Today is a special day, and that’s because it’s Pusheen’s Birthday! If you aren’t familiar with this little guy, then head on over here where you can learn all about her! Pusheen is my spirit animal. If I was a cat, I most definitely would be her. She loves pastel colors and baking and unicorns and being lazy and eating noodles and sushi and pizza and pretending to be a burrito (sometimes when I refuse to get out of bed, Roy will roll me up in the comforter and exclaim, “burrito!”). So, we’re pretty much the same person…
Over the course of writing this post, I must have looked at hundreds of Pusheen gifs. You’ll be happy to know I fought the urge to share all of them with you guys here. Who wants to see a ton of super adorable cat animations? Just kidding! I figured I’d show you guys one of my favorites.
Can I tell you guys a secret? Piping tiny faces onto wobbly donut holes is hard. Like, way more harder than I always anticipate it being. Am I the only one that has a hard time using melted chocolate to decorate? Cookie icing is much easier for me, and I’m quite sure it’s from the difference in consistency. What I’m saying is there were many ugly Pusheens, lopsided eyes, funky smiles, smudges and all. It was a little unsettling. I felt like I had this giant army of chubby cat donuts and they were all begging to
die be eaten with their happy little faces.
Whenever I decorate donuts, I make sure to keep the base of the cake donut simple since the design is where the real fun is at! I used Michelle’s vanilla bean donut recipe and it is maaaarvellous. A perfectly cakey donut that’s not too sweet but super vanilla-y and delicious all around. I’m warning you, you’ll have to stop yourself from eating a few donuts or two before you start decorating them!
Candy melts are currently my go-to for decorating non-cookie based things because I still have a bunch leftover from the Disney Donuts I made last year. If you’ve never used candy melts before, they’re basically colored chocolate chips. They come in all kinds of colors. You should be able to purchase them at any store like Joann’s or Michael’s, which is where I found mine. I’ve also bought them from Amazon before too, though it’s a little hard to tell exactly what color you’re going to get with that method. My favorite part about using candy melts is you can always save the leftovers. Spread the melted chocolate out onto your wax paper. Once it hardens you can break it into pieces and store it for another use.
I also found that candy melts on their own can be difficult to decorate with because of the consistency. Specifically, the ones that are made with white chocolate. Regular chocolate spreads just fine and won’t need a little tweaking. But if you’re using colorful or white candy melts, you’ll need to use a flavorless thinner like vegetable shortening to even out the consistency so it’s easier to work with. I usually add a spoonful at a time until the chocolate drips in an even stream from your spoon.
Adapted from Hummingbird High. Recipe makes about 10 donuts and 10 donut holes.
Vanilla Bean Cake Donuts
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 large eggs
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a donut pan and another with half spheres. I used a takoyaki pan, but one for cake pops should work just as well.
2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a larger bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla extract and paste, eggs, and melted butter. Mix till well combined. Add in the dry ingredients to the wet and fold together using a rubber spatula. Make sure the batter is not stickier or thinner in certain areas but even all the way through. It will be sticky!
4. Transfer the donut batter to a piping bag. Cut off a 1/2 inch opening at the tip. Pipe out the donuts and donut holes into the appropriate pans. Fill each about half way full. Too much and the donut holes won’t be able to fit on top of the donuts.
pink, dark brown (or chocolate chips), white candy melts (or white chocolate)
black gel paste food coloring
20 small almonds
5. Microwave a good amount of the pink and brown candy melts in two separate shallow bowls big enough to dip the donuts in. To melt, microwave at 30 second intervals, remove and stir each time until melted completely. To thin out the candy melts, stir in a tablespoon of vegetable shortening at time until you reach a thinner consistency. Dip half of the donuts in the pink candy melts and the other half in the brown. Set down on a piece of wax paper and add sprinkles as desired. Let dry.
6. Melt a smaller amount of white candy melts or white chocolate in a bowl. Add a bit of shortening until the consistency is thinner. Add a small drop of black gel food coloring and mix well. You’re looking for a light gray color. Use a knife to cut a slit in the top of the donut hole. Dip the round end of two almonds into the gray candy melts. Stick both into the slit in the donut hole and adjust to create two cat ears. Let the chocolate dry. Once the ears are secured, dip the donut hole into the gray candy melts. Skewer the donut hole and place in a cup to let the holes dry.
7. With the leftover gray candy melts, split in half. Add enough food coloring to each half to create a dark gray and black color. Put the dark gray candy melts and black candy melts into separate piping bags. If at anytime the candy melts begin to harden, reheat in the microwave at 10-20 seconds intervals. Pipe three stripes on the top of Pusheen’s head with the gray candy melts. Use the black candy melts to pipe the eyes and mouth. Set aside to finish drying.
8. Each Pusheen donut hole should match up to a donut. Set the donut hole in the center of the donut and serve!