No-Problemo Fried Donuts

I've shied away from fried donuts for sooo long because I was always afraid they'd turn out burnt on the outside, doughy on the inside, and irregularly shaped.
Talk about mistake-making trauma!
My terrible history with deep-frying food has already been explained in my fried chicken post. However, I love to repeat it.
In a nutshell, no matter how many blog posts, cookbooks, youtube videos and lectures from experienced grandmas I carefully noted, my frying would end up in a giant mess of greasy, burnt, terrible tasting articles of unidentifiable food.
Recently, I got up the courage to try fried chicken, once again! I hit a treasure trove when I found this AMAZING video by Divas Can Cook. She was so mind opening, I have no idea what clicked, but somehow I suddenly knew how to fry. So, donuts will be no-problemo, right?
Right, except for My Big Mistake of leaving my test donut in over-heated oil for 10 minutes while I got utterly absorbed in meticulously cutting perfect circles right next to it!!!

Therefore, my most recent frying project is Old-Fashioned Donuts. Once again, I used my video-watching trick. After quite a few, I got the hang of it.  In conclusion of all my studies, here goes the instructional!

Old-Fashioned Donuts


2 1/2 c Sugar
10 Egg yolks
1/3 c Butter
26 oz Sour cream
9 2/3 c Flour
2 1/4 T Baking Powder
4 1/4 t Salt

Powdered Sugar
Half & Half
Cocoa Powder

  1. Combine wet ingredients in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Then beat on high until the mixture becomes more light and fluffy or two minutes. Add sour cream and mix until smooth.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add it to the wet one large spoonful at a time, running the mixer all the while. 
  3. Spray a large bowl with oil, line it with plastic wrap, and then spray that too. Scoop dough into bowl and the top of it too. Press plastic wrap over top and stick in freezer for 15-20 minutes. You can also store in fridge for up to a week.
  4. Roll dough out to 1/2 an inch, then cut with round cookie cutters. Use a 3 inch for outer circle, and then a 1-2 inch for the inner hole. Set donuts onto parchment paper-lined baking pan. Transfer into freezer and let it sit there for 10-15 minutes. 
  5. Heat oil to 340 degrees, or on medium-low until fully heated. Once a few small bubbles appear,   gently drop in donuts one by one; they will sink to bottom for about 10 seconds, and then float back to the top. Fry about 3-4 minutes flipping once light brown on the bottom. Pull out immediately and set onto wire rack with paper towels beneath to soak up grease. 
  6. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of half and half with 1 cup of powdered sugar. Add preferred flavoring and coloring.* Dip donuts halfway through and donut holes completely. Set back on rack so the frosting can harden. All done!
*Suggested measurements: 1 teaspoon extracts to 1-2 cups of powdered sugar. 1/3 a cup of cocoa powder for the same amount. 

Of course, that wasn't nearly enough instruction for beginners! You're also probably asking my why the heck there is no specific recipe for the glaze. I'll get to all that...

Tips, Tricks & Detailed Instructions

The first and most confusing thing about this recipe is the texture of dough. It is very sticky and will probably cause much stress before it's transferred into the freezer because it looks quite impossible to roll out. DO NOT BE AFRAID!!! This is how its supposed to be, and that's also why you chill it in the freezer two times in a row. Since it gets stickier as it gets warmer, you have to work fast. I also rolled the dough in two batches, and put the scraps of the first batch back into the freezer while I rolled out the second batch. Do this and repeat. Believe me, it helps tremendously. Also, don't pull out the pre-cut donuts until you can pop them straight into the pot.

About the cookie cutter size: the measurements don't need to be exact, because donuts come in different sizes. Just make sure that during the first batch, you keep a close eye on them to see whether they need to be cooked longer or shorter because of the size.
"But Abi, I don't know a thing about deep frying!!!"

Ok, ok, let's talk about that now.

First off, all you really need to do is heat up the oil to medium-low, and keep the fire (or whatever kind of heat you have) the same all the way through. Keeping it steady throughout will literally solve all your frying problems. Do not fry on low or high, because it will mess up the chemistry. If you have a temperature gauge that goes up to 350, have at it! That way you can have an even more precise measurement.
Make sure to always have the pot halfway full of oil, or else major bubbling and foaming will result. Only add the oil in between batches and let it heat up before adding the next. The reason for this is that the dough will absorb the cold oil and ruin the donut.
Be gentle when dropping donuts into the oil, so you don't have deformed results or stained shirts and scalded skin. The best tool for this is some type of slotted spoon or skimmer; but you don't have to buy a special tool for this, because you are guaranteed to have something like this in your kitchen. I am honored to use my great-grandma's which we inherited once she moved!!!

When you take the donuts out, make sure you have a rack prepared with lots of paper towels to soak up the grease and later, frosting. Cool until grab-able, but not too much because warm donuts are the best!
I know, my supposed "recipe" for the frosting must be bugging you. The reason is that I've made it so many times that I basically dumped powdered sugar and cocoa powder together, and slowly poured half and half in until there was enough. So, I can't honestly give you a recipe but I wrote down the basics.
There are plenty of donut glazes out there though ;-)

Make the glaze while the donuts are cooling, and then pick one up, flip it over, and give it a swirl halfway into the frosting. Set it back right-side up onto the rack to either harden, get devoured before it lands!

The clan at our house was hard-core enjoying these things. We had a bowl of cream-cheese frosting (This was before I glazed them all because they were too ecstatic to wait, I was so honored it was such a hit.) accompanied by various sprinkle types on the table, and man did they disappear quickly! You know, who doesn't like to make their own?

Donuts galore are never a sore. 
Except when you're trying to be healthy!


  1. Ok how did you do that image flip...must know! Can your old mimi learn this?

  2. Yes, totally remind me when we come over next!


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