Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Doughnuts
These are your favorite glazed cake doughnuts, made easily in your own kitchen!
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 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!
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
For the doughnuts:
- 2 ¼ cup cake flour (255 grams)
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , cubed
- 2 large egg yolks
- ⅓ cup buttermilk (80 ml)
- Canola or vegetable oil , for frying
For the glaze:
- 3 ½ cup powdered sugar , sifted (350 grams)
- 1 ½ teaspoon corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup hot water (80 ml)
- Electric mixer
- Heavy-bottomed pot
- Candy/deep fry thermometer
To make the doughnuts:
- In a bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pour the canola oil into a heavy bottomed pot to at least 2 inches deep. Insert a thermometer and heat to 375°F over medium high heat.
- 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.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and set on paper towels or a paper bag to soak up excess grease.
- Fry remaining doughnuts, adjusting heat as needed to maintain 375°F.
To make the glaze:
- 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.
- Store in an air tight container at room temperature for a few days.
This recipe was originally published in 2012, photos have been updated and slight improvements to the recipe have been made.