Wannabe Donuts ~1908

Gluten Free Donut Recipe Fail.

Alright, I’m baring my soul and sharing all. Gluten free donuts (or doughnuts) are a special treat for the family, the commercial variety being pricey and the homemade variety being time consuming. So, with appropriately tempered expectations, I sought out an early donut recipe and stumbled across this relatively straightforward recipe from 1908. Alas, epic fail. What happened?!? The picture above is actually the **second** batch. Original recipe:

Doughnut Recipe, 1908


  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg

The first batch went in a 425°F oven, following some online donut recipes. That try was a spectacularly epic fail with donuts collapsed in and baked firmly to the pan. Now, I am nothing if not adapting quickly to the trial and error process and I only used 1/2 of the batter assuming that something might not work and wanting to be able to try once again.

Adjusted the oven down to 350°F. Added another 1/2 cup of flour. Results are above. I didn’t even let it finish because it would have been a second mess to clean up.

What are those things in the middle of the muffin tin, you ask?

This was a brilliant idea ahead of its time by Pretty Providence for those of us without a donut pan. The concept is simple. Yout roll up aluminum foil and stick it in the middle of the muffin tin so that it leaves a hole in your donut when they are finished baking. Didn’t work. The foil balls did rise up on top of the dough, and then the dough fell, firmly rooting them to the baking sheet. Oh well.

Sigh… My gluten free donut saga.

What did I do wrong?!? How would suggest changing the recipe?

For now, I have to go scrub my muffin tins…

More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks

10 thoughts on “Wannabe Donuts ~1908

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  1. My better half had an idea. I read off the recipe to him and he noticed there was no yeast. I shared that you had placed baking soda in to set it rising. Another point he added was no sugar.

    He shared that when he wants to add CO2 to his fish tank he adds yeast and sugar mixed with warm water.

    I reveled in his deliver of your recipe so I wrote it down so I could share with you.

    Let us know if you tried his suggestion! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! I noticed there was no sugar, too – and I also saw that there were several other donut recipes with yeast. This becomes a fundamentally different donut, which I think I’m going to have to try. THANK YOU to the hubby for the suggestions 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know aluminum reacts with acidic foods which is why you need to be wary of using cheap aluminum pots when cooking tomato sauces and such. The sour cream/buttermilk are acidic which I assume reacts with the baking soda to give the CO2 necessary to rise. I wonder if the aluminum foil is reacting with the acid in the sour cream?

    Liked by 1 person

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