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Homemade donuts

Homemade Yeast Donut Recipe


Yeast (raised) donuts, adapted from a recipe found at


For the donuts

  • 1 1/8 C whole milk, 90°F (32°C)
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 whole eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 C butter, melted then cooled
  • 4 C (480 g) bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 qt frying fat (lard, Crisco, or peanut oil)

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 C whole milk
  • 2 1/2 C confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 pinch salt


Make the dough

  • Activate the yeast by combining it with the warm milk and sugar. Set aside for a few minutes. 
  • Beat the egg and butter together in a separate bowl. 
  • Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. 
  • Mix the milk/sugar/yeast into the flour. Mix on low until well combined. The dough will be very dry. Switch to a dough hook. 
  • Add the egg/butter mixture and beat on low speed to incorporate. Increase speed to medium-high and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should become soft and supple and slap around inside the bowl as it kneads. 

Kneading donut dough in a stand mixer

  • Remove the dough from the bowl, oil the bowl, and put it back in. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set the dough bowl in the fridge to rest and slowly ferment overnight, or for a few hours at least. 

Form the donuts

  • Flour your work surface. Turn the dough out onto the surface. Flour it as well, and press it out until flat. 
  • Use a rolling pin to roll it out until it is slightly thinner than 1/2-inch thick. 
  • Place two pieces of parchment in two sheet tray pans, one in each pan. 
  • Use a donut cutter (or a biscuit cutter and a smaller-diameter cutter) to cut out the donuts. Place them, and their holes, on the parchment-lined pans.

Putting donuts on a pan to rise

  • Smoosh the dough scraps back together, roll them back out, and cut out more donuts. 
  • Cover the donuts with oiled plastic wrap and place them in a warmish place to rise. An oven with a proof setting at about 85°F (29°C) is perfect. Allow them to rise until nearly doubled in size, tender, and poofy. 

Fry the donuts

  • While the donuts are proofing, prepare the glaze by combining all the glaze ingredients and mixing together until smooth and a good consistency. If it’s too thick, add more milk; if too thin, more sugar. 
    • For chocolate frosting, add 3 Tbsp cocoa powder to the powdered sugar and increase the milk quantity. The cocoa will require a disproportionate amount of milk. Add liquid until it is a thinnish, easily spreadable consistency. 

Making glaze

  • Heat the oil. Use a pot clip to suspend a probe in the oil in a heavy pot. (Don’t fill the pot more than halfway.) Set the high-temp alarm to 375°F (190°C) and the low-temp alarm to 350°F (177°C). Heat the oil over medium-high heat. 
  • When the oil is hot and the donuts are ready, cut the parchment the donuts are on into squares using a sharp knife. 
  • lift the squares one at a time and use them to slide/flip the donuts into the hot oil. 
  • Monitor the oil temp as you cook 2 or 3 donuts at a time. 
  • Flip them after cooking for 2 minutes. Cook another two minutes and remove them to a paper towel-lined tray. 
  • Bring the oil temp back up and fry more donuts. 
  • Once the donuts are cool enough to handle, dredge them in the glaze. Using chopsticks to lift and turn them will make it easier. 
  • Serve the donuts while they are still hot and fresh.

Warm homemade donuts with a hot drink