Homemade Bakery-Style Yeast Donuts

Imagine walking into your favorite bakery: a quaint, small bakery. Let me lay out the scene:

  • The tables are filling up with the regulars, sipping their favorite morning drinks.
  • The scent of freshly ground coffee hits your nose the moment you open the door.
  • You hear the espresso machine churning out shots of steaming espresso topped with a thick layer of crema.

Along with the coffee, you’re instantly enveloped by the scent of fresh dough. Your favorite pastries, but more so, a freshly fried yeast donut. There they are: perched ever so perfectly in the case on the counter – fluffy, frosted, fresh donuts.

Top down view of a dozen homemade yeast donuts sitting on wire cooling rack with towel underneath all on a white surface

Have I hooked you yet?!

We don’t all live close to such a bakery (here on my farm, that couldn’t be a truer statement!), and sometimes it’s just fun to make your favorite comfort foods at home. These homemade bakery-style yeast donuts are easily fried up at home and will make you very, very happy.

Top down view of homemade yeast donut topped with vanilla glaze sitting on wire cooling rack with linen towel underneath

Growing up, rainy and snowy days were special. Days like these meant that a slow morning was in store. As a farmer, my dad was usually outside before 7 am. But if it was pouring or blizzard-like, he would maybe come in for breakfast or stay in a bit later than usual.

And once in a while, he would be in the mood for a donut. He and mom would spend the morning in the kitchen rolling out, cutting, and frying up donuts. This was a big deal. Farm work was always waiting so if dad stayed inside and – on top of that – helped bake, it meant that good memories were in store.

Pile of homemade donut holes topped with powdered sugar sitting on linen towel

If anything can make someone do something unexpected, it’s these donuts. Great-grandma knew what she was doing when she wrote this recipe. Flavored only with a little nutmeg and cinnamon, these are fluffy yet provide just a hint of chewiness that is oh-so-satisfying.

Great-grandma would fry these in lard, and if you really want a treat, I would suggest trying it sometime. I choose to fry these in neutral oil. For me, that’s safflower oil.

Frying tips to keep in mind

  • The temperature of the oil is extremely important. If the oil is too hot, the donuts will become too dark. If the oil is too cool, excess oil will be absorbed into the donuts, making them heavy.
  • A good thermometer is crucial and takes all the stress away. You want the oil to stay around 360 to 365 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that after each batch, you’ll need to allow the oil to come back up to the appropriate temperature.

Once fried, top these with a simple glaze. Chocolate and vanilla are my favorite (ingredients and stepped listed below), but you can really use whatever you prefer. And might I just say that it’s this silky glaze that truly convinces you that you’ve been transported to the best bakery!

Top down view of homemade yeast donuts topped with chocolate glaze sitting on wire cooling rack

While they’re not fried, you may also like my pumpkin spice donuts recipe. They’re seasonal and perfect for fall, but they’re pretty much delicious all year round!

Close up view of inside of glazed homemade donut with white frosting and sprinkles on top being held by hand

Watch how to make these yeast donuts:

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Homemade yeast donuts covered in vanilla and chocolate glazes sitting on wire cooling rack with linen towel and extra donut holes in background

Homemade Bakery-Style Yeast Donuts

  • Author: Kaleb Wyse
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 donuts + 12 donut holes 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Homemade donuts are so much better when they’re made from yeast! A bit of extra work goes a long way in making these the best donuts ever!


Scale

Ingredients

For the donuts

  • 5 cups flour, separated
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 packages instant active yeast
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons salt

For the vanilla glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the chocolate glaze

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

For the donuts

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine 4 cups flour, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and yeast. Whisk to evenly combine.
  2. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat on the stovetop. When the milk begins to steam, but not boil, remove from heat and add the butter. Stir until the butter is melted and the mixture registers 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk in the vanilla and eggs and pour into the prepared flour mixture.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix on low with a dough hook attachment until a shaggy dough is formed. Turn to medium and mix for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the salt and then slowly add remaining 1 cup of flour as needed until a smooth dough is formed, leaving the sides of the mixing bowl clean.
  5. Lightly flour a work surface and knead the dough by hand to ensure it is smooth and elastic. Place dough into a well-oiled bowl and cover. Set in a draft-free location until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Personally, I use my oven with the oven light on to raise the dough.
  6. Once doubled, roll out dough on a floured surface to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut donuts with 3-inch and 1-inch round cutters. Any size can be used.
  7. Place donuts and donut holes on a parchment-lined baking sheet sprinkled with flour, leaving at least 2 inches of space around each donut. Allow to rise until slightly risen, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  8. While the donuts are raising, prepare the oil. In an 8- to 12-quart heavy stockpot, heat 2 quarts of neutral oil to 365 degrees Fahrenheit. Safflower oil is a great choice for this.
  9. When the donuts have risen, fry in batches, not more than four at a time or the oil will cool down too quickly. Once lightly browned, turn the donuts over to fry the opposite side, about 1 minute per side. When evenly browned, remove donuts from the oil and place on a cooling rack.
  10. Bring the oil back to 365 degrees Fahrenheit and continue to fry until all donuts and holes are finished.
  11. Once everything is fried, prepare the glazes.
  12. When the donuts have cooled, dip them in the preferred glaze.

For the vanilla glaze

  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  2. For a thicker glaze, add more sugar. For a thinner glaze, add more milk.

For the chocolate glaze

  1. Heat the cream until steaming and pour over chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Allow to soften for 3 minutes and stir until smooth.
  2. Cook for an additional 5 minutes before using.

Notes

  • Each glaze recipe makes an entire batch of 12 donuts.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 full-size donut
  • Calories: 334
  • Sugar: 16.9g
  • Sodium: 362mg
  • Fat: 10.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.1g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 52.4g
  • Fiber: 2.2g
  • Protein: 7.8g
  • Cholesterol: 47.7mg

Keywords: brunch, donuts

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