Cinnamon Twists

Our family started off Saturday by enjoying freshly made cinnamon twists. These are yeast based donuts , shaped into twists, deep fried to a golden brown then dipped in a cinnamon vanilla glaze. One word: FANTASTIC!

About a month ago I headed to Syracuse, NY for a shopping excursion and found myself happily immersed in all that is Williams Sonoma. I left that store like a pack mule weighed down with several heavy bags containing baking tins, spices, bowls, and you guessed it - a few cookbooks! One of those cookbooks was Donuts by Elinor Klivans.

When I saw it on the shelf I knew it had to come home with me. The pictures are amazing. The recipes even more so. There is even one for salted caramel donuts. I mean who can resist that ?!

After I returned home from my little shopping extravaganza I promptly unpacked and then lost track of several items I "had to have". Sure enough, this lovely book got tucked away with a slew of other cookbooks and I hate to admit it but I had completely forgotten I owned it until last night. Last night a craving for donuts hit and I went to get my trusted donut cookbook Doughnuts by Lara Ferroni when I spotted this one nestled in right beside it.

As I flipped through the gorgeous glossy pages filled with pictures of enticing puffy and golden pastries my eyes fell upon the picture for cinnamon twists. They looked incredible. Challenging, yes, but incredible! So today before the sun came up there I was standing in my kitchen still in full PJ mode. Just me, my cuppa joe, Majestic (my beloved KitchenAid stand mixer) and this gorgeous cookbook.

The ingredients list for Cinnamon Twists is straight forward and the instructions crystal clear. I was a little worried during the dough making stage though as my dough didn't match up to the description in the book. It said the dough will not pull away from the sides of the bowl. Hmmm, mine sure did. In fact I found the dough rather dry versus their description of "sticky". Regardless I maintained an optimistic mindset and keep moving forward. After a 45 minutes initial rise phase I rolled out the dough, cut it into strips with my pizza cutter, twisted it up as the book instructed and let them rise again. Then once the oil was at 350F and the twists had rested another 1/2 hr I began the deep-fry stage. A minute on one side, flip, a minute on the other. Out they came, drained and then dipped in a cinnamon glaze.

I couldn't believe how great they tasted. These far surpassed any coffee-shop version but the thing I loved the most was the lack of yeast taste. I have made donuts before many times and sometimes the recipe simply calls for, at least in my opinion, too much yeast. The flavor just takes over and overpowers everything else. I am not a fan of that yeast flavor to begin with and when I took a bite of a fresh cinnamon twist my grin could not have been wider. Not a hint of yeast flavor - instead just a phenomenal soft, puffy sweetness flavored with cinnamon and vanilla. I was in heaven.

So are you ready to make some incredible twisty donuts? Then let's get to it !

*source recipe: Cinnamon Twists, Donuts by Elinor Klivans
Note: I purchased the hard-cover version which is no longer available at Amazon. The soft cover book is coming out Sept 2011 so pre-order now !


Dutch oven, deep fryer or large deep saucepan
Canola oil for frying
Oil/candy thermometer

3/4 cup whole milk (I used 2% and it worked fine)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package ( 2 1/2 teaspoons) quick-rise yeast
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 tablespoons very hot water


IN SMALL SAUCEPAN, heat butter and milk until foamy but not yet boiling. Remove from heat
WITH STAND MIXER fitted with paddle attachment, slowly combine 2 1/2 cups flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and yeast
SLOWLY pour in hot milk/butter mixture
BLEND on medium speed 2 minutes
ADD eggs and vanilla
MIX on medium speed 2 more minutes
ADD remaining 3/4 cup of flour and continue to beat on MED speed for one more minute
SCRAPE dough off paddle, leave dough in bowl and cover with a tea towel
LET rise 45 minutes

LINE 2 COOKIE SHEETS with waxed paper
SPRAY wax paper with cooking spray

ON FLOURED WORK SURFACE, roll dough into 18" x 9" rectangle
WITH PIZZA CUTTER or sharp knife, cut into 18 strips 9" long x 1" wide
FOLD strips in have and twist 3-4 time to make tight spirals
PLACE ON lined cookie sheets
COVER with tea towels and let rest 30 minutes

PLACE 2 cooling racks over paper towels to catch any drips
POUR OIL to depth of 2 inches into saucepan
HEAT oil to 350F
FRY twists 1 minute per side
WITH slotted steel spatula, transfer twists to cooling racks


IN LARGE wide mouthed bowl, sift in powdered sugar
WHISK in all remaining glaze ingredients until smooth
DIP tops of warm twists into glaze and place back on cooling rack, glaze side up, until set (about 5 minutes).

Also seen here:


Ladybird Ln


  1. Oh, these look so delicious! I've got a baked doughnut recipe that I'm planning to try this weekend. It will be my first journey into doughnut-making. Thanks for sharing on A Well-Seasoned Life's Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  2. These look fantastic!! I haven’t made donuts in a while and you’ve got me craving for it. My recipe however calls for some mashed potatoes as well. Have you come across that in one of your cookbooks?

  3. @Lilly - yes, potato donuts are quite popular. There are recipes for such donuts in both of my donut cookbooks :)

  4. Donuts are always a fail when I try to make them, but I crave them every once in a while and buy them. Based on your picture, you have a real knack for making them-they look amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I am drooling! We are going to try this recipe out. The only problem will be the daily request to make them!

  6. Looks fantastic . I love cinnamon.

  7. These look like the perfect morning wake up call! Wish I had one right now to dunk into my cup of coffee! :)

  8. These look way better than the ones I can get from the shop down the street, that's for sure! Maybe I can make them for lunch today? ;)

  9. this looks delicious lovely cinnamon twists to snack

  10. Ooooh, don't those look nice and soft. And sweet too!

  11. Очень сильно напоминает русское угощение - "калач"

    Reminiscent of Russian dish - "Kalach" ...loaf )))

  12. I made these...they were great! Thanks for sharing a great recipe!


Thank you for your comments!

Linda @ Lemon Drop