Homemade Donuts

5 from 4 votes

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Homemade Donuts are light and airy on the inside, crisp and golden on the outside, and easy to make in the comfort of your own kitchen!

Close up of glazed, sugar, and powdered sugar Homemade Doughnuts

Homemade Donuts

This Homemade Donuts recipe is so much fun to make. Our good friends shared this recipe with us years ago and we’ve been making them every since. Coated with cinnamon and sugar, powdered sugar, glaze or maple and chocolate frosting, I just can’t pick a favorite! The dough couldn’t be easier to make and the process of making your own donuts is not as complicated as it seems. My kids love getting involved by cutting out the shapes and seasoning them up all sorts of ways. Try a batch for yourself and enjoy!

Doughnuts vs. Donuts

So which is it – doughnuts or donuts? Let’s put the matter to rest, shall we? Doughnut is the original spelling but the spelling donut is an Americanized, shortened version of the word. So even though the official spelling is doughnut, you can spell it either way and be correct. And either way, they taste delicious! So let’s get cooking!

Suggestions for the Best Homemade Donuts

  • Don’t rush the yeast process. For light and airy donuts you want to let your yeast dissolve for at least five minutes in warm water. I even add a teaspoon of sugar sometimes to add to the overall sweetness. Yeast thrives on sugar and warm water.
  • After mixing the other ingredients, your dough should have an elastic texture. This is what you want! It should also have a slight spring to it.
  • Then cover the dough and allow it to rise for about an hour in a warm place.
  • If you don’t have a donut cutter you can just use a biscuit cutter or the top of a mason jar. For the center hole, I got super creative and cut off the handle of a baby formula scooper! Use whatever you have on hand to create the holes.
  • Let those sweet homemade donuts rise (covered of course) for another half hour while you heat your oil.
  • We’ve found that the oil works best when heated to between 350 and 375 degrees. Use a thermometer to make sure you have it at the right temperature. Too cold and they won’t fry up to a beautiful golden color; too hot and they’ll burn before the insides are cooked all the way through.

Glaze, Sugar, Sprinkles, Oh My!

Now comes the fun part! Make sure to have your cinnamon and sugar, powdered sugar or glaze ready in bowls before you start frying the donuts. Once they’re out of the hot oil, toss them to coat evenly. To make a simple glaze, combine milk, powdered sugar and a little vanilla together until a smooth consistency. Glaze the donuts while they’re still warm. Top with sprinkles, candy, coconut flakes, just about anything you like!

Nautical Life Preserver Doughnuts

For a nautical themed party, we made these fun life preserver doughnuts! Simply dip your doughnuts in cream cheese or vanilla frosting that has been softened in the microwave. Then add strips of red fruit roll ups.

More Sweet Homemade Treats

How to Make Homemade Donuts

Close up of glazed, sugar, and powdered sugar Homemade Doughnuts

Homemade Donuts

5 from 4 votes
Homemade Donuts are light and airy on the inside, crisp and golden on the outside, and easy to make in the comfort of your own kitchen!
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dutch
Servings 12


DOUGHNUT COATING (all to taste):


  • Dissolve yeast in water. Combine milk, sugar, salt, egg, shortening and add to yeast water. Slowly beat flour on low until smooth elastic.
  • Cover and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Roll out on floured surface about ½ inch thick. Cut with cookie cutter or any circular glass and use a smaller circle to cut out the center (doughnut holes). I used a mason jar for the larger circle and cut off the handle of a baby formula scoop for the smaller circle creating the doughnut holes. Separate the doughnut centers (holes) from the doughnut rings.
  • Place on a cookie sheet and allow enough room to let them rise. They rise for about 30 min. Heat vegetable oil to 375 degrees.
  • Combine cinnamon and sugar in one bowl (preferably a Tupperware bowl with a lid) and powdered sugar in another bowl. These need to be ready before frying so the hot doughnuts can be coated immediately. Slowly transfer doughnuts with spatula to the hot oil and fry 30 seconds each side until lightly golden brown. Place them in the immediately in your coating of choice and shake bowl side to side to coat evenly.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 284kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 9gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 93mgPotassium: 95mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 44IUCalcium: 28mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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  1. 5 stars
    Nothing beats homemade donuts! That is sooooo true. And these donuts look amazing! I think I’ll make a batch this weekend!!

  2. 5 stars
    Wow I need to make these! Last time I tried making donuts as a little girl it went horribly wrong. But this recipe is so easy! I can’t wait to try!

  3. Hi the recipe said 1-egg,But In the instructions it said eggs ,is there more than one egg.Can’t wait to try this recipe.Thank You Much

    1. We haven’t tried baking them before so I am not sure how they would turn out. Usually when baking doughnuts they don’t have that nice, light, crispy outer layer– and they may turn out a little dry. If you try baking them let us know how they turn out!

  4. Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after going through some of the articles I realized it’s
    new to me. Anyways, I’m certainly pleased I discovered it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!

  5. I’m going to try out this recipe. It looks easy to make and delicious. Did you use active dry east or instant yeast?

  6. I am looking for the carmel cake recipe. There was a picture on someone’s fb and told me to go to this website and I cannot find it. Please help me. Thank you so much.