Pioneer Woman’s Glazed Donuts

The Pioneer Woman's Glazed donut recipe AKA the best donut recipe ever
The Pioneer Woman's Glazed donut recipe AKA the best donut recipe ever

Confession: I love me some donuts. And I especially love Pioneer Woman’s Glazed Donuts recipe.

There is no donut-providing bakery anywhere near me. Sure, the Wal-Mart has “donuts” but they are not donuts. Are you with me?

What do you do when hours away from a donut source? Become the source; making donuts from scratch is my only option and my, what a delicious option it is.

This recipe hails from The Pioneer Woman’s blog and I dare say it is the best homemade glazed donuts recipe ever. These donuts are better than anything you can buy, that I can promise you. The secret is in the dough. You make the dough with a heavy hand of melted butter. The dough is light and sticky, but then you stick that dough in the fridge for a good long while. The butter gets firm again in the fridge and works its magic when you pop these donuts in the hot frying oil. These light donuts almost melt in your mouth when you eat them.

Donut making is quite a bit of work and the recipe takes a while to make (the perk is that you can make the dough ahead of time and keep it in the fridge). I like to think of donut making as party time. We like to make glazed donuts for my son’s fall birthday party instead of serving cake and we love to make a batch when we have friends come over. It’s a lot of fun and fresh donuts are one of those things no one can say “no” to. If you share enough, you won’t have to worry about eating them all yourself. You are going to love these. Mark my word.

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! Leave a comment, pin it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #blessthismesseat on Instagram. I love to see your kitchen skills in action!

Pioneer Woman's Glazed Donuts
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The best homemade yeast glazed donut recipe on the face of the earth. Trust me, I've tried them all.
Makes: 2 dozen donuts
  • For the Donuts:
  • 1-1/8 cup whole milk, warm
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons (one Package) Instant Or Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 whole large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 and ¼ stick unsalted butter (12 tablespoons), melted
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Shortening/oil for frying
  • Glaze for hot yeast donuts:
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • Enough milk to make a thin icing (about ½ cup)
  1. To make the dough warm the milk until it is getting nice and warm when you dip your finger in it. Add the milk to a mixing bowl of the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the yeast and stir to combine. Let the yeast rest for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the beaten eggs and melted butter to the bowl and stir to combine. While the mixer is running slowly add the flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together. Mix for a whole five minutes to work the dough well. Turn off the bowl and let the dough sit in the bowl of the mixer for 10 minutes.
  3. After the rest period turn the dough out into a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 8 hours up to overnight.
  4. To make the donuts:
  5. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is ½ to ⅓ of an inch thick. Use a three inch donut cutter to cut out the donuts. Place the cut donuts and holes on a lightly greased baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Cover the donuts and let them rise until doubled in size, about one hour. The donuts will be very puffy and airy looking.
  6. To fry the donuts: Heat a few inches of oil or shortening in a large cast iron skillet or fryer over medium heat until the oil reaches 375 degrees (use a thermometer!). Carefully add the donuts to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 1½ minutes per side. The donut holes will only take about 30 seconds per side. Use a slotted spoon to remove the donuts from the hot oil and place them on a paper towel lined baking sheet to remove extra grease. Let them cool slightly. Dip the hot donuts in the glaze and enjoy right away.
  7. For the Glaze: Just combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until smooth. Add just enough milk to make thin icing. Once the donuts are dipped halfway in the icing take them out, turn them icing side up, and place them on a cooling rack set inside a baking sheet (to catch the drips).
This is the most amazing donut recipe and the only one I have made for years. ENJOY!


This recipe is from The Pioneer Woman. She is amazing in general but has really come through with this recipe. She has lots of comments on the process of making these glazed donuts, so if you need some more pointers on who this should come together check out her details post, recipe, instructions, and lots of tips on making glazed yeast donuts here.

The only thing I changed was the glaze. I think that a little butter in a glaze that might only call for milk and powdered sugar is a must. The butter makes it more like an icing in taste and less like eating powdered sugar. Butter makes everything better though; we already knew that.

The Pioneer Woman's Glazed donut recipe AKA the best donut recipe ever
The Pioneer Woman's Glazed donut recipe AKA the best donut recipe ever
The Pioneer Woman's Glazed donuts AKA the best donut recipe ever


Feel free to comment on the life-changing experience that making these glazed donuts leads to. You’ll never be the same.


47 comments on “Pioneer Woman’s Glazed Donuts

  1. Oh yum. I love me some doughnuts too. I even tried making some baked doughnuts the other day… :( I think I’ll stick to the regular kind. But yours look fabulous!

    1. I’ve seen so many baked donut recipes… if you are going to donut, just DONUT! Hahaha, you know what I mean. Call those round muffins, not donuts.

  2. I make lots of doughnuts–one of my weaknesses, but more partial to cake ones. However, these have made my mouth water. I have doughnuts pans, but only do them with muffin recipes for the grands–frying is the only TRUE doughnut! XOXO

  3. Why do yours look better than hers? I don’t mean that to sound snarky…but yours truly look professional…hers look homemade…darker, craggier, and oilier. Any insights you can share?

    1. Bill- this totally made me smile. This is my go-to recipe for donuts and we LOVE donuts. They always looks like this too… I assume that her oil was a little bit hotter than she wanted it to be or she fried them longer. And maybe I’m just a really good donut photographer ;) thanks for the comment. I totally loved it. Compare me to Pioneer Woman any day!

  4. บทความน่ารู้เกี่ยวกับรองเท้าแตะ says:

    These doughnuts look yummy. Must tell my wife to try at this weekend. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. The recipe didn’t seem to taste right. I tried the doughnuts without the glaze and they tasted like bland dinner rolls, not a doughnut. It’s supposed to be a sweet bread. I’ve looked at other recipes, and they say 1 1/4 cup sugar vs. the 1/4 cup here. I’m going to try that next time and see if it tastes more doughnut like.

    1. They are ok, but not nearly as good. I just made them this weekend. I’d recommend eating them right away though you could always do a trial run to see how you like them the next day. More donuts are never bad in my opinion!

  6. Hello,
    Can you please tell me what is the purpose of placing the dough in the fridge.. i am gonna try this recipe nw and I dn t have enough time to refrigrate it for 8 hours.. what should i do?

    1. The chilling lets the butter re-solidify, so when you fry them it’s melts again and makes the softest donuts ever. The dough is super stick if you don’t put it in the fridge for at least a couple of hours and it’s really hard to work with. Minimum, I’d do 3 hours of chilling time.

    1. I’d go for at least 2%, it does need some of the milk fat in there. You could try it though. I think that the higher fat content of the milk lends to a more tender dough but I’m also pretty sure they would be delicious and rich even with skim milk. If you try it, I’d love to know how it turns out!

  7. Can the dough be made the night before? Double on size the night before and kept in fridge until the morning? Wondering if it would dry out too much?

    1. Yes! I have done this a few times. You are going to want to put in it a really big bowl and put a could of layers of plastic wrap over the top. It’s going to still puff up some in the fridge, so you might want to check on it and push it down once in a while. It should be fine if you keep the top of the bowl covered with that plastic wrap. It’s worked well for me in the past!

  8. Do I need to let the doughnuts rise for the recommended hour ( after refrigeration) for oven baked, frying, or is it a must either way?

      1. Thank you. My husband loved them but said they were too “heavy” since I didn’t let them rise before frying. Will definitely be making them again!

  9. Mine came out of the fridge so sticky after being the the fridge covered for 16 hours…Then they didn’t rise…What did I do wrong?

    Tasted great though

  10. Thank you so much for the recipe! I saved the pin months ago, but didn’t have the chance to try it until yesterday… and they were AWESOME! So fluffy and light; I ate 4 myself :). Will definitely be doing it more in the future.

  11. We made this today and found 375 was way too hot. That’s probably why TPW’s are darker. Do you really fry them at that temp? That seems pretty impossible. I originally thought 375 would be too hot so we started them a little under 350 and even that was too hot. We let it get down to 275 and still, too hot. We also found it was impossible not to deflate most of them so we ended up baking the last half, not as good for sure but less frustrating.

    1. Did you go for Celsius ? I think she wrote it as Fahrenheit… You can just start frying once the oil is heated; I didn’t use a thermometer.

      1. Uh no A. I’m American B. 375 C doesn’t even make sense. I have several thermometers that we checked the oil with and they were all correct. My husband and I fry foods every few weeks usually and we know pretty well what we’re doing when we do. We agreed there’s no way she actually frys these at 375 F.

        1. 375 is right for this recipe, the oil temperature tends to dip a bit when you place something in it so I bet the actual cooking temperature is closer to 360. Try it at 350 if you like a lighter fry :)

        2. I set mine at about 350° because I knew the temp. would fluctuate especially in my cast iron skillet. I also didn’t go by the recommended time (per side), I pretty much eye balled it. If it’s your first time making them then it’s easy to mess up the first batch. Every stove top, and skillet are different. You need to get it to where you’re comfortable with it instead of saying someone is wrong. I too fry things on a fairly regular basis, and never use the recommended temp after my first try on a new recipe. The 375° mentioned is more of an area in which to start and then work your way up or down from there depending on your preference.

          1. Yes! My cast iron seems to fluctuate a bit more in temperature than say a FryDaddy or some other kind of electric fryer… it takes a bit of getting used to but it’s a delicious skill to learn!