How to Make Doughnuts

Rise and shine—it's time to make the doughnuts. Be the champ of your office, a brunch or your typical Saturday morning by whipping up a homemade doughnut recipe that turns out wholly delicious. Learn how to make doughnuts now.

By Rachel Seis, Associate Editor, and Melissa Hansen, Prep Cook

Something about the aroma of fresh doughnuts conjures up memories of happy mornings and blissfully sticky fingers. Although they're fine picked up from the store by the dozen, there's nothing like warm doughnuts made right in your own kitchen. That's why we're sharing the ultimate tips and tricks for creating the perfect homemade doughnuts every time.

With loads of glaze and topping options, they're even better than from the bakery. Here's how you can make your own cake doughnuts at home. (We used this recipe as our base.)

1. Dough for it.

When you've made the dough, let it cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or until it's firm enough to shape easily. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and, if it's too sticky, mix in a little flour to reach the right consistency.

2. Make those rings.

Forget the rolling pin—all you need to flatten the dough is your hands! Pat dough down to about a 1/4-in. thickness, then cut with a 3-in. doughnut cutter (Don't have a cutter? You can find one at most kitchenware stores for about $5. Trust us, using a real doughnut cutter is the fast track to perfect rings every time.) To keep the dough from sticking, wiggle the cutter in a little flour between each cut.

3. Make the glaze.

Plain doughnuts are awesome, but—come on—they're truly irresistible when dunked in or swiped with glaze, frosting or a sugary coating. Check out some of our favorite quickie recipes below and stir up your favorite (or all of them!) before you start frying.

4. Get sizzling.

In an electric skillet or deep fryer, heat oil until it reaches 375°. Then fry those rings in batches for a minute on each side (look for them to get nice and golden). After each batch, make sure the oil reheats to 375° before starting the next round. This ensures fast frying and even browning for each doughnut. Be sure to use heatproof tongs when you're flipping and transferring the piping-hot doughnuts from the oil to drain on clean paper towels.

5. Dip away.

Time to dunk, drizzle and add all the tasty toppings of your dreams (hello, jimmies, chopped nuts, cinnamon-sugar and—go for it—bacon). Grab your glaze of choice and get ready to dip. For a translucent look, plunk the doughnut into glaze while it's still warm. Want it more opaque? Let the doughnut cool a bit before dunking. Feel free to double dunk. And if you just can't decide, don't! Drizzle a second glaze over already-dipped doughnuts to get the best of both worlds.

6. Store and Freeze.

Doughnuts are best eaten the day they're made, preferably while they are still warm or no more than an hour or two out of the fryer. If they're stored in a tightly sealed container, the moisture inside will enhance absorption of the icing, leading to soggy doughnuts later. Try glazing only the doughnuts that will be eaten that day. Any remaining can be frozen in a resealable plastic freezer bag. To reheat, place frozen doughnuts on an ungreased baking sheet. Cover lightly with foil and heat at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. Glaze while warm.

Quick Doughnut Glaze Recipes

The best part about making a plain cake doughnut at home is jazzing it up exactly the way you want. These quick glazes, frostings and sugary coatings make it easy to create your own perfect at-home assortment.

Chocolate Glaze

Bring 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream and 2 Tbsp. light corn syrup just to a boil; pour over 6 oz. chopped semisweet chocolate. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Stir in 2 tsp. vanilla extract. Makes 1 cup.

Quick Chocolate Frosting

Prepare Chocolate Glaze, then stir in 2 cups confectioners' sugar until smooth. Let stand 15 minutes or until spreadable. Makes 1-3/4 cups.

Maple Glaze

Whisk 2 cups confectioners' sugar, 3 Tbsp. 2% milk, 2 Tbsp. maple syrup and 1/2 tsp. maple flavoring until smooth. Makes 1 cup.


In a bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar with 2-3 Tbsp. ground ginger. Add warm doughnuts and toss until coated. Makes 3/4 cup.

Shortcut Doughnuts

Need to satisfy that doughnut craving in a pinch? Reader Anne Walter of Sheridan, Wyoming, has a brilliant tip for making doughnuts on the quick:

"I turn refrigerated biscuits into doughnuts by cutting a hole in the middle of each. I carefully fry the biscuits in hot oil until they're golden brown, then drain them on paper towels before coating them with sugar."