How to Make Homemade Glazed Doughnuts

Making homemade glazed doughnuts is easier than you think. Ready in about 2 hours, these taste like doughnuts from your favorite bakery, but they’re made in the comfort of your own home. For doughnut success, follow my step-by-step photos, helpful success tips, and foolproof recipe. Using this same doughnut dough, you can create other flavored frosted doughnuts too!

glazed doughnuts on a cooling rack

With that signature bakery taste and texture, doughnuts from a doughnut shop are incredibly delicious and indulgent. When you can’t pick up your favorite doughnuts, why not make them at home instead? Today we’re taking a deep dive into homemade doughnuts– fried, sugary, old-fashioned, and comforting. It’s so much fun to be able to make them from scratch without leaving the comforts of home.

There’s a lot to cover today, so let’s get started.


These Homemade Glazed Doughnuts Are:

  • Soft and sweet
  • Flavored with a little nutmeg
  • Completely from-scratch
  • Ready in about 2 hours (most of this is rise time!)
  • A fun and delicious weekend project
  • Perfect for sharing

glazed doughnuts

Best Ingredients to Use for Homemade Doughnuts

We’re using a straightforward dough for today’s doughnuts. You only need a few ingredients to begin.

  • Milk: Liquid activates the yeast. Whole milk is a must for the most tender dough– or you can try buttermilk. Lower fat or nondairy milks work in a pinch, but the doughnuts aren’t as flavorful or rich.
  • Yeast: You can use active dry yeast or instant yeast. If using an instant yeast, your rise time will be a little shorter.
  • Sugar: Sugar sweetens the doughnuts, but it also feeds the yeast, increases its activity, and tenderizes the dough.
  • Eggs: Eggs provide structure and flavor.
  • Butter: Melted butter promises enhanced flavor.
  • Salt & Vanilla Extract: Both add flavor. Try using homemade vanilla extract.
  • Nutmeg: A little nutmeg is the secret ingredient to that cozy, comforting bakery taste. If you’ve ever made my chocolate chip muffins, you know it adds a delicious pop of flavor!
  • Flour: All-purpose flour is the dough’s structure. You’ll be tempted to add more and more flour as you mix the dough, but don’t. You want a very soft, pillowy dough for soft, pillowy doughnuts. The dough can still be slightly sticky. When kneading, use extra flour on your hands and work surface.

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

ingredients for doughnuts

Overview: How to Make Glazed Doughnuts

Let me walk you through the process so you understand what you’re doing. Homemade doughnuts seem a little intimidating, but I assure you– they’re really not!

  1. Prepare the dough. The dough comes together with a mixer. You can also make the dough by hand, but it requires a bit of arm muscle. After the dough comes together in the mixing bowl, knead it for 2 minutes.
  2. Let the dough rise. In a relatively warm environment, the dough rises in about 90 minutes.
  3. Punch down the dough to release the air.
  4. Roll & cut into doughnuts. Roll the dough out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut the doughnuts using a 3-3.5 inch doughnut cutter. Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Place doughnuts (and doughnut holes!) onto the lined baking sheet, then lightly cover and allow to rest as you prepare the oil.
  5. Prepare the oil. Using a heavy-duty pot and an oil thermometer, heat the oil to 375°F (191°C). Place a cooling rack over another baking sheet.
  6. Fry the doughnuts. Working with 2-3 doughnuts at a time, cook for 1 minute on each side. Carefully remove from the oil and place onto prepared rack. Repeat with remaining doughnuts. (See my recipe note about making the doughnut holes.)
  7. Make the glaze. Dip each warm doughnut into the glaze and coat both sides. After about 20 minutes, the glaze will set.

Here are some helpful step photos of the process:

2 images of a ball of doughnut dough and doughnut dough rolled out and cut with a rounddoughnut cutter

doughnuts and doughnut holes on a silpat baking mat

Line the doughnuts up on a couple baking sheets, then cover with a towel and allow to rest as you get the oil heated. Pour a quart or 2 of oil into a heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven. Stress on the heavy bottom because this oil gets HOT!! Cook a couple doughnuts at a time, only about a minute on each side until they’re golden.

doughnuts frying in a pot of oil on the stovetop

doughnuts on a cooling rack

Dunk each warm doughnut into a simple 3-ingredient glaze– just milk, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract. Looking for other flavors? Try the strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla frostings in these homemade frosted doughnuts.

glaze in a glass measuring cup with a whisk

doughnut dipped in a glass measuring cup filled with glaze

overhead image of glazed doughnuts on a cooling rack

This Dough is Best for Frying

I don’t recommend baking this dough– this dough is best for frying in oil. If you’re looking for a baked donut, try crumb cake donuts, baked pumpkin donuts, cinnamon sugar donuts, or lemon poppy seed donuts instead. Here are all of my donut recipes.

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overhead image of glazed doughnuts on a cooling rack

Homemade Glazed Doughnuts

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 12 donuts and 12 holes
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Homemade glazed doughnuts are easier to make than you think! For best success, take your time and read through the recipe before beginning.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk, warmed to about 110°F (43°C)*
  • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast*
  • 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 Tablespoons (86g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more as needed
  • 12 quarts vegetable oil*

Glaze

  • 2 cups (240g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream or whole milk (I prefer cream for thicker consistency)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Prepare the dough: Whisk the warm milk, yeast, and sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should be a little frothy on top after 5 minutes. If not, start over with new yeast.
  2. Add the eggs, butter, vanilla, nutmeg, salt, and 2 cups (245g) flour. Beat on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add remaining flour and beat on medium speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 2 minutes. If needed, add more flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Don’t add too much flour, though. You want a slightly sticky dough. *If you do not own a mixer, you can mix this dough with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula. It will take a bit of arm muscle!*
  3. Knead the dough: Keep the dough in the mixer and beat for an additional 2 minutes or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 2 minutes.
  4. Let Dough Rise: Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise in a relatively warm environment for 1.5-2 hours or until double in size. (For a tiny reduction in rise time, see my answer to Where Should Dough Rise? in my Baking with Yeast Guide.)
  5. Shape Doughnuts: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release the air.Remove dough from the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. If needed, punch down again to release any more air bubbles. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it is 1/2 inch thick. Using a 3-3.5 inch doughnut cutter, cut into 12 doughnuts. If you can’t quite fit 12, re-roll the scraps and cut more.
  6. Line 1 or 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Place doughnuts and doughnut holes on each. (Feel free to discard doughnut holes if desired.) Loosely cover and allow to rest as you heat the oil. They will rise a bit as they rest. Place a cooling rack over another baking sheet.
  7. Pour oil into a large heavy-duty pot set over medium heat. Heat oil to 375°F (191°C). Add 2-3 doughnuts at a time and cook for 1 minute on each side. Carefully remove with a metal spatula or metal slotted spoon. Wear kitchen gloves if oil is splashing. Place fried doughnuts onto prepared rack. Repeat with remaining doughnuts, then turn off heat.* (See note for doughnut holes.)
  8. Make the glaze: Whisk all of the glaze ingredients together. Dip each warm doughnut (don’t wait for them to cool!) into the glaze, making sure to coat both sides. Place back onto prepared rack as excess glaze drips down. After about 20 minutes, the glaze will set + harden.
  9. Doughnuts are best enjoyed the same day. You can store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 1-2 extra days.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Prepare recipe through step 5. Freeze shaped doughnuts for up to 3 months. On the day you serve them, let the doughnuts thaw and rest at room temperature for about 4-5 hours. Fry as directed. You can also freeze the fried doughnuts (unglazed). Allow them to cool completely, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature, then reheat as desired (microwave is great) and dunk in glaze.
  2. Overnight Instructions: Complete dough through step 3. Instead of allowing to rise in a warm environment in step 4, place the covered dough into the refrigerator overnight (8-12 hours). The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise in a warm environment until doubled. The dough will lightly rise in the refrigerator overnight, so the rise the next morning won’t be too long. After rising, continue with step 5.
  3. Doughnut Holes: Add holes to hot oil and fry until golden, about 30 seconds, on each side.
  4. Milk: Whole milk is a must for the most tender dough– or you can try buttermilk. Lower fat or nondairy milks work in a pinch, but the doughnuts aren’t as flavorful or rich.
  5. Yeast: If using an instant yeast, your rise time will be a little shorter. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  6. Oil: The amount of oil really depends on how wide or tall your pot is. You want oil to fill about 1/3 of the pot. I use a little more than 1 quart for my 4 and 1/2 quart Dutch oven.
  7. Special Tools (affiliate links): Large, heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven, high-heat thermometer (I love this thermometer too), and a doughnut cutter. If you don’t have a doughnut cutter, you can use 1 large + 1 smaller circle cookie cutter (large should be about 3 and 1/2 inches)
  8. Leftover Oil: Do not pour used oil down the sink drain. Allow to cool, then pour into an empty container and discard in the trash or reuse it.
  9. Adapted from Mark Bittman and Top Pot Doughnuts

Keywords: homemade doughnuts, doughnuts

glazed doughnuts on a white plate

333 Comments

  1. How long should I knead the dough if I don’t use a mixer and knead by hand?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Terry! Same amount of time for kneading once the dough comes together. You’ll know it’s ready when you poke the dough and it bounces back.

  2. Hello!
    Curious, can these be done in an air fryer?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Catherine, we haven’t tested these doughnuts in an air fryer. If you do, let us know how it goes!

    2. Catherine,

      Did you try it in an air fryer?

      1. Donuts fried in the air fryer (or baked) will taste just like a piece of lightly sweetened bread. If that’s what you’re looking for then yes donuts can be air fried. Otherwise I found it useless to air fry donuts as the flavor you’re looking for comes from the donuts being fried in the actual oil.

  3. I am an experienced baker, have fried things before. I used canola oil, they came out really greasy and heavy. I kept the temp correct, I had to brush my teeth after having one, so greasy. New deep fryer thermometer, no prob there. Different oil, maybe??

    1. Can you use this recipe and make ball donuts then fill with jam ?

    2. Same thing happened to me! Was a bit disappointed that it tasted so greasy 🙁 was thinking of maybe baking the rest as I have not used all of the dough… what to do …

      1. I spent the day making this, my first time using really using yeast. I was craving home made donuts. The donuts turned out beautiful and yummy. Just in my taste I do think the dough needed more flavor maybe a bit more salt or something but the best part was what I did with the leftover dough. I used half of the dough, rolled it into 3 long thick strips and braided it. I put it on a baking sheet (350 degrees) & coated it in egg wash, sprinkled it with sea salt and baked it for around 20 mins. It came out so perfect, pretty & yummy. It’s flavorful & tastes like pretzel bread. & I made some cheese dip for it and omg so good! I know this is a donut recipe but it’s versatile and will be my new go to for this pretzel bread. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  4. Hey Sally!

    Just wanted to say that I have made your Seriously Fudgy Homemade Brownies and they turned out great! I just had a question regarding your cookbook the, “Sally’s Baking Addiction : Irresistible Cookies, Cupcakes & Deserts”. Do you know when it will be back in stock in the UK and US? Preferably hardcovers?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Hailey! Thank you so much for your interest. Due to high demand and Covid restrictions (limited shipping and receiving staff as well as longer processing due to safety concerns and regulations), my books are currently out of stock through many channels. I apologize for any inconvenience. I recommend checking any local book retailers to see if they have some copies. Fingers crossed things are back in stock ASAP. Appreciate it!

  5. Thanks for recipe… It is simple and very easy to follow. I was actually hesitant making anything with yeast. Scared i will terribly fail being a novice baker. But it turned out great. I made small donut balls instead of the usual shape since i don’t have a heavy bottom pot and I was able to use less oil also. I have leftover milk buttercream the other day and they were a perfect combination. Thanks

  6. Needs a second rise. Follow original nyt recipe. This is not modified as much as stolen.

  7. It was great I am planning to make this again. But you need to be careful with the oil I left it at high degree and the insides of the doughnuts weren’t really cooked so I’m pretty sure I got food poisoning.

  8. Hi there! Love this recipe so much! Any ideas on how I could make the recipe into chocolate donuts? I know you have a baked chocolate donut recipe but I would really like to make fried ones.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Annika, so happy you love these! We don’t have a tried and true yeasted chocolate doughnut recipe yet.

  9. Let me start off by saying I NEVER do reviews of almost anything ever (unless it’s like atrociously horrible) – but I had to come and do a review here because these donuts were SO f’ing good.

    The nutmeg addition was genius, they are so easy and delicious, and it’s almost impossible to make a bad version of this. Do yourselves a favor and try it out – I was so pleasantly surprised!

  10. What exactly are you supposed to do with the milk, yeast and sugar?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      See step 1 of the recipe!

  11. What kind of oil do you use for frying?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Hannah! We use vegetable oil.

  12. Jeffrey T Santangelo says:

    Question – What do you do with the scraps of dough after you cut the donuts? Can you reuse these dough scraps by forming a ball and rolling out more dough to cut? I plan to make a few dozen and would love to use the scraps for more donuts, if possible. Thoughts…

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jeffrey, you can absolutely reuse and re-roll the dough scraps for more donuts. Hope they’re a hit!

  13. Sarah Jarrell says:

    I have to say, unfortunately this isn’t a recipe for me. I LOVE donuts and I will absolutely go out of my way to try every new donut store in my metro area.
    I tried this recipe and found the donuts heavy and lacking flavor. I got two GOOD rises on the dough but it was still not light and fluffy compared to a good donut shop.

  14. I just made these. Used the top of a pint glass [3 1/2″] to cut the donuts, as I do not have any cutters. I also did not cut donut holes in them. I did not realize by not having a hole, it would make them come out raw in the middle. I did do the 1 minute each side. I’m wondering how to salvage them? Of course I didn’t know till I already glazed them and ate one.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Chris, Thank you for trying this recipe! Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do now that they are finished and glazed. However, if you try these again without the hold in the center you can try cooking for just a bit longer on each side and that will definitely help!

  15. Cecelia Kamkoff says:

    I didn’t have a kitchenaid stand so I just mixed with my hands. And I doubled up my batch and made a lot more than i thought would be 24 donuts. Instead, i made about 47. So, i shared a little with extended family. Its Delicious! My family loved this recipe and enjoyed it! Thanks for Sharing! Im saving your recipe for future use!

  16. Great recipe. Just tried it last night for the first time. I’d love it if sally can share how to alter it to be lighter with more air. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with the consistency, however to personalize it for me I’d like items dense. I added butter/vanilla emulsion in place of vanilla and it was amazing.

    1. I meant less dense!!

  17. Can I use salted butter instead of adding salt to the dough? Do you have a vegan recipe?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Karen, you can use salted butter in a pinch, but we’d still recommend adding at least 1/4 teaspoon of salt (don’t omit completely). We haven’t tested a vegan version of this particular recipe, but you can find all our naturally vegan recipes here. Enjoy!

  18. Hi Sally. Thanks for the recipe. Can I bake the donuts using an oven toaster? If yes, for how long and which degrees?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Zahra! You won’t be able to cook these fried doughnuts in a toaster oven. You may love one of our baked donut recipes instead!

  19. Thank you so much for the recipe. I absolutely loved it. I appreciate you Sally for sharing such amazing recipes!!!

  20. Easy and straightforward. Came out lovely. I particularly love that it takes such a short time to fry. Will be using this recipe henceforth ….thank you

  21. Can you make these donuts the night before and serve next day?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ann, these donuts are really best served right away. However, you can store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 1-2 extra days. Or, see recipe notes for overnight instructions. Hope you enjoy these!

  22. Do you have to use milk or cream for the glaze or can you use just water?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lucy! For best taste and consistency, we recommend sticking with milk or cream. We prefer cream for thicker consistency, but a non-dairy or lower fat milk could work in a pinch. Hope you love these doughnuts!

  23. Hi Sally! This recipe is great and very delicious! I was just curious if there’s a way to make the donut less dense in the inside? The inside was a bit too dense for my liking. Thank you! Overall it was VERY DELICIOUS!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sabrina, We are glad you enjoyed these doughnuts! I wonder if you used a bit too much flour? You want a very soft, pillowy dough for the softest doughnuts. The dough will be slightly sticky, but instead of adding more flour just flour your hands so that you can work with it. I hope this helps for next time!

  24. Orla Delaney says:

    Wow! This recipe is seriously amazing, thank you so much! The only change I made was I added around 140mls of cream, I’m in ireland so not sure if the cream is thicker here but the glaze was too thick with just 80mls. Thank you so much, your recipes never fail me Sally!!

  25. Pamela Penman says:

    I had a bit of concern based on comments that said these were greasy. I did not experience that at all. I only fry in olive oil and these were fabulous. I wonder if the dough was under or overproofed for those who felt they were greasy? I will make them again, as soon as I go out and run off this batch !

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