Fluffy Glazed Donuts Recipe

4.68 from 316 votes

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Fluffy Glazed Donuts are light, fluffy and truly the best donuts ever. If you’re new to donut making, this is the perfect donut recipe. 

A pile of glazed donuts on a white plate.
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There’s just something about the fluffy and light, yet sweet richness to them that is positively addicting, in the very best way. And these donuts are actually better than any store- or bakery-bought glazed options I’ve ever tried. They are worth the effort.

Serve these donuts with a farmhouse egg bake or a breakfast casserole, some seasonal fruit, and you have the perfect brunch.

Stack of three homemade glazed donuts.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Homemade donuts are the freshest and most delicious donuts you can find.
  • You can get creative with the flavor of your glaze. 
  • More affordable than buying donuts at a store or bakery. 

Recipe Ingredients

For the donut dough you’ll need:

  • Whole milk
  • Sugar
  • Instant or active dry yeast
  • Eggs
  • Unsalted butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Shortening or oil for frying

For the hot donut glaze you’ll need:

  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cream or milk
  • Salt

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities.

  • Chocolate Donut Glaze: Add 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder when you add the powdered sugar. You’ll need to increase the milk by a bit too to form a smooth glaze.
  • Maple Donut Glaze: Replace the vanilla extra in original recipes with 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring (you can use up to 1 teaspoon, adjust to your liking).
  • Colored Donut Glaze: Simply add a few drops of food coloring to the glaze.
Top view of some old fashioned glazed doughnuts and doughnut holes on a black cooling rack.

How to Make Doughnuts

Step 1: Make the Donut Dough

Warm the milk until about 105 degrees F. Yeast is actually alive and if you put it in milk that is too hot, you’ll kill it, which means no fluffy donuts.

Once your milk is warm, add it to your a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve, then add the yeast and let everything rest for 5 minutes.

Add the beaten eggs and melted butter to your yeast mixture and stir to combine. Then, with the mixer running slowly, add the flour and salt. Mix until the dough comes together. If you don’t have a mixer you can also do this by hand.

Photos of steps to make the dough for  homemade donuts.

If using a stand mixer, switch to your dough hook attachment and knead the dough for a full 5 minutes. If you are making the dough by hand, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. The dough should be thick and soft, but slightly sticky.

Let the dough rest for 10 minutes then transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic saran wrap. Refrigerate the dough for 2-8 hours or overnight.

Step 2: Shape the Donuts

Now it’s time to shape the donuts! Remove your dough from the fridge and roll it out using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface until it is 1/2 to 1/3 of an inch thick. Then use a three-inch donut cutter to cut out the rounds.

Picture showing how to cut out donuts using a donut cutter.

Place the cut donuts and holes on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover them with a kitchen towel and let rise until they are doubled in size. This will take about one hour. When the donuts are ready for frying they will be very puffy and airy looking.

Side-by-side of freshly cut donuts and donuts that have risen for an hour and are ready to fry.

Step 3: Fry Your Donuts

To fry your donuts, heat a few inches of oil or shortening in large cast iron skillet, dutch oven, or fryer over medium heat. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil. When it reaches 365F to 375F you’re ready to fry.

Line a baking sheet with paper towel and set aside. Prepare your glaze in a medium bowl by combining all the glaze ingredients and mixing well. The glaze should have the consistency of school glue. Set aside.

Carefully add the donuts a few at a time to the oil. Do not drop them in the oil or it will splash and you can get burned. Depending on how big your pan is, you can probably fry 3-4 donuts at a time. Don’t overcrowd the donuts or they will be hard to flip and the temperature of your oil will decrease too much from cooler dough being added.

Fry the donuts until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Use a metal slotted spoon or metal tongs to gently flip the donuts when ready. Once they are golden on each side, remove the donuts one at a time to your prepared baking sheet. The paper towel will help soak up the excess oil.

Step 4: Glaze the Donuts

Let the donuts drain and cool slightly. Move them to a plate. Put a cooling rack on top of your baking or cookie sheet already lined with paper towel.

When the donuts are just cool enough to touch, use your fingers or a fork to dip each side of each donut in the glaze. Place on your cooling rack.

Once you have glazed all your donuts, it’s time to dig in! (Unless of course your kids have already started digging in while you were glazing all those donuts – make sure to snag some for yourself!)

Black wire baking rack full of homemade glazed donuts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best temperature for frying donuts?

The best temp is 350 to 375 degrees F. Use a candy thermometer to get the temperature right and make sure it’s calibrated so that you know it’s showing the correct temperature – more on calibrating your thermometer.

How can I shape donuts without a donut cutter?

You can use a wide-mouth canning ring and anything to make the smaller hole. I also have this great set of round cookie cutters that I love and use for all kinds of things (like these amazing biscuits).

How do I know when donuts are done cooking?

The donuts will be done when they’re golden-brown – it will take about a minute-and-a-half per side and 30 seconds per side for donut holes.

What’s the best glaze for donuts?

I love a traditional buttery glaze on glazed donuts, but feel free to make a maple, chocolate, or a colored glaze. The possibilities are endless.

Top view of a stack of three old fashioned glazed doughnuts with the top one having a bite taken out.

Expert Tips

  • These donuts are the best eaten fresh. They store about as well as most grocery store donuts.
  • Be sure to use accurate measurements, especially for flour and liquid ingredients, and consider using a kitchen scale for greater precision – because making donuts is a science.
  • Don’t overcrowd the frying pot. Fry donuts in batches, making sure there’s enough space for them to expand and float freely in the oil.
Glazed donuts on a black cooling rack.

Why do I need to chill the dough?

The chilling time is a must for these donuts. The butter needs a chance to solidify in the fridge which makes the dough much less sticky than when it went in the fridge. They also keep their shape so much better, and gets them nice and fluffy. Don’t skip this step.

However, you can be flexible with the chilling time. If your dough has firmed up after 2 hours, you can use it! You can also wait as long as overnight. Let the timing work for you.

And, if you don’t have time to chill the dough, Beth’s Famous Glazed Yeast Donuts turn out almost just like these and it does not need the chilling time that this recipe does. I’d recommend making that recipe if you are in a hurry to get donuts in your belly.

Video How to Make Donuts

More Breakfast Recipes to Consider

close up golden brown circle doughnut with shimmering glaze on white plate
4.68 from 316 votes

Fluffy Glazed Donuts Recipe

Glazed yeast donuts are the BEST donuts you'll ever eat. I've been making this easy donut recipe for years and can honestly tell you it's PERFECT!
Prep: 2 hours
Cook: 3 minutes
Total: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 2 dozen donuts

Ingredients 

For the Donuts:

  • 1 1/8 cup whole milk, warm
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast, one package
  • 2 whole large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, a total of 10 tablespoons (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons), melted
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • shortening or oil for frying

Glaze for hot yeast donuts:

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • enough cream or milk to thin, (about 3 tablespoons)
  • dash of salt
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Instructions 

To make the dough:

  • Warm the milk until it is about 105 degrees F. Add the milk to a mixing bowl or 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.
  • 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 5 minutes to work the dough well. Turn off the bowl and let the dough sit in the bowl of the mixer for 10 minutes.
  • 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 2 hours, but up to overnight. The goal is to get the dough cold enough to work with easily and have the butter solidify.

To form the donuts:

  • Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is 1/2 to 1/3 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.

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 350 to 375 degrees (use a thermometer for accuracy). Carefully add the donuts to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 90 seconds 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 (I like to flip on both sides so it's fully covered) and enjoy right away.

For the Glaze:

  • Melt the butter in a medium bowl. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Add the powdered sugar and stir to form a thick paste. Thin out the paste with milk, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is about as thick as school glue.

Video

Notes

  • If you don’t have time to chill the dough, make this donut recipe: Beth’s Famous Glazed Yeast Donuts. They will turn out almost just like these and don’t need the chilling time that this recipe does. 
  • To make chocolate glaze: Add 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder when you add the powdered sugar. You’ll need to increase the milk by a bit too to form a smooth glaze.
  • To make a maple glaze: Replace the vanilla extra in original recipes with 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring (you can use up to 1 teaspoon, adjust to your liking).
  • These donuts are much better eaten fresh. They store about as well as most grocery store donuts.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 of 24 donuts, Calories: 248kcal, Carbohydrates: 12.1g, Protein: 3.5g, Fat: 12.1g, Saturated Fat: 5.9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3.6g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 37.8mg, Sodium: 78.2mg, Potassium: 58.8mg, Fiber: 0.8g, Sugar: 15.2g, Vitamin A: 304IU, Vitamin C: 0.003mg, Calcium: 22.5mg, Iron: 1.1mg
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671 Comments

  1. Jenn says:

    Could this recipe be used to fill the donuts with a filling? Thanks

    1. Melissa says:

      Yes! I just don’t cut the hole in the center and I make sure I fry it long enough to really cook through that thicker middle.