A Doughnut Recipe You Won’t Want to Miss Out On

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Whether you call them “doughnuts” or “donuts,” one thing is true: This deep-fried dessert is the perfect balance of doughy and fluffy, buttery and sweet. If your mouth isn’t already watering, give us a minute because we’re about to walk you through an easy donut recipe that will change the way you see this treat forever. Instead of just being a delicacy you can pick up at your favorite bakery, donuts are now about to be something you can make in your own home. 

It gets better. You may not even need to run out to the store before making a batch of decadent donuts. They contain the kind of ingredients you likely already have on hand from your last baking adventure, like yeast, flour, and sugar, and staples like egg and milk. Start taking the ingredients out of your pantry because, with this fried donuts recipe, you’re just a few hours away from biting into a delicious homemade dessert.

How to make donuts from scratch

Preparation time: 10 minutes 

Cooking time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Total time: 2 hours 

Servings: 12

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 1 cup of whole milk, warm
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1-2 quarts vegetable oil

For the glaze 

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted to remove lumps
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream or whole milk 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preparation instructions

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the warm milk, yeast, and sugar. This should be the same bowl that you will use to mix up the rest of the dough. If you have a stand mixer, you can use the bowl attachment. Otherwise, just choose a bowl that’s large enough to fit the rest of the ingredients. Leave the yeast mixture covered for 5 minutes or until bubbly on top. 
  1. Add the eggs, melted butter, vanilla, nutmeg, salt, and two cups of flour to the bowl. Using the dough hook or paddle attachment of a stand mixer, beat on low for one minute or stir with a good old wooden mixing spoon (if making by hand) until well combined. 
  1. Add the remaining flour spoonful by spoonful. If you are using a stand mixer, this step will be extremely easy because you’re working “hands-free.” Once the dough starts to form in the center and release from the sides of the bowl, you’re done mixing. The same applies when mixing by hand. 
  1. Knead the dough for two minutes in the stand mixer simply by keeping the machine on. If you are working by hand, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for two minutes. If you aren’t sure how, check out one of the many useful tutorials on kneading on YouTube.
  1. Grease a large bowl with a bit of cooking oil or spray. Then, place the ball of donut dough in the bowl and give a spin to get oil on all sides. Cover and let the dough rise. If you live in a cold climate, consider moving the bowl to a warm (but not hot) part of your home to help the rising process. This should take about 90 minutes. 
  1. When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and take it out of the bowl. Re-flour your surface if needed, and then use a roller to flatten the dough into an even thickness of roughly 1/2 inch. 
  1. If you have a donut cutter, you can cut out 12 donuts from the rolled dough. You may need to gather the scraps and roll them out again to make all 12. If you don’t have a donut cutter, then it’s time to get creative. Cut out the donuts in a circular shape using a wide-mouthed drinking glass. As for the donut holes (which you should, incidentally, be setting aside no matter what cutting method you use), try cutting them out by hand or use the rim of a shot glass, a cookie-cutter, or any other kitchen tool you can find that’s roughly the right shape for extracting the donut’s center. 
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the donuts and holes on top. Cover with plastic wrap, but not tightly. 
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot on medium heat. If you’ve never deep-fried before, heed the following safety tips. Wear oven mitts to prevent your hands or forearms from getting splattered with hot oil. Never put your face directly above the pot (we promise you can get a good enough view from a distance). Finally, use a slotted spoon to turn the donuts and remove them from the pot, and watch out for any excess dripping oil. 
  1. Working in batches, fry two to three donuts at a time. You don’t want to overcrowd the pot. Cook for roughly one minute on each side and then remove from the hot oil with a slotted spoon or spatula. Repeat until you have cooked all the donuts and holes to golden-brown perfection. 
  1. Place cooked doughnuts on a cooling rack or a large plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels. 
  1. Now, make the frosting by whisking together the glaze ingredients in a bowl. 
  1. Dip the still-warm donuts into the glaze, one by one, covering on both sides. Return to the rack or a fresh plate (don’t stack) and wait for the glaze to harden. Add sprinkles, if using them, before the glaze cools completely.

Nutritional values per donut 

Calories: 416

Total Fat: 17 grams

Saturated Fat: 6.3 grams

Cholesterol: 49 milligrams

Sodium: 162 milligrams

Carbohydrates: 59.1 grams

Fiber: 1.4 grams

Sugars: 26.5 grams  

Protein: 6.7 grams

Nutrition information is estimated.

Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

lindahughes – stock.adobe.com

The do’s and don’ts of donuts

Don’t throw excess oil into the sink. This will clog your drain, and no one wants to have to call a plumber instead of enjoying freshly baked donuts in peace. 

Do make sure the yeast activates. If bubbles don’t form on the surface of the yeast mixture, start over while you still can. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re biting into a donut with perfect, fluffy texture. 

Do keep your dough sticky. The right texture is everything in a donut, so it’s important to avoid adding too much flour.

Don’t toss out the centers of the dough as you make the cutouts because this is precisely how you make donut holes. Bonus!

Variations 

Chocolate glaze: A chocolate donut glaze recipe is very similar to the one shown above. The differentiator is cocoa powder. Check out this tutorial as a guide. 

Sugar and spice: For a classic recipe that screams “fall” and “sweater weather,” mix up an old-fashioned cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg coating for your donuts. For tips and ingredient quantities, read on here

Mara Zemgaliete – stock.adobe.com

Donuts FAQs

How do I store donuts? 

Store donuts in an air-tight container. As with many baked goods, donuts won’t retain their pillowy texture forever, so try to enjoy them freshly baked. 

Can I make donuts with gluten-free flour? 

Yes, you can. However, since gluten-free flour behaves a bit differently, look up GF doughnuts recipes like this one for tips and the best ingredients for donuts without wheat. 

Can I make homemade donuts without yeast?

You sure can. Again it’s just a question of getting the right recipe that can guide you through the substitution, like this one

Can I bake donuts instead of frying them? 

If you are cutting back on oil, baking donuts is a great option. The consistency will be a bit cakier and a touch less crispy, but that’s not a bad thing. Check out this tutorial on cinnamon sugar oven-baked cake donuts. 

If you’re now craving homemade donuts, but you’re out of flour, don’t panic. You can order whatever ingredients you need in seconds and have them at your door in a matter of minutes with Gopuff. Let this service help you become your best baker. 

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