Easiest Baked Eggs + A Doughnut Bar Brunch Recap

“Brunch is not a meal. It’s a state of mind.” – Sarah.

Easiest Baked Eggs + A Doughnut Bar Brunch // The Pancake Princess

This past weekend, my favorite cooking buds and I hosted a doughnut and waffle bar brunch, inspired by Karen’s doughnut cravings. Nothing makes me happier than to have a bunch of people stuffed into my living room to feed, especially when it’s the cutest bunch of seniors from my alma mater (I met them when I was a junior and they were freshman—oh, how old that makes me feel) who will soon graduate and scatter all over the globe. #wah

Easiest Baked Eggs + A Doughnut Bar Brunch // The Pancake Princess

Here’s what we made:

Baked doughnuts:

Easiest Baked Eggs + A Doughnut Bar Brunch // The Pancake Princess

Although we considered deep-frying the doughnuts, we ultimately decided against a giant pot of hot oil in favor of baked yeast doughnuts.

I followed this recipe, though after examining multiple recipes, I found that nearly all baked yeast doughnuts derive from Heidi Swanson’s version. They puff up gorgeously and are amazing straight from the oven dipped in butter and cinnamon-sugar. They’re healthy in that they are quite low in fat (before dipping them in more fat and sugar, that is). However, I can see why some of the commenters complained that these tasted like rolls—they are fairly plain and chewy. They prompted a “what’s the difference between bagels and doughnuts?” question (answer: bagels are boiled first and therefore much chewier), so definitely don’t expect the ethereally light insides and crispy outsides of fried doughnuts.

I also tried a vegan version with whole wheat flour and they were a surprising success with significantly less sugar in the dough. Karen preferred the non-vegan version, but I couldn’t taste a huge difference between the two aside from the fact that they didn’t rise as high.

The best part by far of baked yeasted doughnuts is that you don’t need a doughnut pan! I used a glass to stamp out the doughnuts and a shot glass + a heart-shaped cutter to stamp out the center. Which meant lots of little heart-shaped doughnut holes, aka perfect portion control. I limited myself to one doughnut hole.

Easiest Baked Eggs + A Doughnut Bar Brunch // The Pancake Princess

…plus four.

To make the doughnut/waffle bar, we set up an assembly line with pans of still-warm doughnuts and waffles followed by toppings:

  • melted chocolate (with a little heavy cream for spreadability)
  • sprinkles
  • melted butter
  • cinnamon sugar
  • berry compote (frozen berries + water + maple syrup + cornstarch)
  • honey caramel (OMG)
  • sliced fruit

Easiest Baked Eggs + A Doughnut Bar Brunch // The Pancake Princess

PLUS! The best doughnut topping discovery came afterwards: instead of using a dip in melted butter to make toppings stick, frost with Greek yogurt + a quick roll in cinnamon sugar. Healthy doughnut bliss <3

Challah waffles:

Easiest Baked Eggs + A Doughnut Bar Brunch // The Pancake Princess

This is the third time I’ve made Molly’s waffles. These are the chewiest, densest, most beautiful sugar-studded waffles in all the land (that will leave your waffle maker an utter mess). I always make these the night before for easy prep in the morning. (Tip: make your own pearl sugar!)

Baked eggs:

Easiest Baked Eggs + A Doughnut Bar Brunch // The Pancake Princess

During the middle of brunch, Karen beckoned me over with such a solemn look on her face that I thought something was seriously amiss.

“Erika,” she said. “The doughnuts are poisoned.”

No, the doughnuts weren’t actually poisoned, though she managed to give me a 2-second heart attack. She really just wanted to suggest making a second batch of the eggs.

Before I tell you how fast we made the second pan of eggs, let me first say that these are the EASIEST and possibly tastiest brunch eggs I’ve ever made (and I’ve made quite a few). They are so, so good. The dish kind of bakes up like a thin, egg-heavy tart lined with slightly wilted greens that is made exponentially more exciting by a generous sprinkling of cheese, which gives a somehow unexpectedly savory, salty pop to each bite–especially where the cheese crisps onto the pan. The first time around, I followed the recipe right down to the heavy cream and buttered breadcrumbs, but the second time around, we just tossed in three ingredients and churned out another pan of perfectly cooked eggs in 15 MINUTES. Reviews included:

“I want to live an existence where someone spoons these into my mouth nonstop.”

“Remember how to make those eggs for me in the future plz.”

“Babe. These eggs are AMAZING.” <– guess who?

Easiest Baked Eggs + A Doughnut Bar Brunch // The Pancake Princess

Even though cooking for people makes me feel like I have my head screwed on backwards, I think it went well and I loved that I got an excuse to make some of the breakfast food that I’m constantly drooling over but never make. In the future, I’d like to challenge myself to make a completely vegan brunch.

Have you ever attempted a vegan brunch before? What did you do without eggs?!

Easiest Baked Eggs

An incredibly easy and delicious recipe for baked eggs! A great brunch staple that can be thrown together at the last minute.

Ingredients

  • Fresh baby spinach
  • 12-16 large eggs (really, however many you want--I would recommend at least 2 per person)
  • about 3/4 cup assorted grated or shredded cheese (I used a mix of grated parmesan and shredded mozzarella and cheddar)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees for firmly baked eggs, 375 for very soft eggs. Grease a 9x13 pan.

Scatter a few handfuls of spinach over the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle half the cheese on top of the spinach. Crack desired number of eggs over the top of the cheese. Top with the rest of the cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until yolks reach desired level of jiggle. 15 minutes at 400 degrees yielded firm whites and semi-soft yolks; 20 minutes at 375 degrees yielded very soft (almost alarmingly jiggly) whites and runny yolks.

Notes

Be sure to use a 9x13 pan if you are making 12+ eggs. If you use a smaller pan, the eggs will take much longer to cook and the outsides will become over cooked. If you're only cooking in the realm of 5-10 eggs, try using a 7x12 pan so they don't overcook.

http://www.thepancakeprincess.com/2014/03/17/easiest-baked-eggs-a-doughnut-bar-brunch-recap/

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35 thoughts on “Easiest Baked Eggs + A Doughnut Bar Brunch Recap

  1. Pingback: Sesame-Almond Cabbage Egg Nests | The Pancake Princess

  2. Ala

    Donut bar–wahh! If I’d thought of this earlier, I would’ve totally considered turning the oven/housewarming sweets exchange party invites I sent out today into a donut-fest 😉 however, the idea has not been in vain and will make it onto my 100 post-exam to-do list. Whoo!

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Oh my gooodness well a housewarming sweets exchange party still sounds like an excellent party to me!! Invite me to the next one and I’ll bring doughnuts 😉 Good luck with your exams!!!

      Reply
  3. cynthia

    I luuurrrve everything about this post! Baked eggs! A DOUGHNUT BAR?! And these beaaaautiful moody photos (you knew I’d love those). Your friends are so lucky to have you putting together these fantastic shindigs for them! :) I bet they’re so bummed they’ll be moving away soon. And, like others have said, the Greek yogurt and cinnamon topping? Beyond genius. Yay for all of this :)

    Reply
  4. Natasha @ The Cake Merchant

    I know this is supposed to be brunch, but I am totally making these eggs for dinner. I can’t believe I have never baked an egg before. Also, we need to be neighbors because I need challah waffles and yogurt dipped doughnuts in my life!

    Reply
  5. laurasmess

    I love any kind of breakfast that involves dipping/spooning/sprinkling toppings onto glorious carbohydrate deliciousness. I love the fact that you had both waffles and doughnuts (girl after my own heart!). Yay for healthy versions of old fatty favourites… particularly when the healthy versions happen to be heart-shaped. LOVE. Awesome post! I will definitely give these baked eggs a go, they sound fantastic. Spinach + eggs + cheese on wholemeal toast sounds like my idea of breakfast heaven.
    P.S YES I have eaten entirely vegan shared breakfasts a few times. Two words when it comes to egg replacement: TOFU SCRAMBLE. It’s amazingly delicious, you almost don’t even notice that you’re not eating eggs! xx

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Haha I’m so glad you feel that way, Laura. I was like “waffles and doughnuts…too much?” And my friends were like, “never enough carbs.” They always know how to steer me straight :)

      Okay I really need to get on this tofu scramble business. If you have any tips, let me know! I’m imagining firm or silken tofu, some onions, garlic and nutritional yeast…

      Reply
  6. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)

    Such a lovely idea for a brunch party! I can see how everyone is swooning over the doughnuts & doughnut bar, but honestly I am sitting here swooning over the eggs! I love making stovetop “baked” eggs with spinach (and spiced yogurt)… I guess I just rarely have enough people over to merit actually turning on the oven for baked eggs, but your version seems genius in its simplicity! I’m definitely bookmarking it to try it on some future brunch guests.

    Reply
      1. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)

        Yes! The short answer is that I just crack them in and cover. The longer answer is that there is always the risk of the yolks getting too cooked for my liking (i.e., solidifying at all) before the whites are fully cooked, so I’ve really had to play with the type of pan/type of lid (high-domed, vs. sitting right on top of the eggs)/temperature/and timing, but all the trial and error has been worth it, because now I frequently make that for breakfast (for one!), without turning on the oven. (If you’re interested, my post about it is here: http://spontaneoustomato.com/2013/09/19/skillet-baked-eggs/ ) I am still totally going to try your method the next time I want to make eggs for 4+ people!

        Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Oh Karen I feel you. The only reason yogurt ended up on my doughnut is because I was “cleaning up” a few yogurt holes, and an open container of yogurt and cinnamon sugar were sitting on the counter…and so yeah, that happened. Listen to your body 😉

      Reply
  7. Nora (A Clean Bake)

    WOW WOW WOW! You are a stellar host, Erika! All of the food looks absolutely fantastic, and I’ve never made yeasted doughnuts, but you make them sound like they are not to be missed. And those challah waffles look phenomenal. Challah french toast used to be one of my favorite breakfasts! but these days I am more of an egg gal, so you’d better believe those baked eggs are going into my repertoire.

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Thanks so much, Nora! :)) I have been on the biggest yeast kick lately now that I’ve discovered that if you add sugar to the proofing mixture, your yeast will ALWAYS work! Happy day. Oh my goshhhhhh challah French toast. Talk about heaven. I need to make that for my next brunch! And yes, the eggs!! My friends and I were just talking about how you could make so many variations…like a caprese version with a layer of tomatoes and basil on top. Or a Mexican version with salsa and Mexican cheese. Or a Greek version with feta + tomatoes + red onion/olives. Okay I need to go eat again.

      Reply
  8. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    Erika, SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! A doughnut and waffle bar is the best idea I’ve ever heard of! Why oh why don’t I live in the same city as you. I need to fly my ass out there so that I can eat all of this gloriousness. That egg dish looks legit too – I could probably eat a pan of that myself. These are gorgeous photos. What a wonderful way to spend time with your friends. I hate knowing that people are going to be dispersing. I worked with the best group of people at my first firm after I got my license. Unfortunately, the firm disbanded and everyone moved to different corners of Canada. Although we keep in touch, it stills makes me sad cause it’s not the same.

    Reply
  9. Shikha @ Shikha la mode

    This is why we need to live in the same city so we can host cool brunches like this instead of having me drool from California. I’ve heard that vegan doughnuts are pretty good – there’s a stall that sells them in SF but i’ve never tried! And shot glasses as cookie cutters = done and done.

    Reply
  10. Lilly

    Still laying on the floor waiting for these to be spooned into my mouth……. But really this was FABULOUS! I was full all day.

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Oh Lan, believe me…I was eating all of this all day long. I definitely would have eaten it for dinner had Erik not taken me out!

      Reply
  11. janet @ the taste space

    Wow, what a feast! I hope I can come to any vegan brunch you put on. :) Lots of ideas for that – baked oatmeal, pancakes/crepes, tofu scramble, arepas, beans, etc. Isa even wrote a book called Vegan Brunch with lots of ideas. :)

    Also, score for he baked donuts. There is a chia baked donut I had my eye on (but no donut pan) so now I am excited to try them out. :)

    Reply
    1. erika Post author

      Um you will DEFINITELY be invited after all those fabulous ideas!! Oh my god, an arepa brunch. Dying. That would be my dream. And Isa!! I should have known–everything she makes is magic. I’ll have to look that book up.

      A chia baked doughnut?! Googling now. So intrigued.

      Reply
  12. Katie (The Muffin Myth)

    Amazing! My group of expat friends here in Stockholm have a rotating brunch club, which is more than anything an excuse to spend an entire Saturday drinking (last time we went through 15 bottles of champagne between 10 people and then went out to a bar after…). I haven’t hosted yet, but the bar is set pretty high. I’ve been toying with the idea of a waffle bar when it’s my turn, since I have a (the worlds crappiest) waffle iron, but I also really want to impress the group by making bagels. Now I feel like I can do both! And those baked eggs look amaze. Will definitely be keeping them in mind when it’s my turn to host.

    Reply
  13. The Vegan 8

    OMG Erika…you are killing me here, seriously….donuts AND waffles??!! Seriously, I don’t think there is anything else I want to eat right now other than donuts or waffles…….I’m not just being nice, I’m serious, I am going to have to go make some donuts now. I have a mini donut pan too, so I will make some! Love, love these! Super cool about not needing the pan though with the yeasted donuts!

    Reply

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