Pretty much every day is a donut day for me. (That’s what I get for working in a café/ artisanal donut bakery/ carb heaven.) Whether I’m drooling over the cinnamon scrolls during my shift or making my own donuts at home in my freakin’ adorable mini donut pan, there’s no shortage of sugary, hole-y baked goods in my life. I even had cream-filled donuts instead of a cake at my wedding reception. Things are serious.
So how do I not get all donutted out? The ugly truth is, sometimes I do. During those dark times, I do unthinkable things like drink ginger shots and meal-prep quinoa for the week (gasp!). But my love of donuts is always, always rekindled. The key to falling in love with donuts all over again is to have a particularly special donut day, one in which I have a donut that’s so well-made, so creative, or so satisfying that it recharges my passion for donuts entirely.
Today is one of those special donut days. Today, I present you with a donut-mochi hybrid that brings together the squishy texture and starchy flavor of sweet rice flour with the cuteness of a donut. The individual donuts themselves are relatively thin, and thus work well sandwiched together with a red bean filling in the middle. Spoon a coconut milk glaze on top and prepare for your faith in donuts to be restored.
Now, this recipe might seem a bit intimidating at first, primarily because of the number of steps involved. It takes the forethought of soaking the adzuki beans overnight, then making the red bean paste that goes into the filling. But never fear! I’m here to tell you that it’s worth it. The red bean paste recipe here yields more than you need for the filling, and the leftovers can be stored in the freezer and used for so many delicious things. (Don’t skip on red bean milkshakes, seriously.) The donuts themselves are best enjoyed the same day they are made, but I can’t imagine buttery, squidgy mochi lasting more than a day, anyway.
Many thanks to Two Red Bowls for the red bean paste tutorial, which I adapted here.
- 1 cup dry adzuki beans
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup mochiko (sweet rice flour, available in Asian supermarkets)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup red bean paste (see above)
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- sesame seeds, for topping the donuts
- Cover the red beans with water and soak overnight. Rinse and drain.
- Place the beans in a pot and add enough water so that they are completely covered. Bring the water to a boil, drain, and rinse. (This quick blanching cleans the beans.)
- Return the beans to the pot and cover with water again. Bring the water to a simmer. Let simmer for one to two hours. As the water boils off, add more water intermittently to ensure that the beans are covered.
- Test a bean by crushing it with your fingers. If it is easily mashed and does not split in half, the beans are done cooking. Drain any excess water and add the sugar to the pot.
- Return the pot to the stovetop and cook over low heat, mashing in the sugar until a paste forms. Once the sugar is incorporated, remove from the heat and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F / 175° C. Grease a mini donut baking pan and set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together the mochiko, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well until combined.
- Spoon the batter into the greased donut pan so that each mold is no more than three-quarters full. Place in the oven and bake for 7-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow donuts to cool before inverting on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining batter until none remains.
- In a saucepan, combine 3/4 cup of the previously prepared red bean paste, butter, and powdered sugar. Mix together over low heat until combined.
- In a saucepan, gently heat the coconut milk until warm. Sift in the powdered sugar and stir until combined.
- Spread the red bean filling on the flatter side of one of the donuts, then place another (unfrosted) donut on top to create a sandwich. Spoon the glaze over the donut sandwich and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Repeat with the remaining donuts.