Vancouver is becoming a mecca for doughnut-lovers


If you’re one of them, it’s time you tried making these deep-fried delights at home.

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From old school Lee’s Donuts to healthy-ish Cartems Donuts and the newest kid on the block, Mello, Vancouver is becoming a mecca for doughnut lovers.

If you’re one of them, it’s time you tried making these deep-fried delights at home.

When Stephen Wong, a chef and cookbook author with one of the best palates in town texted to recommend the doughnuts from Mello, I couldn’t wait to head to Chinatown.

You’ll happily pay extra for the contemporary take on their brioche doughnuts ($23 for one-half dozen) stuffed with dark chocolate pudding, lemon curd, salted caramel, premium matcha or Madagascar vanilla beans, tiramisu, even PB and jelly. The next day I had them delivered for a fee of $1.99.

Cartems Vegan Doughnuts with Chocolate Icing and Lemon Sprinkles

This delicious vegan-friendly recipe appeals to everyone. You’ll need a special doughnut pan, which is available in kitchen supply stores, but you can also use this batter to make cupcakes instead. Make sprinkles a day in advance — or, if you prefer, just use store-bought sprinkles.


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(Adapted from Vancouver Eats: Signature Recipes from the City’s Best Restaurants, by Joanne Sasvari, Figure 1 Publishing.)

Lemon Sprinkles

1/2 cup (125 mL) icing sugar

1 1/2 tsp (7 mL)) cornstarch

1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground turmeric

1/2 tsp (2 mL) lemon extract

1 tbsp (15 mL) vodka


2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

1 cup (250 mL) fine sugar

1 tsp (5 mL) salt

2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder

1 tsp (10 mL) baking soda

2/3 cup (150 mL) water

1/2 cup (125 mL) sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing

1 tbsp (15 mL) apple cider vinegar

1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract

1 quantity lemon sprinkles, to decorate

Chocolate Icing

1 cup (250 mL) dark semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup (250 mL) full-fat coconut milk

Lemon sprinkles

In a bowl, sift together icing sugar, cornstarch and turmeric, ensuring that there are no lumps in the mixture. Slowly pour in lemon extract and vodka and stir constantly until a smooth paste forms.

Transfer paste into a piping bag with a very fine tip and pipe onto parchment paper in strips.

Set aside to dry for 24 hours, then break into small pieces with your hands.


Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour doughnut pans.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, combine water, oil, vinegar and vanilla, and mix well. Add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients and mix well.

Pour batter into prepared doughnut pans and fill each mould three-quarters full. Bake for 14-to-18 minutes, until risen, lightly golden and firm to the touch. Cool for 5 minutes in pan, then remove to a rack and cool to room temperature.


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Chocolate Icing

Put chocolate chips into a heatproof mixing bowl. Warm coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour coconut milk over chocolate chips and using a spatula, slowly stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

Pour icing over cooled doughnuts (or, if you prefer, dip doughnuts into icing) and add lemon sprinkles on top.

Serves six.

Devil’s Food Doughnuts

These doughnuts puff up visibly when they’re ready to be removed from the frying oil.

4 oz (120 g) bittersweet chocolate

3 tbsp (50 mL) butter

3 cups (500 mL) flour

2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder

1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

2/3 cup (150 mL) unsweetened cocoa

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar

1/2 cup (125 mL) sour cream

1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) vanilla

1/2 cup (125 mL) strong coffee, cooled

Canola oil for frying

In a glass bowl, combine bittersweet chocolate and butter. Microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until the chocolate and butter have melted and are combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Set aside.

In a large bowl using a hand-mixer, beat together the eggs, egg yolks and sugar until lightened in colour, 2-to-3 minutes. Beat in sour cream, vanilla and melted chocolate.

Gently beat half of the flour mixture, a spoonful at a time, into the egg mixture, then beat in the coffee. Continue to beat in the rest of the flour mixture, a spoonful at a time, until all ingredients are combined and a sticky dough is formed.


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On a well-floured surface, roll dough into a round just over one-half-inch in thickness. Using a doughnut cutter, cut the dough into doughnuts, spacing the doughnuts as close as possible. Collect the scraps and roll out to form another batch of doughnuts (note that this batch may be a little tougher than the first as the dough has been worked).

Fill a deep fryer with oil or fill a large pot to a depth of at least 3 inches, and heat to a temperature of 350° F.

Gently place the doughnuts in the fryer, being careful not to crowd. Fry the doughnuts on each side until puffed and golden, about 4 minutes, flipping every 30 seconds or so.

Drain doughnuts on a rack and cool slightly, then frost and decorate as desired.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen.

Kitchen Hack: Don’t Have a Doughnut Cutter? Use 2 biscuit cutters (a larger one measuring 3-to-3 1/2 inches in diameter, and a smaller one measuring about 1 inch in diameter).

Excerpted from Vancouver Eats, by Joanne Sasvari. Copyright 2018 by Joanne Sasvari, recipe copyright by Rajesh (Rags) Narine (Cartems Donuts). Excerpted with permission from Figure 1 Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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