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: I don’t recommend substitutes here, the milk and vinegar substitute isn’t quite thick enough.
- 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
15-Minute Homemade Donuts
- 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).
- 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.