My favorite moments growing up were visiting a local donut shop with my dad and sinking my teeth into a fluffy and pillowy donut covered in cinnamon sugar or filled with sweet jam. Those moments hold a special place in my heart, and we wanted to create a deep-fried donut recipe that can also help recreate all your feel-good moments from your favorite donut shop. Roll up your sleeves and get kneading with our recipe below.
Easy Deep Fried Donut Recipe
This serving makes 6 servings of 1-inch donuts. For smaller donuts, it makes 12 servings of ½-inch donuts.
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups white flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4-5 cups fat or shortening for deep frying
- Mix together the butter and sugar until creamed.
- Beat in one egg at a time.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon and mix gently.
- Knead dough until smooth and make into 1-inch balls.
- In a large pot, such as a cast iron Dutch oven or a soup pot, heat the vegetable oil to 375°F and carefully drop in dough balls one at a time.
- Let cook until golden brown.
- Let dry on brown paper.
This recipe as written doesn't make traditional donuts with holes in them, but you can certainly create them using the dough here. To do so, follow these steps.
- Flour a surface and roll the dough out into about ¾ inch thickness.
- Use a donut cutter (a round cutter with a hole in the center) to cut the donuts, or use the tip of a sharp knife to freeform cut donuts with holes.
- Fry until the donuts turn golden brown and float, 2 to 3 minutes.
- You may need to cook them in batches so you don't overcrowd the pan, and allow the oil to come up to temperature between batches.
Making Filled Donuts
You can fill the donuts with anything that sounds appealing to you, from jam to crème pâtissière. Fill a pastry bag with a wide piping tip with your favorite filling. Use a dowel to make a hole in the side of the donut, and pipe in delicious fillings. Here are some of our favorites.
Jelly donuts are a childhood favorite.
- Fill your donuts with strawberry jam and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- Fill with rhubarb jam and top with cinnamon sugar.
- Fill with raspberry jam and top with a traditional donut glaze.
- Go for a sweet and salty combo of bacon jam filling and orange-maple glaze. To make the glaze, mix ½ cup of orange juice and ¼ cup of pure maple syrup with 1 cup of powdered sugar and drizzle over your donut.
- Fill with sweet pepper jelly and drizzle with a sour cream glaze combining ¼ cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 cup powdered sugar.
For fall-flavored donuts, you can't go wrong with apples. Applesauce, apple butter, or apple filling make for a sweet surprise that will take you back to the autumn season. To make an easy apple filling, you need 4 medium apples (chopped), ⅓ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
Cook all the ingredients except the cornstarch over medium heat in a saucepan until the apples are soft, about 20 minutes. Slowly add cornstarch to thicken your apple filling. Let the mixture cool before filling your donuts and dust with cinnamon sugar or a bourbon glaze made with ¼ bourbon, ¼ cup milk, and 2 cups powdered sugar.
If you love caramel, then fill the donut with tasty caramel pudding. With the richness of the filling, no glaze is necessary. If the donut seems unfinished without a topping to you, mix 1 cup of sugar and ½ teaspoon of salt well and coat the donuts.
If you don't have a piping tool, you can use a small resealable zipper bag and snip the corner. Be sure to snip only a little — your filling might overfill your donut if the cut is too big. Fill your bag with your filling and pipe away.
Whether you enjoy them plain or like your donuts sprinkled with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or glaze, homemade donuts are a wonderful treat for your whole family. They are as fun to eat as they are to make.