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!
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
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.
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!
- 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.
- Let the dough rise. In a relatively warm environment, the dough rises in about 90 minutes.
- Punch down the dough to release the air.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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:
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.
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.
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.Print
Homemade glazed doughnuts are easier to make than you think! For best success, take your time and read through the recipe before beginning.
- 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
- 1 – 2 quarts vegetable oil*
- 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
- 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.
- 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!*
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Doughnut Holes: Add holes to hot oil and fry until golden, about 30 seconds, on each side.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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.
- Adapted from Mark Bittman and Top Pot Doughnuts
Keywords: homemade doughnuts, doughnuts