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Adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes 12 donuts and 20 donut holes

1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast (2 ½ teaspoons)
2 tablespoons warm water
3 ¼ cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting and rolling out dough
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
About 10 cups vegetable oil for frying (or enough to fill your pot with 2-3 inches of oil)

1. In a small bowl, stir together yeast and warm water until yeast is dissolved. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together flour, milk, butter, egg yolks, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and yeast mixture on low speed until a soft dough forms. Raise speed to medium high and beat 3 minutes more.
3. Scrape down sides of the bowl, bringing the dough into the center of the bowl, then sprinkle lightly with flour (to keep a crust from forming). Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 ½ to 2 hours. (You can also let dough rise in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours.)
4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round (1/2 inch thick). Cut out as many rounds as possible with a 3 inch cutter, then cut a hole in the center of each round with a 1 inch cutter and transfer donuts to a lightly floured large baking sheet. (If making cream filled donuts, do NOT cut out center hole.) Cover donuts with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes. (45 minutes if the dough was chilled). Do not reroll scraps.
5. Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil in a deep 4-quart heavy pot until it reaches 350F on a thermometer. (If you don’t have a thermometer, place the end of a wooden spoon or a chopstick into the oil. When bubbles rise up from the bottom of the spoon and bubble around the top edge, the oil is ready.) Place the donuts on a wire mesh strainer, Chinese spider skimmer, or a slotted spoon and drop them into the hot oil. Fry the donuts, 2 at a time, turning occasionally with the strainer, until puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Return the oil to 350F between batches. (Donut holes will cook quicker, about 1 minute per batch.) Top with desired glaze or sugar.

Sugar Glaze:
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
(Honestly I can't remember if I halved the recipe or made the whole batch for my 1/2 dozen, so I'm putting the 1/2 recipe here. Feel free to make more if you need to!)

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cups cold water or milk

1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl until smooth. Once donuts have come out of the oil, and been blotted on paper towels, dip, one by one, into the glaze, turning to coat completely. For a thicker glaze, turn several times. Remove from the glaze and transfer to a wire rack set over a cookie sheet or paper towels to catch any drips.

Note: I found it easier to pick the hot donuts up with a chopstick through the center hole to transfer it to the glaze and turn it.

Chocolate Glaze:
Adapted from Joy the Baker and Alton Brown
Makes enough to glaze a little more than ½ dozen donuts

¼ cup unsalted butter
1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) whole milk, warmed
1/2 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1. Combine butter, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in medium saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted. Lower heat to low, add chocolate, and whisk until melted. Remove from heat, add powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Dip cooled, blotted donuts immediately. Top with sprinkles if desired. Allow glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving

Cream Filling:
Adapted from
Makes enough to fill ½ dozen donuts

¼ cup vegetable shortening
¼ cup butter or margarine
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon milk

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Gradually add sugar, ½ cup at a time, beating until incorporated. Add milk and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Transfer to pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip.
2. Using a chopstick or a wooden skewer, poke a hole into one side of the cooled donut. Wiggle around, hollowing out the center, without breaking through the donut. Remove skewer and insert round tip on pastry bag into the hole you just made. Pipe filling into center of the hollow donut.

Cinnamon Sugar Mixture:
Makes enough to coat 2 dozen donut holes

¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1. And sugar and cinnamon to a small bowl. Mix together with a fork until completely blended. As soon as donut holes come out of hot oil, drop into cinnamon sugar mixture and roll around with a spoon to coat completely. Transfer to a plate or baking sheet to cool completely.

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