If you’ve been on social media in the last year, you’ve probably encountered enticing, single-serving, microwave recipes for brownies, cakes and other desserts. They usually look amazing and always promise to be fast and easy. I went to baking school, but I still became temporarily obsessed with the idea of making my favorite desserts in minutes in the microwave. I tried several of the recipes and they we’re mostly satisfactory, if not stellar.
Throughout this quick-fix phase, I pondered how I could make a satisfying donut in the microwave. I tweaked and tested recipes until I came up with a microwave cake that tasted similar to a chocolate cake donut. Coming up with the recipe was the easy part. Making a donut out of it was another matter.
I played with thicker batters piped in the shape of donuts. That didn’t work. The batter fused together in what was supposed to be the hole. Plus, the cake was too dry from having to add extra flour. I knew I had to find a way to stick to the recipe I liked, yet still create a donut shape.
Having no luck, I decided to drink my troubles away. I was pouring bourbon into a shot glass to make a Manhattan. The answer was in my hand. I took the shot glass and rested it in a glass cereal bowl. There it was… a donut mold.
I whipped up another batch of the cake batter, greased my makeshift mold and gave it a try. It worked! I realized on subsequent attempts that works best if the shot glass is right-side-up in the bowl with the smallest part of the glass touching the bowl.
In a reality, these donuts are just cakes in funny shapes. But isn’t that what donuts are? They need icing to make them really feel like donuts. Without icing, they look kind of like sad, little, porous Bundt cakes. But once you add icing, you get the donut experience. At least, you get the best donut experience you can get in a couple of minutes from your microwave.