How to Make Homemade Donuts

One of Marty’s biggest dessert cravings is donuts. When we were first married, I used to make homemade donuts for him fairly regularly. He loves them and raves about them to whoever will listen to him.  I admit that it’s been quite a while since I’ve made him donuts.  Last week, he showed up with a box of donuts from the local donut shop, gave me a pitiful look, and said “It’s been forever since you made me donuts.”  It definitely hasn’t been forever but it has been a long time.

How to make donuts

Marty’s favorite type of donut is the old fashioned or cake donut.  These donuts are made without yeast and they have a heavier texture than donuts made with yeast.  Did you know that donuts first appeared in a cookbook in 1803? I have been using the same donut recipe for over twenty years.  Our donuts are deep friend in oil and either dusted in granulated sugar or topped with a spread and sprinkles depending on how creative I am.  My favorites are the ones with sugar but Marty has a sweet tooth and loves the donuts that are frosted.

Donuts can be frosted with a variety of different toppings.  Sometimes we use a maple cream and other times we use a chocolate spread.   You could probably even use frosting if you want to be completely decadent. Add sprinkles or colored sugar on top of the spread to make it festive for the holidays. My all time favorite is to simply roll the hot donuts around in granulated sugar.  The sugar sticks to the donuts (and your fingers) and the taste is amazing while not being as sweet as a frosted donut. When I was asked to create a recipe using Tate & Lyle Sugars, I knew it was time to make the donuts.

How to Make Homemade Donuts

Heat the oil in a deep fryer or  heavy pot with high sides.  I’ve never used an exact temperature but if you flick a few drops of water into the hot oil and it sizzles, the oil is ready.

How to make donuts

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl (details below) and then turn the dough onto a well floured board.  You can add more flour until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and starts to look more smooth.

How to make donuts

 

How to make donuts

Roll the dough out to about 3/8 thick. Yes, I hate rolling dough which probably has something to do with why I haven’t made donuts in such a long time.  Use a donut cutter to cut donuts into circles. If you don’t have one, use an upside down glass.

How to make donuts

Find something smaller than your donut and cut the hole out of the middle of the donuts. Set it on a sheet of floured parchment paper until all of the donuts are cut out.

How to make donuts

Carefully lift the donut and slide it into the hot oil with a spatula. The donut will rise to the surface when it is ready to flip over.  Using a spatula or a fork, carefully flip the donut over.  It takes about a minute on each side for them to be done properly.  Don’t add too many donuts to the grease at once or you will lower the temperature of the grease and they won’t turn out as well. I generally do no more than two at a time.  Lift the donuts out of the grease and let them drain on a paper towel.

How to make donuts

How to make donuts

If you want to cover them in granulated sugar, roll them around in it now while they are still hot. Tate + Lyle offers these varieties of fair trade certified sugars:

  • Organic Pure Cane Sugar –This lightly refined sugar adds a subtle sweetness to any dish. For a perfect tea snack, treat party-goers to Pistachio Shortbread Cookies.
  • Organic Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar –Enjoy the delicate molasses flavor and rich aroma. Its crystals give a superb added crunch –making it an ideal decorative topping for baked goods.

How to make donuts

If you want to frost them, let them cool completely and them frost the tops and dip into colored sugar or sprinkles.

4.9 from 11 reviews
Old Fashioned Cake Donuts
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 3⅓ cups flour (2 c white / 1⅓ c whole wheat)
  • 1 cup Tate + Lyle Organic Pure Cane Sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • Oil to fry in
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil in a deep fat fryer or heavy kettle until a drop of water sizzles when you flick it into the oil.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.
  3. Turn dough onto a well floured board. You can add a piece of parchment paper to help prevent sticking if you like.
  4. Coat with flour. Roll carefully ⅜" thick.
  5. Cut circles with a donut cutter or the rim of a glass. Cut out the center with a smaller glass.
  6. Slide donuts into hot oil with a spatula.
  7. When they rise to the top, carefully flip them over. Cook about 1 minute on each side.
  8. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
  9. If you want to coat them in sugar, roll the in Tate + Lyle Organic Pure Cane Sugar while they are still hot. If you want to frost them, let them cool completely first.

How to make donuts

Chocolate frosted cake donuts

Have you ever made homemade donuts?

 

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About Ellen Christian

Ellen is a busy mom of two teenagers who left the corporate world in 2008 to focus on a more eco-friendly life. She lives in rural Vermont where she juggles family, two blogs and a career in social media.

Comments

  1. Jenna Wood says:

    I make homemade donuts all the time, but I use a waffle iron style mold. I like how these are fried in the pan, and they puff right up- I bet they have amazing texture, especially with that rich Hershey’s spread on them!

  2. Those look delicious. I think my kids would be thrilled with them for breakfast!

  3. I have made donuts but must admit to preferring yeast donuts to cake donuts.

  4. Your donuts look so good! I actually bought a donut pan and I make cake donuts. I prefer them at the donut shop so I figured I’d try it at home. :)

  5. My mom used to make homemade donuts when I was little. This brought back great memories. Tasty, tasty memories LOL

  6. O.K….I think you need a taste tester. I know you have teens like I do and they just can’t appreciate your baking like I do, so I’m going to have to pick up my family and move nearby.  Looks absolutely delicious….Everything you bake looks amazing!

    Martha had better look out!!!

  7. Pinned this!!! It looks amazing. I’ve been getting back into spending time in the kitchen lately, so this is going on my must-try bucket list. YUM! – Katy

  8. My daughter LOVES cake donuts and she would flip if I would make these. Isn’t the Hershey’s spread wonderful?! I made cookies with it the other day, they didn’t last long :)

  9. I will try these for sure! My kids love donuts.

  10. This sounds like trouble, Ellen. Trouble I totally want to get into!!! ;) YUM!

  11. I haven’t had homemade doughnuts in forever. Usually if I want one I go out of my way to get a doughnut at Krispy Kreme. 

  12. Oh.. my goodness! These look fantastic. I’ve always wanted to make donuts! That spread looks amazing!

  13. This recipe came just in time! I’m making donuts with a friend next weekend.

  14. I’m trying to say La La La La La, I can’t hear you!!   Like driving by a train wreck, I cannot stop looking at these.  My mom used to make homemade donuts, they were delicious!! There is a little diner downtown that sells them and sometimes we drive over just to get them. YUM! 

  15. My mom used to make potato donuts.  We’d stand there and eat them as fast as they came out of the fryer.  Yours are so pretty.  

  16. I have never made homemade doughnuts but oh I bet if I did, I’d win Mom of the year award from my kids. They will do anything for a doughnut! Thanks for all the tips. If I do try to make them, I will definitely take your advice. 

  17. Yummy!  I’ve always wanted to make homemade donuts.  This is a great recipe that sounds easy enough.  

  18. well, now i want a donut.  RiGHT NOW.  these look amazing

  19. my husband would LOVE it if i made them!

  20. I really want one of those chocolate donuts right now. I am pinning for later! Thanks!

  21. I think I gained 5 pounds just reading this post These look amazing. My son is a donut freak so we should totally give these an try at home.

  22. Wow, I would love to try and make these!

  23. Homemade cake donuts have a VERY special place in my heart.  Every year on Halloween my grandparents would fry up batch after batch for all the trick or treaters that stopped in.  It became a town tradition for everyone to go there last so the adults could sit around and eat while the kids swapped candy.  Thanks for reminding me of a tradition I haven’t been able to participate in for awhile.

  24. I love donuts. I love making them from scratch.

  25. Yum! I need one of these right now for breakfast!

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