Warm Date and Orange Sauce with Italian Doughnuts

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There isn’t a smell that evokes childhood memories quite like freshly cooked doughnuts rolled in cinnamon sugar. Elevate your fresh doughnut experience by piling them onto my warm date and orange sauce. Cool winter days call for warming desserts and this irresistible Date and Orange sauce paired with freshly made doughnuts fits the bill perfectly. You can follow my “from scratch” doughnut recipe or try a cheat’s version by using a baking mix to speed up the process. Either way you’ll be scraping any leftover date sauce off the plate with your fingers long after the doughnuts have disappeared.


  • Date and Orange Sauce
  • 15 15 Natural Delight Medjool Dates, pitted

  • Juice of 2 large oranges

  • Zest of 1 orange

  • 1 tsp 1 vanilla extract (½ tsp vanilla powder)

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 salt (optional)

  • enough hot water to cover the dates

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 ish (as required)

  • Doughnuts
  • 1/4 cup 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons milk (lukewarm )

  • 1 1/4 tsp 1 1/4 active dry yeast

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp 2 1/2 granulated sugar

  • 3 Tbsp 3 vegetable oil

  • 1 large 1 egg (room temperature)

  • zest of 1/2 an orange

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 vanilla powder

  • 275 g 275 plain flour + 2 tablespoons

  • 1 pinch 1 salt


  • Date and Orange Sauce
    Place dates, juice and zest in a pot on the stove, add water as required to just cover the dates.Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, place a tight fitting lid on and cook for around ten minutes or until the dates have softened. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool a little. (around ten minutes lid off) Add the mix to a high speed blender or food processor, along with the vanilla extract and salt. Using the water from the dates add in about ½ cup to start. Blend until smooth adding a little extra warm water as required until you have reached your desired consistency which should be smooth and thin enough to coat a spoon.
  • Doughnuts
    1. In the bowl of the stand mixer add the milk and sprinkle the yeast on top, let it sit for five minutes then mix together.
    2. Add the sugar, vegetable oil, egg, orange zest and vanilla, whisk together to combine.
    3. Slowly add the flour and pinch of salt and with the dough hook attachment, start to mix the dough until it comes together
    Keep the mixer at speed 2 and continue to knead the dough for about seven minutes, the dough must be smooth and elastic.It may take longer so be patient.
    4. If you feel it is too dry add lukewarm milk in one tablespoon lots until you reach desired consistency.
    5. On a flat surface knead the dough a few times form it into a ball, then place it in a lightly oiled bowl,
    6. Roll the dough to cover it lightly in the oil.
    7. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm draft free area for about two-three hours or until tripled in bulk. The time will depend on the temperature of the room.
    8. Once the time has passed, knead the dough a few times, cut into two pieces and roll each into 3cm thick sausages. Cut the sausage into 2cm pieces, then gently roll each piece into a ball and lay on a lined baking tray.
    9. Cover with plastic wrap to let them rise again for another hour.
    10. In a medium sized pot add about 2 inches of vegetable oil, and heat it to 170-175C
    11. Fry the donuts, turning a couple of times for about two to three minutes on each side.
    12. Remove them with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate, but leave them only for a couple of seconds, then roll immediately in cinnamon sugar and cover generously.
    13. Serve immediately on a bed of warm Date and Orange Sauce.
  • To Serve
    Spoon the warm date sauce over a large plate leaving a little room around the edge. This will be required as you drag doughnuts through the sauce.

    Place a pile of doughnuts on top of the sauce and serve immediately.

Cooking Notes

  • The sauce could also be used to
    ● Sandwich between layers of chocolate cake.
    ● Served with vanilla ice cream.
    ● Add herbs and chilli and spoon over pork fillet or scotch fillet prior to roasting.
    ● Make larger doughnuts and pipe the sauce into the centre.
    ● Add chicken stock to thin the sauce, stir through thyme, season then pour over roast chicken pieces.

Author: Codesquad