have been known to wait for over an hour outside New York’s Dominick Ansel Bakery to buy one (for $5 each). But the latest must-taste is the Duffin, sparking such a controversy that some have even referred to a Duffingate.

The Duffin is a combo of doughnut plus muffin. The original version is jelly-stuffed. The controversy began when Starbucks in the UK stared selling the pastries. It seems that Bea’s of Bloomsbury, a well-known London tearoom, created the Duffin and when Bea’s customers discovered that the coffee house giant was horning in on their local shop’s specialty, they got upset and fought it out on Facebook and Twitter. 

Apparently the fight has been good for business for both Bea’s and Starbucks.

The question remains: is Duffin a fad or will it become a classic?

Thus far we aren’t able to taste an actual Duffin in the States. And the folks at Starbucks have informed me that they have no immediate plans to sell them here soon. But we can and should make something like them in our own kitchens, especially around Hanukkah. A Cronut is laborious and time consuming, but a Duffin is not. This doughnut made in a muffin tin is not only easy and relatively quick to cook, it’s a terrific alternative to the usual Hanukkah treat because it’s a no-fry, no-mess and no kitchen-odor wonder.

Tastes pretty good, too.

My version is dairy-free, so you can serve them for dessert on Thanksgivukkah after the turkey dinner. For a dairy meal, you can use half-and-half, and you can also brush the surface of the baked muffin with melted butter, roll it in sugar and use a pastry tube to stuff it with jam, as they do at Bea’s.

I call these Hanukkah Muffin Tin Doughnuts. Not as catchy as Duffin, but I don’t want get into trouble on social media, or with the law.

Ronnie Fein is a cookbook author and cooking teacher in Stamford. Her latest book is Hip Kosher. Visit her food blog, Kitchen Vignettes, at www.ronniefein.com and follow on Twitter at @RonnieVFein.

Ingredients: 
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Recipe Steps: 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease 10 muffin tin cups.
Place the sugar and egg in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 1-2 minutes or until light, thick and smooth.
Add the coconut milk, vegetable oil and vanilla and blend in thoroughly.
Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.
Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat at medium speed for a minute or until well blended.
Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes.
While the doughnuts are baking, mix the confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon together.
After the doughnuts are baked, but still warm, sprinkle the tops with the cinnamon sugar.