Watercolor Doughnuts

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watercolor doughnuts recipe
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Hand-painted watercolor cakes are all over your Instagram and Pinterest feeds. But unless you want to shell out some serious cash or spend hours DIY-ing, they’re a feast for your eyes alone. Presenting watercolor doughnuts, the easiest (and most delicious) way to jump on the trend, no special paints or brushes necessary.



Nonstick spray

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

¾ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

1⅓ cups whole milk


1½ cups confectioners’ sugar

¼ cup whole milk, plus more as needed

Food coloring


1. Make the Doughnuts: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease two 6-cavity doughnut pans with nonstick spray.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, vegetable oil and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and whisk well to combine. Stir in the vanilla.

3. Add the flour, baking powder and salt; whisk to combine. Add the milk and mix until the batter is smooth and well combined.

4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, filling each cavity about halfway full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into a doughnut comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.

5. Let the doughnuts cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely, 35 to 45 minutes.

6. MAKE THE GLAZE: In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and milk. (Add more milkas needed to achieve a pourable glaze.)

7. Add 2 or 3 drops of food coloring to the glaze. Use a wooden skewer to swirl the food coloring through the glaze, making a marbled look.

8. Dip the top of each doughnut into the glaze, then invert onto a wire rack. Let the glaze set completely, at least 15 to 20 minutes, before serving.


Nutrition Facts
  • 355 calories

  • 11g fat

  • 53g carbs

  • 5g protein

  • 29g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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erin jeanne mcdowell

Freelance Food Editor

Erin Jeanne McDowell is a recipe developer, food stylist and author of multiple cookbooks, including The Fearless Baker, which was named one of the Best Baking Books of 2017 by...