Homemade Donuts that taste like what you get at the local bakery, but you can make them at home in 15 minutes! This easy donut recipe is perfect for a quick weekend treat and it’s always sure to satisfy those sweet tooth cravings.
Looking for another tasty dessert? Try my homemade churros next!
Easy Cake-Style Homemade Donuts
Bite size donuts (AKA Donut Holes) with a lightly crisp and golden brown, sugar coated exterior, and a soft and fluffy, tender interior. Just like an old fashioned cake donut but ready in a flash!
I made this easy donut recipe because who can resist a fresh donut? But how many of us actually want to put in all the typical effort of a homemade donut?
I’ve seen donut holes made with a store-bought biscuit dough but I’m all about the freshly made dough.
It’s a hundred times better and unbelievably easy. No mixer required, no kneading, rolling or cutting. Just a quick stir and shaping and they’re ready for frying!
Then you can finish them as you like. I just go the sugar route but you can also cover them with:
- vanilla donut glaze
- chocolate icing
- cinnamon sugar or pumpkin spice sugar
- powered sugar
Donut Hole Ingredients
For this recipe you’ll only need 7 basic ingredients which you may already have. You’ll need:
- All-purpose flour: I like to use unbleached flour but bleached will work fine too.
- Baking powder: This helps the donuts puff up, don’t skip it.
- Salt: Just use standard table salt. Nothing special here.
- Buttermilk: If you need a substitute then just use 1/2 cup milk mixed with 1.5 tsp vinegar or lemon juice. Rest 5 minutes.
- Granulated sugar: You’ll add this to both the donut dough and use for rolling.
- Melted butter: This adds a delicious flavor to the donuts. Stick with real butter.
- Vegetable oil: Needed for frying.
How to Make Donuts From Scratch
- Preheat oil in a deep saute pan or pot over medium heat.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk and melted butter.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined.
- Gently roll dough into 1/2 tbsp size balls.
- Carefully place dough balls into the preheated oil (frying about half of them at a time) and fry until golden brown on both sides.
- Use a spider to transfer to paper towels, then let drain and roll in sugar.
How to Make Donut Glaze
If you’d like to cover the donuts in classic vanilla glaze* then you could mix (and spoon over):
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
*For chocolate glaze just add 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder to the mixture above.
Does it Matter What Oil I Fry the Donuts in?
Yes, you should use a neutral flavored oil with a high smoke point. I recommend using vegetable oil when making these fried donuts.
Tips for the Best Easy Homemade Donuts
- Use a deep fry thermometer to test oil temperature so donuts cook properly.
- Don’t try to fry all the donut holes at once, otherwise you’ll lower the temperature of the oil and they won’t fry properly (they’ll start absorbing excess grease).
- These homemade donut holes taste best rolled in sugar otherwise they aren’t sweet enough.
- Fried donuts are best eaten the day prepared. The texture changes the next day and they start to dry out.
More Easy Donut Recipes to Try
- Baked Coconut Donuts
- Baked Vanilla Bean Donuts
- Baked Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donuts
- Pumpkin Donuts
- Copycat Krispy Kreme Donuts
- Baked Lemon Poppyseed Donuts
Follow Cooking Classy
These homemade donuts taste just as good any cake donut you could buy at your local bakery but you can make them at home in just 15 minutes!
- 1 1/4 cups (176g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk*
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 3 Tbsp (42g) melted butter
- 3 - 4 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- 1/3 cup (66g) granulated sugar**
Pour about 1/2-inch oil into a large saute pan or pot and heat over medium heat to 355 degrees F. (keeping an eye on it as it is heating). Meanwhile prepare donut dough.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt.
Separately whisk together buttermilk and melted butter. Pour buttermilk mixture into flour mixture and using a fork, stir in dry ingredients and mix just until combine (be careful no to over-work dough).
Gently roll dough into 1/2 Tbsp balls. Once the oil has reached 355 degrees F, fry about 1/2 the dough balls at a time.
Fry until just golden brown on bottom, then flip and cook reverse side until golden brown.
Carefully remove with a spider strainer or metal tongs drain onto a paper towel lined baking sheet.
Pour 1/3 cup sugar into a dish, roll donuts in sugar. Repeat this process with remaining dough.
- *I usually use 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp buttermilk since I'm in a drier climate so if needed add a little extra buttermilk to bring dough together.
- **Cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar or a vanilla glaze are other great options for coating fried donuts.
- Use a thermometer to take temperature of oil so donuts fry up properly.
- Don't try to fry all the donut holes at once, otherwise you'll lower the temperature of the oil and they won't fry properly (they'll start absorbing the grease).
- These are best eaten within a few hours.
- Recipe originally shared January 31, 2012. Text, recipe and photos have updated May 3, 2020.
- Recipe updated to use only buttermilk instead of 1/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup buttermilk as previously noted. I’ve found there’s not need to use both and donuts have more flavor by using just buttermilk.