Breakfast

Perfect Old Fashioned Donuts

4.71 from 17 votes
Crispy and soft, sweet and tangy, my Perfect Old Fashioned Donuts recipe is fast and simple enough to make on your lazy weekend mornings.

Hi Bold Bakers!

My Perfect Old Fashioned Donuts taste just like if you went to your local bakery early enough to get the first batch out of the fryer! In fact, they might even be better because these old fashioned sour cream donuts are so delicious and so easy to make! 

This recipe results in a sweet, cakey doughnut with just a hint of nutmeg. And the texture is amazing! On the outside, they’re crispy and covered with a crackly glaze, and inside, thanks to the inclusion of sour cream that also gives it a nice pleasing tang, they are perfectly moist. 

This cake donut recipe also gets bonus points in my book for not having yeast! That means there’s no crazy waiting around time — which means you can enjoy a warm fresh donut with your cup of steaming coffee in no time.

What Are Old Fashioned Donuts?

Old fashioned donuts are a type of cake donut that is deep-fried for an irresistible, but not always so healthy, crispy-on-the-outside and soft-on-the-inside treat. The result is a donut with many cracks and pores on the surface, making it perfect for sopping up a lot of glaze! 

Old fashioned donuts stacked next to a cup of coffee on a cooling rack.

What You Need To Make Old Fashioned Donuts

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowls
  • Deep saucepan
  • Thermometer (optional)
  • Baking sheet
  • Wire rack

How To Make Old Fashioned Donuts

This is the perfect recipe for a lazy Sunday breakfast! Here’s how to make old fashioned doughnuts (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. Mix flour, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
  2. In another bowl, whisk sour cream, butter, and egg yolks until it is well combined.
  3. Mix your wet and dry ingredients until a dough is formed. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
  4. While the dough is chilling, make your glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, hot water, vanilla extract, and salt until it is smooth.
  5. After an hour of chill-time, prep your frying space. Set a deep saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat and pour oil to a 2-inch depth. If you are using, insert your food thermometer.
  6. Next to your frying station, place a baking sheet with a wire wrack. Place the bowl of glaze near the baking sheet. You’ll want to glaze your donuts as soon as they have finished frying.
  7. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut circles using a 3-inch cutter. Reroll and cut any scraps.
  8. Cut a hole in the center of the dough circles with a 1-inch cutter. This will form your donut shape and your donut holes.
  9. Once the oil has reached 325°F (165°C), fry 2-3 donuts at a time, or 4-5 holes. After a few minutes, once they are golden, flip and cook the other side.
  10. Once both sides are golden brown, remove the donut from the oil, drain for a few seconds on the rack, and then dip the hot donut into the glaze.
  11. Return the donut to the rack to let the glaze set and repeat with remaining donuts and holes.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Old Fashioned Donuts

  • To ensure you get that classic craggy-topped texture, be sure your oil stays at 325°F (165°C).
  • You’ll want to dip the donuts into the glaze almost immediately after they finish frying to allow the glaze to set properly.
  • Check out my other donut glazes! With a 3-ingredient base, the limits are endless! 
  • You need sour cream for good old fashioned donuts! Fresh out? Make your own sour cream!
  • Oil is HOT when frying! Make sure you stay safe! Place the donuts carefully into the oil to avoid splash burns, and be sure to watch to make sure the oil doesn’t start to smoke. Olive oil has a very low smoke point. Do not use it for frying. Never walk away from oil heating on the stove! If you are a young one making this recipe, please make sure to get an adult’s help! 

The interior of my old fashioned donut recipe, next to a cup of coffee.

How To Store Old Fashioned Donuts

Donuts always taste the best the day they are made, but you can store any leftover donuts in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Make More Donuts!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Perfect Old Fashioned Donuts Recipe

4.71 from 17 votes
Crispy and soft, sweet and tangy, my Perfect Old Fashioned Donuts recipe is fast and simple enough to make on your lazy weekend mornings.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 9 Donuts
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Crispy and soft, sweet and tangy, my Perfect Old Fashioned Donuts recipe is fast and simple enough to make on your lazy weekend mornings.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 9 Donuts

Ingredients

Donut Dough

  • 2 cups (10oz/284g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (2 ½ oz/71g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (1oz/28g) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup (4oz/115g) sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons (1oz/28g) butter softened
  • 2 large egg yolks

Vanilla Donut Glaze

  • 3 1/2 cups (14oz/402g) powdered sugar sifted
  • 1/3 cup (2 1/2floz/71ml) hot water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and nutmeg.
  • In another bowl, whisk sour cream, butter, and egg yolks until well combined.
  • Mix your wet and dry ingredients until the dough comes together and is evenly mixed. Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
  • While the dough is chilling, make the glaze: whisk the powdered sugar, hot water, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth. Set aside.
  • When the dough has chilled for an hour, prep your space for frying: set a deep saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat and pour oil to a 2-inch depth. Insert a thermometer, if using.
  • Set a baking sheet next to the pan lined with a wire rack and place the bowl of glaze near the baking sheet.
  • On a floured surface, roll out dough to a ½ inch (1.5cm) thickness and cut circles with a 3-inch (7.5cm) cutter. Reroll and cut and scraps.
  • With a 1-inch (2.5cm) cutter, cut a hole in the center of the dough circles to form your doughnut shape.
  • When the oil has reached 325°F (165°C), fry 2-3 doughnuts or 4-5 holes at a time. Flip after a few minutes, once golden.
  • When both sides are golden brown, remove from the oil, drain for a few seconds on the rack and then dip the hot doughnuts in the glaze.
  • Return to the rack to let the glaze set and repeat with the remaining doughnuts and holes.
  • Doughnuts are best the day they are made, but you can store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.

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Luann Pritchard
Luann Pritchard
22 days ago

Can these be baked?

Nikki
Nikki
14 days ago

Should this recipe have something in it to make it rise? And maybe some liquid? We had bad results.

Itsyboybands
20 days ago

Since these are yeast free, what do you use for raising. The recipe does not state using baking powder

Yyy
Yyy
21 days ago

Whats the different between this and the no yeast donut recipe?

Lakshmy Menon
Lakshmy Menon
21 days ago

This recipe uses egg yolks. What is the replacement of a egg yolks in this recipe if I am allergic?tThanks in advance

Becca
21 days ago

Old Fashioned donuts have always been my absolute favorite because of the crackly outside you mentioned! Definitely saving this recipe for future reference 😁😁😁

Karen
Karen
21 days ago

Could these be made in the air fryer? If so, how long and at what temp would they be cooked? Love your recipes!

knittingkitty
21 days ago

Has anyone tried this using a 1-to-1 gf flour blend?? These doughnuts look amazing but I can’t have gluten. If you have had good results, which blend did you use??

Gina Dicker
Gina Dicker
22 days ago

Hi, Gemma. What are your thoughts on using a sugar substitute like Splenda with these or in the bake style doughnut recipes? Do you think it would mess up the texture at all? Thanks for all the wonderful recipes.

Deb
Deb
22 days ago

Gemma, is there any way that this doughnut recipe OR ANY of your recipes could be done in an air fryer? I have this applicable specifically so that I don’t have to use deep frying or hot oil. Thanks if you could help!

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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