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Simple Homemade Sugar Donuts

Sugar Donuts – This simple homemade donut dough is made with flour, milk, yeast, and sugar, then the donuts are fried and dredged in sugar. This recipe is easy to make and produces a very indulgent little treat! Make it once and you’ll never use a different recipe for donuts. It’s soo good!

If you love these sugar donuts, you’ll also enjoy these 15-minute Ricotta Donuts, this Quick Fried Donut Recipe, and these Super Soft Donuts with Sugar Glaze.

Fried sugar donuts in a container.

Homemade Donuts

These homemade donuts are a classic recipe that I’ve been making since I was a little girl. It always makes me feel extra nostalgic when I make these.

As I saw my daughter waiting for me to fry the doughnuts, I remembered myself sitting at my grandma’s kitchen table, resting my head on the palms of my hands, watching her every move as the homemade donuts bubbled away in the hot oil.

Grandma would make a ton of them, making sure that everyone in her big family got to have as many doughnuts as they wanted.

Ripping a doughnut with my fingers today, and allowing my nose to inhale the aroma of a freshly fried homemade donut, I can’t help but miss her as I am reminded that in a month it will be 5 years since she left us for a better place.

Homemade donut dredged in sugar in the foreground and a stack of donuts in the background.

Easy Donut Recipe

Making donuts from scratch sounds like an intimidating thing to do, but I assure you this is a very easy donut recipe. If this is your first venture into homemade donuts, this is a good beginner’s recipe to try.

Make sure to follow the recipe as outlined below. I’ve made this one more than a dozen times and never had an issue.

Honestly, the hardest part about making this easy donut recipe is waiting until they are cool enough to eat after being fried. They smell incredible and the wait is almost torture!

Yeast Donut Recipe

A quick note about yeast – I know a lot of people get nervous when working with yeast, but it’s really much more simple than it sounds. Without it, the donut would be much less airy.

In fact, whether or not you use a yeast donut recipe determines if you end up with a cake donut or an airy one. I much prefer the yeast donut to the dense cake donut personally—especially with the sweet, sugary coating!

Because this donut uses yeast, you’ll want to plan ahead a bit. The yeast donut recipe calls for about 2-3 hours of rising time total for the dough, so this is a good recipe to whip up first thing in the morning before everyone is up and ready for the day. If your family is anything like mine, it takes about that long for everyone to be up, showered, dressed and ready to eat anyways!

Soft and fluffy donuts made from a yeast donut recipe, coated in a sugar mixture.

How to Make Sugar Donuts

For detailed recipe instructions, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post. 

Ingredients for the sugar donuts laid out on a board.

  • Stir together warm water, sugar, and yeast and let rise for about 5 minutes.
  • Mix together the rest of the sugar donut ingredients, including the proofed yeast. It’s best if you use a dough hook attachment to do this.
  • Form the dough into a large ball and butter it to prevent skin from forming. Then put it in a covered bowl and keep in a warm place for about 1.5-2 hours.

Step by step photos to making the donut dough.

  • Roll out the sugar donut dough and use a 3 inch cookie cutter to cut out donuts.
  • Let rise again for about an hour.
  • Heat your oil and fry the donuts. Once they are cool enough, roll them in sugar.

  • Eat and enjoy!

Simple Homemade Sugar Donuts

5 from 1 vote

Simple Sugar Donut - this easy dough is made with flour, milk, yeast, and sugar, then the donuts are fried and dredged in sugar. Very simple, but creates an indulgent little treat!

Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: doughnuts, sugar donuts
Calories: 234 kcal
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 18

Ingredients

Combine together

Mix with a mixer

  • cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk warm
  • 2 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp sugar

For coating

Instructions

How to make Simple Sugar Donuts

  1. Proof yeast: Stir 2 tbsp warm water, 1/2 tbsp sugar & 2 1/4tsp active dry yeast in a tall glass. Leave to rise for 5-10 minutes or until doubled in volume and foamy. If it does not rise and foam up, discard the yeast and buy a fresh batch of yeast before you proceed with the recipe.

  2. Make donut dough: Mix together 3 1/4 cups flour, 1 cup warm milk, 2 tbsp room temperature butter, 3 yolks, 1/4 cup sugar and the proofed yeast mixture in mixer on low speed, with dough hook attachment until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Slightly increase the speed and knead for another 15-20 minutes or until the dough is tacky to touch.

  3. Shape donut dough: Pick up the dough, form it into a ball. Butter a large bowl (for proofing), place the dough ball back in the greased bowl, then grease the dough ball itself to prevent it from forming a crust.

  4. Proof: Cover with a clean kitchen towel, place in a warm draft-free place and allow to rise for 1-2 hours (depending on how warm it is) until at least doubled in volume.

  5. Cut out 5"x5" squares of parchment or wax paper.

  6. Punch down the dough, turn it out onto the greased surface (can use nonstick spray) and roll it to ½ inches thickness. Cut out as many rounds as possible with a 3 inch round cookie cutter and place 1 dough disk on 1 piece of prepared parchment paper. Keep re-rolling and cutting out as many donut disks as you can until all donut dough is used up.

  7. Cover cut out doughnuts with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise for 45 min to 1 hour or until doubled in size.

  8. Heat 1½ inches oil in a heavy pot (cast iron) to 350F. To fry donuts, drop several of them at a time and allow to become golden before turning to the other side, about 1-2 minutes per side.

  9. Transfer to paper towels or wire rack to drain. Let cool.
  10. Once the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, roll them in granulated sugar or powdered sugar.

Nutrition Facts
Simple Homemade Sugar Donuts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 234 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 73mg24%
Sodium 15mg1%
Potassium 91mg3%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 260IU5%
Calcium 42mg4%
Iron 2.1mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Marina | Let the Baking Begin

Welcome to Let the Baking Begin! I'm Marina and my love and passion for eating only the most delicious foods drive me to share that love here on Let the Baking Begin (since 2009). With over 20 years of experience in the kitchen, you know the recipes are tested and retested until perfect. I'm so happy to have you here. Enjoy! Read more...

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  • Lilly

    These look amazing!! Can’t wait to make them for breakfast! Also, how far in advance can I make the dough, would it fail if I made it the night before?

    · Reply
    • Thank you Lily! If you make the dough the night before you would need to add cold milk to the flour and refrigerate it right away. But then in the morning, it would take quite a while for it to rise since it will need to come to room temp first.

      · Reply
  • A

    Hey i have bot yet tried but could i replace unsalted butter with normal butter

    · Reply
    • Unsalted butter is the normal butter ☺️. If you don’t mind the cake being salty, I guess it’s ok, but I probably wouldn’t use salted butter.

      · Reply
  • anna

    I loved them!!! Will be making again

    · Reply
    • Thanks Anna for your feedback!

      · Reply
  • Vera

    Made these doughnuts, but I think the recipe is missing some salt.

    · Reply
    • The original recipe didn’t call for any salt, but you can definitely add a pinch. It won’t hurt for sure 🙂

      · Reply

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