So I finally got a deep fryer which I am super excited about. Of course, I had to make donuts. I have always wanted to make them and it turns out they are actually very easy to make!
I actually read this guide on Food52 which explained all the different types of donuts before I started. It was super helpful. The following easy homemade donut recipe I will show you how to make is a basic yeasted donut.
This donut consists of simple ingredients you should have on hand (except for maybe the yeast which is hard to find these days) and if you have a stand mixer you don’t even have to knead the dough.
Form Your Dough
Donuts are made from an enriched yeasted dough. An enriched dough calls for butter, sugar, and milk which makes it sweeter than your typical bread dough.
First you gather your ingredients, you will need:
- Milk (Dairy or Plant-Based milks are fine)
- All-Purpose Flour
- Active dry yeast
- Oil, for frying
You have to start by activating your yeast, so combine the water, butter, milk, and sugar. Heat it until its warm and the butter is melted. If you make it too hot it will actually kill the yeast. If you have a thermometer the ideal temperature is around 100°F to 110°F.
Put the warm mixture in your stand mixer, mix in the yeast and let it sit about 5 to 10 minutes until it looks bubbly. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix the dough until it is combined into a rather sticky mixture. Let the stand mixer knead the dough for a couple of minutes, then stop.
Rest Your Dough
Put the dough in a large greased bowl and let it proof in a warm, dry place for at least an hour, until it doubles in size.
If your home is on the cold side, you can use your oven to proof the dough. The lowest setting my oven preheats at is 170°F, so I turn it on, count to 5 and then turn it off. This makes the oven just warm enough. You could even check with a thermometer. It should be about 70-72°F. If you let the oven preheat to over 100°F, the yeast will die.
After you heat your oven, leave the dough in there covered with a damp towel with the door closed.
Shape Your Dough
After your dough has doubled in size, it is time to shape it into donut rings! Take the dough out of the bowl and split it in half. Roll out the first half until it is about a 1/2 Inch thick.
If you have a donut cutter you can use that to cut out the donuts, otherwise just use a round cookie cutter or small bowl. I used a 3 Inch round cookie cutter and large piping tip for the middle that I have on hand. I didn’t cut a hole in the middle of a few so I could fill them with jelly.
Place your donuts on a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Let the dough rest for another 30 minutes while you get your fryer heated and toppings ready.
Fry Your Donuts
Prepare your deep fryer or heat a few inches of oil in a large pot. The oil should be between 350°F to 360°F.
If the oil is too cool the donuts will take too long to cook and they will absorb too much oil and become greasy. If the oil is too hot, they will burn before the inside is cooked all the way through.
Cut the parchment paper your donuts are resting on so each donut has a square of parchment underneath it. Then using a large slotted spoon put the donut, parchment and all, into the oil. The parchment paper ensures that the dough won’t stretch into an oval as you put it into the fryer.
Depending on the size of your fryer or bowl, you’ll be able to fit 2 to 4 at a time. Make sure not to crowd them. The donuts will take a couple minutes on each side to cook to a nice golden brown. After frying, place them onto a plate with paper towels to let excess oil drain off. Then it’s time for toppings!
Topping and Filling Options:
- Thin Glaze
- Chocolate Icing
- Vanilla Icing
- Strawberry Icing
- Granulated Sugar
- Cinnamon Sugar
- Powdered Sugar
- Fruit Jelly
- Pastry Cream
- Chocolate Frosting
- Vanilla Frosting
- Strawberry Frosting…the options are endless!
- Sugared donuts should be dipped about a minute after frying so it sticks. If the donut is too cool, the sugar will not stick.
- Glazed donuts should have the glaze poured over after about 3 to 4 minutes. Put the donut on a cooling rack with a plate or bowl underneath to catch extra glaze and pour the glaze over the donut. Let it set before touching it.
- Donuts with icing on top need at least 5 minutes to cool down before icing so it doesn’t melt down the sides. Just dip the top of the donut into your bowl of icing.
- For all fillings, you should let the donuts cool off completely first.
- To fill the Donuts with Fillings, you need a small knife and, a baking syringe. If you don’t have a syringe you can use a piping bag with a plain round tip. First poke a hole in the side of the donut into the center with the small knife, then insert syringe or piping bag and squeeze a couple tablespoons of filling into the donut. If you overfill it, the filling will ooze out so be careful!
Homemade is always better than store bought. Always. These donuts will be the best thing you ever make! I promise it’s worth it. They are super easy, but they do take a little bit of time between the proofing, frying, and decorating.
But you will always have friends and family coming to you for more if you make them these donuts. I certainly do!
Easy Homemade Donuts
- Deep Fryer
- 1 ½ Cups Light Coconut Milk
- ⅓ Cup Water
- 4 Tbsp Butter
- ¼ cup Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast
- 2 Eggs
- 5 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 6 Cups Avocado or Coconut Oil, for frying*
- ¾ Cup Powdered Sugar
- 3 Tbsp Light Coconut Milk
- ½ Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3 Tbsp Dairy Free Butter, melted
- 1 ½ Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 Tsp Vanilla
- ⅛ Tsp Salt
- 2 Tbsp Light Coconut Milk
- ¾ Cup SemiSweet Chocolate Chips (Dairy Free)
- 3 Tbsp Dairy Free Butter, cubed
- 1 Tbsp Light Corn Syrup
- 1 Tbsp Water
- Fruit Jam/Jelly of your choice
- Pastry Creme
- Frosting of your choice
- Combine the milk, water and butter in cup and microwave until the butter is melted and the mixture feels warm, but not hot. If you have a thermometer, it should be between 100°F and 110°F. Pour into stand mixer and mix in the yeast and sugar. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast is bubbly.
- The stand mixer should have the dough hook attachment on. Add in your eggs and mix until incorporated. Then mix in your flour and salt until a sticky dough is formed. It should take a few minutes. Once the dough is formed, place it in a large greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let it rise in a warm, dry place for an hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Liberally flour your work surface. Cut the dough in half and place one half to the side. Roll out the first half until it's about ½ Inch thick. Using a donut cutter, cut out donut rings and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Do the same thing with the other half of dough. You should have about 2 dozen donuts. Use the last bit of dough to make a twisted donut if you can't get it in a circle shape.
- Let the donuts rise for another 30 minutes. In the meantime turn on your deep fryer and get the oil up to about 350°F-360°F. Make the toppings of your choosing. Get a large plate ready with paper towels on top.
- Cut the parchment paper the donuts are on into squares so there is a square of paper under each donut. Depending on how big your fryer is, place 2 to 4 donuts in at a time. Fry on each side for about 2 minutes, until they are a golden brown and then place on the paper towel plate to let excess oil drain off.
- Dip the donuts into the icing or glaze of your choosing and top with sprinkles. Store in an airtight container. These are best to eat the day of.
- Combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a bowl and mix until smooth. Place the donut on a cooling rack and put a bowl or plate underneath to catch excess glaze to use over again. 3-4 minutes after frying the donut, pour the glaze over the top and let it drop down the sides. Let it set before touching it, it'll harden slightly and won't be too sticky anymore.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth. At least 5 minutes after frying, dip the top of the donut into the icing bowl and flip over onto a cooling rack. Let set.
- Combine all ingredients in a microwavable bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds and mix together until it starts to look glossy. If there's still some chunks of chocolate, microwave for another 10-20 seconds. At least 5 minutes after frying, dip the top of the donut into the icing bowl and flip over onto a cooling rack. Let set.
- Fill a baking syringe/injector (or a piping bag fitted with a round tip) with the jam, frosting, or custard of your choice. Take a small knife and poke a hole in the side of the donut into the center. Insert your syringe or piping bag and fill the donut with about 2 tablespoons of filling.