How to Make Doughnuts

By Shannon C , last updated April 26, 2011

Nothing says "relaxation" like delicious homemade doughnuts. After all, doughnuts are a staple of American culture. While the exact origin of this now classic snack is unclear, historians believe that the doughnut was invented sometime in the early 19th century near what is now upper New York state. Historians recorded the practice of Dutch settlers to fry balls of sweetened dough in hog's fat. These sweet dough balls were served during special events and festivals. Later, fillings and jams were added.

The actual shape that we associated today with a doughnut - round, with a hole in the center - is thought to have not arisen until the middle 19th century, and appears to have been as much as functional as a decorative decision. As the doughnut gained in popularity, implements were created to allow doughnuts to be made at home more easily and in greater quantities. Try these easy and fun home made doughnut recipes to enjoy your own doughnuts. One recipe is from scratch and the other is semi homemade. Select the one that is right for you.

Homemade Cake Doughnuts


vegetable oil for frying

3 1/3 cup all purpose flower

2 eggs

3/4 cup milk

2 tablespoons shortening

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/ 2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup sugar

condiments (sprinkles, chocolate drizzle, nuts, coconut, powdered sugar, etc) as desired


deep fat fryer or heavy kettle


pastry cloth or parchment paper

doughnut cutter


paper towels

sugar duster

rolling pin


To begin, pour two to three inches of vegetable oil into the kettle or deep fat fryer and heat the oil to 375 degrees Farenheit. Pour 1 1/2 cups of flour and all of the other ingredients into the mixer and beat on low speed, scraping the sides back down into the batter as necessary Do this for 30 seconds. Next, beat the batter on medium speed for two minutes until thoroughly blended. Finally, by hand stir in the remaining amount of flour.

Remove the dough and place it on a floured pastry cloth or piece of parchment paper. Be sure to coat the entire exterior of the dough ball with the flour. Using the rolling pin, roll the dough out to a thickness of 3/8 inch. Flour the doughnut cutter and then cut out the doughnuts.

With a spatula, gently pick up each doughut in turn and slide it into the frying oil. Doughnuts will sink at first and as they rise up again, turn them over with the spatula. Fry for one to two minutes per doughnut or until they are golden brown on both sides. Finally, remove each browned doughnut from the kettle and place them on paper towels to drain and cool. Sprinkle them with such condiments as may be desired before enjoying them.

Semi Homemade Cake Doughnuts


1/4-1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying

one tin of biscuit dough

cinnamon and sugar mixed

other condiments (sprinkles, chocolate drizzle, nuts, coconut, powdered sugar, etc) as desired


stove top pan shortening

parchment paper

doughnut hole cutter



paper towels

sugar duster


To begin, remove the biscuit rolls from the tin and spread out on a greased cookie tray or a piece of parchment paper lining a cookie tray. With a small cutter, remove a hole in the center of each biscuit. Pour the vegetable oil into the pan and heat the oil. Make sure the vegetable oil covers approximately one half of the doughnut as it is cooking. Using a spatula, place three to four doughnuts in the pan at a time and watch them until the bottoms turn golden brown, then turn them over to cook the other side. As they will cook quickly, multi tasking as they cook is not advisable.

The doughnuts should take approximately one to two minutes per side to turn golden brown. Using the kitchen tongs, gently pick up the cooked doughnuts and place them on paper towels to cool. Next, repeat the procedure with the doughnut holes. Cooking times for the doughnut holes should be slightly less than for the doughnuts, so be sure to watch them carefully so they do not burn. When all doughnuts are cooked and have had time to cool and drain thoroughly on the paper towels, sprinkle them with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Add other condiments as may be desired and serve.

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