How to Make Delicious Homemade Donuts

Updated on September 18, 2017
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.


Easy, Homemade Donuts

With an old-fashioned doughnut recipe in your hand, the only real equipment you need is a deep fryer... oh, and a bowl and spoon or mixer for making the dough...

There are two basic kinds of donuts: those that are leavened with yeast, and those that are leavened with baking powder or baking soda. There are texture differences in the two types, but both are delicious.

Yeast donuts tend to be light and fluffy. These are the classic ones you get at the corner shop. They can be glazed with a variety of flavored glazes or dusted with sugar. The yeast ones take a bit longer than cake types since they will need a rising time.

Cake donuts have a heavier, more compact texture. These are the type that you often buy in a box at the grocery store. They may be dusted with a thick layer of confectioner's sugar or dipped in chocolate. Cake versions are a bit easier to make than the yeast ones, especially if you have never worked with yeast before. They don't need to rise so you can have them finished and in your belly much sooner!

All donuts get stale quickly, so be sure to freeze any extras as soon as possible - or just eat them all.

Made from one of my favorite family recipes.
Made from one of my favorite family recipes. | Source

Tips for Perfect Donuts

There are a few tricks and tips that will help you achieve the perfect donut:

  • Cut the dough straight down - do not twist when cutting donuts.
  • Make sure the oil is hot. 370 Degrees works best for me.
  • Don't overload the fryer. Fry only three or four at a time.
  • Flip the donuts as they rise to the top and are light golden on the underside but don't over-fry them or they will be tough and dry.
  • Use the softest dough possible. Refrigerate it as needed to keep it workable.
  • Use clean oil - peanut oil is best if you don't have allergies.
  • Let the finished donuts drain into the fryer for a few minutes before removing them to drain on absorbent paper.
  • Donuts are best served immediately or frozen. They get stale very fast.

Easy, homemade cake donuts are delicious
Easy, homemade cake donuts are delicious | Source

Recipe for Basic Cake Donuts

This is the easiest recipe for cake doughnuts that I have. I use it over and over again, varying it with different topping and icings.

The dough for cake donuts is quite soft and sticky making it hard to work with. Chill the dough thoroughly and roll it out on a smooth counter top that has been dusted with enough flour to keep the donuts from sticking as you roll and cut them.

Getting it just right can take a little practice - don't give up.

Fresh Donuts are a great way to begin the morning
Fresh Donuts are a great way to begin the morning | Source
3.3 stars from 83 ratings of Cake Donuts

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 5 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: 3 dozen


  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Sift together the dry ingredients.
  2. Beat eggs with sugar until light.
  3. Add butter, milk, and vanilla.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until a soft dough is formed. Do not over mix.
  5. If dough is too soft to roll, chill it for an hour.
  6. Roll dough out 3/8 inch thick on a floured surface and cut with donut cutter.
  7. Fry in 370 degree oil until golden on both sides, turning once.
  8. Remove from oil, hold over hot oil for a few minutes to drain, and then finish draining on absorbent paper.
  9. While the donuts are still still warm shake in sugar, sugar and cinnamon mixture, dip in glaze of choice, or dust with powdered sugar.

Well, This is One Way to Do It...

Some yeast raised crullers I made for breakfast the other day. Image:(c)MaryeAudet2008
Some yeast raised crullers I made for breakfast the other day. Image:(c)MaryeAudet2008

Yeast Raised Donut Recipe

Yeast makes these donuts light and airy.


  • 2 c milk
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1 pkg yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 c warm water
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 c mashed potatoes, no salt or pepper
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 8 c flour


  1. Scald milk. Stir in butter, salt, and 1c sugar .
  2. Cool to lukewarm.
  3. Sprinkle 1 tsp sugar, and yeast over water. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  4. Add to milk mixture.
  5. Add baking powder, baking soda, potatoes. yolks, and 2 c of flour to milk.
  6. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. 2 minutes.
  7. Add remaining flour gradually, beating well. Dough will be soft.
  8. Place in greased bowl, grease top and cover.
  9. Let rise for two hours.
  10. Turn dough out and roll on floured surface, 1/4 inch thick.
  11. Cut with floured cutter.
  12. Cover and let rise one hour.
  13. Fry a few at a time until golden. Drain.
  14. Glaze, frost, roll in sugar, or eat plain.

Yield: 3 1/2 dozen

These also make good filled donuts.


The way you finish the donuts is a matter of taste. The most common things to put on them are:

  • glaze
  • sugar
  • cinnamon sugar
  • powdered sugar
  • icing

... and of course, sprinkles!

There are, however, many recipes for each of these things. One of the best ways to finish the donuts is simply to top them with a plain glaze- it is easy to do.

Plain Glaze for Donuts

  • 1/3 c boiling water
  • 1 c confectioners sugar.

Mix well and dip warm donuts in mixture. Allow to dry a few minutes before serving.

Maple Glaze for Donuts

  • 1 c confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp maple flavoring
  • Enough cream to make a thick glaze

Mix ingredients until smooth and spoon on donuts. You can also substitute vanilla, orange, or other flavorings for the maple.

To coat with nuts- after dipping donut in glaze and roll in chopped nuts.

To coat with sugar easily- put sugar or cinnamon sugar mixture in a paper lunch bag. Put the warm donut in, close the top, and shake.

Favorite Donuts

What is your favorite donut?

See results

Freeze Now, Eat Later!

You can easily make the donuts ahead of time and freeze them. For best results lay, unglazed donuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze until frozen through. Place frozen ones in a ziploc bag and place in a freezer.

When ready to eat just heat them in a 400 degree oven for about ten minutes. They'll taste like they were freshly baked.

Donuts are an inexpensive treat when made at home. And surely the love involved cancels out the calories, don't you think?

Questions & Answers

    © 2008 Marye Audet


    Submit a Comment

    • profile image

      cjarosz 4 years ago

      Awesome!! Will definitely be trying this. Thank You!

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America

      Potato donuts, yum! It's been a long time. I voted for your cream filled donuts, but I did yuk on the quiz. Great hub with recipes and tips all over the place. Thanks!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      Where was this hub 20 years ago when I moved to England with no Donut shop in sight? Whenever I visit the States, it is one of the first things I buy. I will definitely be making these. Thank you Mary.

    • kellyteam profile image

      Willette 5 years ago from Michigan

      I am sorry I read this hub. Fat city here I come! Awesome job. I love donuts and this could be detrimental to my health :) THANKS! You are an awesome writer. My inspiration! Keep on hubbing!

    • vic1960 profile image

      vic1960 6 years ago from Philippines

      I will try your recipe. I used to make doughnuts back in England and I have kept a basic donut recipe which sadly I left back home. My wife loves it. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 6 years ago from United States

      I am suddenly hungry!

    • Webscapeseo profile image

      Webscapeseo 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      wow these look amazing...definitely going to try that!

    • profile image

      Monique B. 6 years ago

      Okay, so I just had to come back and tell you how amazing the basic cake donuts were. I signed up for a Business Practical Training Camp and we have to open and run a small business. My friend and I opened 'The Pastry Box' and it's great. We sold these donuts and everyone loved them! ?_?

      I did make a few tweaks though. I don't have donut cutters so I used a drinking glass for the large circle and a vodka glass I found for the smaller one. And, instead of glaze or powdered sugar I used frosting.

      Thanks a bunch for the 'amaze-balls' recipe!!

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 6 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      all purpose

    • profile image

      Hanna 6 years ago

      What kind of flour did you use for yeast doughnuts? All purpose? or bread flour?

    • profile image

      cookie 6 years ago

      wow i like it .it sounds good and even tastes good.

    • profile image

      nimra 6 years ago

      awesome....too great information

    • profile image

      jon 6 years ago

      Im using this for a class :)

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 6 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      remember that practice makes perfect! After making these a time or two you will never buy from a donut shop again.

    • profile image

      Abigail 6 years ago

      yummy. I wil try this out.

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 6 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      I hope you enjoy them. :)

    • profile image

      wennie 6 years ago

      It's sound good,hmmm I would have to try to make this week. This is the first time I learn how to make homemade donut. Thankyou for sharing.

    • profile image

      Nadia 6 years ago

      OMG YUM!!!!!!!!!!!! One of my favourite top 10 foods are doughnuts!!! Just love them and cant eat enough of them! Homemade ones are always better than bought ones! TRY and see!

    • profile image

      jhelle 6 years ago

      do you think we can do this?

    • profile image

      princess 6 years ago

      just wanted to tell you how fab we think this recipie for the simple cake donughts is. we made heart shaped ones and glazed them pink for valentines and they were so delicious!!!!

    • profile image

      princess 6 years ago

      am making these tonight for my fiance and he cant wait to try them. he was so enthusiastic he even helped make them!!!

    • profile image

      guilbert aliser 6 years ago

      thnx for the recipe ican now eat a delicious do nut...

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 6 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      Baker.... nope. No kneading at that point.

    • profile image

      Baker Prince 6 years ago

      After procedure #7, no kneading of the dough is required??

    • profile image

      Hfkfjdmdkmr 6 years ago

      This recipe is totally awesome

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 6 years ago from Peru, South America

      I've been looking for a good donut recipe and this one fits the bill. Will try it soon!

    • hazelwood4 profile image

      hazelwood4 6 years ago from Owensboro, Kentucky

      This recipe for homemade donuts brings back many memories from childhood. I can remember my mom waking up early in the morning making these donuts for us. Awesome recipe! Voted up and useful!

    • profile image

      rini 6 years ago

      i have to try this

    • profile image

      shamahil khan 6 years ago

      i love donuts thanks for recipe

    • rochelj profile image

      rochelj 6 years ago from USA

      Donuts are so delicious. reading this makes me hungry for them!

    • profile image

      poop palinda 6 years ago

      lolz i love donuts i can eat them all day if i wonted 2

    • profile image

      Mary Miles 6 years ago

      hi marye! i also looking for a doughnut recipe until i found your post, finally after searching in google. This will really help me a lot. thanks for sharing.can i ask you a question? what milk should i use for yeast-raise donut? Can i use evap milk? is it ok?

    • profile image

      Mary Miles 6 years ago

      c means cup

    • profile image

      hanna 6 years ago

      what does c mean?

    • profile image

      Brett morrison 6 years ago

      yumm donuts.. special donuts.. yummm

    • profile image

      Princess 6 years ago

      My brother made these for me! They were scrumptious!

    • profile image

      eleanor leduke 6 years ago

      I have been using this recipe for a long time. The only difference is that I also use l tsp cinnamon and lloving vanilla, I use 3 tsps.

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 6 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      1. leftover mashed potatoes or just boil and mash

      2. yes

    • profile image

      jeff 6 years ago

      hi tried cake donuts very nice.Would like to try yeast donuts but would like to know 2 things.When you say mashed potatoes do you mean boil potatoes then mash,or do you add other ingredients to potatoes like butter milk then mash. Also in step 7 roll out 1/4 inch thick and cut with cuter dose this mean roll out and cut the donuts.

    • profile image

      ciara mcdaniel 6 years ago


    • profile image

      KJ 6 years ago

      These were delicious! And surprisingly easy -- I have never fried anything before, but it was a piece of cake. What a fun Sunday morning treat! :) Thank you!

    • profile image

      sandra pit 6 years ago

      I love doughnuts.Thanks for sharing

    • daisyf1305 profile image

      Daisy Fabelo 6 years ago from miami beach

      yum I would love to make home made donuts

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 6 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      About a tablespoon and a half

    • profile image

      wyane 6 years ago

      how much teaspoon is one package of yeast?

    • profile image

      evildaniel 6 years ago

      I've made donuts similar to the recipe. It does take some practice, even if you have some baking skills. I've perfected it. We have some really good donut shops in Los Angeles (Chinese seem to own a lot of them, but they do them good!) better than Krispy Kreme or Dunkin.

      You NEED to have a thermometer! You can't do it without one. The correct temp. is key. And, the oil is important. I don't like vegetable oil, taste wrong. Canola is better, but you have to eat them within the hour. If, you want a shelf life, use shortening. Shortening isn't greasy when it cools or rubbery. If, you can figure out Krispy Kreme's oil blend...share it.

    • profile image

      mishicastro 6 years ago

      i like it and i very love it... thanks

    • SammySammo profile image

      SammySammo 6 years ago from Boston, MA

      I have been dying to make homemade doughnuts so I will use this recipe when I have all the ingredients!!!

    • profile image

      Karena 6 years ago

      Yummy thanks for sharing these recipes

    • powerofknowledge1 profile image

      powerofknowledge1 6 years ago

      Yummy! Thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      kareem 6 years ago


    • profile image

      fashion 6 years ago

      Very interesting and informative hub.I love it

    • profile image

      hi 6 years ago


    • greatlove profile image

      greatlove 6 years ago from Beaufort, NC

      Thanks so much for sharing, we love making homemade doughnuts and always looking for new recipes...

    • profile image

      Alexandria 6 years ago

      OMG i loved these soooo much we didnt think we could eat 3 dozen so we made only 1 1/2 dozens but now we want more!

    • profile image

      yomama 6 years ago

      y mashed potatoes?

    • profile image

      Anna 6 years ago

      I sifted the sugar with the flour and the others because sugar is dry

    • profile image

      F. Anita 6 years ago

      OHHHHH I Like It So much

    • profile image

      gorge 6 years ago

      ilove it!!!yummy

    • platinumOwl4 profile image

      platinumOwl4 7 years ago

      I stumbled upon this looking for something else, at least that was my original thought. I must have been thinking about donuts. Thanks for the recipe.

    • profile image

      sintia naman :)) 7 years ago

      ahm sarap .. it taste surely good SARAP means yummy..

    • profile image

      Latasha  7 years ago

      I made them, nd there very tasty. :)

    • profile image

      jean 7 years ago

      i'll try this at home.

    • profile image

      ss 7 years ago

      this is good

    • profile image

      DHZ 7 years ago

      Nice =D

    • teamrn profile image

      teamrn 7 years ago from Chicago

      Count mw with the others who either have made or are going to make your donuts. I've a fried who iis a donut 'snub' and will use the recipe and maybe get creatiive with a topping, "VOILA!"

    • chaipoo1090 profile image

      chaipoo1090 7 years ago

      yumm yumm....cant wait to make them:)

    • profile image

      fartmc 7 years ago

      i love you so much:)

    • profile image

      nyy 7 years ago

      great work they look dlicoso

    • bugslady8949 profile image

      bugslady8949 7 years ago from The Bahamas

      I love donuts,I think I am going to try this recipe out. Great hub.

    • profile image

      Bo 7 years ago

      These aregr eat

    • profile image

      yo 7 years ago

      thanks buddy

    • profile image

      KaTee :) 7 years ago

      Heey~! These look so delicious and Im only 11~! Gonna try these out buddah! ;) with strawberry cream and chocolate hazelnut spread and salt!!! Yum!!

    • profile image

      someone 7 years ago

      sounds and looks great!!

      shall give it a try

    • profile image

      marcy fowler 7 years ago

      Just made these with my daughter, they worked out very well, and they are delicious!!!! The grease got too hot and they started to burn so we are saving some of the dough for a different time. But alas they are very tasty and sooo much more inexpensive to make. Thanks for this site!!!

    • profile image

      joseph 7 years ago

      its yummy and deliciose

    • profile image

      cinthia 7 years ago

      omg i so love strawberry donuts if you like strawberry donuts try them now

    • profile image

      DavidLivingston 7 years ago

      A man can truly indulge in this! Thank you for posting.

    • writer83 profile image

      writer83 7 years ago from Cyber Space

      I am not into sweets but i truly love donuts. Never done homemade donuts before but will try it now. Love this hub Marye :)

    • profile image

      awesome 7 years ago

      this sounds gr8 awesome!:P

    • profile image

      CandyO 7 years ago

      I just watched the Alton Brown doughnut thing last night and the kids (6) can actually help with this recipe. We are excited! I don't visit fast food or restraunts for that matter, so I like being able to give them a treat we made together. I substituted homemade apple sauce for the milk, cause I had none. GOOD!

    • profile image

      cath 7 years ago


    • profile image

      Austina 7 years ago

      i cant wait to try them

    • profile image

      Spongebob48 7 years ago

      coooooooooooooooooooooooooooollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll Happy Halloween

    • bskinny profile image

      bskinny 7 years ago from US

      OMG, I think I just gained a pound reading the hub ! ;)

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 7 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      No b

      Not if you don't like it

    • Marye Audet profile image

      Marye Audet 7 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

      No b

      Not if you don't like it

    • profile image

      sky 7 years ago

      do you need the nutmeg in it?

    • profile image

      jade 7 years ago

      how do u make plain donuts

    • profile image

      trakee 7 years ago


    • profile image

      torkil 7 years ago

      how many donuts does that make?

    • profile image

      claire 7 years ago

      sooooooooooooooooooo good best doughnuts

    • profile image

      jake 7 years ago

      they are yummy

    • profile image

      cabigirl 7 years ago

      Can I make the dough and chill it overnight or does that wreck things?

    • profile image

      maleesha 7 years ago

      i hate donuts

    • profile image

      Jordan 7 years ago

      Wow!!!! I made these donuts after looking all over the web for a a few recipe's. OMG,,, these are the best I have made... Just perfect! Thanks for the recipe's!

    • profile image

      sam 7 years ago


    • P.M. pen profile image

      P.M. pen 8 years ago

      Can I just say, YUM!!!!! Doughnuts are one of my weaknesses. I am hopelessly addicted! Here you have some great inspiration and yummy recipes that I am sure to try!

    • profile image

      Meghan 8 years ago

      Ok perfect my friend is slping ov and i was tr4ying to find recipies for breakfast cuz shes slping

    • profile image

      Peace 8 years ago

      I am so happy i found ur site cos it has helped me to have a better simpler understanding of how to make donuts. You are a good teacher and i love donuts a lot.

      thanks for doing a good job.


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