Soft and fluffy yeast-raised doughnuts served up three ways— with cinnamon-sugar, vanilla glaze, and chocolate with sprinkles. I think you’ll have a problem picking a favorite, too.
Recipe originally published in March 2014, sponsored by Red Star Yeast.
Can you believe that as a kid I actually detested doughnuts? Yeah, me neither. That girl must have been crazy.
If you’ve never fried your own doughnuts, you are truly missing out. I’ve had plenty of fabulous doughnuts from stores and bakeries, but none as fresh or as tasty as the ones that come out of my own kitchen. I may have devoured nearly all of these yeast-raised doughnuts by myself, but I’m just making up for lost time, right?
Why you’ll love these doughnuts
- They’re so fluffy and tender, with great flavor.
- You can top however you like! With either cinnamon-sugar, vanilla glaze, or chocolate frosting and sprinkles.
- You don’t need any special equipment, though a thermometer is helpful.
- I walk you through the whole process so there’s no need to be intimidated!
So let’s get to work, shall we?
Ingredients you’ll need
(Full recipe at the bottom of this post)
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Red Star Active-Dry Yeast or Platinum Red Star Yeast
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Desired toppings (see recipe for full list of those ingredients)
Why I bake with red star yeast
I have proudly been working with Red Star Yeast for many years and it’s the only yeast I’ll use in my kitchen. Platinum Red Star Yeast is my favorite for breads, rolls, doughnuts, etc. because it’s not too fussy and has consistent results. Dough rises better and faster, and with a higher volume in the finished product.
Be sure to also check out Red Star Yeast’s Baking Lessons section where they have information and tips for every single step of the bread baking process.
How to make yeast-raised doughnuts
1. Prepare dough. Warm milk and butter, then combine with half of the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and eggs. Add remaining flour while kneading until dough is smooth and elastic, and is still sticky but doesn’t actually stick to your hands.
2. Let dough rise. Place dough in a warm place and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
3. Roll and cut into doughnuts. Gently press down dough and reshape into a round, then let rest for about 15 minutes. On a floured surface, roll dough out to about ½-inch thick and use a doughnut cutter (or 2 different sized round cutters) to cut out doughnuts.
4. Let doughnuts rise again. Transfer cut doughnuts to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, cover with plastic and let rise until puffed, another 20-30 minutes.
5. Fry in oil. While doughnuts are rising, heat oil in a heavy bottom pot to 375°F (use a thermometer if you have one). Once oil is hot, fry in small batches for a few minutes on each side until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon or spider strainer to transfer to paper towels to drain.
6. Add toppings as desired. While doughnuts are still warm, add toppings you want (more info below). If using a glaze, let it set up for a few minutes before devouring.
3 toppings to choose from
Choose just one topping, or use all three! They’re honestly all so good, I couldn’t pick a favorite. Note: each topping recipe makes enough to be used for the entire batch of doughnuts.
- Vanilla glaze
- Chocolate glaze and sprinkles
Tips for making homemade doughnuts
- These yeast-raised doughnuts are best the day they are made, though they will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.
- Use a heavy-bottomed pot as it will distribute heat better, and make sure to fill it with at least 4 inches of oil so that the doughnuts have enough room to float.
- For best results, use a thermometer to help keep oil at 375°F. If you fry doughnuts in oil that is too cool, it’ll take longer and your doughnuts will soak up more oil. If the oil is too hot, you risk burning the doughnuts. Adding the doughnuts to the hot oil will cause the oil temperature to drop. Fry in small batches and adjust heat as needed.
- If you don’t have a thermometer, test the temperature with a single doughnut hole. If it immediately sizzles and rises to the surface, the oil is ready.
- Protect yourself! Wear an apron to protect your clothing from any splatters, and use a slotted spoon to gently ease the doughnuts into the hot oil, flip them over, and remove them.
- When you are done, turn off the heat and let the oil cool to room temperature completely. Pour through a funnel into a container with a secure lid and discard (or save to re-use for frying later). Do not pour oil down the drain.
- To make these ahead, prepare the doughnuts all the way up to their second rise. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for up to 12 hours. Let come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before frying.
More doughnut recipes to try
Shop tools for this recipe
- 1 cup whole milk (237 ml)
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter (75 grams)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour (480 grams)
- 2 ¼ teaspoon Red Star Active-Dry Yeast (1 envelope, 7 grams)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- 2 large eggs , lightly beaten
- Vegetable oil , for frying
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups powdered sugar , sifted (226 grams)
- 3-5 tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter , at room temperature (75 grams)
- ¼ cup whole milk (60 ml)
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate , chopped (113 grams)
- 2 cups powdered sugar , sifted (226 grams)
- Sprinkles , for decoration (optional)
To make the doughnuts:
- In a small saucepan set over low heat, warm the milk and butter until butter is melted. Remove from heat and let sit for about 5 minutes, or until mixture is 110-120°F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine two cups of the flour with the yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the warmed milk mixture and the eggs and mix until combined. With the mixer on medium speed, add the remaining flour ¼ cup at a time until dough is thick but still slightly sticky to the touch. Continue to knead on medium speed until smooth and elastic, about 4-5 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Gently punch down dough to release gases and let sit for about 5 minutes. On a very lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a circle about ½ inch thick. Use a 3 or 3 ½-inch round cutter to cut dough into circles. Use a smaller cutter, about 1 inch, to cut out the doughnut holes. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until puffed, about 30 minutes.
- Fill a heavy bottomed pan with vegetable oil at least 4 inches deep and place over medium high heat. Insert a thermometer and heat to 370°F.
- When oil is hot, fry doughnuts in small batches until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side, flipping halfway through. Remove doughnuts with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Top doughnuts as desired.
For the Cinnamon Sugar:
- Combine the granulate sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip hot doughnuts into the sugar, flipping them over until they are completely covered. Use a spoon if necessary. Serve immediately.
For the Vanilla Glaze:
- Whisk together the sifted powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons of the milk, and the vanilla extract until smooth and no lumps remain. Add more milk as needed to reach a desired consistency. Dip tops of doughnuts into the glaze, then invert and place on a wire rack set over a sheet pan to catch any drips. Let sit 30 minutes to firm up before serving.
For the Chocolate Glaze:
- In a small saucepan over medium low heat, warm the butter, milk, corn syrup and vanilla until the butter in melted, stirring until smooth. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until chocolate is smooth and melted. Remove from heat and add the sifted powdered sugar.
- Dip tops of doughnuts into the glaze, then invert and place on a wire rack set over a sheet pan to catch any drips. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Let sit 30 minutes to firm up before serving.
- Doughnuts are best the day they are made, but will keep in an air-tight container at room temperature for about 5 days.
- Each topping recipe makes enough to cover the entire batch of doughnuts.
- Nutrition information calculated with just cinnamon-sugar topping and is an estimate.
Disclosure: This recipe was developed in partnership with Red Star Yeast. All opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting partnerships with brands I believe in.