Portuguese Doughnuts

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. + rising Cook: 30 min.

Makes

about 4-1/2 dozen

Updated: Oct. 20, 2023
Fresh warm doughnuts—felozes (sometimes also spelled filhos)—are a tradition in my Portuguese heritage, especially during the Easter season. Some people like to roll these doughnuts without holes in sugar. Others prefer eating them with maple syrup. Either way, they’re wonderful! —Isabella Castro, Gustine, California
Portuguese Doughnuts Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1-1/2 cups warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 to 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • Sugar or maple syrup

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, eggs, sugar, butter and salt; beat until smooth. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough (do not knead). Place in a greased bowl turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  2. In an electric skillet, heat oil to 375°. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough, a few at a time, into hot oil. Fry until deep golden brown, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, turning occasionally. Drain on paper towels. Roll warm doughnuts in sugar or serve with syrup.
Portuguese Doughnuts Tips

How do you make sure the oil is the right temperature for frying Portuguese doughnuts?

Before you get started, make sure you're using one of the best oils for frying. Then, use a thermometer to make sure the oil is the right temperature for frying. Clip a deep-fry thermometer to the side of your pot and look for it to reach 375°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test the oil by dropping a small piece of dough into the preheated oil. If it bubbles and starts to brown, the oil is likely hot enough.

How do you eat Portuguese doughnuts?

Portuguese doughnuts are often eaten plain, rolled in sugar or served with maple syrup. You can also enjoy them dusted with cinnamon sugar instead of plain sugar, flavored with lemon zest or served with sweet preserves. No matter what toppings you use, the doughnuts are best enjoyed fresh and warm. Simply take a bite or use your hands to tear off a piece. They’re fantastic as a breakfast doughnut, especially when dunked into coffee. If you’re not ready to eat all of them, don't worry: You can freeze doughnuts.

Are there different types of Portuguese doughnuts?

There are several different types of Portuguese doughnuts that vary in shape and filling. Some of the different variations of these delicacies are felozes (also spelled filhos), sonhos and malasadas. These terms refer to similar light, fluffy doughnuts, and sometimes they're used interchangeably. Another popular type is the bola de Berlim, which is a doughnut filled with custard or fruit jam.

Lindsay Mattison, Taste of Home Food Writer

Nutrition Facts

1 doughnut: 89 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 39mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.