Home » Gratitude, a doughnut debt & a recipe

Gratitude, a doughnut debt & a recipe

I have some pretty amazing friends (I have probably told you that before), and I am certain that is an understatement. The thing is, they are all easily bribed. Learning how to bribe fairly compensate show gratitude for your friends will get you far in life. Offering food in exchange for advice helped me land my current job.

Gluten-free birthday cake doughnuts

How? I traded baked goods for a portfolio review. And the improved portfolio got me the job I wanted. (For those of you that work in jobs where an interviewer can just ask you questions about your skills, a design portfolio is a curated selection of design work. And you always need another opinion.)

It was time for a change.

My old job was starting to fall apart. My health was less than ideal. I was lonely, far away from family & friends. I was feeling that tugging in my heart; the very same feeling that led me to my last job had become a dull ache for home. I wanted something that let me push myself and I wanted to be able to do lunch with Mammacakes.

I had to enlist the help of experts.

But somehow, I ended up with very few friends who are designers. And even fewer who had an opinion that mattered.

Thank goodness for a former design instructor and facebook. He had asked me to send him treats when commenting on photos from last summer’s obsession with gluten-free doughnuts. And I needed a set of eyes and someone who was going to do more than just tell me that my portfolio looked good.


(gluten-free) Doughnuts get you everywhere.

I sent off an email offering baked goods in exchange for a portfolio critique. My offer was accepted, and I had a bunch of changes to get to. Three weeks later, I had a job offer. Six weeks after that, I was on the front cover of the January 1,2012 edition of the Chicago Sun-Times with an interview about how to get a job in this economy.

This is thanks a million.

I owed him huge. I got a raise, the job I wanted and was featured in the newspaper. All of a sudden, my life was a whirlwind.

It took almost 7 months to make good on the IOU for doughnuts.

But, in the end, I think it was worth the wait, I ended up making Gluten-Free Birthday Cake Doughnuts. Oh yes. You read that right. Gluten-free birthday cake doughnuts (funfetti sprinkles optional). Vanilla cake & chocolate fudge frosting. These doughnuts will get you far in life.

So, thanks again Matt!

thank you

Gratitude, a doughnut debt & a recipe
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 18
Doughnuts that are reminiscent of yellow cake with chocolate frosting. And I might even say that they are better than their fried cousins…
  • Doughnut Batter
  • 57g (4T) butter, softened
  • 50g ((1/4 cup) vegetable oil (canola, corn or other oil that is liquid at room temp)
  • 100g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 75g (1/3 cup) packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 325g (2 2/3 cups) all purpose gluten-free flour blend (I use Cup4Cup)
  • 1/2 tsp xantham gum (omit if flour blend already contains this)
  • 225 g (1 cup) milk (can be non-dairy)
  • Sprinkles (optional – a good handful will make a funfetti-type batter)
  • Icing
  • 115 grams (1 stick) butter
  • 25g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
  • 85 g (6 tbsp) plain yogurt
  • 450 g (4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
Make the batter
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Grease 3 standard doughnut pans (or do them one at a time, but it takes longer to wait)
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, oil and sugars.
  4. Beat in the eggs and scrape down sides, making sure everything is combined.
  5. Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla bean paste. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Alternate adding 1/3 of the flour, 1/2 the milk, 1/3 of the flour, 1/2 the milk and end with 1/3 of the flour.
  7. Put the batter into a piping bag with a corner snipped off and fill the pans slightly less than half way. Bake for 9-10 minutes.
Make the icing
  1. While the doughnuts are baking, combine the butter and cocoa over medium heat. When the mixture starts to bubble add the yogurt. Remove from heat and stir in the sifted powdered sugar.
  1. Dip the still warm doughnuts into the warm icing and place on a wire rack to cool.
  2. Add more sprinkles to the top while the frosting is still warm (this is optional but it makes the pretty).
  3. They will last, well wrapped for up to 3 days.


  1. Laura Chutny says:

    Franny, love your blog, I just found it. I have missed donuts so much since going go in Jan for auto immune thyroid disease. The one thing I don’t have is a donut pan. How else could I make these? Hope today is a good day on the pain front.


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