The Minnesota State Fair (otherwise known as The Great Minnesota Get Together) is a must go event for hundreds of thousands of Midwesterners each summer. Held the two weeks before Labor Day, it’s an annual celebration of summer, fun, and really, really good food. While there are plenty of things to do at the fair that don’t involve food, I would say that for many people, the food is the fair experience at it’s finest. This week, Lane and I are teaming up with six amazing fellow food bloggers to bring you a collection of Minnesota State Fair Copycat Recipes! These fantastic foodies have recipes for all of the great fair foods (see the links below) and we’re joining in with a new recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donuts.
While it’s always fun to try the crazy new foods vendors seem to dream up (just about anything on a stick is fair game!), I find myself typically heading straight for the classics: golden french fries, fried dill pickles, Sweet Martha’s Cookies, and of course, Mini Donuts.
Looking at the list above, it’s pretty obvious that my fair food favorites lean toward the savory. I absolutely have to get the golden french fries and I’ve never turned down a deep fried pickle. That being said, the one sweet treat that I make sure to find each year are the Mini Donuts. Best eaten right after they’re made, they are tiny classic fried cake donuts coated in cinnamon sugar. My husband, a total donut fiend, loves them too so I figured it would be fun to try and recreate them at home.
The original fair version are fried and they are so good. I wanted a recipe that would make a little less mess and be a slightly healthier version. To make that happen, I used greek yogurt to keep the batter light and moist and piped them into a lightly oiled mini donut pan and then baked them until golden brown. Once out of the oven (and – this is key! – while they are still warm) they are coated in a simple mix of cinnamon and sugar. Best eaten right away, they are a total crowd pleaser for kids and adults alike!
A note about some kitchen tools: while preparing to develop this recipe, I ordered a few things online. I grabbed a classic mini donut pan (this one) and I also ordered this cute little mini donut baker. Similar to a waffle maker, you pipe the batter right into the heated nonstick baking plates, close the lid, and 4 or 5 minutes later you have perfect mini donuts! While I am not typically a fan of one job kitchen gadgets, this thing is worth it’s weight (and only about $15) in donuts for the crisp, golden crust it puts on those little babies and how easy it is to use.
You can find our recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donuts below. And be sure to check out all of the other fantastic recipes featured on our State Fair Copycat recipe roundup!
Check out these other great State Fair Themed Foods!
Vegan Nachos: Kelly & Dustin with Dining Duster
Watermelon Kombucha Slushie: Sharon with The Honour System
Breakfast Pronto Pups: Janel with Nellie Bellie
Fried Pickles with Sriracha Ranch Dip: Greta with Pickles Travel Blog
Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donuts: Lane & Holly with With Two Spoons
State Fair Cookies: Alice with Dining with Alice
Corn fritters + maple butter: Haley with Cheap Recipe Blog
Fire Roasted Herb Butter Corn on the Cob: Julia from Girl Meets Kitchen
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg (you can decrease to ¼ teaspoon if you want a more mild flavor)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 4 Tablespoons Sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
- Lightly coat your mini donut pan with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, mix together 4 tablespoons of sugar with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and set aside.
- In a large bowl, gently whisk together the flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
- Melt the butter and cool slightly.
- In another bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add the yogurt, milk, butter and vanilla and briefly whisk to combine.
- Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry, taking care not to overmix.
- Using a pastry bag or plastic sandwhich bag with the tip cut, pipe the batter into the donut molds, filling each well no more than ⅔ full.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. If using the mini donut maker, bake 4-5 minutes.
- After removing from the oven, toss the warm donuts in the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat and serve immediately.