How To Make Old-Fashioned Doughnuts: Step-By-Step

July 22, 2019
Crunchy on the outside, cakey and tender on the inside, and laced with tasty cinnamon and nutmeg throughout, these homemade old fashioned cake doughnuts are the ultimate breakfast (or breakfast-for-dessert) treat.  Follow these steps on How to Make Old-Fashioned Doughnuts to whip up a tasty batch of your very own.
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Stack of Old-Fashioned Doughnuts Rolled in Cinnamon-Sugar Image

Crunchy on the outside, cakey and tender on the inside, and laced with tasty cinnamon and nutmeg throughout -- sounds wonderful, right?  Ohhhh, these homemade old fashioned cake doughnuts are indeed wonderful, and the ultimate breakfast (or breakfast-for-dessert) treat. 

I learned to make these amazing homemade doughnuts from my Mom, who in turn learned from her mom.  And we're pretty sure my Grandma learned to make them from her mom.  So this doughnut recipe and method is one that's been passed down through the generations in our family.

And my oh my, it's a tasty recipe indeed.

This doughnut recipe and method is one that's been passed down through the generations in our family.

But I've got to ask, is it "doughnut" or "donut?"  I've never actually known for sure the proper way to spell the name for these delicious little rings of goodness.   

But I guess when it comes right down to it, who cares?!  No matter how you spell it, these old fashioned breakfast treats are just plain good.

Whether you enjoy them warm or cooled, plain, coated with cinnamon sugar, or dunked in glaze, after just one bite I assure you ~ how to spell their name will be the last thing on your mind. 

Just follow these steps to whip up a tasty batch of your own.


Step 1:  Make the Dough

Mixing Dough To Make Old-Fashioned Doughnuts Image

To make the doughnut dough, start by creaming granulated sugar and softened butter.  Add in milk, an egg, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg as the spices.  Mix everything well with an electric mixer.  

Then, mix in additional flour to form a soft dough that can be rolled out.


Step 2:  Roll Out the Dough

Ball of Dough To Make Old-Fashioned Doughnuts Image

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Use your hands to bring the dough together into a loose ball, gently squishing or lightly kneading the dough as needed.  Just don't work the dough a whole lot to bring it together - overworking the dough will create tough doughnuts.

Rolled Out Dough To Make Old-Fashioned Doughnuts Image

Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thickness. 

Measuring Rolled-Out Dough Thickness with a Ruler Image

Take care to ensure the rolled out dough is 1/2-inch thick.  Thinner dough doesn't develop a tender cakey inside when the doughnuts are fried, and thicker will lead to the insides being undercooked.


Step 3:  Cut the Donuts


Cutting Dough with a Doughnut Cutter Image

Use a doughnut cutter to cut rounds as close together as possible, minimizing dough scraps.  Be sure to flour the cutter between each cut so the dough doesn't stick to the cutter.

Gather up the dough scraps and re-roll.  Re-roll the dough only once, because overworked dough makes tough doughnuts.

Don't have a doughnut cutter? - No worries.  Use two biscuit cutters or round cookiecutters, one smaller than the other to cut out the center doughnut hole.



Step 4:  Fry the Donuts

How To Make Old-Fashioned Doughnuts Image

Use a deep fat fryer {according to manufacturer directions} or a large 6-quart Dutch oven to fry the doughnuts in small batches.

If you're using a Dutch oven, pour in canola or vegetable oil to one-inch depth.  Heat the oil over medium heat to 375 degrees, using a thermometer to monitor the temperature.  

Oil temperature is very important for properly cooked doughnuts - Oil too hot cooks the outsides too fast while leaving the insides undercooked, and oil to cool results in greasy doughnuts.  Monitor that oil temperature pretty closely with a thermometer.


Oil temperature is very important for properly cooked doughnuts.

Once the oil is at temperature, use tongs to place three to five doughnuts into the hot oil.  

The doughnuts will sink at first, then rise to the surface as they cook.  

Fry the doughnuts until they're a light golden brown all over, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side.  Turn them with tongs or a slotted spoon once or twice while cooking.

Check the oil temperature between batches, and only add a new batch of doughnuts when the oil has returned back to 375 degrees.

Frying Doughnuts Image


Step 5:  Drain Doughnuts on Paper Towels
Old-Fashioned Doughnuts Cooling on Paper Towels Image

Line a baking sheet or wire rack with a double thickness of paper towels.  Once the doughnuts are cooked, remove them from the oil with tongs and place on the paper towels for about a minute to drain.


Step 6:  Coat Doughnuts in Cinnamon Sugar

Coating Doughnuts in Cinnamon-Sugar To Make Old-Fashioned Doughnuts Image

Combine 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 & 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon in a pie plate or other shallow dish.

Let the cooked doughnuts stand for about one minute on the paper towels until the doughnuts are cool enough to touch.  Then roll each doughnut in cinnamon sugar to coat - or leave some plain, if you'd like.

Put the coated doughnuts back on the paper towels to cool completely.

Crunchy on the outside, cakey and tender on the inside, and laced with tasty cinnamon and nutmeg throughout, these homemade old fashioned cake doughnuts are the ultimate breakfast treat.

Love glaze on your doughnuts instead of cinnamon sugar? - Make a quick glaze by whisking together 3 cups confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup half-and-half or milk, and one teaspoon vanilla. Dip both sides of the cooled doughnuts in glaze, shake off any excess, and place the glazed doughnuts on a wire rack to set the glaze.

And then get ready to kick back and enjoy the deliciousness.  Because whether you enjoy them warm or cooled, plain, coated with cinnamon sugar, or dunked in glaze, these old-fashioned beauties are just plain good.

Old-Fashioned Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnuts Image
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doughnuts, donuts, old fashioned doughnuts, recipe
Breads
Yield: about 3 dozen doughnuts
Author:

How To Make Old-Fashioned Doughnuts

Crunchy on the outside, cakey and tender on the inside, and laced with tasty cinnamon and nutmeg throughout, these homemade old fashioned cake doughnuts are the ultimate breakfast (or breakfast-for-dessert) treat. Follow these steps on How to Make Old-Fashioned Doughnuts to whip up a tasty batch of your very own.
prep time: 30 Mcook time: 5 Mtotal time: 35 M

ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 T. butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 egg
  • 6 c. all-purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • Canola oil, vegetable oil, or melted shortening for frying
For Cinnamon Sugar Coating:

instructions:

How to cook How To Make Old-Fashioned Doughnuts

  1. Cream the 1 & 1/2 cups sugar and softened butter. Add milk, egg, 3 cups all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; mix well with an electric mixer.
  2. Gradually mix in an additional 2 & 1/2 to 3 cups flour to form a soft dough that can be rolled out.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and bring together into a loose ball. Roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. {Make sure it's 1/2-inch thick ~ thinner doesn't develop a tender cakey inside, and thicker will lead to insides being undercooked.}
  4. Use a doughnut cutter to cut rounds, flouring the cutter between each cut. Gather up dough scraps and re-roll; cut additional doughnuts. {Re-roll only once, as over worked dough results in tough doughnuts.}
  5. Use a deep fat fryer {according to manufacturer directions} or a large 6-quart Dutch oven to fry doughnuts in small batches. If using a Dutch oven, pour in canola oil, vegetable oil, or melted shortening to one-inch depth; heat over medium heat to 375 degrees, using a thermometer to monitor the temperature.* Once oil is at temperature, use tongs to place in three to five doughnuts. Fry until light golden brown all over, about 1 to 1 & 1/2 minutes per side, turning with tongs or a slotted spoon once or twice during cooking.
  6. Line a baking sheet or wire rack with double thickness of paper towels. Remove cooked doughnuts from oil with tongs and place on the paper towels to drain. Repeat in small batches.
  7. Combine 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 & 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon in a pie plate or other shallow dish. Let doughnuts stand for about one minute until just cool enough to touch, then roll in cinnamon sugar to coat. Place back on paper towels to cool completely.
TRACEY'S NOTES
  1. While I now use canola oil to fry my donuts, it is our family's experience that melted shortening creates a fluffier, more tender donut. 
  2. Oil temperature is very important for properly cooked doughnuts - Oil too hot cooks the outsides too fast while leaving the insides undercooked, and oil to cool results in greasy doughnuts. Monitor oil temperature with a thermometer, and allow oil to come back up to temperature between batches.
Created using The Recipes Generator

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5 comments

  1. These look delicious!! Pinned.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yum, I just pinned this recipe. I cannot wait to try them.
    Have a great week,
    Kippi

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love tried and true recipes that have been passed down through the generations. This one looks like a big family favourite Tracey.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I'm delighted to be featuring your old fashioned donuts at tonight's party and pinning too.
    Hugs,
    Kerryanne

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yummy! This takes me back to my childhood when my Mom made these. Pinned to try this winter.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nothing like a fresh, hot donut! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party- hope to see you there tomorrow too!

    ReplyDelete

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