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Old Fashioned Donuts

Yes, you can make Old Fashioned Donuts at home with only a handful of basic ingredients -- and no yeast! Warm, fresh and better than the bakery!
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Old Fashioned Donuts, Old Fashioned Sour Cream Donuts, Sour Cream Donuts
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Inactive Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 8 donuts and 8 donut holes
Calories 236.1kcal
Author Blair Lonergan

Ingredients

DONUTS:

  • 2 ¼ cups (255 grams) cake flour*
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (or increase to ½ teaspoon for slightly stronger flavor)
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (29 grams) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (113 grams) sour cream
  • Oil, for frying (I use canola oil, but vegetable oil or lard will also work)

GLAZE:

  • 5 tablespoons whole milk (or more, as needed to thin)
  • 3 ⅓ cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

FOR THE DONUTS:

  • In a large bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until combined (it will have a texture similar to wet sand). Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and beat until completely combined.
  • Gradually add about ⅓ of the flour mixture. Then add half of the sour cream. Add another ⅓ of the flour mixture, and then the rest of the sour cream. Finish with the remaining ⅓ of the flour mixture, beating just until the dough comes together. It will be sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  • Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Roll the chilled dough onto a floured surface until it’s about ½-inch thick. Use a donut cutter or two round cutters (about 3-inches and 1-inch, respectively) to cut out the donuts and the donut holes. It’s helpful to dip the cutters in flour in between cutting each donut so that they don’t stick to the dough. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic and chill for about 30 more minutes.
  • Add enough oil to a pot so that the oil is at least 2 inches deep. Attach a deep-fry thermometer to the side of the pot. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 340 degrees F.
  • When the oil has come to temperature, carefully place a couple of donuts into the pot. I usually cook the donuts in batches of 2-3 so that I don’t overcrowd the pot (which will bring down the temperature of the oil). As soon as a donut floats to the top, fry it for 40 seconds. It’s helpful to use a stopwatch at first (until you get the hang of the timing). After 40 seconds, flip the donut over and fry for 60-80 seconds on the other side (until the bottom is a nice golden brown color). Flip the donut one more time and cook for about 60-80 more seconds, until the other side is golden brown. Then remove the donut to a paper-towel lined tray.
  • Allow the donuts to cool for about 15 minutes before glazing.

PREPARE THE GLAZE:

  • In a shallow bowl or dish, whisk together the milk, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract. The glaze should be nice and thick, but still easy to whisk. If it’s too thick, add a small amount of milk. If it’s too thin, add a small amount of powdered sugar. It’s very forgiving!
  • Dip each donut into the glaze, then place on a wire rack. I like to put the wire rack on my parchment-lined baking sheet (that I used earlier for the donut dough) – this makes cleanup easy and prevents the glaze from dripping onto the counter. Allow the glaze to set for about 20 minutes.
  • The donuts are best enjoyed right away, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days. To reheat a donut, place it in the microwave for about 8 seconds.

Notes

*I do not recommend substituting with all-purpose or other flours, which will yield a more dense doughnut. If you don’t have cake flour at home, you can make your own cake flour for this recipe. To do so, measure 2 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour. Remove 4 ½ tablespoons of the all-purpose flour. Replace the flour with 4 ½ tablespoons of cornstarch. Sift the cornstarch-flour mixture twice. Then weigh and use in the recipe as instructed.
Nutrition Information: It's very difficult to calculate the exact nutritional profile for each donut made in your home, since it's hard to measure the amount of glaze on each donut or the amount of oil absorbed by each donut in the frying process. As a result, the nutrition information provided in the recipe card below only includes the actual donut dough for one donut and one donut hole (not the glaze or the oil). According to this, an average glazed old-fashioned doughnut contains approximately 420 calories, 21 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 57 grams of carbohydrates, 34 grams of sugar and 4 grams of protein.

Nutrition

Serving: 1donut and 1 donut hole (dough only) | Calories: 236.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 38.9g | Protein: 3.6g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4.6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.1g | Cholesterol: 60.1mg | Sodium: 339.6mg | Potassium: 26.6mg | Sugar: 13.7g