Yeast Doughnuts, with Cream Filling, Plain Glaze and Chocolate Glaze

Basic Yeast Doughnuts

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup (2/3 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 5 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • vegetable oil for frying


Place the butter in a bowl.  Warm the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to steam.  Pour the milk over the butter, whisk together until combined and set aside to cool to lukewarm.

Pour the warm water into the mixing bowl of your electric mixer.  Sprinkle the yeast and 1/4 teaspoon sugar over the water and let dissolve for 10-15 minutes.  Pour the milk and melted butter into the mixing bowl.  Add the eggs, 1/3 cup sugar, salt, nutmeg and half the flour.

Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed to incorporate the flour, then on medium speed for 1 minute.  Reduce speed to low and gradually add the remainder of the flour, then return speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.  Switch to the dough hook.  Beat on medium speed for 4 minutes, until dough is smooth and starts to pull away from the bowl.  (Note, mine was still very "loose" and sticky at this point, and did not at all resemble a dough ball.  But I resisted the urge to knead it for longer or to add more flour, and just trusted that it would work out.)

Dump the dough into a large, well-oiled bowl.  Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise until doubled in size, about one hour.

On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 1/2 inch thick.  (Use a LOT of flour since the dough is still super sticky and loose.)  Be careful not to pummel the dough down too much or it will become tough.  Cut out dough using a 2 1/2 inch doughnut cutter with a ring in the middle, or a round cookie cutter without a ring in the middle for filled doughnuts.  Gather any scraps together and cut those into shapes also.  Place all the doughnuts and holes on floured baking sheets, cover lightly with towels and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

If you have a deep fryer, this next step should be simple for you.  If not, you'll need a large, flat-bottomed stock pot.  Fill 2 inches deep with vegetable oil.  Set up an instant read thermometer so that the end of the thermometer is not touching the bottom or the side of the pan, but resting in the oil.  Turn the burner on to just over medium heat and slowly heat the oil until it reaches 365 degrees Fahrenheit.

Use a large slotted spoon to gently place the doughnuts in the oil, working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan or reduce the temperature of the oil.  Cook for one minute on each side.  Transfer to a wire cooling rack set on a baking sheet.  Cook the remainder of the dough.  Glaze the doughnuts while still slightly warm.

Yields 20-25 doughnuts, plus holes.

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown.

Basic Doughnut Glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk, warmed slightly
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl until smooth.  Add more or less milk for desired consistency.  Immediately dip doughnuts into glaze then place on waxed paper.  Glaze should set in about 15 minutes.

Yields enough to glaze 20-25 doughnuts.

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown.

Chocolate Doughnut Glaze

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


Combine the butter, milk, corn syrup and vanilla in a saucepan and warm over medium heat until butter is melted.  Decrease the heat to low, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted and smooth.  Turn off heat, add the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth.

Immediately dip the doughnuts in the glaze then place on waxed paper.  Glaze should set in about 30 minutes.

Yields enough to glaze 20-25 doughnuts.

Recipe from Alton Brown.

Cream Filling

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


With an electric mixer, beat on medium speed for about 10 minutes, until fluffy, thick and creamy.

To fill doughnuts, poke the narrow end of a chopstick into one end of the doughnut, about 2/3 of the way through.  Swirl it around a little to create a space inside for the cream.  Pipe cream into the doughnut.

If glazing doughnuts also, first fill with the cream, then dip in glaze.

Yields enough to fill 20-25 doughnuts.

Apple Swirl Bread (made from Yeast Doughnut Dough)

  • 1 recipe of basic Yeast Doughnut Dough (above)
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • chopped pecans, dates, raisins, etc (optional)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons coarse Turbinado sugar

Prepare the dough according to the recipe above, and set aside to rise in an oiled bowl until doubled in size.

Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and split into two sections.  Dough will be very sticky, so use a lot of flour to handle it.  Be careful not to pummel the dough down too much or it will become tough.  Roll out one half of the dough into a rectangle, about one half inch thick.  Sprinkle with half the chopped apples, brown sugar and cinnamon, and nuts or other dried fruit that you're using.  Carefully roll up into a log and place in a greased loaf pan, seam side down.  Repeat with the other half of the dough and filling ingredients.  Cover pans loosely with a kitchen towel and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Brush the tops of the loaves with the beaten egg then sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.

Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes, until a deep golden brown on top.  When you tap the top of the bread, it should sound hollow.  Turn bread out onto a wire rack, and cover loosely with a kitchen towel to cool completely before slicing.

Leftovers are fantastic for french toast or bread pudding.

Yields 2 loaves.