Basic Fried Donuts

This recipe for basic fried donuts yields soft and fluffy donuts that can be glazed, dipped or eaten plain.  If you want  baked versions, try my Easy Baked Donuts with Simple Glazes and Choco Butternut Donuts

Three donuts stacked on small plate.

Hi Guys! All I can say right now is thanks goodness for pre-drafted posts! If you are a little confused, I posted my current life situation on Instagram.

Pregnancy, you guys. It drains everything out of me. So while it is such a great thing and a very big blessing to be pregnant, it is not my favorite time.

It makes me truly sick and it seems it wants me to move to the toilet as my new bedroom. But then I am keeping my eyes fixed on the price-a new baby!

Donuts rolled in sugar on a serving plate.

And since I can’t really bake or cook right now, I am glad that I had a few things made up before I left for the Philippines, where I learned I am expecting.

So here is one of them- Basic fried donuts. You will love this as your base recipe for all other kinds of glazes and toppings. If you want elaborate versions, we also have Boston Cream Donuts and Tiramisu Donuts.

Let’s begin!

Basic Fried Donuts

In a large mixing bowl, combine warm water, yeast and 1 tsp of the sugar. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes, until the mixture is frothy.

Proofing the yeast for basic fried donuts recipe.

Add the remaining sugar, milk, butter, egg and salt.

Start to add the flour gradually while stirring, adding only enough just until the dough gathers in the center of the bowl.

Mixing the dough for the doughnuts.

Turn the dough over onto a floured board and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.

To knead, use your palms to push the dough down and away from you, then fold it inwards.

Push out the dough again then fold. Repeat until the dough is adequately kneaded.

The dough for donuts before and after kneading.

Shape the kneaded dough into a ball. Place it in a bowl and cover with a clean towel. Let it rise for 1 and 1/2 hours until doubled in size.

The risen donuts dough.

After rising, divide the dough into 2 equal portions. On a floured board, roll out one portion until it is 1/4 inch thick. Use a donut cutter that is 3 inches in diameter to cut out as many donuts ( and holes) as you can from the dough.

Place cut-out donuts, together with the holes on individual pre-cut parchment papers, and set them on a large tray or plate. Fold the scrap and re-roll, then cut out more donuts as possible. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

The cut out donuts shapes.

On a medium, heavy-bottomed pan, heat about 2-3 inches of oil to 375 F. Carefully lower a few donuts at a time into the oil, peeling them off from the parchment paper before cooking.

Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes, or until golden. Then cook on the other side for 1 minute or less, until golden. Drain fried donuts on a wire rack set over a large tray, or on paper towels.

If you are glazing or dipping the donuts, allow them to cool first. If you wish to roll them in sugar and/or cinnamon, roll them while they are still hot but has cooled down a bit to be handled.

Freshly fried donuts on a baking pan.

Now I am thinking how many donuts will be actually left for serving because you have been eating them all along….😜. I know, I understand.

They are pretty hard to resist as soon you roll them out in sugar!

Top view of basic fried donuts on a plate.
More Delicious Goodies:
Three donuts stacked on small plate.

Basic Fried Donuts

Yield: 26-30
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours

This recipe for Basic Fried Donuts yields fluffy and soft fried donuts that can be glazed, dipped or eaten plain, rolled in sugar.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup warm water (105- 115 F)
  • 2 and 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • canola oil, for frying the donuts
  • sugar, for rolling the fried donuts

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine warm water, yeast and 1 tsp of the sugar. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes, until the mixture is frothy.
  2. Add the remaining sugar, milk, butter, egg and salt.
  3. Start to add the flour gradually while stirring, adding only enough just until the dough gathers in the center of the bowl.
  4. Turn the dough over onto a floured board and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. To knead, use your palms to push the dough down and away from you, then fold it inwards. Push out the dough again then fold. Repeat until the dough is adequately kneaded. New to kneading? Check out How to How to Knead Bread Dough with Video.
  5. Shape the kneaded dough into a ball. Place it in a bowl and cover with a clean towel. Let it rise for 1 and 1/2 hours until doubled in size.
  6. After rising, divide the dough into 2 equal portions. On a floured board, roll out one portion until it is 1/4 inch thick. Use a donut cutter that is 3 inches in diameter to cut out as many donuts ( and holes) as you can from the dough. Place cut-out donuts, together with the holes on individual pre-cut parchment papers, and set them on a large tray or plate. Fold the scrap and re-roll, then cut out more donuts as possible. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
  7. On a medium, heavy-bottomed pan, heat about 2-3 inches of oil to 375 F. Carefully lower a few donuts at a time into the oil, peeling them off from the parchment paper before cooking. Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes, or until golden. Then cook on the other side for 1 minute or less, until golden. Drain fried donuts on a wire rack set over a large tray, or on paper towels.
  8. If you are glazing or dipping the donuts, allow them to cool first. If you wish to roll them in sugar and/or cinnamon, roll them while they are still moderately hot.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1 piece (plain)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 96Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 84mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 2g

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87 Comments

    1. Hi Kara. Yes you can freeze the dough after the first rise. When ready to bake, just thaw it and proceed with the recipe as usual.

  1. hello,
    i would love to try this recipe this week. Am I able to replace the milk and butter to almond milk and margarine?
    ty!

  2. Hi there, great recipe and well written. So easy to follow. I exchange the all purpose flour for Plain Gluten Free flour as my husband is a coeliac who has been missing his doughnuts and they were wonderful. I have now written out your recipe into my home GF cook book. With a snip from your web site. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Hi Michelle! I am happy that this will be a regular in your baking. Thank you for the substitution recommendation! I appreciate it!

    1. Hey Sanna!
      I made these for the first time a couple weeks back, and they looked amazing! Thank you for the recipe.
      I’m planning to make a bunch tomorrow to give to friends and family. Can I chill the dough? And also where do I add extra sugar (my parents have quite a sweet tooth and said they’d like it better if the dough itself was sweeter) Thanks again for this great recipe <3

      1. Hi Sam! I am glad you love the recipe. You can chill the dough either during the first rise( after kneading), or after shaping them into donuts.

        You can add up to 2 tbsp of of sugar in the dough ( just add it to the sugar amount in the dough procedure)

        Please note that I recently updated the recipe and added just a bit if sugar as well 😉

        Good luck!

  3. This is great base recipe for donuts and super easy to make! I’ve added lemon juice and zest and blueberry glaze and they came out just as great! Curious if you’ve ever made the dough ahead of time and chilled it?

  4. Loved them. Super puffy. I added just a little extra yeast since mine was not new. Great recipe. First time making donuts.

    1. Thank you, Carmen! Yes you can. After cutting them out, let them rise for a 20-30 minutes in a pan. Freeze them until they are hard, then place them on freezer bags to freeze.

  5. I love this recipe! Looking to a add a little more fall flavors though, Would it be possible to add apple cider to these? What would I substitute out?

    1. Hi Alie! I am sorry I have not tried adding or subbing apple cider vinegar so I cannot guarantee the result. If you happen to try it, please let me know how it goes. Thank you!

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