Golden pillow-y soft homemade donuts with the perfect sweet glaze! Your kids are going to flip when you make this donut recipe at home!

Can you please explain donuts to me? I grew up writing, doughnuts, but always see “donuts” these days. Which is it?

a photo of two golden donuts stacked on each other sitting on a wire cooling rack with other donuts in the background

Growing up Christmas Eve was all about tradition at our house. We’d spent all month preparing gifts (5 kids meant we each drew a name and bought for that person), serving and serving as much as we could in our town and church, making goodies for neighbors and gifts for friends at school, and finally Christmas Eve. 

Christmas Eve was a holiday dinner usually composed of ham and potatoes. Mom said she preferred it that way so that Christmas Day could be about noshing all day on leftovers all Thanksgiving style thus allowing for total relaxation even for Mom. Then we’d play games, read the same Christmas Books and all while filling ourselves on homemade donuts.

I never loved the donuts, they weren’t quite fluffy and sweet enough for me, but now, well now I can’t resist!!

a photo of two donuts broken in half stacked on top of each other so that the broken ends are facing the camera. they are sitting on a piece of parchement paper on a wire cooling rack.

Ingredients Needed for Homemade Donuts

The ingredients are straightforward and totally simple! No surprises! Here are the ingredients that you will need:


  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Instant Yeast
  • Whole Milk
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Shortening (or lard)
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Wooden Dowel


  • Powdered Sugar
  • Water
  • Vanilla

The measurements for each ingredient are listed in the recipe card at the end of the post.


a photo of several golden glazed donuts stacked on their sides in a parchment lined baking dish.

How to Make a Homemade Glazed Donut Recipe

Now this is going to look like a lot of steps at first glance, but this recipe is simple and super fun. My kids love helping with all the steps. It is a great recipe to get kids of all ages helping with different steps:

Prepare the Dough

  • Scald the milk.
  • Add the milk to a glass measuring cup with the water.
  • Add the yeast and some sugar to activate.
  • Using a stand mixer, add the flour and sugar and mix to combine.
  • Slowly add the yeast mixture, then add the salt and eggs.
  • Add the butter and shortening and knead everything together using the hook attachment on the stand mixer.
  • Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, flip the dough so the whole thing is covered in oil, cover and let it rise.
  • Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge overnight (or up to 8 hours).a photo of a large oval shaped piece of dough that has been rolled out with donuts cut into it with a donut cutter sitting next to it.

Shape the Donuts

  • Remove from fridge and roll out on a greased surface.
  • Place parchment and grease two baking sheets.
  • Using a donut cutter, cut out the donuts.
  • Place the donuts on the baking sheets, cover and let rise.
  • Prepare the glaze by whisking everything together.
  • Place a casserole dish on the counter with two short cups on either side and get a long wooden dowel ready.
  • Heat the oil for frying in a dutch oven. Keep the temperature of the oil at 350 degrees.
  • Line another baking sheet with 2 layers of paper towels to absorb the extra oil.a photo of several uncooked donuts sitting on pieces of parchment paper ready to be deep fried.

Fry and Glaze the Donuts

  • Cut the parchment paper between all the donuts. Lift one donut using the parchment paper to lift and gently turn it over into the oil.
    • PRO TIP: Only cook a few donuts at a time so you don’t overcrowd the pan and lower the oil temperature.
  • Cook for a minute or so and then flip. Cook another minute and then remove the donut to the paper towel baking sheets.
  • Allow the donuts to cool slightly, then dip on all sides in the glaze. String them along the dowel that has been elevated between the two cups. Allow the glaze to dip off into the casserole dish.
    • PRO TIP: If you don’t have a wooden dowel, just dip the donuts in the glaze and place them on a cooling rack over parchment paper to drip and cool.
  • When the drips have stopped, move the donuts to a cooling rack.
  • Enjoy!

All these instructions can be found in the recipe card below. The recipe card can be saved or printed.


a photo of four golden glazed donuts resting on a wooden dowel allowing the glaze to drip off.

What Do I Do with the Excess Dough Pieces?

With the extra dough pieces, you have a few options. Save the donut holes and deep fry and dip them for delicious little bites. With the pieces in between the cut donuts, let the rest for about 15 minutes and then pull them together and roll them out again and cut the donuts.

You can also just keep the dough in all their crazy shapes and deep fry them. My kids think they are so fun!

Why Does the Dough Need to Chill for So Long?

Definitely do not skip the chilling time. It is critical to get the fluffiest donuts. The butter in the dough needs the time to solidify. The chilling time in this donut recipe also helps the donuts keep their shape through the rising and frying process.

The chilling time overnight also makes for the perfect timing so you can have fresh donuts for breakfast!

a photo of a golden glazed donut sitting on a wire cooling rack with more donuts in the background and foreground.

What is the Best Temperature for Frying Donuts?

Frying dough happens best at 350-375 degrees. I highly recommend using a candy thermometer to maintain the proper temperature.

What Type of Oil Should Be Used to Fry Donuts?

We prefer the taste of vegetable oil, but you can also use peanut oil or canola oil. You’ll need about 8-10 cups of oil for this donut recipe depending on the size of your dutch oven.

Can I Use an Air Fryer to Fry the Donuts?

Yes, they work quite well in the air fryer! Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees and spray the basket with cooking spray. Place donuts in the air fryer in a single layer. Spray the top of the donuts with cooking spray and cook for about 4 minutes. Repeat with the remaining donuts and glaze as written in the instructions.


a photo of two golden donuts stacked on each other sitting on a wire cooling rack with other donuts in the background

Glaze Variations

If you want to jazz things up a bit, try adding ingredients to the glaze:

  • Chocolate – add a couple teaspoons of cocoa
  • Coconut – add 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract instead of vanilla
  • Lemon – add a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice instead of vanilla
  • Maple – add a half teaspoon of maple syrup or maple extra/flavoring instead of vanilla
  • Colors – add a few drops of food coloring to make fun colors

How Do You Reheat Donuts?

Reheat for 6-12 seconds in the microwave.

Can You Freeze Donuts?

Yes, to freeze wrap well in foil or place in a heavy duty freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

How Long Will Donuts Keep?

Donuts will keep for 3-4 days. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.


a photo of two donuts broken in half stacked on top of each other so that the broken ends are facing the camera. they are sitting on a piece of parchement paper on a wire cooling rack.

There’s no need to head to the local bakery on Saturday morning for a donut run. You can make this donut recipe in the comfort of your own home and make memories with your family! They are tender, fluffy, rich with just the right amount of sweetness from the glaze. Doughnuts or donuts…it doesn’t matter! It’s homemade donut time!


More Fried Sweet Treats:

Homemade Donut Recipe

4.34 from 15 votes
Servings: 36
Prep Time: 13 hours 25 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 13 hours 28 minutes



  • 6-6 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Instant Yeast
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Eggs, large
  • 1 Egg Yolk, large
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 4 Tablespoons Shortening, or lard, cut into tablespoons
  • Vegetable Oil for frying
  • Wooden Dowel for dripping glaze


  • 6 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Water, hot
  • 1 Dash Vanilla


  • In a saucepan over medium heat, add the milk and cook until foamy at the sides and a light skin has appeared on top of the milk, do not boil. Remove from heat and pour into the measuring cup holding the water. Once the milk is only warm and not burning hot, add the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar, set aside to foam.
  • In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the flour and remaining sugar and mix to combine. Gently pour in the yeast mixture and begin on low speed, then add in the salt and eggs. Mix for 2 minutes then, a tablespoon at a time, alternating between the two add in the butter and shortening, mixing completely after each addition. Do not be worried if you see the chunks of butter slapping around in the bowl, it will eventually combine in the flour. Continue to knead until the dough is sticky but has come together. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, flipping the dough over once to cover it in oil and cover with a towel. Allow to rise for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight or for 8 hours. 
  • Remove the bowl from the fridge and roll out on a lightly greased surface or a very large silpat which is what I prefer, until about 1/4” thick, or 12x16”. Place parchment paper on two cookie sheets and lightly spray with nonstick spray. Set aside. 
  • Using a donut cutter or a small and large biscuit cutter, cut out donuts. Allow scraps to rest for 15 minutes then pull together and roll out again to finish cutting. OR and most of the time I do this, just cut the remaining scraps and allow them to be crazy shapes for the kids. Gently lift donuts onto the parchment lined baking sheets and cover with a towel for 1-2 hours or until puffy. Alternately you could heat an oven to 170 degrees for 10 minutes, turn off the oven and after a few minutes put the sheets in to rise a little more quickly. 
  • Prepare the glaze by whisking together all ingredients. Set aside in a casserole dish and also set aside two short cups and a long wooden dowel or long wooden spoon. 
  • Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat to 350 degrees. Always use a thermometer as the donuts will under or over cook easily so keeping a proper temperature is key. 
  • On a large cookie sheet, line 2 layers of paper towels to absorb excess oil. 
  • Cut the parchment between donuts, lift and gently turn over so the bottoms are up in the oil, being sure to only cook a few at a time, and cook for 1- 1 1/2 minutes or until golden, flip and cook another minute on the other side. Remove to the paper towel baking sheets. 
  • Once the donuts are only just warm and no longer hot, dip all sides in the glaze and string along the dowel then place a cup under each end and allow the glaze to drip back into the dish. Once they are done dripping, remove to a cooling rack and repeat. If you don’t have a dowel or spoon, just dip and place on a cooling rack over parchment paper to catch drips. 
  • Enjoy!


Cover left over donuts in foil or plastic and they will keep for 3-4 days.


Serving: 1donutCalories: 221kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 3gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 127mgPotassium: 38mgFiber: 1gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 110IUCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 500+ Best Dessert Recipes, Yeast Bread Recipes and Quick Bread Recipes
Cuisine: American

Recommended Products



When you try a recipe, please use the hashtag #ohsweetbasil on INSTAGRAM for a chance to be featured in our stories!  FOLLOW OH, SWEET BASIL ON FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TWITTER FOR ALL OF OUR LATEST CONTENT, RECIPES AND STORIES.

a photo of a golden glazed donut sitting on a wire cooling rack with more donuts in the background and foreground.