Simple Homemade Donuts (Fried)

Updated November 20, 2017


cup sugar (and extra for putting on donuts)


cups flour, sifted (extra may be needed)

Vegetable oil for deep-frying (or use canola oil, which is healthier)

For Chocolate version:

Increase sugar to 3/4 cup

Add 1/2 cup cocoa powder to dry ingredients

OR add 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted, to butter/sugar

Hide Images

  • 1

    Stir vinegar into milk and let stand for a few minutes until thick.

  • 2

    Cream together sugar and shortening (and add melted chocolate if using that).

  • 3

    Add eggs and vanilla and stir until blended.

  • 4

    Sift together flour, salt, and soda (and cocoa if using that). Stir into sugar mixture, alternating with milk mixture to incorporate both thoroughly. ( I had to add about 1 1/2 cups extra flour to get a dough consistency myself.)

  • 5

    Roll dough out thick, about 1/3 inch and cut into doughnut shapes with a doughnut cutter. I used a large cup for the donuts and a narrow shot-glass for the holes. Roll excess dough into small balls and flatten to make more donut

  • 6

    Heat oil until it makes noise ( about 375°F ) and fry doughnuts.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • This recipe proves that preparing homemade donuts is way easier than you may have thought. Don’t be put off by the addition of vinegar- it’s what gives the donuts a rich, buttermilk-like flavor. Sifting the flour, salt, and soda is also an important step as it makes them lighter and easier to incorporate with other ingredients.

Fried Donut Recipe How to Make Donuts From Scratch

A delicious fried donut recipe made traditionally without yeast, that's so good you don't need to cover it up with frosting! This easy donut recipe is about as old-fashioned as you can get and high on flavor.

This fried donut recipe hails from the Little House Cookbook. This is our second recipe in our Cooking Like Ma Ingall's series!

Back in the early pioneer days, there was no Dunkin Donuts, or Krispy Kreme to grab a snack from. If you wanted a sweet treat, you had to make them yourself. And since sugar was at a premium, donuts were not often as sweet are they are now. And I tell you what, there's nothing like a still warm from the pan donut, you won't even miss all the sugar-laden dough and frosting found on modern donuts, pioneer promise.

When you think of donuts, do you think of baked or fried, or yeast-raised donuts?

Many of us think that “healthy” donuts are now the ones that we bake and make with alternative flours, such as almond flour, coconut flour, or the like.

Back in the pioneer times, they used home ground wheat flour and deep-fried them in a traditional fat, usually lard. Many doughnut recipes call for yeast, but back in the day, an easy donut recipe without yeast (like this one) was the norm, it was less expensive and less time to wait on rising with a busy farm to run.

Sourdough was what most pioneers used to leaven their bread and if they did use a yeast donut recipe, it would have likely been a sourdough one. Want to start a sourdough starter? Click here to get access to my FREE sourdough starter video series!

What kind of fats can I use for this fried donut recipe?

The recipe calls for lard as the preferred traditional fat. However, if you don't eat pork, or can't find good quality lard near you, there are alternatives. Try coconut oil, palm oil, or even avocado oil. Stay away from olive oil or butter as they can burn or scorch. Beef tallow is strongly scented and your donuts can wind up tasting a bit on the beefy side.

What kind of flour should I use?

This recipe calls for all-purpose white flour. I have tried it with all-purpose white, freshly milled wheat pastry flour, and freshly milled bread type flour. The all-purpose white seems to give the best results as far as texture when fried.

Why don't my fried donuts turn themselves over?

This was a frustrating recipe to learn for me. The twisting of the donuts and getting them to look nearly like French crullers wasn't easy. At first, my donuts wouldn't turn themselves over, like Mrs. Wilder's did.

After the umpteenth batch, I finally figured out some of the errors I was making. If you can't get your donuts to turn over, check for these possible issues:

  • Not enough fat in the pan. The donuts need to be swimming well above the bottom of the pan in order to turn.
  • Too many donuts in the pan at once. Cut the number of donuts down to 2-3 at a time, so they have the room they need to move.
  • Not twisting the dough tight enough. I found that I needed to turn my wrists 4 times each, twisting to get the right “corkscrew” effect. You will still need to be careful because the dough can break when twisting.
  • Too rough handling of the dough. Be gentle when rolling it out and only mess with it just enough to roll and cut.
  • The dough is too thick. Roll the dough to 1/4″ thick. Any more, and the donuts won't hold together and they will come apart in the oil.

Are you ready to make some traditional donuts? Grab your flour, lard, rolling pin, and let's get started!

Reasons you will love this homemade donuts recipe

  • No deep fryer is needed (if you have one, that's totally cool too)
  • So many flavor and topping combinations
  • Easy to make
  • Fun to make with kids (let them decorate the donuts after you've made them!)
  • They're fried to a nice golden brown on the outside with a soft and fluffy inside
  • They taste perfect dipped in a silky chocolate glaze (or vanilla!)
  • Makes approximately 15 fried donuts
  • Great to make and share with neighbors or family

The only downside to this recipe (hey, I'm just being honest)—it has 2 rise times. 1 hour after you've made the dough and 1 hour after you have cut the donuts out. I promise you though, these are worth the wait!

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (15 1/2 ounces)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

In a bowl, combine the shortening, sugar, and egg yolks.

Into another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Stir into the first mixture alternately with 1 cup milk. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened, handling the dough as little as possible.

Roll dough to about 3/8-inch thickness on a floured cloth-covered surface. Let the dough stand for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a heavy, deep saucepan, heat about 2 to 3 inches of cooking oil to 370 F. Fat is ready when a doughnut center browns in about 1 minute. Avoid crowding the pan and keep the temperature as steady as possible.

Cut doughnuts out with floured 2 1/2 or 3-inch doughnut cutter.

Fry doughnuts in the hot fat, turning carefully with a wooden spoon handle when the first crack appears. Continue cooking and turning until browned nicely. This will take about 1 1/2 minutes total frying time.

How to make Homemade Fried Donuts

Pour warm milk into the bowl of the mixer add the dry powdered yeast (1) and mix well.

Pour in the granulated sugar (2) and mix with a hand whisk.

Add the eggs (3) and mix again.

Melt the butter in the microwave oven and pour it into the mixer (4).

In a bowl, gather the type 00 flour and the manitoba flour and grate the zest of a lemon add a pinch of salt and the vanilla sachet. Pour the powders all together (5) and knead with the planetary hook until smooth and homogeneous.

Form a ball (6), transfer it to a greased bowl and let it rise in the oven with the light on for about 1 hour.

Now divide the dough into pieces of about 70 grams each one (7).

Give a spherical shape to the pieces of dough with your hand and pierce them in the center, to obtain donuts (8) spread them out slightly by rotating them on the floured work surface. Gradually arrange the donuts on a baking sheet and let them rise for at least another hour.

Heat abundant peanut seeds oil in a saucepan, dip the donuts a few at a time (9), and fry them on both sides.

When the donuts will be swollen and golden, drain and let them dry on absorbent kitchen paper. Finally pass the donuts in the granulated sugar (10).

Transfer the fried donuts to a tray and serve hot (11).

Watch the video: Τάκης Χατζηπυλιώτης: Μυστικά για νόστιμους λουκουμάδες (December 2021).