Baked gulab jamun donuts are everything you love about the classic Indian dessert, just healthier and easier with a touch of sweet rose icing.
We all love gulab jamun, I mean, can you even remember a festive Indian occasion without a sighting of the sweet fried milk dough balls soaked in a sweet fragrant syrup? No, I didn't think so.
But I hate deep frying, even for these beloved mithai! But I do love my trusty donut pans and what are gulab jamun, if not Indian donut holes? So I use store bought gulab jamun mix and doctor up the preparation for a baked donut. I do add a bit of sugar to the batter so the donut is just ever so slightly sweet by itself. Plus a touch of baking powder to help the donuts rise nicely.
Of course I couldn't just completely eliminate the sweet rose syrup that the confection is soaked in and still have the nerve to call them gulab jamun donuts. So I replaced the syrup with simple rose glaze. Powdered sugar, milk and a touch of rose water; so you get that hint of rose flavor (gulab = rose). You can also add saffron and/or cardamom to the glaze.
Simple Ingredients for Baked Gulab Jamun Donuts
- Gulab Jamun mix - like these mixes: Gits, MTR. You can find them easily in your local Indian store, or use your favorite gulab jamun mix.
- Milk- Some mixes require water or give you the option of water. I prefer milk with these baked donut versions because I think it helps bind the batter better
- Sugar - an optional ingredient, but since we are not soaking these donuts in a sugar syrup, it is nice to have at least a little sweetness to the donut itself (rather than only the glaze
- Baking Powder - helps the donuts rise nicely
How to garnish these Indian fusion donuts?
I like to keep it simple with just a little sprinkle of edible rose petals. But you can also use chopped pistachios or any other nuts. Either add saffron threads to the glaze to provide that beautifully golden hue and kesar flavor. And a little sprinkling of cardamom is perfect over the glaze.
For more Indian inspired desserts, check out:
Baked Gulab Jamun Donuts
- 1 cup gulab jamun mix
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon rose water
- 1 tablespoon milk
Baked Gulab Jamun Donuts
- Preheat oven to 350°F, grease donut pans and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine ingredients for donuts, whisk to make a smooth batter.
- Scoop batter into grease donut pans. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
- Remove donuts from pan and cool on wire rack before icing.
- In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for glaze until smooth.
- Dip cooled donuts into glaze and return to wire rack to set. If desired, garnish with edible rose petals before glaze sets.