These are your favorite glazed cake doughnuts, made easily in your own kitchen!

>> Jump to the recipe

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Doughnuts |

Doughnuts and I have been on quite the rollercoaster ride. I utterly despised them as a kid (I know, I was crazy). Now that I’m all grown up and have seen the error of my ways, and I just can’t get enough. Maybe I’m just making up for lost time.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that doughnuts are currently enjoying their 15 minutes of fame and artisan doughnut shops have popped up all over the country (Top Pot in Seattle and Blue Star in Portland are my current faves!).

Sadly, no such doughnut shop has made it to my small town and so I’m forced to make my own. But there are worse things, am I right?

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Doughnuts |

Old-fashioned cake doughnuts (i.e. made with baking powder, not yeast) with a simple vanilla glaze remain my favorite, even with so many create creations and flavor combinations out there. Sometimes simple really is best.

This recipe has been here on the blog for several years, in need of and update, and so last week when I had a doughnut hankering it just made sense to fry up a batch and accomplish two things at once. Craving satisfied!

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Doughnuts |

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Doughnuts |

The main problem with making a dozen doughnuts in your home is that you are then surrounded by all these fresh doughnuts begging to be enjoyed all at once while they’re super fresh. And who am I to say no?

Okay, so I didn’t eat all 12 doughnuts myself but I definitely ate more than I should have. And I have no regrets.

If you’ve never made homemade doughnuts before, you gotta give it a try. And you can totally do it! You probably have all of the ingredients and most of the tools in your kitchen right now. The only thing you’ll need that you might not already have is a thermometer, but you should be able to pick one up at the grocery store store easy enough.

So no excuses!

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Doughnuts |

>> Have you tried this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below, send me an email, or take a photo and tag it on instagram with #completelydelicious

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Doughnuts
Homemade doughnuts with a doughnut shop taste!
Yield: 12 doughnuts
For the donuts:
  • 2¼ cup (255 grams) cake flour
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) buttermilk
  • Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
For the glaze:
  • 3½ cup (350 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1½ teaspoon corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup (2½ fluid ounces) hot water
To make the doughnuts:
  1. In a bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until sandy. Add the egg yolks and mix until thick and pale yellow in color, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients, scraping the sides of the bowl down as necessary. The dough will be sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
  4. On a floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to about ½ inch thick. Use a donut cutter or two differently sized round cutters to cut out 3-4 inch doughnuts, dipping the cutters into flour as necessary to prevent sticking.
  5. Pour the canola oil into a heavy bottomed pot to at least 2 inches deep. Insert a thermometer and heat to 375 degrees F. Add the donuts to the heated oil a few at a time, careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry on each side about 2 minutes, but watch to make sure they don’t burn. Doughnut holes will fry about 1 minute on each side.
  6. Remove with a slotted spoon and set on paper towels or a paper bag to soak up excess grease.
  7. To make the glaze:
  8. Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk until smooth. Dip each donut into the glaze, making sure they are covered completely. Place on a wire rack above a sheet pan to catch any excess glaze. Let sit for 20 minutes until glaze is set.
  9. Store in an air tight container at room temperature for a few days
Recipe adapted from Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts.

This recipe was originally published in 2012, photos have been updated and slight improvements to the recipe have been made.

You may also like these posts:

Keep in touch! Subscribe to Completely Delicious and follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

This page contains affiliate links, which provide me a small percentage of all purchases made through them.


34 Responses to Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Doughnuts

  1. Oh my, these look delish. And so ironic that you posted these today, because my co-worker and I were talking about old-fashioned donuts just YESTERDAY and how I needed to make them. Funny 🙂

    I pinned this recipe and will be testing them out shortly!

  2. They look fabulous! I’m thinking you could bake these too.

  3. I squealed with joy when I saw this recipe! I LOVE old fashioned donuts, there’s nothing better. I’ve searched and searched for a recipe that looks promising, and I haven’t found one… ’til now!

    They look fantastic, I am making these ASAP! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  4. beti says:

    wow they look perfectly crispy on the outside and so moist and fluffy on the inside, this is just how I like them and I can’t wait to make them

  5. Looks wonderful. and I love the old fashioned look.

  6. Maria says:

    Josh would love these!

  7. Priya says:

    Seriously feel like having some.

  8. Shannon says:

    Oh my. My husband would faint from delight if I made these. Sour Cream Donuts are is fav!

  9. Jody says:

    Yum! I have a similar relationship with doughnuts and have been on a kick lately. I made some from a KAF recipe recently and was totally let down, so I have high hopes for these. It’s a snow day here and I’ve been trying to figure out what comfort food snack to make, and now I know. Thanks!

  10. Anna says:

    I love donuts. I love homemade donuts, most especially. The old fashioned variety is my fave too. Thanks for sharing! Have to try this out. Enjoy your pregnancy…how far along are you, I think a donut here and there will still be good for the little one, just don’t over indulge. 😉

  11. Deborah says:

    I use the excuse that I’m nursing to indulge – I don’t know what I’m going to do when I don’t have that to fall back on anymore! 🙂 But these look absolutely amazing. I need them now.

  12. Heather says:

    If you have to indulge in doughnuts, they may as well be homemade–they’re absolutely 100% more delicious than store-bought. 🙂

  13. kara says:

    We have been working on really rocking some gluten free doughnut recipes around here, but haven’t ever though of sour cream. It makes sense (I have gfree chocolate cake recipe) that calls for sour cream. So… we’ll be trying this one out. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • sherri says:

      Did you have any success using gluten free flour? Its so expensive I hate to waste it, I have tried 3 recipes in the past week that were fails.

      • Annalise says:

        I have never tried gluten free flour in this, or any other recipe on my site. I would imagine adjustments would need to be made to achieve the same results. I’m sorry I’m no help.

  14. I just spent a week babysitting my grandkids in Mo. I baked everyday. This would have been a great idea! Your blog is lovely!

  15. Natalie A. says:

    The donuts look so tasty and perfect in the pictures! I have never attempted to make doughnuts before, but maybe with this recipe I could try! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  16. Joanne says:

    Just made the batter, in fridge now. I’ll let you know how I make out later—can’t wait.

  17. Joanne says:

    Yummy!!!!! Need to measure 1/2 inch next time—-but still DELICIOUS. Taste is superb. You rock Annalise.

  18. Joanne says:

    You rock Annalise!!!! These are yummy, taste is superb. next time I need to them 1/2 inch, I was a little short on these, but you can’t beat the flavor.

  19. Kim says:

    Recipe looks perfect! Just curious if you’ve tried baking them instead of frying? I’m wondering if they would come out totally different. I’m trying to stay away from fried foods 🙂

    • Annalise says:

      I haven’t tried it myself, but I imagine it would be possible, though it probably would change the results some. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

  20. Katie says:

    Can these be made the night before?? Or should they be made morning-of for the best results??

    • Annalise says:

      They’re definitely best right after they’re made, but they were still enjoyable the next day and the day after that (I think, if they lasted that long!).

  21. Manee says:

    Can the dough be prepared the night before and chilled overnight in the fridge to be rolled out and fried in the morning? Thanks!

  22. clare says:


    old fashioned’s are my favorite and I have never made doughnuts before – wow, what a great recipe and good instructions – these turned out great.doughnut shop taste and texture – thank you !

  23. anita says:

    I followed the directions and I’m an expeirenced cook/baker. Mine fell apart into little pieces in the oil. I chilled the dough overnight…could that be the problem? Would AP flour stand up better?

  24. Stephanie says:

    The only thing I’m missing here is the perfect chocolate glaze for my favorite old fashioned donuts. 🙂 ty!

  25. April says:

    Same as above. Fell apart in a thousand pieces.

    • Annalise says:

      What a bummer, I’m sorry to hear this recipe didn’t work out for you. I’ve made this recipe so many times without any issues, feel free to email me at or comment here if you’d like me to help troubleshoot the issue!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *