I’m not going to lie about this being a simple recipe to whip up with kids in the kitchen. This is not a recipe for the faint hearted.  This is actually a blog post about process, being real and (as usual) I have weaved in some fussy eater tips.

“Donuts, Donuts, Donuts” was Ellie’s deafening response to my question – “What are we going to cook this week on your cooking show?” We had a discussion and it was decided that we were going to make Jam filled donuts.  We had already made pumpkin and honey baked donuts last year.  And I thought that we should tackle making jam from scratch (as it is a non-preferred food by 3 out of 4 members of our family).  And to take it up a notch even further, I wanted to make a yeast risen batch of baked donuts to fill with jam.  In the US these are known as Jelly Donuts. I am still unsure whether or not we use Doughnuts or Donuts in Australia? Do you know??

Jam Donuts | Play with Food

The Process

Deciding to make a recipe with a few steps in it like this one meant that I had to look at my whole week to slot it in. No Joke! We usually ran Ellie’s cooking show on our crazy, hectic Tuesday afternoons at 5pm.  This was to show some of the ups and downs of feeding kids when their sensory cups are brimming and to show some simple ways to get kids cooking and some new recipes into our repertoire.  So, when this request came up, I knew we couldn’t do it on a Tuesday. We scheduled it for a Thursday afternoon. We couldn’t be certain when it was going to “go live” but we decided that we would just show the jam filling part on the show.

So, what did the whole afternoon actually look like?

  1. Wetted the yeast to start it’s fermentation.
  2. Coloured in some “trolls” pictures from our new colouring-in books.
  3. Made the dough with the mixer and dough hook attachment. Let sit for 45mins.
  4. Read the BugaBees book and talked about Allergies (Review is coming to the blog soon!)
  5. The girls bounced on the trampoline.
  6. We hulled the strawberries together.
  7. The girls ate 1/2 the punnet whilst I made the chia and strawberry jam
  8. We rolled out the dough.  The girls made 6 “people” shaped donuts.  I turned the spare dough into random sized donut balls.  We let them rise again for another 45mins.
  9. I hung out the washing while the girls played in the “cubby house” – aka our outdoor lounge suite that they like to pull the cushions off. CONSTANTLY.
  10. We painted the tops of the risen donuts with cinnamon, brown sugar and butter. And put them in the oven to bake for 25 mins.
  11. We brought in the other load of washing.
  12. We cut out paper dolls with the new craft scissors that I just bought the day before.
  13. We got the donuts out of the oven and plated them up, set-up and filmed the cooking show.
  14. We ate a donut each and along with some mango and yoghurt for afternoon tea.
  15. I had to go back outside to bring in the other load of washing.  Came back in to find that Ellie had given Verity a haircut!

The moral of the story is that trying to get on top of the washing is a silly idea!  It’s also good to have a battery of short activities up your sleeve for all the little tasks you need to to whilst waiting out the rising times in this recipe.

Making Strawberry and Chia Jam Filled Donuts with Kids | Play with Food

Why make something you know they aren’t going to eat?

Oh… and before I give you the recipe, I thought I would elaborate on why would I even try to make jam when my kids don’t like it.  Well… They love strawberries.  I wanted to show them the process of making jam means that we use real strawberries and I was itching to try the recipe that Kyla from @mealtimebuildingblocks had posted on instagram here:

Strawberry chia jam ? . As promised, here’s the recipe for a healthy alternative to jam. The strawberries provide fibre and the chia seeds contribute some protein and omega 3s. Using strawberries means the ‘jam’ is naturally sweet so needs very little added sugar for taste! . Ingredients: 1 cup of strawberries (I used tired looking ones that weren’t going to get eaten fresh!), juice from 1/2 a lemon, 1tsp brown sugar, 1tbsp of chia seeds. . Method: Chop strawberries and simmer on low heat for 5-10 mins with a splash of water. You’re aiming for the fruit to be soft and mushy. Squash fruit with a masher. Take off the heat and stir through the sugar and lemon juice. Mix in the chia seeds and leave to stand for at least 5 mins before transferring to a jar. Keeps 2 weeks in fridge or up to 3 months if frozen. Use as a spread on toast or add a dollop to your yoghurt. #eatit #jammin #strawberry

A photo posted by Perth Paediatric Dietitian (@mealtimebuildingblocks) on

The aim behind this was to get them to see how foods can change.  My aim wasn’t actually for them to eat it (I wanted to do that part :)) – But by exposing them to variety, I am hoping to make sure they are open to new learning adventures when it comes to food.  They both actually tried a pinky full of the jam but happily went about eating the donut people they cut out and baked instead. Since then, I have been enjoying the jam dolloped into my yoghurt at afternoon tea time.

Jam Filled Donuts
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Wholemeal yeast-risen baked donuts that were filled with a chia and strawberry jam. A healthier alternative to fried donuts.
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 12
  • 1 packet dried yeast
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1½ cups milk, luke warm (I microwaved ours for 30 sec)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup wholemeal four
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Strawberry and Chia Jam (follow Kyla's recipe above)
  1. In your mixing bowl, add the yeast to the milk, sugar and melted butter. Allow to start to activate for 10 mins.
  2. Add the egg and flours and mix using the dough hook.
  3. Allow mixture to rise for 45 minutes.
  4. On a foured surface roll out your dough and make your shapes. We used a person shaped cookie cutter to make 6 people and the rest of the dough was rolled into little balls.
  5. Transfer the shapes to a lined baking tray with lots of room for them to expand (at least 2cm each side).
  6. Sit for a further 45 minutes. Preheat the oven.
  7. Paint a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon and butter over the tops of your donuts.
  8. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
  9. Cool on a wire rack.
  10. Once cooled, poke a hole in the donut balls and fill with jam.
  11. Enjoy straight away.

Tip – These would be amazing with a maple glaze instead of the brown sugar and cinnamon & jam combo too.  The next day the donuts were a little dense but were fine to eat once heated for 20 seconds in the microwave and served with nutella.

What disasters have happened while you’ve done chores?  Have you had any self-proclaimed hairdressers in your family?  What type of donut do you like best?

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