The Best Homemade Donut Recipe

The first Friday in the month of June is National Doughnut Day in the USA. Every year on that day, you will find that most donut shops as well as international franchises will offer free donuts (usually with the purchase of a beverage).

The Best Homemade Donut Recipe |

Doughnut Day was started in 1938, to honor the Salvation Army workers who provided a morale boost to the soldiers. These brave volunteers would deliver homemade treats, especially doughnuts, to the troops serving on the front lines during World War I.

Recipe for Homemade Donuts |

Doughnuts are a quick and easy treat you can enjoy any day, right from your own kitchen. You’ll need some sort of deep frying device to assist in making these, or a deep cast iron pot works as well.

Love this standard recipe? Give our fruit-filled version a try, as well as the infamous Berliner jelly donut!

The Best Recipe For Homemade Donuts |
Homemade Donuts
Votes: 4
Rating: 4.25
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Can be used with a variety of toppings - sweet or savory!
2 dozen
2 dozen
The Best Recipe For Homemade Donuts |
Homemade Donuts
Votes: 4
Rating: 4.25
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Can be used with a variety of toppings - sweet or savory!
2 dozen
2 dozen
Basic recipe
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 quart Oil for frying
Sugar Glaze
  • 1 1/2 cups Powdered sugar sifted
  • 5 tablespoons milk
Chocolate glaze
  • 1 1/2 cups Powdered sugar sifted
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Servings: dozen
Basic recipe
  1. Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon) together.
  3. Add butter.
  4. Stir in milk and egg until batter is smooth.
  5. Place on a lightly floured surface.
  6. Roll out dough to about a 1/4 inch thick. Cut out with a doughnut cutter or cookie/biscuit cutters of varying sizes.
  7. Carefully drop doughnuts into hot oil, a few at a time.
  8. Fry for 3 minutes or until golden, turning once.
  9. Drain on paper towels.
  10. Cover doughnuts with powdered sugar or glaze.
For the sugar glaze
  1. Pour the sugar into a medium bowl.
  2. Gradually add milk.
  3. Stir until it forms a smooth glaze which can be easily poured over the doughnuts.
Chocolate glase
  1. Combine sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl.
  2. Gradually add milk and vanilla.
  3. Stir until it forms a smooth glaze which can be easily poured over the doughnuts.
Recipe Notes

After applying the glaze, decorate with sprinkles if desired.

The Best Recipe For Homemade Donuts |

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About Jennifer Swartvagher

Jennifer is an experienced journalist and author. Her work has been featured on TODAY Parents, The New York Times Blog, BlogHer, Scary Mommy, and scores of other parenting and cooking publications.

22 thoughts on “The Best Homemade Donut Recipe”

  1. I had no idea about national donuts days! hope this trend moves north to Canada. Who doesn’t love a free treat with their coffee or tea? I think my cast iron pan will work for this so I’ll just make them at home! Probably better than store bought anyways. I wonder if I can make these a little bit healthier, perhaps substitute whole wheat flour. Any tips appreciated! I’ll start by making this receipt tonight and tinker with it next week.

  2. I did not know Donut Day had such a noble history! I think this year I make some of my own and share them rather than go out for free ones. it sounds fun and seems like a good way to celebrate! I don’t have the time or energy right now to organize it as a charity event but it’s an idea for the future to be sure.

  3. Your pictures look fantastic! I will put this on the list of things to make if I ever get a deep fryer. Re: using cast iron, how deep would it have to be to use for these donuts? I’m a little hesitant to try it, I think it would either not have enough oil or I’d end up splashing

  4. I guess I am going to have a deep fryer. Or see if I can covert it to a baked recipe I just do not like greasy food. The only donut recipe that I have tried is using pancake mix and adding in chocolate chips or something like that and dusting with powdered sugar. I never tried it from scratch but I will try this. I am looking forward to national donut day.

  5. I wasn’t aware of the origins of Doughnut Day. It seems like it was only recently I heard about it at all, so to learn it has such an honorable derivation is awesome. I don’t have the apparatus to make my own homemade doughnuts, sadly, but I’ll have to send this recipe to my friends who do. It looks delicious, and I’ll envy my friends when they make them, haha.

  6. Yum that looks like a really good recipe!
    I use to make donuts for my family but I did it a much easier way. What I would do is buy Pillsbury biscuits in a can, make a hole in the middle of the biscuit and then fry. It turns out great then just put some powdered sugar on it and it tastes just like real donuts!

  7. I’ve seen the free donuts advertised each year and never really knew why. I feel much better that it is a worthy tradition and recently I have indulged in having the odd donut here and there.

    I like the idea if mini donuts as they are easier to eat and you can eat less of them. I’ve seen them in shops so I may try making smaller bite sized ones.

  8. National Doughnut Day? That is new to me. So is the history about donuts being a treat to soldiers of decades-old wars. I mean tat is very interesting to see just how far such baked goods have come. I always learn something coming on here.

    Also, those donuts look nothing short of absolutely delicious and I’m sure the taste is just as equal to it. It is so mouth watering to me. Thanks for this great post and all the ingredients to make something hopefully as spectacular as this. Yummy.

  9. I too wonder if this recipe could be adapted as a baked donut? It would be great if someone who tries would let us know how it goes. I have tried various donut recipes but this one looks easier and the pictures are mouthwatering!

    • A baked doughnut might be something worth looking into. I will have to experiment and see how they turn out.

  10. I tried to skip this page. I really did. I couldn’t help having a peek. These look so good.

    I didn’t know all these neat details about donuts, but I like the idea of donut day. Sounds like a great holiday to me.

  11. For some reason, I have all of the required ingredients on hand. I think it’s a sign. I might have to try making these, because I really love doughnuts, and it’s the patriotic thing to do, since it’s almost National Doughnut Day. I guess I should probably make a trial batch or two before then, though, just in case. I do have a deep fryer, but it’s small, so I’m going to have to invest in a deep cast iron pot and a doughnut cutter, because your recipe looks delicious.

  12. National Doughnuts day is now my favorite day. Can’t get enough of this sweet treat. Glazed doughnuts are my favorite. Looking forward to trying out this recipe. Thank for sharing!

  13. That looks absolutely delectable, and the toppings that you can put atop a doughnut are virtually only limited by your imagination. Besides icing sugar and other glazes my personal favorites include honey, jam and hazelnut spread.

  14. Doughnut Day! I have never heard of it until now. Quite informative and I’m touched reading how it all started.
    Anyway, I’m a HUGE eater of doughnuts and I have my waist to prove it, haha! Kidding aside, reading through the recipe – I think this is something doable to a newbie like me. Right or am I kidding myself? Earlier, I was talking about wanting to eat healthy for the coming New Year, and yet looking at these doughnut pictures just makes me cringe and grab just one, or maybe two! Argh, good luck to my eat healthy resolution.

  15. Interesting post and I love homemade doughnuts. I actually have used whole wheat flour but they came out a little tougher than I would like. Lemon glaze is the best topping ever. Most of the ingredients are from staples that we all have on hand at some point in time.

  16. I have a real weakness for donuts. I would not make them at home because I would eat the entire batch in one siting, but if I go to the seaside I love to get a bag there – freshly made and still warm – absolutely heavenly!

  17. Donuts are my absolute favorite!
    Most of the time I buy them at the store but have never considered making them myself till I came across
    this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Who needs Krispy Kreme when you can make your own, right? I mean, if you must buy them so you can donate to whatever cause they are being used in a fundraiser for then sure. Otherwise, you can make these beauties in the comfort of your own home. You can even do the double glaze (regular and chocolate) just like the store bought ones.

    Okay, maybe that’s not such a great idea! I don’t really need to have them on hand on a regular basis. I sure will enjoy them on occasion though. I bet my grand daughter would love to help me whip up a batch of these babies.

  19. Well I really should not be here, learning about how to make donuts at home, but I could not help myself but be interested so here I am. They really do look delicious, and give me a little powdered sugar and I am good to go. I am not really sure if I will make that leap and stat making them quite yet, but they are certainly going on my list of potential sweets to make. Good stuff, and thanks for sharing.

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